It seems like only yesterday that you were sending your child off to the first day of school with a backpack full of fresh supplies. Now the end-of-year countdown is on: The pencils are down to nubs, the notebooks are frayed and full, the days are getting longer, and Teacher Appreciation Week is here. If you're thinking of showing your appreciation with a gift, you're in luck: There are lots of presents for educators that are both meaningful and budget-friendly. Take it from me — I'm a teacher, and I think they're all awesome.
Since 1984, the first week in May has been recognized as Teacher Appreciation Week, according to the National PTA. The Tuesday of that week is also singled out as Teacher Appreciation Day (also known as National Teachers Day), and some retailers are offering teacher discounts either on Tuesday or throughout the week. As with days and weeks honoring other professions, the idea of Teacher Appreciation Week is to recognize the work teachers do and remember the challenges they face every day. After all, not everyone is capable of managing a classroom full of 4-year-olds, making Common Core math understandable to second graders, or teaching high schoolers to appreciate Shakespeare.
Parents who do choose to thank their children's teachers often do it with a token such as flowers or gift cards. Although these are both fabulous presents — I consider Dunkin' my second home — you can also opt for a gift that honors more specifically the work that teachers do. All of the suggestions below are available on Amazon Prime, and best of all, they're all below $20, so you can express your appreciation without breaking the bank. And none of them is a coffee mug. (Yes, it's true: We have more than we can use.)