Update the centuries-old tradition of placing a fresh, juicy apple on the teacher’s desk with handpicked gift ideas that are sure to bring a smile to your child’s teacher’s face. Lisa Cannon, a kindergarten teacher in McDonough, Ga., who’s received her share of coffee mugs and candles, says any gift from a student is special, but these practical—and consumable—gifts are some of her favorites.
School supplies. Many teachers dip into their own pockets to buy classroom necessities. Give them a beginning-of-the-year boost with boxes of tissues, pens, pencils or copier paper. If you’re not sure what your child’s teacher will need, ask the local Parent Teacher Association or classroom parent.
Nail polish. Most teachers will enjoy giving their fingertips a little TLC after shuffling papers all day. If choosing the perfect polish color seems difficult, consider a bottle of cuticle moisturizer, quick-drying topcoat or a nail repair kit. Attach a note that says, “Teachers like you paint bright futures” or “You’re one polished teacher.”
Gift cards. Whether for a local mall, restaurant or spa, you can’t go wrong with gift cards, Cannon says. Personalize the card with a witty message. For a Target retail gift card, help your child draw a bull’s eye and write the message, “I really hit the Target getting you as my teacher.” Or add “Thanks a latte” to a coffee shop gift card.
Hand sanitizer. Teachers battle coughs, colds and sniffles year- round. Arm these dedicated germ fighters with scented soaps and hand sanitizers. Have your child trace his hand on construction paper, cut out the handprint, write the phrase, “Hands down, you’re the best teacher around,” and attach to a bottle.
Tea kit. High-quality or flavored tea bags packed in a reusable travel mug will warm up teachers on cold winter mornings or give them a little afternoon pick-me-up. For a bonus, add a gift card to a local coffee shop or tearoom. Add a cute note that says, “I’m looking forward to a TEA-rific school year.”
Search Pinterest for clever gift tag messages or consider the following:
- “You deserve a break” attached to a giant KitKat bar.
- “Thanks for helping me blossom” on fresh-cut flowers or bulbs.
- “With you as my teacher, i’ll be one smart cookie” with cookies, homemade or store-bought.
- “I’m so happy that i got the most popular teacher” with a box of microwave popcorn.
- “You were ‘mint’ to be my teacher” with a box of andes or other mint candies.
- “Let me ‘ream’ind you what a great teacher you are” with a ream of paper.
Apple for the Teacher
Teachers and apples go hand-in-hand. But why? In the 18th and 19th centuries, teachers who received little to no pay often were given food—whatever was in season at the time—from family farms. And the beginning of the school year typically coincides with the bountiful fall apple harvest.