For most teachers, the chance to impact a student's life is a reward in itself. But that doesn't mean they don't also appreciate getting gifts every now and then.
In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, the education technology startup Front Row Education Inc. surveyed teachers of kindergarten through eighth grade about their favorite types of gifts to receive from students. Of the 650 respondents, the number of teachers saying they preferred personalized cards was the highest. Gift cards was the second most popular choice followed by handmade crafts. Teachers saying they'd prefer no gift at all made up the fourth largest group. Store-bought gifts and food were the bottom choices—so you can tell your kids to leave those "#1 Teacher" mugs and apples at home.
As a parent helping your kid find a gift for their teacher, it can be hard to know where to start. This survey shows that most teachers would prefer families to skip the stores and make them something from the heart. And if you are going to spend the money, put it towards something you know they'll actually use, like a gift certificate for a massage or dinner out—not a novelty item that will end up at the bottom of their desk drawer.
Not all students seem to take this advice. Front Row Education also asked teachers about some of the weirdest gifts they've received over the years, and answers ranged from a nose hair trimmer to matching pajamas sets. For one teacher's 50th birthday, a student bought them 50 rolls of toilet paper.
If you don't have a special teacher in your life but still want a way to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week, there are other ways to show your support for the profession. For every GoFundMe campaign launched to benefit a teacher or classroom this week, the website will make a $100 donation.