Riley Heruska
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As school draws to a close, most parents like to drop off a little something for the adults who've helped raise their children over the past nine months. Teachers often go above and beyond while caring for their students, and it only seems right to thank them for their dedication with a heartfelt gift at the end of the school year. The question is, what do you get them? They've got a million little trinkets on their desk and nine "best teacher" mugs, and the last thing you want to do is give them a gift that they'll never use. 

Here are some ideas that are sure to win a smile from teachers.

Meaningful Note

Teachers spend hours and hours on lesson plans, crafts, parent-teacher conferences, and a million other things every year. As their time with your kid comes to an end, it's always nice to let them know how they made a difference in your child's life, as well as your own. Have your kid write a thank you note detailing how their teacher helped them improve over the year or their favorite parts of the class. A note from you never hurts either. After all, don't you want to tell them how impressed you are with your child's growing education, or simply how they were able to get your child to sit still for seven hours? 

Gift Card That's NOT to Starbucks 

Although we Americans drink more than our fair share of coffee, not every teacher is a fan of Starbucks (or coffee in general). If you're going to give them a gift card, make sure it's to a place that the teacher actually likes and will visit. Stores like Walmart and Target are always a safe bet. Movie theater passes are also good and might be a little more fun. The important thing is to actually think about what the teacher likes or needs. 

Useful School Supplies 

Speaking of need, many teachers decorate and supply their classrooms with some of their own money. Chances are, they need to restock their colored pencils or sticky note stash more than they need a personalized cup. You can even ask them what they need and offer to purchase some of the items for them. Not only will you be assisting the teacher, but you'll be helping out future children who enter their class. 

Donation in Their Name

Sometimes, a physical item isn't the best gift for a teacher who receives many trinkets from parents. Educators enjoy making a difference through their jobs, and you can help them do that by making a donation to a charity they support. Is your kid's teacher an animal lover? Donate to the local shelter. Are they a big advocate for children's literacy? Donate to an organization that spreads education in lower-income areas.

Photo Album/Scrapbook 

Saying goodbye to the children they've come to know over the course of the year isn't always easy. Help teachers preserve their memories with photos of the kids and little notes or crafts. Rope other parents into helping you create a personal gift that the teacher can treasure for years to come. 

Do you have any other ideas that teachers will appreciate? Let us know in the comments below!

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