Ah June.  Warm weather, barbecues, and the end of school.  If you are like me, this is the time of year you start going through the list of teachers that your children have had this year, and figuring out the best way to thank them for their hard work. As seen on this website during Teacher Appreciation Week, we really love our Wantagh Teachers.  It would be a shame to let the end of the year go by without letting them know that!

As a teacher myself for over twenty years, I have been lucky enough to have some of the most generous parents.  They  were kind enough to share their gratitude at the end of the year with a small token of appreciation. Among my friends, I often get the question, “What is the best gift to give a teacher in June?

Below is a list of some of the best gifts I have ever received.  I hope this list helps you ensure the teacher that has meant so much to you this year really knows how much they are appreciated.  Don’t forget that special Middle School or High School teacher or guidance counselor.  If a teacher in the upper grades made your child’s year amazing, they deserve your gratitude too!

  1. A letter of appreciation – the best feeling at the end of the year is knowing parents truly appreciate the hard work and effort that I put into making the year a success for their child.  Putting that gratitude into a letter (and even better, sharing it with the principal) is one of the best and most meaningful gifts a teacher can receive.  I have a thick folder filled with letters of gratitude and appreciation from parents.  The best thing about this gift -if your budget is tight, it is the perfect way to show your child’s teacher you care.  If not, pair that letter with something else from this list!
  1. Gift cards – okay, I know that a lot of people feel that gift cards are impersonal, but trust me when I say they are always appreciated.  Does your child’s teacher make a morning run to Starbucks or Dunkin’?  Give a gift that will keep them caffeinated all summer long.  Saw your child’s teacher out at your favorite restaurant?  He or she will probably be heading there over the summer!  When all else fails, who wouldn’t love an Amazon or Visa gift card?
  1. Personalized stationery – this is one of my favorites!  As teachers we go through notepads, sticky notes and stationery faster than you could imagine.  Having something personalized to use “From the Desk of Mrs. Smith,” is always a bonus.  Pair it with a pack of flair pens or thin multi colored sharpies, and you have made that teacher’s day – or year!
  1. Group gifts – One of the most generous gifts I have ever received was when five parents went in together on a gift card for spa treatments.  I booked my spa day for the first day of summer, and I can tell you it was amazing!  Going in together on a group gift (seperate from the full class collection) is a way to buy your favorite teacher something special that you may not have been able to afford alone.

Gifts to avoid (in no particular order):

  • Homemade food – living in a post covid world, it’s best to avoid baking anything as part of a gift.  Allergies and sensitivities to food also make this something to stay away from.
  • Teacher mugs – unless this is their first year teaching, they have a large collection of mugs already.
  • Anything scented – unless you know that the teacher is a huge fan of a specific product, best to not guess.  While this is a generous gesture, scented candles, body wash, etc can be a personal preference and often these items end up going unused.
  • Christmas ornaments – I could fill my own personal tree with all my teacher themed Christmas ornaments!  
  • Anything apple shaped – we have a ton of apple chotskies already – trust me!

Happy Summer!