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DIY Teacher's Appreciation Gift Ideas

Updated on February 19, 2014

It's that time of the year again! Everyday this week and the past, I have had the pleasure of going to one school event after another. Whether it's a graduation ceremony, an award ceremony, a planned school trip (out of state), or a fundraising event, I've been there, done that!

I really enjoyed going with my 5 years old on an eight hour drive (on a rental bus,to and fro) school trip to a neighboring state aquarium. Over sixty students (K5 class - 5Th grade), and about twenty something adults (parents and teacher). It was fun, informative, and very exhausting! Try spending a whole day with a bunch of four, five, six years old and above.

Well, teachers all over the world do that everyday. They spend countless hours daily teaching and directing our kids. Positively impacting their lives, and pushing them to be the best they can be. They work tirelessly, planning for the curriculum, grading homework and test papers, and even taking on the job of an interior decorator as they're always changing the theme of their classroom year after year. And God forbid if a parent is running late picking up their kid after school, the teacher get to wait around with the student until the parent arrive.

Refridgerator sticker. A gift from an old student of mine. Priceless!
Refridgerator sticker. A gift from an old student of mine. Priceless!

Teachers Change the World

Teachers everywhere deserve our appreciation. Everyone of us have had teachers in our lives leading us to where we are today. Teachers have given us the great leaders of our nations; presidents, doctors, engineers, nurses, accountant, and even teachers to name a few. Imagine a world without teachers.

Teachers change the world one student at a time. They open our eyes to the world, and dared us to dream, and they do it lovingly and seamlessly. And it's not about the money, because they are the least paid of all professions. So parents everywhere and students alike, I challenge you to take the time to honor the teachers in your kids' life, or in your life.

Let us show our teachers how much they are appreciated (not just on teachers appreciation week), but as often as you can. Here are some ways you can show your appreciation to your/your kid's teachers:

3 Ways To Tell A Teacher 'Thank You'

Every teacher I know and have worked with sincerely love their job and get the most satisfaction in seeing their students succeed. So if you've landed that dream job after graduation, or found yourself on the principal or deans honor roll, or maybe you just started your very own business or have become a teacher yourself;

Send A Card: When you reach those life milestones, drop your favorite teacher a 'Thank You' card, an email, or maybe even a phone call. Share the news of your success. Teachers love to hear from their old students, especially when they've succeeded in life.

Give A Gift Card: Like every one of us, teachers like to receive gifts too. Along with your thank you note, give your favorite teacher a well deserved gift. No better gift than a gift that keeps giving. A gift card to a book store, or a craft store is always a teacher's favorite, because they can turn right back and invest it on another student or students.

Tell A Teacher, 'Thank You" After Each Class: Believe it or not, teachers hardly get to hear the words, 'thank you' either from the students they teach, or from parents who will sometimes come in to give a teacher 'a piece of their mind' for reprimanding their kids. At my middle grade daughter's honor ceremony, one of the teachers was brought to tears when one of her student dared to say 'Thank You' to her after dismissal.

Students, saying 'thank you' to your teachers goes a long way to let them know that you appreciate what they do. And parents, it doesn't hurt to say 'thank you' to your kid's teacher once in a while, even though you may not always agree with them on issues.

Which Do You Think Are Fitting Gifts for Teachers?

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DIY Gifts Any Teacher Would Appreciate

You can make simple easy-to-do craft for your teacher. Parents, you can also help your child with this. Examples of crafts that you can make:

Pencil/Pen/Crayon Holder - This can be made out of an empty soup can. Clean and dry can. Then cover with duct tapes. Using a glue gun, align and glue your choice of pencils or crayons unto can, making sure you fit pencils/crayons together to cover spaces in between.

You can also follow the instructions like the ones shown in the video. These are great for displaying teacher's pens and pencils. It is also a great tool in keeping the teacher's desk organized and looking neat.

If you're not comfortable with gluing all those pencils around the can for fear it might go to waste, then substitute it with craft sticks or popsicle sticks.

Mini Photo Frames - This can be made out of layered, Popsicle Sticks that are glued together. Your teacher would love to use this for class pictures inserts to be displayed on his or her desk.

Decorated Mug - Teachers love mugs, whether it's for drinking coffee or for displaying those pencils, paper clips and other teacher essentials. So, one of the gifts you can give your favorite teacher is a hand decorated mug.

Get a plain ceramic mug from any craft or dollar store. You'll need to sketch your design on the mug, or write texts like "Teachers Are Great" on the mug before painting over it. You may even just finger paint all over the mug with bright color ceramic paints. What a fun way to make a fun gift!

Make A Pencil Holder - With Pencils

Teacher's Love Gift Baskets/Packages Too!

One of the favorite things teachers love to do, next to teaching, is to reward their students. So, one thing you could give your favorite teacher is a gift basket full of things she could in turn use to reward her students. This is an example of 'a gift that keeps giving'. Here's a list of things you can include in the gift basket:

  • Mini-Rulers/Rulers - There's never enough of these in the classroom as students are always finding ways to break them.
  • Pencil Packages - Trust me, teachers run out of these are soon as they open up the box.
  • Erasers - Life if full of mistakes and so it the classroom. Get those sweet smelling ones, the kids love those!
  • Filler Papers - Whether it's writing composition papers or graph papers, these do go a long way to help the class run smoothly.
  • Pencil Leads - Believe me, pencil leads for those mechanical pencils are as important in the classroom as the pencils themselves.
  • Stickers - Get stickers that praise the student's effort and achievement, they love those.
  • Bandages - For those booboo moments, of course.
  • Hand Sanitizers - These are a classroom must, especially on those cold and rainy days.

The fact remains that, due to the lack of funds or reduced funding in most school districts, some teachers are having to fund their classroom essentials, such as those mentioned above with their own money. Our teachers do enough already. They shouldn't have to have out-of-pocket classroom expenses added to their list of things to do.

These are things that you as a parent, or a concerned citizen, could do to let teachers know they are appreciated for the care they give and the time they've invested in your education.

Do you love to write? Do you have a passion for sharing with others what you know? You can do that by signing up right here on hubpages. And guess what? You'll make some money doing it too. Writing, that is. The world is waiting to hear from you.

Author: Comfort Babatola - ©2013


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    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      @twoseven - Yes, those cards are usually proudly displayed in their classrooms for all to see. They love to hear from their old students and to see that they are succeeding. It's like a 'cherry on a cake'

      Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. Very well appreciated.

    • twoseven profile image

      twoseven 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      What wonderful ideas! And you describe so well the many intangible gifts teachers give our children every day. My mom is a teacher and I know her favorite thing to get is a card from an old student out of the blue.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      I currently work with teachers at an alternative school, and boy, I cannot tell you what these teachers have to endure each day.

      Teachers put their life into their jobs, and I believe thay deserve so much more, but yes, a "Thank You" will do.

      Thanks teaches12345. I really appreciate your coming by and commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      As a teacher, I can agree whole heartedly that a simple thank you makes a world of difference to a teacher. They put so much into their jobs, go the extra mile, to teach children valuable knowledge. And not that they expect the thanks, but it sure is wonderful to hear. Great hub topic and love the suggestions.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Thanks Truckstop Sally & starstream for your comments. Teachers everywhere do deserve better than they get.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 6 years ago from Northern California

      Teachers are expected to do so much! Yes, I think a gift card would be a perfect thank you.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Great hub! As a teacher, I appretiate your thoughts.