It’s been a very trying year, and teachers have felt the intensity unlike many others. So as the school year comes to a close, it’s safe to say that every parent appreciates their child’s teacher more than they ever they would.
While end-of-year gifts are always a thoughtful gesture, teachers deserve all the gifts in the world after their hard work this past year. So we asked the teachers of the HuffPost Parents Facebook community for their all-time favorite gifts they’ve ever received.
Here’s what they had to say.
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“One year, a mom sent me 750 mL of Grey Goose Vodka! It was discreetly given in a brown paper bag. The mother took the time to find out which liquor I would like. Throughout the year, she also acknowledged my appreciation for working with her child. She was a supportive parent and I definitely appreciated the gesture. It is an experience I will never forget and I have worked in education for more than 15 years.” ― Jesus T. Peña, M.Ed.
“I received a copy of ‘Dear Teacher, A Celebration of People Who Inspire Us.’ A parent had compiled letters from my students of their favorite part of fourth grade and pasted them into the book along with their pictures. It was amazing!”― Melissa Schultz Miller
“A flower pot with their child’s handprints all around it, complete with a potted flower!”― Jennifer Cluff Bonger
“A thoughtful note means so, so much. One year, a mom made a sign for my classroom door and had all the kids sign it. I love hanging it every year and looking at the names and thinking about how old they are now. Also booze.” ― Angela Zummo McNeeley
“1. A note that says what they appreciated means a lot! Gifts aren’t really needed. 2. A book donated to class library from the student. 3. Gift cards to common places like Target, Amazon, Starbucks.” ― Stacy Blenman
“I don’t need a gift. A short note or email letting me know I have helped a student means the world. I save them to read on bad days.” ― Katie Whitely DeNijs
“A genuine note with details of what they are thanking the teacher for. Let’s us know they are paying attention to what we do for their kids. A gift card is always nice. Amazon and Target are always winners.” ― Lisa Greiling
“I’m a high school teacher. If you really want to show appreciation, write to our administration about what we have done right this year. Ask them to put that letter in the teacher’s permanent record or file. What great thing did your child’s teacher do? Sing their praises. Teachers need to feel recognized about what we do right, and that will last longer than a mug or a gift card.” ― Sarah Petersen Rhine
“I had a student bring me a potted plant on Mother’s Day with a handwritten note saying thank you for being his ‘school mom’ who helps him keep everything together.” ― Jessica Dowell
“Local places’ gift cards!! There are lots of locally owned coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, florists, car washes … it is win-win! Helps the community and is a lovely treat!” ― Nicole Tracey McConnell
“When I was a high school teacher, anything at all was appreciated, but I would warn that you can’t make assumptions about what a teacher likes. Don’t give Starbucks gift cards unless you know they like coffee (I regifted so many of those). And don’t give them a gift card to a teacher store. They’re already spending way too much money on stuff for their classroom, so I understand the impulse. But give them something for THEM, not for their students.” ― Lisa DeBusk Jones
“I really, really, really just want words of appreciation. An email, a note, something. CC’ing my principal is even better.” ― Erica Leavell
“Gift cards are ALWAYS great. The best gift I’ve ever received from a parent was a zoo membership.” ― Sarah Underwood
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.