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Teacher Appreciation Gifts for Non-Classroom Teachers, Coaches & Staff
(music, sports and other extracurricular activities)

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
W.B. Yeats, Irish poet & playwright (1862-1939), adapted from the writings of Greek historian Plutarch

Teacher appreciation often focuses on grade and class teachers and their crucial contributions to their pupils' lives. However, let us not overlook the many other teachers, tutors, instructors, coaches, educators and school staff who do so much to turn children into happy and well-rounded individuals.
These 'specialist' teachers include sports coaches of all kinds, piano teachers and music teachers and instructors generally, language tutors, drama teachers and Sunday school and other teachers of religious instruction. And then don't forget the school librarian, caretaker and school bus driver!

Whereas most, if not all, of the general teacher appreciation ideas included in this section are perfectly suitable for these non-classroom teachers and assistants, there are a number of ways that you can tailor your gift to the individual person and his or her subject and area.

Here are 10 gifts ideas for these extracurricular teachers, assistants and staff

1. Sports teacher: trophy or medal

Sports instructors, from baseball and football coaches to your judo sensei, are sure to appreciate tickets to a sports game or match, or perhaps a home-made 'best teacher' sports trophy or even a gold medal!

2. Piano/music teacher: recording or composition

Piano teachers and other music instructors are almost certainly already the proud owners of shelves-full of music-themed ornaments, so instead make a recording of yourself playing a favorite piece, or singing a favorite song. Or for a truly unique gift, why not try to compose your own piece entitled 'For my music teacher', or write a song dedicated to them?

3. Language teacher: Thank You in another language

Any language teacher would surely be delighted to receive a thank you note written in the language that he or she teaches! Or how about getting together with a classmate or two and developing a short skit to be performed in the language?

A thank you note in lots of different languages. Photo: flickr.com/photos/wwworks/

4. Drama teacher: theater voucher, recording

Your drama teacher or program coordinator would doubtless be thrilled to receive a voucher for theater tickets. Or get together with friends and record yourselves doing a short performance of your own creation.

5. Sunday school teacher: handmade prayer card, bible cover

Any Sunday school teacher would be touched to receive a handmade prayer card from one of his or her students, or a protective and decorative cover for a bible (made of paper or fabric, perhaps with cross stitch or embroidery). Symbolic and personal gifts include a packet of seeds to thank your teacher for planting the seeds of faith, or a compass to symbolize your desire to walk in the direction of God.

6. Math teacher: math-themed gifts

Math Teacher Thank You Gift: Mathmatical Equation Pop Quiz Clock. Solve the equation to figure out the time
Math students will find all kinds of great math-themed gifts online from Pi symbol pizza cutters and Pi ice cube trays to math equation clocks, clothing and jewelry. Or perhaps your teacher would enjoy a math puzzle or math joke book. Similarly, science teachers may enjoy a science-themed joke book or a quirky periodic table-themed gift.

7. Art teacher

Your art teacher would surely love to see you put your skills to use to create a unique artwork for him or her, be it a drawing, a collage, a print or ceramic object. Or why not present your teacher with a book or monograph on your favorite artist or art movement, historic or contemporary!

8. School librarian: something NOT reading themed

Most school librarians' lives revolve around more than books, so treat him or her to something pretty or practical rather than another book quote or reading-themed gift. Do a little detective work to discover what your school librarian does when he or she is not reading, then choose your gift based on that, be it gardening tools, perfume and lotions or a great music CD.

9. School custodians and janitors: a key-themed gift or Romans-related

Similarly, school custodians and janitors doubtless have lives outside of school, however it's a cool idea to honor their crucial role in the day-to-day running of the school with a key-themed gift, or something related to the Romans: the word 'janitor' is derived from Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, endings and transitions and hence doorways and gateways and even time itself! A clock, a watch or a stylish pocket watch would therefore be a classy and meaningful gift.

10. School bus driver: NOT something bus-related

When choosing a gift for your school bus driver, steer clear of the school bus themed items (your driver is almost sure to have them already!), and instead give a thoughtful gift such as gloves or a hat & scarf set (assuming you live in a climate that gets cold), cookies or home produce, or best of all a gift that has nothing to do with his or her job, such as a gift card for a nice meal at a good restaurant!

More about Thanking Teachers:

100 Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas:

Writing Teacher Thank You Letters, Notes & Cards: