Saying thanks to teachers

Should I buy a gift for the teacher?

I know I struggle with the answer to this question. Is it appropriate to a buy a gift? Which staff should I buy a gift for? Am I going to offend other parents by buying a gift? These are all things that I consider every July, and every year I come to the conclusion that yes, someone who has put time and effort into the care/education of my children does deserve some recognition and a small token of our appreciation.

Who else do I need to thank?

To cover all the bases here, it could be a teacher, (maitress or maitre) a teaching assistant (ATSEM) or a child minder/creche (nounou/assistante maternelle). There could also be the bus driver (conducteurs d’autobus scolaires) if your children take school transport. The cantine staff could also be considered if your child has lunch at school, or the afterschool club staff (Garderie). The list just seems to go on and on when you start to think about it and it can seem like a huge undertaking on your time or budget if you want to thank all those involved in the childs school life.

I try to keep it simple and to those members of staff who have had a really important role with my kids that year, the teacher, ATSEM, cantine staff and bus driver.

What should I give?

This is another question that often has me in knots. I want to show my appreciation but I don’t have an endless budget, and I certainly don’t want to offend other parents who may not be able to afford gifts either.

I want the gift to be useful and maybe tailored to the individual too, but I don’t want the recipient to feel uncomfortable when receiving a gift. I also don’t want to give something that is really popular either like chocolates, as the person could be inundated with the same gift from all the students.

Top least wanted gifts are reported to be mugs, chocolates and beauty products, so you might want to avoid those.

So the gift needs to be modest in price, tailored to the person you are giving it to and practical or useful if possible.

Should we make a gift or buy one?

Making a gift is great a idea if you have the time and materials and is an ideal solution for teachers gifts. You can make something useful and personal, and turn it into an activity your child can be involved in. This could be making some cupcakes for the cantine staff or a personalised project of some kind for a teacher. Making a thank you card is a great activity for the kids.

Making a gift can be an inexpensive solution if you have the materials you need already and the inspiration. Finding the ideal project and making the gift however requires time, something not a lot of parents have to spare.

If you don’t have materials at home to make a gift, then you will need to purchase them and this can start to get expensive, at a time when you might be saving up for that all important and long awaited for summer holiday, and when you consider the time and budget required to make a gift, it might actually just be more economic to buy a gift.

Buying a gift does not have to be expensive, but choosing the right gift for the right price can be tricky, you want to show how much you appreciate the person/team but not break the bank.

I think buying box of chocolates is a suitable gift for a team of staff to share, like the garderie or canteen staff or creche for example, but for a teacher who is solely involved in your child’s education then something a little personal is needed, but again finding something suitable yet individual can be pricey and time consuming.

This is where a small handmade business like myself can be a goldmine. I stock a variety of gifts that are not too expensive but are also limited editions or one-off designs, so they are more individual and they don’t a cost small fortune either. I also offer free delivery in France which makes life a little easier too.

There thousands of small artisans out there that can offer you a gift within your budget that also meets all your requirements, so why not make it easy on yourself and your budget?

Personally, I am lucky because my children love to make things and we always have materials around to come up with a personal gift, after all that is what I’m all about, but I will also buy a box of chocolates for the cantine staff to share, I certainly don’t have the time or expertise to be making those, especially with so many talented artisans available locally to to do this for me.

Need a little help?

Still can’t decide? Or maybe you’re going to make and buy? Perhaps make a card and buy a small gift? But where to buy that gift? Don’t have time to browse multiple listings on online platforms like Etsy and Amazon? Then look no further…..You can buy a handmade card from my range here or you can browse a few gift ideas from my online shop, I’ve selected a few products in the category “cadeau fin dannee maitresse et maitre” to make life easier for you.

Update June 2023: There is now a new guide available with some useful suggestions for gifts.

bonne vacances. x