20 gifts educators say they want for Teacher Appreciation Week, including a personal note, sanitizer, and a gift card
Teacher Appreciation Weekis celebrated during the first full week of May.
- Now that at least 55 million US students are out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic, many parents say that they're more grateful for
teachersthan ever before.
- Insider reached out to a group of teachers on Facebook to find out what gifts they'd most like to receive, and more than 500 teachers responded.
- From a personalized note to a plant, we compiled the 20 presents teachers said they would appreciate most.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
The first full week of May marks Teacher Appreciation Week. Now that at least 55 million US students are learning from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, many parents say they're more grateful for educators than ever before.
Many parents are also eager to demonstrate that gratitude by gifting something special. To find out what educators would be excited to receive, Insider reached out to a group of teachers on Facebook, and more than 500 educators responded.
Some favorites include personal notes, drawings, and gift cards. While many teachers said they would be grateful for any sort of recognition, some noted that they don't get quite as excited about such common gifts as mugs, candles, or monogrammed water bottles and tote bags.
Insider compiled the top 20 gifts teachers said they appreciate most.
A personalized note or email
The most popular gift by far was a personalized note or email – either from a student or a parent. Teachers said they particularly like cards that specify what the person enjoyed about the class or the teaching style.
"After a rough day or at the end of the year when I'm asking myself 'Did I make a difference?' I pull those notes out and read them," Gregg Williams, a social studies teacher in Arlington Texas said, "and that is the elixir to keep me going."
A handmade craft
The second most requested present was something homemade. A number of teachers said that getting drawings, paintings, and handcrafted cards put a smile on their faces.
"I've been teaching for 10 plus years now, and I still hang up sweet pictures and cards students made for me," Nina Moser, an enrichment teacher in Urbandale, Iowa, said.
The average school day is about seven hours long. But the average teacher clocks in 12 to 16 hours daily, according to EdTech Magazine. Many teachers said that they rely on caffeine for a boost of energy, especially during this stressful period, and that a nice bag of coffee beans, or even a case of their favorite soda, goes a long way.
Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, tissues, and disinfectant wipes
Now that there's a shortage of basic household items, many teachers said they'd actually love to get some toilet paper and disinfectant wipes, both for themselves and for their classrooms once school resumes.
A virtual check-in
Many teachers said that what they miss most is their face-to-face interactions with their students. Scheduling a Zoom meeting or a Google Hangout session to check in and say "thank you" will go a long way.
A hot meal
Many teachers have said that educating their students during the pandemic is particularly stressful since they're adapting to an entirely new platform, while also managing their personal lives. That's why so many say getting a hot meal from a restaurant, especially now, is a true luxury.
"One of the best gifts I have gotten was lunch brought in by a parent," Amy Valentine Barlow, a middle school science teacher in Miami, Florida, said. "Simple, but thoughtful."
A video of your child graduating or performing from home
Teachers are just as disappointed as students that major events have been canceled this year. Virtually including teachers in at-home celebrations and performances can help them feel more connected to their students.
A 2018 study found that public school teachers spend an average of $480 of their own money a year on supplies for the classroom. Many teachers said that they'd appreciate gift cards from Amazon, Target, and Teachers Pay Teachers, to help with stocking up their classrooms so they'll be prepared when school resumes.
Dry erase markers, paper clips, and classroom supplies
If you prefer to give a tangible gift, consider buying classroom supplies, such as paper clips, pencils, dry erase markers, and pens. Find out if the teacher has an online wish list or ask if they have any specific needs.
A little bit of greenery can brighten a teacher's day.
"I love getting plants because I can keep them in my room during the year," Amy Rorvick Oseguera, a St. Paul, Minnesota teacher, said. "I share stories of the kids who gifted them to me and during the summer they stay at my house, reminding me of all the joy my job brings to me."
A personalized thank you sign
Some teachers said they'd like a colorful gesture of gratitude. "A sign in my front yard from students saying 'a cool teacher lives here' and notes all over would be so cool," Kristen Case, a West Park, Ohio teacher, said.
Parents can send a photo of their child holding a sign expressing their appreciation, too.
"The best [gifts] are just the random things [students] find that they give you," Lisa Hoffpauir Waldrop, a Houston, Texas teacher, said. One of her favorite gifts was a small plastic apple from a student last year.
Something special that reminds a teacher of a student
When Megan Ostrander Sneary assigned her class to write about their heritage, a Native American student submitted her report and gave the Arizona teacher a special picture. The student drew the totems of her clan. "She was honored to share the heritage of her clan and tribe with me," said Ostrander Sneary.
An item from the school store
Many teachers would still like to represent their school while at home. Stephanie Brennan said that she appreciated when the principal of her school let teachers choose an item from the school store as a gift, including face masks branded with the school logo.
Alcohol (but inquire first)
Before giving alcohol to teachers, make sure that that's something they enjoy. If they're a wine drinker or other type of alcohol connoisseur, consider dropping off a nice bottle with a thoughtful thank you note.
More than anything, teachers want to communicate with their students, especially while they're learning remotely, Dorothy Chartres Noble, a teacher in Catonsville, Maryland said.
"Attendance," Noble said of what she wants most. "Just hearing how students are doing and interacting with them is enough this year."
A spa treatment
Everyone is looking forward to the moment when they can get pampered, once businesses start reopening. That's why a gift certificate to a spa is a great gift right now.
"I love when I get gift cards because I am very frugal with my small teacher salary," Jessica Davidson said. "With a gift card, I feel like I can treat myself without worrying that I can't afford it."
Enabling a teacher to take a real break, by treating them to a remote yoga or dance class, is something many teachers say they would enjoy.
Donations toward a dream project
Teachers often come up with major projects for schools that require major funding.
That was the case for Rosanna Christine, a Rhode Island music teacher, who was trying to collect enough money to buy a new piano for her chorus classroom. A few parents made donations and that meant a lot to her.
"That was the best gift I could ask for," Christine said.
Teachers say they appreciate the recognition they're now getting, and are grateful for gifts. But several said that what they'd really like to see is advocacy and support for their profession all year long, not just during a crisis.
"The best thing they can do is vote," Candace McCann-Belbey, a teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada, said. "It'll be slow, but vote for education and for people who have a track record for supporting education."
- Read more:
- I'm grateful for the sudden appreciation of teachers, but what I really want is higher pay and improved conditions
- 6 ways to help kids stay active while they're stuck at home, including 'Harry Potter' workouts, scavenger hunts, and yoga
- 8 cute cloth masks your child may actually want to wear
- How 6 countries are opening up schools again, with temperature checks, outdoor classes, and spaced out desks
- With Rupay Credit Card on UPI, mobile payments pioneer Paytm deepens its leadership in UPI
- Financial inclusion made easy for India’s small merchants with Paytm’s pioneering QR codes and Soundbox
- A 24-year-old stock trader who made over $8 million in 2 years shares the 4 indicators he uses as his guides to buy and sell
- Sensex, Nifty50 likely to open in the red tracking global cues: Adani Ports, Coal India, Mazagon Dock among stocks to watch
- Nifty headed for lifetime high in June, analysts recommend capitalising on dips
- Highest strike rate in IPL 2023: Rahane beats Jaiswal; SKY only Indian in top four
- Godrej Group arm to invest ₹100 crore to acquire material handling equipment to be rented out
- These are must to do activities in Lonavala on your next visit