Teacher Gifts: What Do Teachers Really Want?

The school year is ending and I’m struck by the number of posts I’m seeing on blogs, Facebook and Pinterest about end of year teacher gifts. This is brand new to me. My school growing up didn’t allow gifts to teachers. The preschool my son goes to does class gifts where we all contribute to a single, nice present for the teachers. I’ve never had to think about some sort of token of appreciation for teachers.

I’ve been very impressed with the fabulous things people think to make for teachers. Hand crafted stuff with artwork done by the kids. Really thoughtful things that look just gorgeous – and so far outside of my range of abilities that I’m already stressing that teachers will dread having my kids because I suck so hard at all things crafty.

So what’s a non-crafty mom to do when it comes to teacher gifts? Well, I decided to ask some teachers what they have always liked from students at the end of the year. I also checked in over at Rants from Mommyland where Julie Miner and Claire Goss did a post about this same subject last year. What I found out was both illuminating and reassuring.

It turns out teachers like things that are either practical or sentimental. They want to remember your kids but the best reminder isn’t the same Hallmark mug they’ve gotten the past four years or the apple-shaped pencil holder you and every other parent saw on Pinterest. Here are the kinds of gifts teachers say they really like!

  • What Teachers Really Want 1 of 7

    Click through for ideas!

  • Gift Cards 2 of 7
    gift card

    I know, this is the most unsentimental thing in the history of ever but let's be real. How excited are you when you get a card to your favorite store or restaurant, right? It's awesome.  Teachers feel the same way. Find out where they like to shop or eat and give them a gift card!

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Personal Notes 3 of 7

    A card with words from you and you child saying what the teacher meant to you that year can never go wrong. If you want to send a copy to the principal for their employee file, too, so much the better. 

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Classroom Supplies or Books 4 of 7
    blue school textbooks

    I know this sounds like buying a mom a vacuum cleaner for Mother's Day but it's not as bad as all that. Many teachers have such low classroom supplies budgets that they end up paying for things out of pocket. Picking up classroom items for the teachers can save them money.

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Jewelry 5 of 7

    One teacher I know said that she didn't have room for lots of homemade keepsakes (too many kids, year after year, after all) but a pretty piece of jewelry is a nice way to remember a particular child. A simple necklace or pair of ear-rings is a nice way to go!

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • A Drink 6 of 7

    Ok, this may only work for teachers you know pretty well but one mom told me she gave her daughter's teacher a gift card to a local liquor store.  It seems weird on first pass but the more you think about it, the more it makes perfect sense that a teacher would like to start off the summer with a nice glass of wine!

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Teacher Gift No-nos 7 of 7

    A couple of things teachers specifically said they don't like are homemade treats and scented products. This is sort of deflating because baking cookies and shopping at Lush are things I can actually do. But teachers, like the rest of us, prefer to pick their own fragrances. And many people prefer not to eat food prepared in strange kitchens. So rather than baking or buying, do them a favor and get a gift card to cosmetic store or bakery instead.

    Photo credit: photo stock

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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