Giving Back to Our Teachers

Teacher Gifts

At the NC 529 Plan®, our everyday focus is on helping families plan and pay for college. We’re passionate about this effort, and we fully recognize that North Carolina students rely on their teachers, administrators and other caring adults to help them reach the goal of going to college too. During Teacher Appreciation Week and always, we extend our gratitude to the men and women who guide the education of our students.

As reported in August 2016, teachers give more than simply their time and attention to provide an enriching, learning environment for their students. In fact, most teachers spend over $500 on classroom supplies, and one in 10 teachers spends nearly $1,000 a year out-of-pocket for their classroom.

As Teacher Appreciation week kicks off (May 1 – 5), we encourage parents to consider this information when they offer their thanks. Consider how you and your child might be able to alleviate some of this financial stress for your favorite educator. If you’re struggling with ideas for how to extend your appreciation, consider these.

Treats for the Classroom

A great way to thank teachers this year is to provide supplies and the little extras that make for a happy classroom so that they do not find themselves in a position where they must use their own money. Consider packaging some of the following in a creative way:

  • Stickers, markers (a nice set just for teacher!), or paper-grading stamps.
  • Age appropriate books.
  • The basics: extra tissues, wipes, colored paper, whiteboard pens and glue sticks.
  • A supply of individually wrapped snacks that they can hand out when a child forgets their snack or lunch.
  • An Amazon gift card. While it may not seem as personal as you’d like, a gift card can go a long way toward supporting your teacher. Accompanied with a sincere, hand-written note, this gift is certain to make teacher smile.

Treats for the Teacher

Of course, there’s more to teaching than rulers and books. Sometimes, teachers need to be reminded that they are special just because of who they are and all that they give of themselves while in the classroom. Try these practical treats to brighten your teacher’s day:

  • Flowers delight, but a plant can be a long-lasting reminder of how much a teacher helps your child grow and flourish through the year.
  • Breakfast break. As a busy parent, you understand the chaos that happens in the morning! Just getting up and out the door can be tricky enough, but imagine arriving at school before the first bell? Chances are that there may be grumbly adult tummies in the hallways! Pack a picnic basket with healthy, morning snacks and a bottle or two of your favorite coffee drink.
  • Playground Survival Kit. In North Carolina, it can get quite steamy protecting those little kiddos during recess. Consider packaging unscented sunblock, a reusable water bottle, an umbrella and non-meltable snack foods into a gift basket.

Time Out Treats

Nothing says “thank you” as sincerely as the gift of time. Perhaps you want to encourage the teacher to embrace some much-needed alone time. Or, you may want to give a treat that can be used with family and friends. Either way, gift cards to the following are certain to be enjoyed:

  • Local coffee shop, bakery or ice cream shop
  • Restaurant
  • Bookstore
  • Spa treatment
  • Fandango or other theater
  • Groupon or Living Social

The NC 529 Plan joins you in celebrating all our teachers, during Teacher Appreciate Week and all through the year. We’re thankful for the hard work and dedication that go into helping our young people prepare themselves for the future and make them ready to undertake a college education.

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