With the end of the academic year fast approaching and Teacher Appreciation Week just behind some of us, it got me thinking about when I was at school and what we gifted our teachers versus what teacher gifts students give their teachers nowadays. Particularly since there has been a dramatic change in society and many technological advances over the last couple of decades.
From my memories of being a student, I remember writing a personal message in a card as a thank you ‘gift’. My French and German teachers were especially lucky as my thank you message was always written in the target language; mainly because it was a good opportunity to use and show off my GCSE / A-Level language skills!
Even though I would give teachers a card at Christmas and at the end of the academic year, I do re-call many teachers getting boxes of chocolates, best teacher mugs and flowers with a card. I always thought the teachers seemed very appreciative of these thoughtful, small and often very generous gestures.
Despite that, I invariably felt my cards were enough!
Should students give cards and/or thank you gifts to teachers – what are your thoughts?
These days, with easy access to the internet, online shopping and the high street, parents and students have a much wider choice of gifting ideas. In fact, more than one in three British 15-year-olds are “extreme internet users” and spend at least six hours a day online (Think Tank, 2018). Do these developments and changes in social norms mean they give alternative thank you gifts for teachers to what they might have considered in the past?
I asked my colleagues to tell me the best teacher gift that they had ever received and I was surprised to hear that one of them was gifted a coffee subscription and another teacher received an insulated personalised mug! Caffeine definitely helps me get through the day as a teacher and so I think these are really thoughtful presents.
Other colleagues advised they usually receive chocolate boxes, potted plants, candles, flowers and cards. However, many established and long-serving teachers did say they had noticed receiving fewer gifts nowadays than they used to.
To give my own example, last year, I was inundated with chocolate and alcohol (from my adult learners), as well as thank you cards with lovely hand-written messages from many of my students. I always appreciate the thought and money that goes into these presents and notes!
All things considered, it seems that despite the levels of social change and technological advances over the last couple of decades, the types of thank you teacher gifts received haven’t actually changed that much, what may have altered is the frequency and the quantity though.
Do you agree? What are the coolest teacher thank you gifts that you have ever received?
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” — Maya Angelou (1954-2014)
I definitely think there is something noteworthy in Angelou’s words.
I have always found that if a parent/student even considers giving their teachers a gift, that gesture is enough of a gift in itself. Mainly since it shows they have even thought about their teachers and care enough to give them a little something.
Personally, if one of my students is thoughtful enough to give me anything; whether that be a card with a personal message or a bottle of champagne with a personalised message, I will definitely accept it gratefully. Even just a word of thanks can sometimes be appreciation enough. If in doubt, give a hand-written card with a personal message!
Saying that, if I were a student again, I am sure that I would still continue giving a hand-written card. But with the ease of the internet and convenient delivery straight to your door, I do like the idea of giving personalised thank you gifts. They don’t have to break the bank and are also thoughtful as they still have a personal touch, which for me, is key. If you’re looking for teacher thank you gifts, consider giving personalised gifts and cards with a personal message.
Do your students buy you thank you gifts? If so, what’s the most thoughtful and/or crazy gift you have received? Let me know in the comments section!JOIN ME ON MY SOCIALS FOR MORE FAB TEACHING CONTENT >>