Soon, the bell will ring one last time this school year. Your child will sign yearbooks, say goodbye to friends for the summer, and out the door they will go! Teachers will be both relieved they made it through one more school year, yet sad to see the children they have bonded with all year leave their classroom one last time.


As a parent, your job is to raise your children to the very best of your ability. If you choose not to homeschool your children and send them to school, like me, you have chosen to entrust your child to a teacher or group of teachers. You chose to trust them enough to watch over your little one, teach them, and take care of their every need while they are away from you. 

Children are in school on average for 35 hours each week during the school year. If your child sleeps an average of 9 hours per night that leaves them awake at home for around 8 hours a day TOTAL which means that your child is spending almost as much time at school as they are at home. I say all of that to say, your child’s teacher has an incredible amount of responsibility in helping YOU raise your child. 

For that, you should be grateful and overly appreciate them for all their hard work. You may fail at times as a parent, so don’t be too hard on your child’s teacher if you disagree with a few things they have or have not done this past school year. They give it their all just like you do. Yes, they may get paid for it, but teachers are some of the most underpaid and unappreciated people out there! 

After talking to roughly 20 teachers from all different schools, I have a few tips on ideas of ways you can show your appreciation. We all know that by the time a teacher retires, they could fill a whole classroom with useless trinkets, mugs, plaques, and miscellaneous “number one teacher” gifts. Let’s take a look at what the teachers themselves recommended for gift ideas and stay clear of some of those not so great choices!

But first,

Here is what I did for my daughter’s teacher this year. It was her first year of school. She officially graduated from kindergarten last night! It has been a bit of a tough year for her. She struggled with her reading but by the end of the year, after a lot of work from us AND TONS of work from her teacher, she is now reading and doing much better! I decided to get a little creative with her gift this year. Kindergarten is not a grade I could teach… kudos to all you kindergarten teachers! 

First, I came up with a little note for her teacher to thank her for all that she did for my daughter. Then, I thought of gifts that could be a symbol of those “thank you”s. I bought all the gifts and then found pics online (or at least pictures close to what I gave her) and typed up the note in a story type of post like this…

The Thirty-One Around The Clock Thermal made an excellent, functional gift bag. I love using “gift bags” that are useable after the fact instead of just thrown in the trash. We stuffed all sorts of little gifts inside and then tucked the note in it. 

teachers gift

A few of the items I included were a giant eraser that said, “Let’s try that again”. I found that very suiting for kindergarten. They are just starting with the constructive learning process which means they had a lot of mistakes. That is ok because they can always do it again!!

teachers gift

I included some SweeTarts because one thing kindergarteners learn is how to be sweet to their new friends. It is a hard thing when they are this young but probably more important than anything else! I added a million dollar chocolate bar. I don’t know how your child’s teacher is but my daughter’s teacher went above and beyond to make sure my daughter felt like a million bucls every day. I even added The Original Strechlace Shoe Laces. Another thing my daughter learned is that school is fun! Learning and fun should always be “tied together”. 

teachers gift

My daughter is at a Christian school. I love the fact that they incoorperate Bible memory, Bible stories, and prayer into their daily routine. My daughter learned a lot about the power of prayer this school year. Her and her class spent a lot of time praying for many people but especially her Papa who has been very sick this year. She has seen God answer the prayers!

teachers gift

I found a lot of this at Hobby Lobby and some of it online. 

teachers gift


Now.. on to some of the ideas of what the teachers themseleves recommended…

Teacher Recommended Gifts

Gift Certificates (Just a few specific ones mentioned)

  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Amazon
  • Any Restaurants
  • Target
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Mani/Pedi
  • Massage (we KNOW teachers could use a massage by the end of the school year)
  • Grocery Store (add a recipe card for an added touch)
  • Gas Cards
  • iTunes


School Supplies (since they typically spend their own money on supplies)

  • Papermate colorful pens
  • Kleenex
  • Hand-Sanitizer

Personalized Gifts

  • Bags
  • Socks
  • Scarfs
  • Candles
  • Beach Bag with Sunscreen, flip-flops and a beach towel.
  • Monogrammed T-Shirts

Handmade Card With Personal Note and Photo

Handmade cards with personal, heartfelt notes have seemed to be one of the most loved by each and every teacher. EVERY student can do this one regardless of income level! 

Lotions or Hand-Soaps

Some teachers mentioned this as a gift they get an overabundance of and sometimes receive scents they would not use so I would suggest this if you know the teacher a little more personally to know what she likes)

Plants & Flowers


AND….. Some Not So Good Gift Ideas

  • Coffee Mugs
  • Water bottles
  • Homemade Cookies/Goodies (between allergies and teachers who watch their weight, food is not the best gift considering they feel guilty that they are wasting it if they don’t eat it. Homemade goodies have to be eaten in a short period of time.)
  • Figurines
  • Trinkets

A few words straight from some of our teachers

My favorite gifts I’ve gotten have been an oil diffuser for my classroom, manicure gift certificate and things with my name/initials on them.
– Ashley
The socio-economic status of students makes a big difference in what students give. I have often felt awkward opening gifts in front of students for fear of other students making fun. The best gifts are when students write truly heartfelt notes. I have a huge collection of those and have always fallen back on them during tough days.
– Shari
If the family is from a different culture, things from their culture are awesome. I have earrings from Vietnam and a scarf from India, and a bookmark rfom Ireland for my Bible that are all very small but I love dearly because I felt like they were sharing their family with me.
– Tracy
I had a student give me a $5 gift card to Dairy Queen and it was great because who doesn’t love ice cream? I also love getting flowers. I now some people don’t like getting them because they die but I would rather have that than something I won’t use. 
– Stephanie
Favorite EVER gift!!! Each person in the family wrote me a letter of appreciation!!! Tears were rolling!!! 
– Katie
Many of us spend our own money on buying supplies… so school suppplies are a really great gift!
– Wendy
 Love on your child’s teachers one last time this year. Spoil them as if they were a second mom or dad to your child this year. They sure deserve it!!

11 Replies to “Think Twice About Giving Teachers A Gift”

  1. Love the ideas! I have a friend who is a primary school teacher. He’s a huge Batman fan and he was absolutely thrilled when he got one of those Batman collectible hot toys. Now he keeps it on his desk and looks at it whenever things in the classroom get a bit…challenging. 🙂

  2. I like doing gift cards for my children’s teachers so they can spend it how they want.

  3. What great ideas! Going to have to save this for next year, my child is already done with school!

  4. I need a poster of that saying on the eraser to remind my kids that we can always try again!

  5. These are excellent ideas! Thanks for sharing. Time for me to get busy. I was needing some ideas.

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