Having a great teacher can make a world of difference to your child’s experience of school in Singapore. Well, 6 September is Teacher’s Day here in Singapore, and is the perfect opportunity to say “thank you”, “xiexie” or maybe “terima kasih” to those teachers who have made a difference to your children. But no matter what language we say it in, it definitely needs to be said!
Let’s show all of the amazing teachers how much gratitude we have for them…
Teacher’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to show our gratitude to those wonderful people who shape and nurture our small people into becoming the successful adults they will one day be. We all remember our favourite and most influential teachers from our own school days. Those teachers who went the extra mile to help us understand algebra. The teachers who took us under their wings and made us love reading despite finding it a struggle at first. The PE teachers who gave us a pep talk when we were picked last for netball team. The music teachers who could have given Robbie Williams a run for his money on stage. The drama teachers who drew us out of our shells and into the limelight in the school play. They all played a part in making us the adults we are today. Teachers are some of the most important people to have crossed our paths, both as pupils and as parents. They all deserve a little something to say a great big thank you.
What teachers really love to find on their desks
We have asked a few teachers around the Little Red Dot what their favourite presents over the years have been, and we have also come up with some great ideas at pocket money prices for your little one to wrap and bestow on their own teachers this year.
“I have been touched hugely over the years by a number of really thoughtful gifts. One really special present came in the form of a scrapbook with a photo and a message from every child in my class. The class mums had passed the book among themselves, getting their kids to add their own sentiments until it was finished and then it was presented to me as a thank you gift I will never forget, and one that I have treasured through the years. I was recently reminded of the present when I ran into one of the boys from my class who now towers above me and has grown into quite the charming young man.”
“I still use a very special gift I received from one of my students, which is a daily reminder of how much my profession means to me and those I teach… It is a simple metal keyring with my name engraved on one side, and the words “Teach. Laugh. Inspire” on the other. It was just so touching, so personal and thoughtful.”
“I love each and every one of my mugs, brooches and teddy bears from my pupils, and I keep them all! I am super sentimental, so have been filled with joy at each and every gift presented to me. A particular gift that sticks out was from a little boy in my class who made the teachers in school a chocolate bouquet of flowers using pipe cleaners, cellophane and a whole pile of love. He then took the bouquet apart once in school and handed each teacher a stem of their own.”
“I’ve taught in various countries over the years and I’ve had some really memorable gifts. My list includes a half-eaten bag of sweets, a voucher for slimming pills and a Christmas tree! I’ve also been given pre-loved teddies, which obviously come with huge sentimental value and bring a tear to my eye. I was even the very lucky recipient of airline tickets one year from a student!”
“My name is Mark and I am a coffee addict. And my students all know this! So along with a fantastic collection of ‘best teacher’ mugs, a present that really stuck out for me was when one of my kids bought me a voucher for Starbucks for just the right amount for a cup of coffee! And it turned out perfectly because it was such a great idea, the other kids took note and so I have been happily receiving Starbucks vouchers ever since.”
“Being from the UK I was super chuffed to find a packet of my favourite British crisps on my desk here in Singapore from one pupil on Teachers’ Day! So if you have a teacher who is from overseas, then sourcing a little gift from their home country is always a great gesture. And my oddest present yet? A vibrating hamster that attaches to my laptop!”
A personal favourite in our household for handmade gifts is a batch of biscuits, baked by the kids. Cut them out into apple shapes for an extra teacher-friendly vibe! Use a clean old jam jar to put your cooked biccies in, and then tie a ribbon around the lid. Add a label and they are good to go!
Homemade cards are another good crafty idea that teacher will love. Teachers want nothing more than to see their pupils producing amazing work, and a drawing or card is a personal gift that will mean a lot to them. ALL of the teachers we spoke to put homemade cards on their list of most treasured presents.
Great gifts at pocket money prices
Teachers absolutely do not expect students to spend much, if anything, for their Teachers’ Day prezzie. Our children use their own pocket money to purchase the gifts for their teachers, so if they are not feeling crafty and want to buy something instead, we do try and keep the cost relatively low. Here are our picks for great gifts below $30…
We love the handmade goodies and beautiful bag charms created by Ryan Koh, an amazing young man who doesn’t let autism get in the way of creating gorgeous gifts not just for Teacher’s Day, but year-round too. Have a look around his online shop and try to resist a cute-as-it-gets puffed fortune monkey ($28).
Mustard Tree, online only; www.mustardtree.com.sg
Oh Happy Fry
We’ve long been swooning over the Insta-account of Oh Happy Fry, and already have its Pink Flamingo watering cans ($30) on our Xmas list. For quirky gifts that all teachers are sure to love, you can’t go wrong with a happy cloud cushion ($29) or cute boredom-busting tilt puzzles (pictured above) at the bargain price of $5.90.
Oh Happy Fry, Online; www.ohhappyfry.com
The Art Faculty by Pathlight
The Art Faculty is a platform to promote the special talents of people with autism and related challenges, and encompasses an art gallery, training ground, studio and art cafe to bring great works into the public arena. Take a look at The Animal Project range, which is full of teacher-worthy presents from pencil cases to mugs, totes to tumblers: all with bright and funky designs created by students from Pathlight.
The Art Faculty by Pathlight, 20 Lengkok Bahru, #01-07 , Singapore 159053; www.theartfaculty.sg
Leela’s Fine Chocolates
Leela’s Fine Chocolates creates sweet treats for all occasions, and we’re loving its amazing chocolate trainer shoe (or stiletto) shoe options ranging from $12 to $30. If eating shoes isn’t something you can get your head around, check out the delicious handmade choccie bars in scrumptious flavours, including salted dark chocolate, chilli, hazel crunch and caramel.
Leela’s Fine Chocolates, online; www.leelaschocolates.com
Singapore Trading Post
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cool prezzie ideas for teachers over at Singapore Trading Post, but if the budget won’t stretch to retro ice buckets or leather notebooks, there are plenty of pocket-money picks coming in at under $30. Check out its funky tealight holders, stationery sets and hand-painted boxes – or, for $30, snap up a gorgeous letter organiser (pictured above).
Singapore Trading Post, 315 Outram Rd, Singapore 169074 and 426 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427644, www.singaporetradingpost.com
For a quirky gift with a Singapore feel, we think all teachers need a Peranakan tiles rubiks cube ($12), a lemongrass soy candle ($18) or a pot of Singapore Sling marmalade ($15).
Naiise, stores at Katong I12, The Cathay, Westgate and The Star Vista; www.naiise.com
Le Petit Society
For a pretty necklace sure to cheer up any female teacher’s day, head to Le Petit Society and splurge on the rainbow tees ($44) for Mr teacher – they’re particularly dashing.
Le Petit Society, 6A Shenton Way, #03-10 Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815; www.lepetitsociety.com
Gifts Less Ordinary
For a pocket-money present with a local twist, we’re loving the Singapore mugs ($28.60) at Gifts Less Ordinary. Choose from a Peranakan-printed merlion mug, or a Little India-themed mug, or even a mug with all the icons of the little red dot on it.
Gifts Less Ordinary, online only (free delivery); www.giftslessordinary.com
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