Every year around May (teacher appreciation week), I frantically search the web for unique and inexpensive teacher gift ideas. Because my sister is a teacher, I know that they end up with quite the collection of teacher mugs and knick-knacks, and sugary treats. So I try to come up with something unique that teachers can actually use. This May, I found this great article from Allie, a real life kindergarten teacher. She has some great points-some things I knew, and some things I didn’t think about gifts that teachers really want!
Don’t worry if you’ve ever made some of these teacher gift blunders! I sure have! Allie assures us that teachers love each and every gift that they receive, but here are some suggestions for gifts that teachers really want based on her suggestions.
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1) Gift Cards
Gift cards may seem impersonal-but they’re not! If you know the teacher’s interests, choose one that fits. If they are a coffee lover, obviously choose a gift card to a coffee house. If they are a pet lover, a gift card to a pet store. Gift cards to Target, Walmart, or Amazon are always perfect because they can buy something personal for themselves, or something for their classroom. Gift cards to a restaurant are always a great idea (if you know what they like!) for those late nights of conferences. When purchasing a gift card, it’s important to remember that teachers are very busy and they don’t have a lot of time to drive across town to shop. Make sure that the gift card you are purchasing is in close proximity to the school if it’s not to somewhere online.
Over on Allie’s blog post, she has some free printable and great suggestions for packaging gift cards, although they are just fine in an envelope!
2) Themed gift baskets or jars
There are so many teacher gifts in a jar, or themed teacher gift basket ideas out there! You don’t have to go any further than a Pinterest search to find some. Here are a few on my Pinterest board. This blog by Smashed Peas and Carrots has a bunch of cute ones as well! Allie cautions us, though, to make sure that the items are not just cute, that they are functional as well. You don’t want to spend your money on something that won’t get used!
Here are some cute jars from Amazon that would be perfect for a teacher gift!
3) Anything hand made by your kiddo
Teachers love and treasure anything that your child made. It’s thoughtful, sentimental, and free!
4) Supplies for the classroom
Teachers often have to supplement supplies for their classroom out of their own pockets. If this will be a Christmas gift, then it is mid-year, and supplies are typically running low. Supplies don’t have to be packaged cutely as above, all supplies would be greatly appreciated! Supplies might not be the most exciting things to buy, but they are desperately needed by the teachers, and this helps their finances!
Some suggested items are:
5) A Heartfelt Note by You or Your Child
We all know that people tend to reach out when they have something to complain about. That’s all too often the only time a teacher hears from a parent. How about taking a minute to have you or your child express something positive about the teacher. It only takes a few minutes, the only cost is time, and it means so much to our over worked under appreciated teachers!
Thank you notes have almost become a lost art in today’s electronic world. In case you don’t have any thank you cards, here are some cute all-purpose ones from Amazon.
Now that we know some gifts that teachers really do want, here are some suggestions that Allie gives on what not to give teachers.
- Coffee mugs-teachers get about a gazillion coffee mugs a year.
- Candles, lotion, beauty products-because of allergies, and personal preference, it’s best not to buy these gifts for a teacher.
- Apple themed decor-again, this is something that teachers get inundated with, and it’s in most cases not very useful.
- Jewelry or accessories-these are such personal gifts, unless you know the teacher’s taste extremely well, it’s best not to buy these type of gifts.
- Gift baskets of things that aren’t useful-if the things included in a gift basket aren’t practical and useful, they just become clutter. It’s better to stick to things like school or office supplies, or some of the suggestions above.
I hope these suggestions for gifts that teachers really wants help you the next time you purchase a teacher gift!