It’s here – well, it’s coming. The end of school year. In between the primary concert, the secondary exams, the report cards and the final lunchbox packing of the year, you need to find the perfect gift to acknowledge your child’s teacher. They’ve supported your child, wiped snotty noses, taught them the fractions that you’ve forgotten how to calculate and helped them develop social and academic skills to take into the next year and beyond. Now how are you going to acknowledge all of that without breaking the bank or resorting to yet another box of Cadbury Favourites? Don’t stress, read on for our Five Teachers’ Gifts that Don’t Suck.

A recent study of almost 200 teachers showed over 74% preferred a group gift voucher with a heartfelt message and group card. The worst gifts? These serial offenders hit the gift list:

  • Mug
  • Hand Cream
  • Chocolate/Food Items
  • Perfume
  • Stationery/Pen
  • Candle
  • Pot Plant

When brainstorming gift ideas, put yourself in your teacher’s shoes. How many tubes of hand cream can you possibly use? And how many candles of conflicting scents can you display? As one teacher in the survey said, “As lovely and thoughtful as it is and any gift is appreciated, no more chocolate, hand creams, mugs, soaps and candles please.”

Our Top Picks?

  1. Group gifts. It makes far more sense to pool your cash than gift the teacher with 30 individual $5 gifts. You’ll get much better value, and something she/he can actually use. Check out GroupTogether, an Australian site that does the inviting, reminding, collecting, tracking and then sends the money and group card to the organiser.  It makes it easy to pool funds and you can also add a photo and message to the group card. How does GroupTogether work? Simply set up a collection, add parent email addresses to send invitations/reminders, share a link and parents can contribute online and add a personal message to the group card. GroupTogether transfers the money to your account to buy the gift – print the card and you’re done.
  1. Movie tickets. As one teacher we know said, “By the end of the year, sometimes you just want to sit quietly in the dark, where no one can talk to you.” Amp it up with Gold Class and you’ll have one happy teacher.
  1. Spa experience. That’s right. Your teacher is an actual person too, outside of schoolwork, marking, yard duty and parent-teacher interviews. If you’d love a mani / pedi / facial, odds are your teacher would too. Bonus points if the salon will let them swap your chosen experience if they prefer something else.
  1. Deck the halls. A gorgeous crystal or porcelain Christmas decoration doesn’t have to break the bank and can be unobtrusive enough to go with any Christmas tree décor, but special enough to be a keepsake. Check out David Jones for traditional options or Hard to Find for something a little quirkier.
  1. Nothing. Yep, that’s right, nothing. When funds are tight and you just don’t know what to buy, a beautiful card with a heartfelt message from you acknowledging the specific accomplishments your child achieved thanks to their beautiful teacher can be worth more than all of the above. Add a hand-written note from your child and perhaps a scratchie or two, and you’ve wrapped Christmas up in one neat envelope. Don’t believe us? As one survey respondent said, “It really isn’t about the monetary value but the small token of appreciation.”
Courtney Robinson

Courtney Robinson  

Courtney Robinson is a Gold Coast mum, passionate foodie, whole foods recipe creator and personal trainer certified in holistic digestive health and nutrition. Follow @athletist_ or visit athletist.com.au for recipes, workout tips and training hacks.