Teacher Appreciation Gifts

After teaching 8th grade English for seven years, I’m fully aware of how necessary it is to show teachers our gratitude.  Recently, I organized teacher appreciation gifts for our church’s Sunday school and thought I’d share some tidbits in hopes that you’ll pay it forward in your own community!

There’s always a debate over whether or not giving a gift card is too boring or impersonal, but honestly, I LOVED receiving gift cards as a teacher.  We ended up going with a card to Trader Joe’s, since we figured they have something for everyone.  (One teacher sweetly let me know that she’s using hers to purchase several bouquets of flowers.  You go, girl!)  To keep the gifts from feeling sterile, I chose to add in a few semi-personal touches, along with cute packaging. 

I kept it pretty simple, using a lot of texture and twine, plus a “Thank you for helping us GROW!” message written on black paper with a chalk marker.  For the record, I snagged all of these items- twine, burlap, paper sacks, paper, & chalk marker - at Hobby Lobby and lucked out with them nearly all being on sale. 

To drive the message home a bit more, I ordered a tray of succulents online and added an individually wrapped plant in each teacher’s gift (you know, to make sure they got the “grow” part of the message ; ).  So I’m probably the last person on earth to realize this, but did you know that succulents can be ordered in bulk online?!  The best part is that they were sooo much cheaper this way.  Less than $1 per plant.  And they arrived on my doorstep within a few days in perfect condition.  I ordered these from Mountain Crest Gardens, but they can also be found on Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and a bunch of other sites.  Since succulents are so hardy and require hardly any maintenance, I figured they were one of the few plants I could keep alive until the gifts were delivered…

Well, hello there, lovelies. 

To stay within budget, I decided to keep the succulents in their own plastic dividers rather than buying individual pots for each one.  I snipped around each divider and then masked the black plastic by wrapping each plant in a square of burlap tied with twine.

Of course, I had to throw in a sweet treat, so each gift included two homemade chocolate chip cookies, which I slipped into a small plastic baggie tucked inside a prettier sack covered in gold polka dots. 

Since I needed a way to easily transport and hand each teacher their gift, I opted to assemble everything inside a simple brown paper bag, tied off neatly with baker’s twine and a thank you tag.  The cookies, succulent, and gift card nestled inside each one nicely. 

We handed these out on Sunday morning – which tends to be slightly chaotic around our house – so I pre-assembled these on Saturday.  The cookies kept just fine in their plastic baggies, as did the succulents, being such wonderfully difficult plants to kill.  Pretty packages for the win!

It’s been a joy giving these to the teachers who bless our kiddos each week.  And although it’s a simple gesture, it’s been gladly received.  How have you reached out to the teachers in your world lately?