How much is too much? “Really, I don't expect anything but if you insist, don't spend more than $20.”

Do you prefer a gift card to a coffee shop or bookstore? “As nice as it is to have a Tim Hortons gift card, that’s okay, we can buy our own Tim Hortons. Getting stuff for the classroom is more important, and more useful.”

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Best gifts? “All the best gifts have been the ones that come from the heart – cards or pictures that have taken a great deal of thought, care and effort. But Starbucks gift cards are nice, too.”

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A gift-giving policy? “I tell my students not to give me gifts. I say that I won’t accept them. But if they bring it on the last day, I wouldn’t send it back.”

Best gifts? He worked in a low-income neighbourhood and one student brought him an open bottle of cologne. He was touched. Another student brought him a tie from Value Village. “I loved it.” He prefers notes or cards at the end of the year.

Best gift? He once had a student make him a candle holder because he told his class that he enjoys sitting on his deck at night during the summer. “It was creative, it showed a personal connection and that she had been listening to my dumb stories.”

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What happens if you don’t like your kid’s teacher? “If you’re really not a fan of your child’s teacher, give them something unwieldy and bulky that they will have trouble packing in the car on the last day of school,” he said with a laugh.

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Fun gift? Parents gave a teacher colleague movie tickets, a bottle of wine and a note apologizing for their kid’s behaviour that academic year.

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A gift-giving policy? “We don’t have an official policy. I prefer students don’t bring me gifts. I do tell them that it’s not necessary.”

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Are gifts expected? “I think there’s enough expectations in the world, and I don’t think that should be an expectation. We make good money and we’re public servants.” But “you do know who’s the well-liked teacher when they cart out the most gifts on the last day,” he said with a chuckle.

Strangest gift? His colleague once received a box of Kraft dinner that was half empty.

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Worst gifts? A student gave him a laminated map of Italy. He has also received many mugs, and with the school year winding down close to July 1, there’s been a few Canada Day souvenirs. A colleague once received a mini-skirt.

What about parents who don’t buy you a gift? “It’s fine. It kind of depends why. Sometimes they’re just overwhelmed, overloaded, and sometimes they just don’t want to play that game. That’s fine and I respect that. For my own kids, I would often say at the very least you can write a little note to say thank-you. Just something simple and that doesn’t cost anything.”

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What do you think of parents who don’t give gifts? “I don't expect parents to give gifts. I hope, however, that parents are teaching their children to practice gratitude and encourage their children to make a nice thank-you card.”

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- Let a kid who is feeling under the weather that you are thinking of them today. Send a unique get well gift for kids with a teddy bear, balloon or flower arrangement.

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How much is too much? “I have a son in kindergarten. Even though I don’t want to get gifts, I understand that you want to show the teacher how appreciative you are. My son had a great year and I really like the teacher so we’ll probably send a $10 or $20 gift card to the LCBO or Starbucks or Tim Hortons. I personally think $10 is already more than enough. Anything more than $20 I think is getting unnecessary.”

The end of school is looming, but before you start searching Pinterest for last-minute craft ideas or head to Starbucks to buy a $50 gift certificate, stop and consider what your child’s teacher really wants for an end-of-year present. The Globe and Mail asked a handful of teachers to reveal their best and worst gifts, and how much is too much.

Best gifts? A student once gave him a coaster that she painted and put his name on it. Another student wrote him a note that said ‘I like math.’

Gifts that make you uncomfortable? He’s heard of classes giving their teachers gift cards of more than $2,000. “I guess in some circles, families get competitive.”

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