The end of the school year is getting eerily close, time flies when you’re working 15 hours a day. The last day of school is just around the corner, it’s time to put on a brave face and say goodbye to your much loved class who you have grown to love and appreciate, even the one that you still can’t remember the name of. But first, the annual event of gifting and receiving presents from students and staff as a thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in throughout the year. This can go either way. Although all presents should be received with courtesy and thanks, some gifts will be forever memorable (good or bad). We’ve compiled a list of the best and worst presents given to teachers and teaching staff on their last day, a long with other inspirational gift options that teachers will LOVE!
Be a Teacher’s Pet
When we asked teachers online what their best and worst end of year gifts they have ever gotten were, we were pleasantly surprised to see that personalised titbits and homemade goodies were a firm favourite for teachers. From handwritten cards and poems, to homegrown plants and personalised key rings, many teachers agree that they would prefer mindfulness over money spent. The thought behind these gifts are greatly appreciated, especially when students have picked up on their likes and dislikes. However, where there is a line, there is also a student that begs to cross it. As to be expected, there are some novelty gifts that seem to have missed the mark, the best of the worst being: a student’s tooth, a skull from a creature found in a field, and a homemade cupcake with the buttercream icing licked off.
Vouchers came in at a close second, you can opt for certain shops, open vouchers or even for day out – every teacher is in need of a major spa day by the end of the year. Another idea is to start a class collection and merge the money towards a larger amount. This could go towards a higher value voucher, a class gift, or even a charitable donation set up in your teacher’s name.
Diamonds Aren’t Always Your Best Friend
The idea of gifting jewellery left teachers divided. Some we’re over the moon with their Pandora charms and Tiffany necklaces but others found that the jewellery they had received had not been to their taste. Moreover, some people argue that it can put unnecessary pressure on students and parents with lower budgets. Going back to the voucher option, you could collect gift donations from the class and put it towards a voucher for a local jewellery shop, this way the teacher can choose her own style and nobody gets left out.
Nothing Says Thank You Like A Novelty Teapot
Various teachers voted mugs the worst, or anything with #1 Teacher enscrolled all over it. This isn’t due to the sentiment of wanting to show your teacher you appreciated them throughout the years, it’s down to the fact they already have a cupboard full of unused mugs and key chains. Teacher Tip: if you do end up finding yourself with a collection of mugs, you could always use them for other things such as pen pots, plant pots, or paintbrush holders. Other options to avoid include; a single teabag, a fillet of salmon, novelty teapots (an ornamental corn shaped teapot really stood out), or a framed photo of a student on holiday with their family.
Aside from personal gifts and vouchers, you could also surprise your teacher with alternative ideas. Candles, beautiful plants, and pamper products are always a sure thing. You could also create small gift sets for ‘nights in’ or ‘cinema trips’. If you know what genre of books your teacher usually opts for you can team your book with another side present e.g. Harry Potter and a HP House scarf, or an Ernest Hemingway book with a bottle of whiskey.
We’ve loved hearing your Teacher and Teaching Staff present inspiration, thank you to everyone who shared their stories. We’d love to hear more of your best and worst gifts from leaver’s day at school, tell us all about it in the comments section or Tweet us at @TeacherBoards.