most teachers get sooo much stuff.... they dont really "want" stuff...
my children teachers sent out a memo saying that in lieu of end of the year gifts make a donation to the school breakfast club or the school council or sports equipment for the school, donation to the food bank in the name of the school/teacher/class
Ditto the gift cards. You can get him/her one to a supply store so they can put it towards school supplies (who knows how much of their own money they spend on school supplies for their class), or someplace fun that they like.
My dd's teacher was absolutely fantastic this year, and dd had gleaned that her teacher had an addiction to a local ice cream parlor. We gave her teacher a nice gift card to that ice cream place as an appreciation gift.
I second the gift certicficates. My daughter is a teacher. They get losts of what- nots after awhile they run out of space to put them. My daughter has them setting all over the place. Certificates to restaurants, wal-mart, etc. They are really appreciated. She uses her own meager salary to by supplies for her teaching. A gift certificate to one of the stores for next season would also be nice. Gloria Jean
I agree, store-bought "stuff" isn't always needed or appreciated. But something personal would be. Something hand-made or personally written by your girls and by you. A picture, a poem, a letter, etc expressing just how special the teacher was to you, and why. Letters written to the principal praising the teacher would be a great thing too!
If you want to include a gift you could add a gift card for a place where the teacher could buy things for herself and/or her classroom. Many teachers are underpaid and have needs for their own households, many must buy things for their classrooms out of their own pockets.
When my kids have a particularly excellent teacher I get a big thank-you card & a plain brown envelope. I try to get all the parents of children in that class to sign the card, adding their own words of gratitude, and let them put in as little or as much as they wish anonymously in the envelope. Then I buy a gift card with all the money collected to put in the thank-you card.