Our handy gift guide for what to get teachers for Teachers’ Day 2020 in Singapore, or for any occasion!
Looking to get a present for the little one’s teacher for the end of the school year, Teachers’ Day in Singapore (Friday 4 September in 2020), or just to say a big thank you for the challenging past few months? It can be hard to know their personality and preferences based off emails or unreliable details provided by your youngsters, but not to worry, mamas! We’ve talked to teachers across Singapore to find out what they’ve loved receiving in the past.
One key piece of advice: try to find out what the teacher likes. Do they have hobbies? Are there places they like to vacation? Do they like to wear jewellery? All of these can be good indicators to help your family express gratitude for teaching your munchkin!
Don’t worry about spending a lot of money, mamas: our sources agreed that many of their favourite gifts have been those that were handmade, or that reminded them of that specific class or student. Try to have your little one help make the gift or pick it out; the more it reflects them, the better.
Lead image by rawpixel.com
Amy Paul, Assistant Head of the Elementary School at Australian International School (AIS), recalls a few favourite homemade art projects from over the years, including:
- A canvas from the entire class with each child’s handprint and the words love, teach, inspire over it.
- A photo book with a picture of each student and a letter from them on the opposite page.
- A small water colour painting with a message from the class on the back.
Adds a team of teachers from Blue House Nursery & International School:
“This past academic year, we received a collaborative artwork, a picture of each child holding a message or drawing about their teachers. It was so meaningful because our whole practice at Blue House is inspired and reflective of the children’s voices and ideas, seeing parents harness that concept and bring it to life in this way was so wonderful.”
And teacher Charmaine from MindChamps Toa Payoh fondly recalls a Teachers’ Day gift of a homemade card with a portrait of herself collaboratively drawn by all her students.
Image courtesy of Aaron Lee via Unsplash
“My favourite Teachers’ Day gift would have to be a handwritten letter from my students,” recalls local MOE primary school teacher Mr. Tan.
“Over the years, I have received touching letters from them. It warms the cockles of my heart, especially receiving letters from former students several years after they have graduated. In the letter, they would share about their moments in their primary school life. These letters rekindle my passion in teaching. They also serve as a reminder of the kind of impact we have on future generations.”
“My most precious gifts are handwritten cards and text messages from former students who reminded me of how I have contributed and shaped their lives, gave them opportunities to turn around, not giving up on them, being there with them when they needed me most, all in the name of gratitude. Their warmth and sincerity are expressed in the form of words in text or cards.”
– Mdm N., an MOE secondary school teacher
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
“My students once found out that I secretly love the Backstreet Boys. They were SO sweet, they actually formed a little boy band on Teachers Day and performed some BSB songs for me!”
-Mdm Reh, an MOE secondary school teacher
Image by 周 康 from Pexels
“I received a beautiful stalk of yellow Chrysanthemums for Teachers’ Day,” recalls Teacher Gladys from MindChamps Serangoon.
Image courtesy of Flower Addict via Facebook
“I was once given a beautiful gingerbread house. Around the house were little people that were made to look like members of our class. It was adorable and very hard to – eventually – eat!”
– Jennifer Hill, Head of Prep at Australian International School
I’ll never forget “a hug from Grandma and her homemade curry puffs to express her gratitude for helping her granddaughter talk,” says Veron, Principal of MindChamps Serangoon.
If you’re not feeling quite so ambitious, you could always go a simpler route with yummy homemade cookies, cupcakes, or something like jam. Just be mindful of any dietary restrictions the teacher might have. And of course there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing and grabbing popular gift boxes from spots like Bengawan Solo, Garrett’s Popcorn, or Bee Cheng Hiang – perfect for a last minute Teachers’ Day gift.
Image courtesy of Jill Wellington via Pexels
These offer flexibility and convenience, and with all the great shopping in Singapore you have plenty of places to choose from.
Image courtesy of BooksActually via Facebook
Shaws Preschool has a “no purchased gifts” policy (that’s one less thing to buy on Mama’s checklist!), but children are welcome to make handmade cards, gifts or home-baked goodies to show appreciation for their teachers if they want to.
“Knowing that I was given something that took time and effort is the best! Indeed, it’s the little things in life that matters the most. I once received a card that both my student and her mum made and it was really great. Mum taught the child needle work to make the card. Sweet! Gifts like these really warm my heart!”
-Charlyn Chua, Kindergarten Two Teacher at Shaws Preschool, Katong Post Campus
Says Gabe Haydu, 5th grade teacher at Singapore American School:
“A few years ago, one of my students made a custom quilt featuring the periodic table of elements. He stitched his signature in the corner, ‘To Mr. Haydu. A teacher as good as Au. Love, Wyatt.”
For more inspo check out Etsy or Pinterest for heaps of teacher-inspired gifts. A few favourites that we found: personalised coffee tumblers, a pen and pencil holder, and personalised stationery. Social enterprise Jay Jay Jolly in Joo Chiat lets kiddos do one-off craft projects, and also offers neat make-at-home craft kits.
One teacher mentioned that her whole class pitched in to get her a Tree of Life necklace symbolising knowledge, and she loves it so much that she wears it every day. This is a great end of year gift for teachers when the whole class is pitching in.
Amy Paul from AIS recalls,
“I had a bracelet that past students had given me that then broke. Different parents then purchased a new one to replace it.”
Image courtesy of Imsmistyle via Facebook
Teachers always have use for notebooks. The colourful, stylish options from somewhere like Kikki K. are sure to put a smile on their face. Bynd Artisan even makes personalised notebooks, which make a gorgeous gift for a teacher or classroom assistant. Or you can help teacher stay organised with a diary or planner.
Image courtesy of Bynd Artisan
If your little one goes to an international school, their teacher might also be a foreigner, and would certainly love a memento of Singapore. One of our sources said a gift from Tangs Elephant Parade is one of the most fun and decorative things she’s received. We’re also huge fans of the Singapore posters from eck&art!
Image by Elephant Parade