What Teachers REALLY Want (Gift Ideas From Teachers Themselves)

Temperatures are rising, the testing stress is over, and spring activities are in full force. That only means one thing…SUMMER is near! One tradition that takes place in most every classroom this time of year, is students gifting something special to their teachers.

If you are looking for ideas on what to gift your child’s teacher beyond the typical coffee mug, lotion, or apple themed item, I polled many teacher friends, and below is a compiled list of what teachers REALLY want. 

Consider Group Gifting

Gifts can get expensive, especially if you have multiple children in school. Don’t be afraid to organize a group gift from the entire class, a smaller group of students, or just from your child and their bestie.

Gift Cards

Teacher Gift IdeasWe all know the devastating state of education in our country these days that continuously forces school districts to cut funds left and right. Teachers are sadly spending more of their own personal income on items to be used in their classrooms each year. No matter the amount of money you choose to spend on a gift card, teachers truly appreciate it more than you know!

Gift Cards for “Pampering”

These are intended for the teacher to take a break from teaching and pamper herself. Pampering gift cards could be for coffee shops, popular restaurants, a shopping mall, a book store, a salon for mani/pedi, ice cream shops, home goods stores, a movie theatre, or even a liquor store. *gasp*

Gift Cards for “The Classroom”

These are intended for a teacher to use when purchasing any items for use at school. Classroom gift cards could be for Walmart, Target, local school supply stores, book stores, craft stores, or home development stores…just to name a few.

 

Restock Basket

Instead of providing a gift card, your child could help brainstorm ideas to “restock” their classroom with items they know their teacher will use. Dry erase markers, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, crayons, felt tip pens, scissors, and white board cleaner are a great start!

Summer Tote 

Teachers yearn for summer just as much (if not more) than students! A tote full of summer necessities is always a fun way to kickstart their summer! Start with a fun tote and fill it with any of the following: beach towel, flip flops, sunscreen, magazines, books, favorites beverages, sunglasses, iTunes or Amazon gift cards, etc. 

Movie Night Out (or In)

Provide a little box for a night at the movies. You can’t go wrong with a gift containing movie tickets (or Redbox gift card), popcorn, a soda, and candy. Leave it up to them if they wants to get dressed up to go out with the spouse, or stay at home to relax in PJs. 

Home Decor

Various home decor items are always fun. To this day, I still have items in my home with the names of students who gave them to me etched on the bottom. One of my favorites is an adorable wooden pig that is on my son’s dresser in his farm-themed bedroom! 

Plants

If your teacher loves the outdoors, a potted plant for the classroom is always great! Take it a step further to have the students in the class help decorate a pot for the plant as a “time capsule” to leave behind. 

Personalized Items

Anything personalized is both classy and useful. You can’t go wrong with stationary, stamps, or a bag!

Recipe/Memory Book

If there is a parent willing to organize it, one of the most creative gifts I’ve seen is a recipe book filled with a favorite recipe from each student that year! Take this a step further and have them write their favorite memory on the back of the recipe card as an extra surprise!

Autographed Class Portrait

One of my favorite gifts that I ever received was a framed portrait from the entire class. We took an informal pic outside on the playground one day that year. One of the parents had it printed as an 8×10 and placed a matted frame around it. Each kiddo signed it, and they gave it to me on the last day. 

Finally…Handwritten Notes

Not only have I experienced this one, but many teachers that I polled also mentioned handwritten notes. It’s absolutely priceless to a teacher when a student sits down to write something personal, in their own handwriting, from PreK to high school age. Many even keep a giant stack of heartfelt notes from past students. On rough days, don’t be surprised to find a teacher sitting at their desk after school, reading through this giant stack of notes. It’s a great reminder of why teachers choose to be in the profession they are in. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note from your children!

What special gifts have you given to teachers? 

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