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We Asked Teachers: What Do You Like to Receive As End-of-Year Gifts?

The end of the school year looms large as parents and teachers count down to the start of summer break. But before we all head off into the school-year sunset (also known as July), we should take a moment to thank the educators who spend their days with our kids. The end-of-year gifts don’t need to cost a lot of money (or any money at all!) but they should convey gratitude and best wishes for a relaxing summer ahead.

With this sentiment in mind, we put the call out to a group of teachers to ask what they love receiving as end-of-year gifts, as well as gifts you can skip—they told us in their own words. Read on for the inside track. Spoiler alert: No one wants another mug.

“Gift cards, plants or something homemade. Please no more mugs—especially not the ones that say things like ‘best teacher.'”

Not sure what type of gift card to buy? Our sampling of teachers recommended Chapters Indigo or another bookstore, Staples, liquor or wine stores, Tim Horton’s or Starbucks, restaurants or Amazon.

“I’m not picky—all gifts are great—but no framed pictures of your child. Oh, and no mugs.”

“I’ve been given some incredibly thoughtful gifts over the last few years. Ice cream sundae supplies with a gift card to buy ice cream, summer drinks in a pitcher with cute straws, even a basket of school supplies with markers, pens, sticky notes and fancy clips. I also love when kids give something meaningful that has a connection—like a book we talked about or their favourite treat they want me to try.”

“A donation to a charity like Sick Kids in a teacher’s name is a great idea for end-of-year gifts, or arts and crafts supplies.”

“Too. Many. Mugs. But books and classroom supplies are great, especially for new teachers trying to build up their stash. I love getting something small and meaningful from students, too.”

“Personalized items are always my fave—except for mugs.”

“Gift cards and Flair pens!”

“If you feel your child’s teacher has made an impact, write a heartfelt card. Those are the words I cling to when I feel I’m not rocking it as a teacher.”

“I love getting new plants for my classroom as end-of-year gifts, but I know not everyone likes lugging them home for the summer. A roll or two of bulletin board framing would be great. But honestly, a handmade card from your kid is my favourite. I don’t expect anything, but I appreciate kind words.”


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