The end of the school year is almost here for most students across the country. With the summer approaching, it's a great time to let teachers know the impact they have on young people's lives.

There are a whole range of options to show appreciation for the work a teacher did throughout the year. Here are five ideas -- ranging from free notes to inexpensive gifts -- that will show an educator that they truly made a difference in the life of a student.

1. A card with a poem. A card is a classic for a reason. It shows you care and the note allows for a personal touch. A teacher will certainly appreciate adding some literary flair to the card -- so writing a poem on the inside might be a good idea. Either come up with your own masterpiece or look for some inspiration from, which has a long list of teacher-inspired poems.

2. A personalized notebook. Teachers have to use a lot of paper. Instead of getting your teacher a gift they might not have much use for buy them a personalized notebook. It can have their name on it and an interesting design. Come next year, they'll have a stylish option for their work instead of a boring yellow legal pad. Vistaprint has a lot of options with prices starting at about $13.

3. Gift cards. Another classic idea, but one with which you can never go wrong. There's a good chance your favorite teacher is underpaid for the work they do, so a free treat isn't a bad idea. There's also a good chance your teacher is tired after a long school year, so a Starbucks gift card would be a fitting way to pass along a pick-me-up. Indirectly buying your teacher an iced coffee during the heat of summer is a fine gesture and Starbucks even has a special gift card available just for teachers here.

#ProTip: Add a pump of caramel to your #icedcoffee, sing, dance, have an awesome day.

— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) May 26, 2015


If coffee isn't your favorite teacher's thing, perhaps try a gift card to a movie theater or local restaurant -- since with the school year finished, teachers will finally have a few moments of free time.

4. A summer starter kit. With summer about to start, put together a fun bag of summer accessories. To name just a few ideas: a beach towel, tote bag, sunscreen or a plastic travel tumbler glass. A Tervis tumbler is always popular and the company even makes one designed for teacher appreciation. It's a fun way of wishing your teacher a happy summer. 

Sunday night. Time to pick out your tumblers for the week. (Photo courtesy of

— Tervis (@TervisTumbler) May 17, 2015

5. A Netflix subscription. Teachers will have more time on their hands with school out and a Netflix subscription for a couple of months would come in handy. The cost of the subscription starts at about $7.99 per month. Retailers like Target or Best Buy sell Netflix gift cards or go here to find a place to buy the service near your home.