But now that my kids are in middle and high school, we're looking at seventeen individual gifts for their teachers and counselors this year. My best gift idea for them isn't cheap, in the aggregate. But I know from the thanks we get that it's much appreciated. It's a $10 Amazon gift card, which comes in a three-pack at Ralphs, so $30 per pack. I attach it with double stick tape to the inside of a small thank you card, write a brief note of thanks, sign the note on behalf of our family, and leave the sealed envelope in their mailbox in the main office.
I could have the kids write the note, but it's not a battle I feel like fighting. I also feel that writing the note in our family's name includes the other child who may have had the teacher in the past, and/or might have the teacher in the future.
I found these cute cards in Bullseye's Playground at Target!
I know this idea isn't feasible for every family, because it gets expensive. But the teachers definitely appreciate it. And since my kids' school is a Title I school, where a substantial portion of the student population qualifies for free or reduced-fee lunch, I figure the teachers don't get a lot of high-value gifts.
Of course, not every family can or wants to give cash to a teacher. Also of course, nothing beats a heartfelt note of appreciation. And there may be teachers who would prefer a homemade treat. But if you can, you might consider cash or a gift card unless you know a teacher's specific preference.
As a final thought, for the last few years, I've also been buying boxes of cookies for the various offices at school. I think sometimes that even if the teachers and principal get showered with gifts, the staff can be overlooked, especially if they're not in the main office. Our school has separate attendance and counseling offices, so I buy gifts for them as well.
How do you handle teacher gifts for your kids?