It is hard to believe that in just 4 short weeks some school areas will be starting up again. It’s a time when many are getting the kids ready with new supplies and clothes. What about our schools and the teachers getting ready?

As you probably know, most schools are under-funded (that’s a rant for another time) and many teachers spend their own money for simple school supplies and definitely for decorating their rooms. Luckily there are companies that are adopting schools.

Teacher Appreciation Gifts Creates Goodwill

Teacher Appreciation Day Gifts Can be Year-Round Events

Teacher Appreciation Day Gifts Can be Year-Round Events

One local bank here in Miami asks for all businesses to contribute any “leftovers” for the schools. I’ve donated discontinued promotional product samples (think notebooks, pens, backpacks), old catalogs (used for crafts), and shirts. Others I know regularly donate reams of copy paper, markers and even computers! Prior to school starting each year, teachers are invited to this great warehouse to “shop” for whatever they need.  Now that’s the start of some great teacher appreciate gift ideas!! Think about it, it’s ultimately a raise for them as they are not spending their own money for supplies.

There are so many ways that companies can support our education programs and one way is by adopting a school district or just a school to tell the teachers how much they are appreciated. Teachers in most areas are definitely under-appreciated and if we don’t have educated individuals growing up then who will we hire to work for our company’s in the years ahead?

Of course many areas have Teacher of the Year awards that are held generally around National Teacher Appreciate Week – which is the first full week of May each year. And the NEA Representative Assembly has voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day. And that’s great.

Teacher Appreciation Gifts Have Year-Round Benefits

And of course, there are many teacher appreciation week gift ideas, however, our teachers give so much year-round and it would be appropriate to recognize them more often.  As a matter of fact, after this year’s Teacher Appreciation Day some teachers took to social media to express their dismay over the lack of recognition and respect for the teacher profession the rest of year (limiting teacher pay, increasing class size and more).

Practical Gifts Can be Branded

Practical Gifts Can be Branded

So, think of not only the goodwill your company could receive by adopting a school but recognize how much the teachers would be grateful for being appreciated all year long (and yes, maybe frequent your business). And it could be more than just  providing a token teacher appreciation day gift but think about mentoring students (and teachers), sponsoring educational field trips to your business and more.

I think that teacher appreciation gift ideas can be separated into a number of categories, but my favorites include:

  1. Special Recognition
  2. Practical
  3. Themed

So let’s look at some of the top teacher appreciation gifts:

  1. Special Recognition

There are so many great awards available from inexpensive plaques to crystal awards to those awards that depict the “apple” for the teacher. There truly is something available for just about any budget that can be personalized for the teacher.

  1. Practical Gifts

This is an area that can go a long way year round with teachers. It’s a great way for a business to stay in touch with the school:

Add to the Gifts with additional Useful Items for Even Bigger Impact

Add to the Gifts with additional Useful Items for Even Bigger Impact

  • Gift Cards
  • Pens/Pencils/Markers
  • Insulated Lunch Bags (filled with snacks even)
  • Tote Bags/Messenger Bags
  • Post-it Notes/Note Cards
  • Water Bottles (Yeti – the newest craze that keeps beverages cold longer)
  • Power Banks, USB’s
  1. Themed Appreciation Gifts Cam Bring Lasting Impression

    Themed Appreciation Gifts Cam Bring Lasting Impression

    Themed Gifts

  • Back to School (this could also go with welcome back and practical – get their year started off right – something for them and their class – a backpack with great water bottle filled with supplies they may need for their classroom)
  • Sports themed (football season, basketball, softball, soccer and more)
  • Holiday (could be themed to the holidays – Thanksgiving could be a gift card to a restaurant or grocery store or specialty food shop for instance)
  • Spring Break (there are great grow you own plant kit, even custom flower pots, or even candy style bou)
  • End of Year (think beach, summer events so beach totes, beach towels, sunglasses, sunscreen)

As you can see, there are many ways that we can show our teachers that we care about the hard work that they do. In addition, your company may be able to take an ever broader approach and adopt a school providing computers, laptops, white boards, new monitors, books or other supplies that would improve the schools overall teaching environment.

It may not be a top of the mind or mainstream thinking as a sales promotion concept, but taking a different tack for teacher appreciation day gifts and broadening it in the long run could strengthen your company in so many ways.

Danette Gossett

Danette brings more than 30 years of experience developing advertising campaigns, direct marketing programs and sales promotions to her clients. Prior to starting her companies, she worked for New York advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi & Lowe Marschalk.

Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More