The school year is coming to a close and that means one thing… Teachers are about to be inundated with mugs!

Teachers make an impact on a lot of little lives and often do so without being thanked. Our kids spend roughly six hours a day with them, five days a week, 10-ish weeks a term, four terms a year. That’s (ballpark) 1200 hours a year teaching our kids how to be respectable, responsible, reliable, reasonably rational, really (hopefully) good humans – and that’s also before you consider all the hours of lesson prepping and admin they also do.

There’s a general opinion that teachers are underpaid and overworked so, with Christmas and the end of term approaching, now’s your opportunity to thank them for the wonderful job they do. The haven team has come up with some dos and don’ts when it comes to teacher gifting…

DO: Whole-class gifts
Parents, pool your money to buy one fantastic gift. It only has to be $10-20 each to build up to a substantial total amount. Not only will your teacher be impressed, this approach will most likely cost you less than what you’d spend on one solo gift. Winning.

DON’T: Be a mug
OK, we’ve all given a teacher a mug at one point. It’ll be the one with the “No. 1 Teacher” slogan on the side, or the apple graphic. But if we all gave one teacher one mug, that’s one serious cupboard-load of craptastic ceramic. There are only so many mugs one person can drink from.

DO: Stationery
This one may come as a surprise, but if you’re friends with a teacher you will know that Officeworks is a kind of stationery porn store for them. Teachers spend a lot of their own money on stationery throughout the year and it’s the kind of thing they will never have too much of. Just make sure the stationery you pick reflects your teacher’s personality.

DON’T: Gift a pic of your child
Yep, teachers do generally love our kids to some degree but we can tell you that even the most dedicated teacher probably doesn’t want to spend even more than their 1200 hours per annum looking at your kid’s face. And especially not after hours. It might be a cute, sentimental idea to frame a pic of your cherub, but no. Just no.

DO: Wine
Because, teaching. Because, TWELVE HUNDRED hours. Because, wine. Case closed.

DON’T: Chocolate overload
In the same vein as mugs, don’t overload your teacher with chocolate. Ultimately, that’s more hours they’ve got to spend at the gym when they should really be sitting on their lounge soaking up some downtime.

DO: Let them choose via vouchers
Vouchers are usually available online, they’ll save you time, save you thinking up a unique idea and save you wrapping. And if you take our advice on group gifting, a voucher is purrrrfect! Think outside the box. What about a Flight Centre voucher for them to put towards a holiday? Or a Red Balloon voucher for a memorable experience? Or a voucher at your local day spa – ahhhh, bliss.

Check out the November issue of haven for even more fabulous gift ideas and for some more insight into picking the right gifts for your teacher from our very own columnist Vanessa Nansen, otherwise known as The Kmart Teacher.



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.