Teacher Gift Ideas



Personally I appreciate any kind gesture, but I would have to say that the parents who bought gifts for my kids were on to a winner. Not only was I deeply grateful for their thoughtful gift but I was a real hit back home.

Below is a list of gift ideas courtesy of teacher Kathy Mathews:


1. Gift cards – I personally adored Starbucks gift cards. I would get a bunch of 5.00 cards and transfer them all to my Paul McCartney Starbucks card. I would stop for a treat every on my way to work and be wide awake all the way to Valentine’s day. Target was my second most common gift card and I loved those also. Both are great choices.

2. A written note or card – I saved every single one of these that I got and they are still upstairs in a bin in my sewing room. You really don’t need to spend any money, heartfelt thanks from your child is a fabulous gift.

3. A glowing email to the boss – Every once in a while a parent would email my principal or superintendent and cc me in. One parent even wrote the newspaper! It was terrific, I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Let’s just say most parents who email or call the teacher or the principal are not doing it to praise.

4. A small item for the teacher’s hobby – I had a student whose Mom got me a small quilting iron for getting in corners. I was blown away! This is a tricky one to copy as you have to know the teacher’s hobby.

5. An item which matches the teacher’s passions – I love U of I and the Cubs. I had students give me pennants or cute signs. I put them on the walls of my classroom and when I retired I decorated all the walls of my garage and I smile every time I pull the car in.

6. School supplies – We had a very small budget for supplies and all the rest came from our personal money. (Or what we could “borrow” from our husband’s office.) I once had a parent give me a gift bag of post it notes. I was in 7th heaven!

7. Small item related to the subject matter – I taught Spanish and French. I had students bring me back small items like Eiffel Towers or Mexican vanilla from trips to the country. I love those! (I also got margarita glasses from a parent once back when things were a little less regimented in schools. I actually liked them but I wouldn’t recommend an alcohol related gift.)

8. Ornaments – I know there are teachers groaning out there but I liked teacher ornaments and I still have some I received on my tree.

9. Bags – Teachers are all bag ladies. I once had a parent give me a Lands End canvas bag with my name embroidered on it. I still have it and will have it forever. All cute bags are welcome.

10. Books – I have gotten lovely art or travel books about Spain, France and Mexico. They are still on my book shelves.

I do want to add there are gifts I would avoid. Teachers have allergies and restrictions. I would  NOT recommend the following.

No food – No pets – No fancy smelling soaps and lotions – Please, no small decorative items – Mugs are cute, they are. But how many can you use? And I feel compelled to add no cash or booze.


Click on the link to read The Importance of a Second Chance

Click on the link to read I Also Had a Student Hold a Toy Gun to my Face

Click on the link to read Who is Going to Stand Up For Bullied Teachers?

Click on the link to read 12 Tips for Managing Time in the Classroom

Click on the link to read If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One

Click on the link to read Different Professions, Same Experiences


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