Don’t Panic: The Secret To Teacher Gifts


Oh no, how is it the end of the year already and teacher appreciation week too? Do you have your teacher gifts ready? If you’re anything like me, you are so incredibly grateful for those marvelous souls who somehow not only put up with your child(ren), but love them and teach them new and fun things.

But, you are also busy and have a thousand things on your plate.

If I could, as a gift I would get teachers an all expenses paid vacation to somewhere warm with lots of delicious things to eat and drink, but that’s not possible right now (sorry, teachers). 

Last year on the Richmond Moms Collective, Marcie gave us some helpful info on the topic. This year, I want to add a few more things from a parent perspective.

First, it’s better to give a simple gift with love, than a complicated gift with resentment or no gift at all.

When I first picture what I want to give a person I value greatly, it looks like this:

But then life happens and I’m running out of time and my workspace is closer to this (but WAY worse):

Moms have a lot on our plates, especially this time of year, so don’t panic!

First, what types of things do teachers want as gifts?

(hint, usually nothing related to apples or with a strong scent).

I used to be a high school history teacher and I’ve informally polled my teacher friends. The top teacher gift suggestions include: gift cards, chocolate, and a handmade card.  And of course, you can always throw in some extra classroom supplies. I don’t know a teacher who couldn’t use some more paper, markers, pencils, or Kleenexes. 

See? Not so complicated, right?

The other thing to think about is personalization. As your children get older (or if they are in middle or high school already), ask them what they notice about their teachers. I, and other teachers I talked with, agree that it was very thoughtful when students gave us gifts that showed they noticed something about us.

I had students give me inexpensive necklaces or bracelets which I loved and wore. Other students gave me small trinkets from their travels such a small statue or something to hang on my history classroom wall. 

Does your child’s teacher wear ties every day? Get them a fun one. Do they like bright colors? How about a scarf or fun socks? Are they into exercising? How about a cute water bottle (maybe monogrammed)? Do they love plants or nature? How about a small low maintenance plant that can bring life to the classroom? As your children get older, teach them to notice what someone they respect and care about likes.

And if your school does a “teacher favorites” list for your child’s teacher, make sure to check it out.

So, what’s the secret I promised you?

The secret is to get them anything at all and give it with love.

Simple, I know, but it really is the thought that counts.

Teachers know you are busy and they know you can’t spend as much money as you want to. Most of them are parents and crazy busy too.

So whatever you decide to give teachers, include a quick note from you or your child thanking them and then let them enjoy their well earned break.