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What is an appropriate Thank You for teacher recommendations?

safiastylesafiastyle 45 replies7 threads Junior Member
edited March 2 in Parents Forum
A couple of my DS teachers wrote letters of recommendations for him for his Common App. He's kept his teachers up to date on the status' of his applications, and he's thanked them many times for their role in his application. He goes to a HS where many of the kids are going to local state schools and didn't need letters of rec for their applications. We want to get them a thank you gift for taking time to write his recommendations, and to let them know that we greatly appreciate the time and effort that they put into his letters of recommendations.

What is an appropriate gift to give them without it being looked upon as overboard? Or is a thank you note enough?
edited March 2
23 replies
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Replies to: What is an appropriate Thank You for teacher recommendations?

  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1546 replies8 threads Senior Member
    I think a heartfelt personalized note would be what is most appreciated. If you want to give a physical gift, I think it should be personal as well (e.g., a book by an author that the teacher admires) vs something impersonal like a gift card.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 13277 replies169 threads Senior Member
    I've always given gift certificates to bookstores and restaurants. Always appreciated by these hard working and usually underpaid folks.
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  • CTCapeCTCape 258 replies9 threads Junior Member
    My dh is a hs teacher and writes lots of recs. He typically gets thank you notes, and sometimes baked goods. He’s gotten a few gift cards here and there, but typically only in the spring. He says it would be looked upon as inappropriate if he were to accept anything material prior to the application deadlines. Makes sense.
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 852 replies29 threads Member
    My daughter went to a card shop that sells unique, fun cards. She found cards that featured things that the specific teachers enjoy or talk about (i.e. one of the teachers always references ninjas, so she found a funny card with a ninja on it.) She then wrote the teachers a personal note, thanking them for their help and letting them know where she was going. I'm not sure you need to do much more than that.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 810 replies79 threads Member
    We did gift cards, I don’t remember the amount but it wasn’t that much. A bit more for the English teacher who was doing late nite editing to my son’s essays a couple days before the deadline.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1546 replies8 threads Senior Member
    ^Couldn't agree more. S had an opportunity to nominate and then advocate through an essay one his LoR writers for a Yale educator award, which she ended up receiving (about 50 teachers worldwide receive this recognition each year). The sad thing was, this was not even mentioned in the local media. They were too busy covering the high school football games I guess. Kind of tells you about the sad state of how educators are valued in many parts of our society.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2364 replies8 threads Senior Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    All of the suggestions are great, but a great additional gift is to have your son send a note after they start college (or after the are accepted and commit). While a gift or a card will make them feel good, the success of your son will make them feel even better, especially success in which they (the teacher) played a part.

    That’s what D19 did, she only had one teacher rec and felt it must have played a strong role in her ED admit. She sent him a sincere thank you note after she got the admittance, coupled with an inexpensive but thoughtfully picked out gift.
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  • happy1happy1 23498 replies2333 threads Senior Member
    Our school district (wisely I think) limits gifts to teacher to $25. So both of my kids sent a lovely note of thanks along with a small gift to each teacher who wrote a LOR as well as to the guidance counselor who we all felt provided solid advice throughout their years in the HS.
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  • kikiobkikiob 90 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I'm an 8th grade middle school teacher (and parent of HS senior) and have written recs for kids going to private high schools. I like the idea of a gift from the college the student ends up choosing (something useful like a pen or a notepad, or even a banner to put in the classroom), but TBH a Starbucks (or any other) gift card is always appreciated, but definitely AFTER the application has been submitted, not before.
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  • TikiteacherTikiteacher 1 replies0 threads New Member
    As a HS teacher, a nice thank you note after receiving the recommendation would be appropriate. A nice touch would be to send the teacher a picture of the student at college wearing a college shirt for the teacher to hang in the classroom or put in a keepsake book. A short letter letting the teacher know how the school year is going for the student would be nice as well. I know email would definitely be easier, but getting a letter and picture in the mail is such a nice touch. I have kept every letter every student has ever given me for the past 26 years.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77049 replies3424 threads Senior Member
    We waited until almost the end of the school year. Our kids wrote very nice thank you notes to the teachers who wrote their LORs. The kids knew these teachers well...as did we...because of activities associated with the academics they taught.

    We included gift cards to their favorite coffee shops because we knew they stopped there every morning.

    I think the notes were very appreciated!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9069 replies89 threads Senior Member
    D sent heart felt thank yous and gift cards. One of her recommenders retired and is off grid but the two others she continues contact. Her school also has a policy that after seniors graduate, they can follow teachers on social media and vice versa. She's in touch that way with a number of teachers where she had a strong connection.
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  • maya54maya54 2479 replies99 threads Senior Member
    Amazon gift card.
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  • lisa9521lisa9521 39 replies3 threads Junior Member
    My daughter did $25 gift cards for Amazon. And 1 teacher got a $25 gift card for Star Bucks. That teacher loves SB every morning. All her teachers were wonderful during this process. Even helping her pick out schools to apply and her AP English Lit teacher looked over several essays for her. They did this without complaint, on weekends even. I still cant believe how much they did for my kid. Her guidance counselor was the least helpful and most often rude when we contacted her but we still gave her one.
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  • yauponreduxyauponredux 777 replies27 threads Member
    Bottle of wine, after recs were in! But then D was at an Episcopal HS ...
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  • mommdcmommdc 11858 replies31 threads Senior Member
    edited March 4
    My D brought in homemade (by her) cupcakes and thank you cards in the last week of school.
    edited March 4
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  • LexingtonBassoonLexingtonBassoon 16 replies0 threads Junior Member
    More effective than a thank you(which you should definitely do) is checking in with them even after you graduate High School
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