A beloved preschool teacher is a major influence in your young child's life, and her departure may cause sadness and confusion for your preschooler. Give your child something positive to focus on: Let her help you buy or make a special gift to honor her departing teacher. Look for a personalized item that will resonate with the teacher, perhaps one that captures memories of her time with her young pupils. Add a special card that your little one helps make to share with her teacher.
Give your child's preschool teacher a gift she'll cherish -- a memory book or album of her time with her preschool kids. Ask other families to contribute a picture of their child with the teacher, and collect additional photos from class activities, field trips, and the classroom itself. Arrange these in a decorative album or scrapbook that you personalize for the teacher. Add pictures or notes that the little preschoolers have created. Finish the book by adding other mementos that will be meaningful to the teacher like classroom stickers, the words to one of the students' favorite songs or rhymes, or a favorite quote.
Depending on the circumstances of the teacher's departure, you can create a gift designed to assist her in her future endeavors. If the teacher is leaving to have a baby, consider a "baby shower in a box." You can fill a sealable plastic storage bin with goodies she'll need for the new baby. If she's moving on to another teaching job, fill a gift basket with an assortment of school supplies, markers and stickers, and an engraved name plate for her new desk.
Instead of individual gifts, ask the parents to contribute to a group farewell gift. Suggest a theme or prepare a list of recommended items so families have ideas of gift items that will appeal to the departing teacher. If she enjoys cooking, put together a treasure trove of cooking items for her, and include a few specialty items she might not be able to purchase for herself. For a teacher who loves art, gather paints, charcoals, pastels, sketch pads, brushes, art books or similar items.
Gift certificates or cards are excellent choices, especially for young teachers, who might be on a relatively tight budget. Give an array of gift cards from her favorite restaurants or coffee shops, or from some of her favorite stores. Pool resources to get a substantial gift card the departing teacher can use to support a hobby or interest. This can be a gift card from a specialty camera store for a photography buff or from an outdoor sports store for the teacher who loves camping. In addition, you can never go wrong with a gift card for a nearby spa or a gift basket of high-end coffees or teas.