4 Unique Gift Ideas for Any Teacher During Teacher Appreciation Month

Teachers wear many hats. Not only are we instructors, we're also students, constantly learning new techniques to make our students' time in class more meaningful.

We play the confidant when our students are having a tough day and the janitor when a mess is made. We facilitate discussion and provide advice. We're disciplinarians and shoulders to cry on when duty calls.

While I would attest that every day should celebrate the hard work educators do, May is specially designated to saying thanks to your teachers. Below, you'll find tips and ideas for showing your gratitude at any grade level.

Gifts for Kindergarten to Fifth Grade Teachers

Call me old fashioned, but I think the trend of giving your teacher an apple is one that needs to be rekindled. Apples are not only classic, but they are also a nutritional powerhouse. Teachers of young children are on their feet all day encountering every germ their students possess. Apples contain extremely high levels of antioxidants that help fight infection as well as energy-packed B-vitamins. Another timeless token of appreciation is the handmade card. Putting a personal touch on any gift shows real thought and attention went into making it.

Gifts for Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers tend to be focused around one subject unlike their K-5 brethren who do it all. Consider a gift associated with your teacher's subject area. For instance, a former student noted my love for Ernest Hemingway and bought me a t-shirt with his face on it. I wear it all the time. Still struggling for an idea? Play it safe, and go for the gut. Like most human beings, teachers love to eat. Nothing says thank you like a sheet of (homemade!) brownies.

Gifts for High School Teachers

Gift cards certainly go a long way, but if you want to be creative when showing your appreciation, consider donating to your teacher's favorite charity, donating to a family in need, or planting a tree. While temporarily funding your teacher's coffee addiction is wonderful, doing something altruistic is even better.

Gifts for Any Teacher in Your Life

We teachers didn't get into the education business to receive gifts. We teach because we believe in its value and because we love kids. So if you truly want to show you're grateful for what your teacher does, simply write "Thanks" on a Post-it. They can be found on your teacher's desk.