Gifts for Teachers

Gifts for Teachers

Photo by Sara Webster

During the holiday season, at the end of the school year and during Teacher Appreciation Week many parents and students want to show their gratitude to teachers with a gift. While most teachers say that they appreciate the thought behind any gift they receive from a parent or child, there is general agreement teachers can do without more mugs, stuffed animals and “Best Teacher” knickknacks!

Here are four suggestions for teacher appreciation gifts that you child’s teacher will be happy to receive:

  1. Gift cards and gift certificate are the most flexible teacher gifts. Most teachers are on a budget and love getting gift cards for coffee or books. If you’d like to buy a more expensive gift for a special teacher, take up a collection from other parents in the class (this should be on a voluntary basis only). With each person chipping in a few dollars, you can show your appreciate with a gift card for a nice restaurant, a spa treatment or tickets to a special event.
  2. Many teachers say that personalized items made by students mean more than purchased gifts. A T-shirt is a practical item that’s easy to personalize with an iron-on transfer or with fabric paint. For a group gift, a parent can take a photo of the class, transfer it to a shirt and then have each student in the class sign their name with a permanent marker. Visit for more ideas on handmade items or to purchase unique handcrafted teacher gifts.
  3. Most teachers supplement reduced school budgets by using their own money to purchase classroom supplies. Personal teacher gifts are great, but many teachers appreciate gift cards for office supply stores or gift baskets that contain classroom supplies. Pens, pencils, white board markers, staplers and staples, push pins, Post-It notes, hand sanitizer, stickers and stationary are a few of the items frequently needed by teachers.
  4. Edible gifts — especially homemade goodies, like cookies — are appreciated by many teachers with families, and when a student helps make the treat, it makes the gift even more meaningful! Creating a jar that contains all the ingredients for cookies or brownies along with baking instructions is another great gift for teachers with their own children.

You should never feel that teacher appreciation gifts are mandatory. If time and money are an issue, remember that a simple gift accompanied by a heartfelt note can be a more powerful expression of gratitude than something expensive and less personal.

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