If you’re flailing around desperately trying to think of a teacher gift, my advice is ALWAYS the same: a gift card. One from Amazon will let them buy books or, if needed, class supplies for next year (or a whole host of other things). One from Tim Horton’s is also, in my experience, always welcome.
BUT. If you have a little more time and you’re buying for a grade-school teacher, Last Day Blues is a fantastic book. I just loaned my copy to my son’s teacher, actually, and it’s being passed around all the other teachers in his primary school. Children also like it, too, so it’s a good end-of-year read-aloud (although my oldest is just turning seven, and he wasn’t hugely interested in it. By about third grade they start to get why the ending is funny.)
There’s a beginning-of-school-year book that kind of goes with this one, and both my children found THAT one hilarious. Go figure. Maybe Last Day Blues is just a little more melancholy? Anyway, First Day Jitters is another excellent picture book.
If you search online, by the way, you can find a tonne of downloadable worksheets and activities based on those books. That might be part of the reason why teachers like them, actually. I imagine that comes in particularly handy at the end of the year, when most of the real work has been done but you need SOMETHING to keep the class busy while you assess individual students.
Obviously I’m not giving either of them to my son’s teacher this year, because if I were I wouldn’t be ruining the surprise by lending them to her. I let him choose, and he went with a copy of Mo Willem’s latest (and last) Elephant and Piggie book, The Thank You Book. (And a gift card. Teachers love gift cards.)