Some of the best teacher gifts I received were:
- A huge outdoor pot that all the children in a class had put their hand prints on, full of geraniums ready to be planted, and a gift-certificate to a local garden center. (That was from an entire class.)
- A giant popcorn bowl filled with packages of microwave popcorn and a gift card to a video store.
- Gift cards!
- A really sturdy canvas tote bag with the children's hand prints and names on it; I received that from the second graders I did my student teaching with and I've been using it for nearly eight years.
- Notes from kids or parents who thanked me for specific things I'd done throughout the year.
Another quick note, if you do give a gift card to a book store or someplace like Target, it would be easy for the teacher to spend it entirely on items for school. If you intend for her to make more personal use of it, don't be afraid to tell her. I once received an embarrassingly generous gift card to a local book store and I used 75% of it for classroom books because I felt funny spending it all on myself.
There you have it, Midwest Mom's guide to teacher gift-giving! You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.