Shopping for a teacher can be really hard. You definitely want to show your appreciation for all the hard work that they do all year long, but odds are good that you don’t know them personally. Of course, you know that they love teaching and care about your children, but – unless you already happen to know your child’s teacher socially – you’re unlikely to know much about teachers’ personal lives or interests outside of the classroom.
On top of the guesswork involved in choosing a teacher appreciation gift that matches the teacher’s personality and interests, there’s also the fact that teachers are bombarded with gifts from at least 20 other students – maybe more, depending on the school and the subject they teach.
So what’s a grateful parent to do? Check out our teacher-approved list of gift ideas to show how much you care.
16 Great Gifts for Teachers
Individual Teacher Gift Ideas
One child, one teacher – what could be easier? Get input from your child to see if she knows about any of her teacher’s hobbies or interests, then try these teacher appreciation ideas when you love your child’s classroom teacher and plan to give a personalized, individual gift.
- Thank You Printables: The best teacher gift of all comes straight from your child’s heart, so have your little one complete this cute worksheet with all the reasons she’s thankful for her teacher. Older students can write a note or letter on blank stationery instead.
- Monogrammed Note Cards: Teachers are always sending notes home – including thank you notes for all those holiday and teacher appreciation gifts! A box of personalized stationery is the perfect gift for the well-mannered classroom teacher.
- Colorful Gel Pens: Pens – especially the good ones! – have a habit of disappearing in the school setting. Teachers always need more, and they’ll love a collection of gel pens in fun colors to make grading papers a little more enjoyable.
- Movie Night Gift Box: A gift card to the local movie theater lets your teacher choose how she wants to relax. You can dress this gift up with a cute, printable popcorn box and some candy for added fun.
- Gift Cards: An Amazon gift card is the gold standard of gifts for teachers, since it’s a ticket to buy nearly anything their hearts desire. This gift might not feel creative, but tuck it in with a personalized note of appreciation and it’s guaranteed to be a hit.
- A Massage: Choose a spa near you and grab a gift certificate for teachers to enjoy when the school year really gets crazy. This is an especially great gift when you know your child can be a handful!
- Homemade Bread: If you bake, homemade bread is a fantastic gift that might not even make it home – it’s a wonderful lunchtime treat! Any recipe you love is a great idea, though we think a savory baked good will stand out among all the cookies and candies teachers receive.
Whole Class Teacher Gift Ideas
Getting parents together to pitch in for a teacher gift has lost of advantages. You can pool your resources for a bigger present, and you eliminate the need for your child’s teacher to make multiple trips to cart home a pile of gifts. Try these group gift ideas for teachers to make a big impression.
- Fashion Mall Gift Cards: When everyone chips in, you can give a teacher a big boost to her wardrobe at a favorite retailer or at the mall. If you have a sense of her style or interests, you can tailor the gift for anything from L. L. Bean to Lululemon.
- A Night on the Town: Choose a gift certificate to an extravagant restaurant and make sure there’s plenty of cash to cover drinks, desserts and the tip for two. If you’re really ambitious, you can combine dinner with a show at a local theater as well.
- Subscription Boxes: Somewhere along the line, Grandma’s Cheese of the Month Club got really trendy. Choose a theme that your teacher will love and have parents pitch in for a gift that keeps on giving!
Classroom Gift Ideas
Some schools and municipalities have rules limiting the number of value of gifts that teachers are allowed to receive. If that’s the case at your child’s school, try some of these gift ideas for teachers aimed at making their classroom a better place. Everyone wins!
- Parent Volunteering: Give the gift of time by creating a sign-up for parent support. This can be anything from organizing games at recess to a parent read-aloud. Just be sure to check with your teacher and school to see how your time will best be spent and to stay within any visitation rules.
- Classroom Games: Brighten up a rainy day recess with a collection of new board games and activities that students will love. Oldies but goodies like blocks, Legos and puzzles are also appreciated!
- Classroom Organizers: Most teachers have more materials than space, so consider purchasing some new shelves, organizing bins or even a label maker to kick-start that New Year’s resolution about being more organized.
- Classroom Libraries: A gift basket filled with new books for the classroom library is a great gift for any teacher. This one’s fun for kids to help with, as you can let each child choose a favorite volume to add to the basket.
- A Breakfast Party: Classroom parties aren’t necessarily fun for the teacher, but you can make it so by having parents do all the legwork. Bring healthy breakfast snacks, organize a game, and let the fun begin! Just be sure to stick around for the clean-up as well.
- A Scholarship Fund: If your child’s teacher has a pet project, cause, or just a needy population of students that she’s caring for out of her own pocket, consider starting a fundraising page to help her pay for her passion project. She’ll definitely feel appreciated!