When my kids were in grade school, I used to love coming up with a memorable gift to give their teachers at the end of the school year. Sometimes I would recruit help from the rest of the parents, and sometimes I went solo. It all depended on the teacher’s taste.
But how in the world do you know the teacher’s taste, unless you are friends with them outside of the classroom?
In my experience good teachers are storytellers. All year long, they are telling the kids about their lives—what they did over the weekend, something they remember from when they were in grade “X,” what they got for the holidays, and so on. These stories are what make the kids relate to them and want to learn from them, and they give you clues about what type of gift the teacher would love.
Side note: If you pay attention to the stories that everyone on your gift-giving list tells throughout the year, you’ll always know exactly what to get them. Truth.
So, rather than giving that national-coffee-chain gift card, which they already have thirty-seven of in a drawer somewhere, why not try something a little more personal? Here are just a handful of cool end-of-the-year gift ideas that just might work for your kid’s teacher.
*Good sunscreen and a copy of Richard Hobday’s book The Healing Sun. We all need to replenish our supply of sunscreen as we head into the days of being outside for longer periods. The bonus of gifting Dr. Hobday’s book is you’ll be educating the educator—not just about when to use the sunscreen but, more interestingly, when not to use it, so as to reap the health benefits of sun exposure. Feel free to flag the pages you find to be the most thought provoking (such as page 48, for starters).
*Potted organic basil and heirloom tomato plant. This combination is like the “peanut butter and jelly” of the vegetable realm: who doesn’t love it? Actually, I once met a woman who doesn’t like tomatoes, and I never trusted her. Kidding, of course. She’s a lovely woman whom I’m having lunch with in a couple of days. Hers will be sans tomatoes, for sure. 😉
You can easily find pots for the plants at a resale shop to save a little moola there. And if you don’t have a reputable greenhouse in your area to buy the plants, check out Seed Savers Exchange for a nice variety. Make sure you gift the plants in a nice, sturdy box to make transporting them home easier.
*Meditation and relaxation CDs or MP3s. I’ll bet most any teacher can use a little relaxation and mental rejuvenation as the school year comes to a close. Those are what keep any of us at the top of our game, right? SRP offers several restorative music CDs, which he or she can play delicately in the background while doing almost anything. Of course, they can crank it to eleven too. No judgment here!
*One-Year Membership to Thrive Market. If you live in an area where it’s hard to get healthy foods, this is a splendid way to go. Thrive’s online market offers everything from bamboo toothbrushes to fermentation kits, all at a significantly discounted price for those with a membership. Also with a membership: free shipping on orders of $49 or more —not too hard to do when you’re stocking up.
*Gift cards are just what you do? Well, then, why not get one that supports a locally owned business? Here in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Downtown Business Association offers gift cards for a whole bunch of local businesses. If your town doesn’t have something similar, encourage your chamber of commerce to start a program.
What are some cool end-of-the-year gifts you’ve given your child’s teacher? Or, if you’re a teacher, what are some of the best gifts you’ve received? Let us know!