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Choosing Teacher Appreciation & Thank You Gifts: 7 helpful tips

"It's always good to be careful when you give advice, because someone might take it."
Croft M. Pentz, author of 1001 Things Your Mother Told You
How to choose a gift for your teacher? Maybe you're short on ideas, or maybe you have an idea, but are not sure whether it's a good one... Here is some advice for choosing the best present for your teacher, with 7 useful tips and guidelines to bear in mind when selecting a great teacher thank you gift for Teacher Appreciation Day or any other occasion.
For an overview of teacher appreciation gift ideas see here.

7 Tips for Choosing Teacher Gifts

When deciding what kind of gift to give to your teacher, here are some points to keep in mind:

1. Little things

Sometimes the little things mean the most so always remember that your gift doesn't have to be big and extravagant to be special.

2. Please & delight

Your aim should be to please and delight your teacher, so resist the temptation to compete with your classmates to see who can give the 'biggest and best' (or most expensive) gift.

3. Don't make your teacher uncomfortable

Keep in mind that spending a lot of money on a gift for your teacher may make him or her uncomfortable about accepting your gift.

4. Nothing too personal or intimate

Don't select a gift that your teacher may feel is too personal or intimate. Examples of gifts that might be considered too personal will vary depending on the teacher concerned and the age of the student, but may include perfume, clothing (other than t-shirts, sweaters and accessories) or 'real' jewelry.

5. Check carefully

Gift baskets can make fabulous gifts, but they do vary greatly in quality. Do your research and check the contents list carefully sometimes the great item up top is hiding some less desirable items underneath! Better still, put together your own gift basket!

6. Don't hurt your teacher's feelings

Think twice before selecting a joke gift, and don't give one unless you are absolutely sure that you teacher will find it funny (rather than upsetting or offensive). After all, the last thing you want to do is hurt your teacher's feelings, especially during Teacher Appreciation Week!

7. Look into the future...

Finally, avoid any gift that will require effort or expense to maintain. Pot plants and house plants may quickly stop looking their best if your teacher doesn't have green fingers, and although a water purification system may seem like a great gift for a health conscious teacher, the cost of replacement filters quickly mounts up...

Does your teacher really want a puppy?

A puppy as teacher thank you gift - not a good idea
One teacher often spoke fondly of the dog she had had as a child, and her love of dogs was obvious from the bumper sticker on her car and her doggy-themed school tote. So for one group of kids, when it came to selecting a gift the answer seemed obvious a puppy!

But there was a reason that this teacher didn't have a dog at this time of her life every weekend and holiday she traveled long distance to visit elderly parents, so owning a dog simply wasn't practical.

The key point then is to ask your teacher before giving anything that will require his / her commitment, or maintenance and expense. This will mean, of course, that your gift won't be a surprise. But at least you'll be sure it won't be a disaster!

More about Thanking Teachers:

100 Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas:

Writing Teacher Thank You Letters, Notes & Cards: