In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we at Teacher Created Materials want you to know that we truly value all the hard work, time, money (so often your own), tears, and compassion that you pour into your students. The year is almost over, and you deserve some true R and R!

At this time of year, you are probably getting a variety of gifts and trinkets to say thank you for all that you have done this year. As a former teacher myself, I remember receiving many sweet and thoughtful gifts from students and families. The handmade ones were always my favorites. However, sometimes there was a gift that made me laugh out loud (not in front of my students, of course). Like the time I received a half-eaten box of chocolate that my student had “sampled” on his way to school.

In honor of those “unique” gifts, I asked my teacher friends from around the country to share with me some of their funniest favorites. Here is a list of the top 8.

I once was gifted deodorant from a second grader who grabbed it from her mom’s bathroom. She seemed so happy to give it to me that I couldn’t possibly be offended. —Aubrie, California

The funniest gift I’ve received was personalized stationery with someone else’s monogrammed initials. —Stephanie, Colorado

A second grader once gifted me a Christmas “wreath” made out of used, quit-smoking cigarettes. You could tell it took her a long time, and I was just so proud of her mom for quitting smoking. —Jen, Washington, D.C.

I once had a student give me a poem they wrote on the way to school on the back of a bill from their house. The poem was adorable, but the bill on the back was overdue! —Melissa, Arizona

I once received flowers that were cut from the class garden we had been growing all year. —Ashlee, California

One year a student made a cookie for me. She was so proud because it “looked just like” me. It was 15 inches tall, and she didn’t want me to cut it or eat it because she worked too hard on it. —Cathy, Virginia

I once had a student give me a box of hair dye. —Ashley, California

One time I received a deflated heart-shaped balloon from a first grader. It was obviously a promotional product because it read, “I love my Serta Mattress!” but it was still so sweet. —Jackie, California

All joking aside, no matter how unconventional a gift might be, we know that they all come from the heart and as teachers we appreciate every gesture of thanks and love from the students and families we serve. It is all special, and part of what makes teaching The. Best. Ever.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!