Stop giving teachers coffee mugs!! I kid of course. Teachers are selfless and gracious and any teacher appreciation gifts they are given by a child or family means so much to them. Whether you are shopping for Teacher Appreciation Day, Christmas, or a just-because gift for your teacher, we’ve got lots of ideas that will help!
Remember-teachers don’t expect gifts and don’t *need* them either.
However, it’s so nice to be appreciated.
The problem is, many people default to giving teachers a mug because they aren’t really sure what they would like!
So in this post, I’m going to share some of the BEST teacher appreciation gifts teachers have ever gotten.
(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that Amazon sends me a little pocket change, at no cost to you, if you purchase through one of these links. This helps keep my site running!)
How do I know these gifts are THE best? They told me!
I asked my Facebook group of elementary school teachers to share some of the best gifts they ever received as a teacher. Here they are:
Teachers shared how nice it was to receive a plant or flowers picked out by a child or their family.
You don’t have to get them from a fancy florist! You can just swing by a local garden center and pick something there. Put a note that says, “Thanks for helping me grow!” with it, and have your child sign it.
Restaurant gift cards are really thoughtful gifts.
Teachers are BUSY and work many hours. A restaurant gift card can take dinner off their to-do list one night. And, since they aren’t making NFL sized salaries, they probably aren’t treating themselves that often.
Not sure which restaurant to choose? Pick something local, something that has a variety of cuisines, or maybe a Door Dash gift card so the teacher can have lunch delivered to her one day!
Target, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Amazon gift cards rank up there among teacher favorites too. Many teachers spend their own money on their students and their classroom, so gift cards like these are always thoughtful.
As I just mentioned, teachers spend so much of their own money on supplies. Hooking them up with some GREAT supplies is a nice way to show that you appreciate them.
Here are some personal supplies teachers love:
- Papermate Flair Pens
- Colorful Expo Markers
- Anchor Chart Markers: Mr. Sketch or Sharpie
- Personal Laminator and Laminating Pouches
- Post It Notes Limited Edition Colors
- A sweater, hoodie, or t-shirt with the school mascot
- Gift card from teacherspayteachers
Here are some helpful supplies for the classroom:
- Ticonderoga Pencils
- Fine point black Expo markers
- Party Favor Toys (these are great if the teacher has a prize box for student rewards)
My favorite gift that I ever received was a painting from one of my students. She brought it to me on the last day of school. On the back she had written, “I love you Mrs. Smith, I will miss you.”
This gift meant so much to me because she had had a rough year at our school and she challenged me in a lot of ways. When she brought me this painting she had made, I cried!
Other homemade gifts teachers shared that they had received and LOVED:
- A bracelet
- A sign
- A decoration for their desk
- A homemade book (written and illustrated by the child)
- Ornament with a handwritten note inside (great for Christmas time)
- A card with a handwritten note from the child and/or family
Thoughtful gifts are some of the ones that stick with teachers over the years the most. These gifts show how much the family knew and cared about the teacher.
Here are some thoughtful gifts teachers received:
- Airplane miles to help the teacher’s family visit
- A blanket with a picture of the teacher’s pet on it
- A tote bag with the teacher’s name on it
- Massage or spa day gift certificate
Photos From the Year
Another great gift for teachers is a keepsake photo from the year. This could be a class photo or a photo of the teacher with the student giving the gift.
One teacher shared that a family gifted her a photo of the class on a field trip. It was in a frame and signed by all of the students.
Photo gifts are so thoughtful because teachers treasure their students. Having a photo to commemorate their year together is always special.
The Bottom Line
When you decide what to give a teacher as a gift, it’s important to remember that it’s not about how much money you spend.
Many teachers wrote about how letters from parents and cards from students were so special and they saved them. The most important thing is to let the teacher know they are appreciated and cared for.