Are you a student teacher who has been trying to figure out what to get your mentor teacher as a thank you gift for all of her support? Never fear, we have 20 ideas that are sure to be a hit. Check out these (mostly) inexpensive and practical gift suggestions from real teachers who know just the right thing to get.
1. Classroom Clean-out
“I made dinner for mine, got her a spa gift certificate, and gave her a coupon for classroom clean-out assistance at the end of the year. [I] made a point to call her to find out when I should come back to help with classroom clean-out,” said Rebecca Harrison.
2. Substitute for Her
“[Sign] up to be a substitute in her classroom so that at least she’ll have someone who knows how her class operates!” suggested Bill Niederer.
3. Meaningful Word Cloud
“You could do a word cloud of all the ideas or meaningful words she taught you and put it the front cover of a folder or notebook that has a front insert page for a really cheap, but meaningful idea!!” said Kristen Miller
4. Gift Basket
Jane Dlugos suggested making a gift basket. “There’s a hilarious book called Tales From the Teacher’s Lounge…throw it in a basket with some K cups/coffee/tea, chocolate, and some super luxe socks and you’ve got a winner!”
5. Words of Thanks
“Most college students do not have a surplus of money,” explained Sherry Fender Grove. “With that said, think of something meaningful. A note of thanks telling her why you enjoyed working with her and how it helped you would be a wonderful gift. Often as teachers we don’t hear very many words of encouragement. If you would like you could add some chocolate, coffee, tea, cocoa, or another small treat.” Debra White agreed. “I think a well thought out or home made ‘Thank You’ card is plenty!” she said. “We teachers all know and understand that student teachers don’t usually have an income….so, don’t feel that anything besides a warm message and a sincere ‘Thank You’ and you’re golden!!”
6. Pinterest-Inspired Gifts
“I did a frame with the letter of their last name in crayons!” explained former student teacher, Alisha Davidson. “She loved it [and] it was super cheap [to make]…I also did a flower pot that I painted and it said “Thanks for helping me grow.” [I] found [both ideas] on Pinterest.”
Leisha Cowart knows exactly what she would want. “[A] gift card for a massage. Best. Gift. Ever.”
8. Gift Subscription to a Website
“A gift certificate or subscription to a website that he/she uses frequently” can be a great gift said Chris M’Baker.
9. Gift Card
Whether it is a gift card to her favorite coffee shop, bookstore, teacher supply store, restaurant, or even a gas station, Really Good Teachers like Pat Melvin, Kristen Elizabeth, and Deborah Huff Hayes say that a gift card makes the perfect gift.
10. Organizing Tote
Teachers love ThirtyOne and frequently mentioned it as a source for organizing totes. April Booker-Green suggested “a personalized organizing utility tote from ThirtyOne. She’d like having a bag with her name or initials on it.” Even if that particular brand of bag is out of reach, there are always other bags that might work just as well.
11. Class Recipe Box
One of Marjorie Speaker’s student teachers gave her a recipe box filled with recipes from the students and their families. “I have (still) all the recipes from my students in a recipe box from my cooperating teacher,” she explained. “Precious. Handwritten. Some were from Amish kids. I will cherish those always.”
12. Know Your Mentor
“My co-teacher’s student teacher did a few pages of a scrapbook,” Jessica Brockway said. “I think it was like 5 pages of different projects they did. She also gave her a big bag of her favorite candy and a bottle of Tylenol. She gave me a cube of Pepsi. Remember it’s the thought that counts!!”
Make her “an inspirational quote (maybe she has a favorite) in a frame,” suggested Suzanne Ackerman.
14. Tea and Paper
“[The] student teacher I had knew I drank tea every day, so she gave a big box of tea and a superb mug,” Lynn Becker Donohue said. “Also [I’m sure you’re mentor teacher] would like a few reams of colored copy paper!”
“If she has kids, a mom’s day/night out,” suggested Anna Benavides Bennett. “You provide the babysitting while she goes out!”
16. Manicures & Pedicures
More than one Really Good Teacher mentioned manicure and pedicure gift certificates. Susan Martin Arnold and Virginia Dare Morris agreed that a gift card for a pampering service with a nice thank you note would be the ultimate gift.
A laminator? Yes! According to Kimberly Bowlsbey it is just the thing to get. “I got my mentor teacher a laminator and some lamination sheets! [She] loved them!”
“I gave [my mentor teacher] several books from her favorite series plus some Shel Silverstein books [for the classroom],” said Rebecca Johnson.
19. Teaching Supplies
From sticky notes and stickers to cute notepads and Sharpies, school supplies are always a big hit according to some of the Really Good Teachers.
“Wine and a BIG wine glass!” said Danielle O. “Yes I am a teacher with interns!” If you do not feel comfortable giving your cooperating teacher wine, opt for a gift card that she can use anywhere – including the grocery or liquor store.
Remember, do not bring the wine to school with you! It is a gift best given off school property!