Student teachers are the future of our profession. To me, they have always been a welcome presence in my classroom. Having a student teacher allows you to pass on your expertise while listening and incorporating their fresh new ideas into your practice. The weeks that your student teacher is with you go by very quickly, and it is always sad when their time is up. So, how do we thank them for the time they spent with your students and in your classroom? With a present 🎁 of course!! Here are 15 Gift Ideas for Student Teachers. (I am pretty sure that my student teacher this semester is going to get #6 and #11.)
#1 ~ Supply Basket
We all know that teachers spend a ridiculous amount of money on their classrooms (supplies and decor). Put together a basket of supplies for your student teacher. To save on cost, you can send a note to all of the families in your class with a list of possible supplies they can purchase. (If you are artistically inclined, you can create a “Supply Cake” with all of the items.) 🥰
Gift #2 ~ Book of “Advice”
You will have to be sly to create this gift. Have your students create a “Book of Advice” for your student teacher to take with them. They can share their pearls of wisdom on what it takes to be a great teacher. They definitely come up with some pretty funny pieces of advice… “Make sure to learn to walk backward, so you can watch the kids who aren’t walking in line the right way.” 😂
#3 ~ Build Up Their Library
I always order extras of the $1 books in the Scholastic catalog. Some I give away as prizes to students, and others I set aside for when I have student teachers. Create a book nook basket for them and fill it with books. You can ask families to pitch in on this gift as well. I have even asked them to donate a book from home that their child no longer reads. We, teachers, aren’t picky… they don’t have to be brand new books. A book is a book! 📚 As an added special touch, your students can write a sweet note inside the cover of the book they donate.
#4 ~ Create an Amazon Wishlist
Sit with your student teacher and help them create a wishlist on Amazon. Then send it out to your families and see if any of them want to purchase items. The students can then bring their gifts in for a “class party” as you all celebrate your student teacher.
Gift #5 ~ Letter of Recommendation
Your student teacher will be looking for a job once they leave your classroom. What better way to help them get a position than by writing a strong, positive letter of recommendation. We all know that principals and hiring committees will hold the letter you craft in very high regard.
For a fun take on this that involves your students, have them write a letter to principals about why your student teacher would be a great person to hire at their school.
#6 ~ Teacher Bag to Hold all of Their Goodies
Teachers are known for hauling multiple bags into school. Welcome your student teacher into the world of bag ladies and gentlemen by purchasing a tote for them to carry papers, lamination, flair pens, and everything else in. LOL There are many options… canvas shoulder bags, rolling carts, large bags with multiple pockets.
#7 ~ Centers for the Year
What a dream if I had received pre-made centers for the year! A friend of mine had a mentor teacher who gifted her literacy centers and math centers for the entire school year. They were already laminated, cut apart, and sorted for her. (The mentor teacher had a group of parents that helped cut everything out, so this could be put together.) Here are our sets of literacy centers and a math bundle if you would like to give them as a gift.
- Kindergarten Centers
- First Grade Centers
- Second Grade Centers
- Third Grade Centers
- Math Center Bundle
Gift #8 ~ Gift Cards
Teachers love GIFT CARDS!!! 🥳 There are so many choices, as we are notorious for finding classroom goodies at a multitude of stores. Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Lakeshore Learning Store, Teachers Pay Teachers, and of course, your favorite shop for resources… Education to the Core! 💙💛🧡
#9 ~ Class Created Book
The possibilities for your book ideas are endless. A few cute ones that I have seen include… taking silly pictures of your students posing and having them write about it, thank you letters from each student with a drawn picture, or handprints with a heartfelt note from each student. This will definitely be a gift that your student teacher will treasure forever. 😍
#10 ~ Piece of Furniture
We’ve had educators recommend giving their student teachers a nice chair to sit in, step stool, library shelf, bean bags, wiggle seats, etc. If they liked a particular piece of classroom furniture in your room, maybe that is a great gift idea.
Gift #11 ~ A Cup for Their Favorite Beverage ☕️
Whether it is water, coffee, tea, or soda pop, we all walk into school each day with a cup of our favorite beverage. I am a huge fan of the Yeti tumbler, but there are many, many other brands of beverage cups out there.
#12 ~ School T-Shirt
Another sentimental idea is to purchase a school shirt and have each student in your class sign it for your student teacher. I still have the school shirt from my student teaching experience, and that was 17 years ago! 🙀😉
#13 ~ Personal Laminator
Okay, let’s be honest, the school laminators are usually not very reliable, so a personal laminator and laminating sheets are a fabulous gift for any student teacher. How nice to laminate your materials at home, prop your feet up and put on your favorite Netflix show, and cut away. It’s definitely a gift that they will cherish for a long time. (Teachers never stop laminating. LOL)
Gift #14 ~ Your Favorite Resources
Instead of a gift card, buy a second license of your favorite resources and gift those to your student teacher. Here at Education to the Core, simply send us an email (email@example.com) and we will gift any resource purchased to a separate email. (We also give discounts on multiple licenses purchased together.) 💙
#15 ~ Lesson Planner
And the best for last… a template and guide for lesson planning. This will most likely be your student teacher’s lifeline during their first year of teaching. We all know that even years later, we still refer to a lesson planner for the topics and activities that we will be teaching each day.
I hope that you found a great idea or two to give as a gift to your student teacher. Whatever you choose to do, know that the skills, advice, and practical lessons they learned from you are the best gifts you can give. If you have any gift ideas for student teachers that you would like to share, please leave them in the comments below. 🧡
Written by: Janessa Fletcher
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