Whether it’s for the holidays, for Teacher Appreciation Day, or the last day of the school year, giving your teacher gifts is always a meaningful way to say “thank you” and let them know you appreciate all their efforts. But when you’re giving something to your teacher, avoid knickknacks or desk objects like pencils or apples – they probably received a lot of it already. Stop giving them coffee and sweets as well, if you want your gift to be memorable.
Teachers prefer to receive things that are practical, heartfelt, and fall into one of these two categories: something they can use in the classroom or for work or something that makes their life a little nicer. There are a lot of creative ways to thank teachers, so show how you appreciate them by choosing from these thoughtful gift ideas:
By far, the best gift a student can give to a teacher is the simplest one. Teachers delight in seeing their students grow and progress, and the thing they treasure the most is a handwritten letter from a student letting them know they made a difference. When mugs get re-gifted, snacks get eaten, and lotions get used – the affirmation that comes from a note, knowing they’ve made a difference in their student’s lives, stays with teachers forever. The key is to keep it heartfelt and personal and don’t fill it with clichés your teachers have already heard a hundred times. Enclose your message in a pretty card to make it even more special.
Adding a gift card to your note is something that any teacher will appreciate. Teachers will love getting gift cards so they can buy what they really want from it. Students and parents often mean well when they give something elegant and specific, but most teachers actually need unglamorous things. A gift card that can buy coffee, be used at a movie or restaurant, or be used for shopping for groceries, department stores, and Amazon are gifts that are most welcomed.
Personalized tote bag
Instead of giving a handbag (it can be hard to figure out if a teacher would like a particular style), why not give them a tote bag? Teachers have a lot to bring to and from school, especially when they have folders, lesson plans, and a laptop or tablet to bring to class. They can also use a tote bag for running weekend errands, shopping, or as a summer beach or pool bag. This gift won’t go unappreciated, especially if it’s personalized with their initials or name.
You might think that teachers don’t want gifts that remind them of their school day, but they do appreciate getting classroom supplies. When school districts cut budgets, many teachers make up the difference out of their own pockets. Teachers are always running out of markers, and they can get really pricey. You can help out by picking up quality marker sets.
Teachers rely on paper planners to keep track of daily schedules and lesson plans. Help them organize their daily life and keep track of assignments and appointments with a good planner.
A quality water bottle
There are many cute but cheap water bottles out there, but they are usually made of plastic and won’t stay usable for a while. A nice water bottle is a better and more practical gift since teachers need to stay hydrated after teaching and talking. An insulated bottle can keep water cool all day and keep coffee or tea hot.
Cookie and muffin mixes
Teachers get a deluge of sweet treats and baked goods during the holidays, and giving them mixes a perfect thing to give so they won’t be pressured to eat it all before ready-to-eat goods expire. Cookies and muffins are the ideal comfort food, and it’s a good thing to give to a teacher with a penchant for baking.
Getting organized is an essential thing teachers need to do to make the school day less stressful. Every teacher needs organizers to keep their handouts, personal items, and other student materials uncluttered.
Give your teacher a cozy and attractive throw for chilly days, and they would love it. Teachers can get cold in their classrooms and faculty areas, and a throw would be very practical. They would also love to use it at home too.
Stylus pens and personalized pens
Red pens are for grading papers, but stylus pens and personalized pens are the little things teachers cherish.
Help your teacher get organized for his or her next faculty meeting by gifting them a folio. You can go for a simple one with a clipboard or go for full padfolios with pockets and slots for items like pens, flash drives, tablets, notebooks, cards, and more.
Gifts to Avoid
Teachers would probably appreciate anything that someone has given them, but they receive some kind of things so frequently that they just rather receive something else. Impractical and impersonal gifts must be avoided, but be sure to steer clear of these gifts too – if you want to make sure that your teacher will love and use what you will give.
It’s almost cliché to say that teachers don’t want any more mugs with the phrase “World’s Greatest Teacher” emblazoned on it or other education-themed puns. Yes, mugs are practical – it’s just that their cupboards are probably full enough, and these kinds of gifts often end up getting donated. You can give them a techy mug that keeps their coffee hot. Any caffeine-dependent teacher will super appreciate these kinds of mugs.
Apple or education-themed tchotchkes
Many cute teacher gifts are adorned or shaped like apples, or tchotchkes like desk plaque or wall hanging with a quote related to teacher or education. They might love what they do, but at some point, enough is enough of these things since they are a special person besides being a teacher.
Lotions, candles, perfumes, and anything scented
Unless you saw your teacher use a specific lotion or perfume at school every day, avoid giving anything scented. It’s a tricky area as you run a risk of getting something your teacher would not like. And if they don’t like the scent, they would almost always get re-gifted to someone else.
Gifts that are over-the-top expensive can fall against the school policy and ethics codes that prevent teachers from accepting gifts worth more than a certain amount. However, students who want to give a teacher an expensive fit can collaborate with other classmates or the whole class to go in and give a gift together.