Meet the Teacher Day Question

Updated on August 06, 2014
M.U. asks from Tampa, FL
13 answers

My son is starting kindergarten and next week is our first "meet the teacher" day. Is it ok or customary for the child to bring something (a small gift) for their teacher on this day? What about the first day of school?

I started school in the Soviet Union where the first day of school was a major event across the entire country, with children bringing flowers and gifts to their teachers. I know this is not done in the US, but was wondering about "meet the teacher" day expectations.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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answers from San Antonio on

I think it is a lovely tradition.

If you want to take her something, take her a case of glue sticks or a couple of boxes of plain non decorated band aids, or a box of 50 sharpened pencils, or a gift card to a store where she can buy extra school supplies for those kids who show up without.

We started school three weeks ago. Each of my kids took their teachers glue sticks, band aids and pencils. I thought one of them was going to cry she was so excited to have extra supplies.

Just a thought...

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

What a sweet tradition you grew up with! :-) No, there is no expectation for open house/meet the teacher day. Feel free to do whatever you feel comfortable with doing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

No, it's not really expected.
I did a small gift for my child's kindergarten teacher on the last day of school. I think that is more common.
There is also a teacher appreciation day on May 5th, when students will bring small gifts to the teacher.
When your child is older, it's not uncommon for students to bring pie to their math teachers on March 14th. (It's Pi day because of the way we write the date numerically. 3/14) Again, nothing is really expected, but sometimes it is appreciated.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

As a teacher, I have never gotten anything from students on meet the teacher day. I have however seen lots of ideas on things like Pinterest for gifts to give teachers on the first day. I've seen cute "survival kits" or baskets of books or teaching supplies (sticky notes, white board markers, stickers, small notepads, etc.). Some teachers might have "wish lists" up on their door. I guessing that no teacher would be expecting anything, but would be thrilled to get something.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

No, I've never known anyone that gave their teacher anything at the beginning of the school year.

At meet the teacher they usually take their school supplies and the teacher hands out her class rules, some of her expectations as to how stuff is handled such as notes to parents.



answers from Tampa on

I do not plan to bring a gift for meet the teacher day or the first day of school. I will do them on Christmas and Teacher Appreciation Day.

I'm sure the teacher would appreciate it if you did it, but it's certainly not expected or required.


answers from San Francisco on

At our school gifts were usually only given during the holidays and last day of school. We also had a teacher appreciation week where students brought flowers, wrote cards/letters and parents hosted a big luncheon. I think the tradition you describe is lovely but I don't think that really happens much here.



answers from Boca Raton on

M., no gifts on the first day or any day until Christmas. Christmas, teacher appreciation day, valentine's day, and end of school day. pick and choose, no ned to gift on every occasion. we do small gifts on all days, and a big one on last day of school.



answers from Dallas on

I am giving my daughters teacher a gift card to the teaching supply store on meet the teacher day, for any last minute classroom supplies she may need. I used to be a teacher and remember how much came out of my own pocket. We'll put it in a card my daughter made.

I'm also writing a short letter about my daughter, just highlights about her personality and life in general. This person will be with her almost 7 hours a day, and I want her to know a little bit about my girl.


answers from Washington DC on

We have never given a gift on opening house day, we just bring their supplies. We gift at Christmas and then either teacher appreciation week OR end of the year. We also provide supplies when asked throughout the year.



answers from Washington DC on

The first actual day of school many people take photos of their kid in front of the school or getting on the bus, but that's more for the kid than the teacher. It is customary to give a small gift or gift card to teachers for Christmas/winter break or at the end of the year. If your family does New Year's gifts, it might be nice to incorporate the teacher into that tradition and explain to him or her your background.

I also like the idea of gifting supplies if you want to give something. Many schools have wishlists for things (I'm giving DD's teacher tissues and gallon ziplock bags) and those supply items would be well appreciated.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have never heard of bringing a gift. If you want, help your son make a nice card to give his teacher. He can draw a picture and dictate a message for you to write about how much he's looking forward to kindergarten.


answers from Boston on

No - don't bring a gift. It's not customary, and you're really buying a gift for someone you don't know. This is a professional relationship between your child and the teacher. And it can put the teacher on the spot, forcing her to find a place to display gifts from kids (not all of whom will give something) and it makes it awkward. Kids shouldn't be taught to "buy" a teacher's affection or attention, and sometimes kids can get the wrong idea.

Usually there are gifts at the end of the year. Ideally the room parents will organize a collection so that all parents can participate and not have every family get stuck with a $20 or $25 gift PER CHILD. And the teacher winds up with 22 gifts she cannot use or display. But you'll cross that bridge when you come to it. You'll see a ton of questions about that on Mamapedia, and most everyone who is or has been a teacher will tell you it's just too much to deal with individual gifts over years of teaching!

Just go and have fun and meet the teacher and find the classroom and explore the fun stations and all the rest of the usual activities.

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