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Share Your Tips: Teacher Appreciation Gifts

What are your tips and special secrets for finding that perfect gift for the people who teach your children day-in and day-out.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to teacher appreciation gifts.

The end of the school year is fast approaching. And, for most parents, that poses a special challenge – finding the “perfect” gift to thank those special people who have spent the better part of the last 10 months shaping the minds of our special little people. After all, there is only so much space in the kitchen cabinet for “World’s Best Teacher” mugs. (I was raised by a teacher who didn’t drink coffee or tea, so I know first-hand.) When you add Sunday school teachers, day care teachers, coaches and other care-givers, the task of end-of-the-year gift-giving can seem daunting. So, here’s where we need your advice:

What are your tips for finding, making and otherwise handling end-of-the-year “teacher appreciation” gifts?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Phillipsburg, N.J.  

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Nrite71 May 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I try to get my kids to do a little reconmission a few weeks out. Last year my one sone gave a playground ball since the classroom ball had a hole in it, my other son gave a classroom timer to his first grade teacher, since she had mentioned that she needed to get one. The boys made homemade cards and we gave them a small gift card for dunkin donuts as well. Not sure what we are doing this year, the reconmission has not been too productive so far.
Jeri Bonenberger May 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM
A nice potted flower and a book store gift card was our stand by for years, but there are many websites in which you can donate books, food, or even tuition to kids in need. I donated 2 years worth of education in my daughter's 5th grade teacher's name for less than $20 and printed out a certificate to give to her. She was so touched that she cried. I, also, write an email every year to the principal about wonderful experiences with our teachers and cc the teacher in. Whatever you do make sure that you appreciate these wonderful, hard working people for all that they do for our kids.
Lisa Merk May 29, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I always to organize or get in on a group gift. Usually a gift card to The Teacher Store or the teacher's favorite store. I simply cannot afford to give all teachers gifts from all my children. Although I really like Jennifer Elstons idea!
Jennifer Marangos May 29, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I try to make gifts for the teachers along with my boys. I think one of the easiest, most cost-effective, most well received and most fun was when we made chocolate stirring spoons for coffee or hot chocolate. We wrapped them in saran wrap and tied them into a bouquet with ribbon. Beyond that, all you need are chocolate chips and plastic spoons. We made TONS! (You can Google this...surely not my idea!)
Molly Smith (Educationmom) June 05, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I love the sharing of ideas! Please check out my ideas, too! Thanks! http://educationmom.com/2012/06/01/em-gem-12-what-a-teacher-really-wants-not-another-mug/

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