TeacherLists Blog

Get Schooled on Teacher Gifts

People come in and out of our lives every day. In those brief moments, most folks don’t leave a mark. But sometimes we meet a special someone who helps make our world go round.

They’re generous of their time, kind, and they work through amazingly tough situations with a smile. It’s true not all super heroes wear capes…because all teachers are super heroes.

Just think about a normal year and what teachers go through. The school day is like an obstacle course, and they’re gladly ready to jump, slide, and crawl their way through anything to teach our kids. Like true Double Dare champions, teachers leave school a little worse for wear but filled with unbelievable joy.

Then came a pandemic. Work multiplied, the days grew longer, and a cloud of uncertainty rolled overhead. Still our teachers logged in and showed up. If you weren’t in total awe of teachers before, you definitely are now.

So, this year for Teacher Appreciation Week, give the unsung heroes at school a little token of gratitude. They never ask for thanks, but they sure deserve it!

Here are a few tips on what to give and what to rethink for teacher appreciation gifts.

Pro tip: bookmark these ideas because end-of-year gift giving is right around the corner!


The Don’ts

Mug Shot

Maybe it’s those funny little sayings we can’t resist, or we just assume teachers drink a lot of coffee. Either way, they’re mugged-out. Walk into any teachers’ lounge and you’ll see mugs spilling out of cabinets and into drying racks. There are mugs holding pens, pencils, paintbrushes, you name it. So, when in doubt, shelve the mug idea.

Finger Lickin’

Your crowd-pleasing double chocolate brownies are probably as good as they sound, but this isn’t a great year to gift them outside of the home. Aside from concerns about food sharing, you never know about someone else’s allergies, and they won’t know every ingredient you used. So let your kids lick the spoon and leave the brownies at home.

Getting a Little Too Personal

Some gifts might be absolutely lovely but, coming from a parent, they scream awkward. Things like bath bombs, scented lotion, and lip balm are best left to the very special person in a teacher’s life. If it’s appropriate for Valentine’s Day, it probably isn’t a great teacher gift.


The Do’s

Handy Dandy

Teachers start the school year off with a back-to-school supply list. Then anything not donated by families comes out of the teacher’s pocket. So the more supplies the merrier. You can even get fancy by building a supplies gift basket that’s 100% utilitarian. Fill it with whatever your teacher needs (refer to their wish list), get a deep basket that can serve as classroom storage, and slap on a cute bow. A+ present!

The Right Kind of Personal

This is a great time to pull out the stationary and let a teacher know their hard work goes noticed. Share your gratitude, a quick story, or how your child has blossomed over the last year. Remember to date the card and include your child’s name. Some of the best gifts don’t come from a store. And you certainly can’t put a price tag on memories. Tip: Add a little pizzazz with a $5 gift card.

Arts and Crafty

Aside from buying classroom supplies, teachers also have to deck out their rooms. They’re always on the hunt for fun decorations that’ll help kids stay happy and engaged in the same space for 6 hours a day. Scour Pinterest for a cool crayon wreath or origami flower bouquet. Better yet, look at the calendar and make something for a weeklong celebration. This year or next, it’s no big deal. Just help out by providing a storage container.

Teacher appreciation gifts don’t have to be pricey or flashy. They’re just a nice way to tell someone special you’re thinking of them. So, don’t overthink it, just consider what you’re gifting and give from the heart. And remember, when in doubt, no more mugs.

Originally posted 2021

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