Inside: Teachers need to be thanked and reminded we appreciate them. For Teacher Appreciation Week, check out these 22 sweet teacher appreciation gift ideas all teachers will love.
Teaching can be a thankless job.
Most things teachers do go unnoticed and unappreciated by their students and their principals.
It definitely goes unnoticed by the person calculating their salary.
But at the end of the day, teachers are in it for the kids. They want to help our kids thrive and learn and grow.
Because honestly, why else would they still be doing what they’re doing?
So there is one time during the year when it’s our turn—the parents’ turn—to ensure our teachers know how much we really do appreciate them. Value them. Kind of revere them.
Because let’s face it: could you be locked in a room with 25 five-year-olds all day long and live to tell about it?
How about a room full of moody pre-teens for 56 minutes? Most definitely not.
As a former teacher and a current parent of three school-aged children, this is my public service announcement: MAY IS TEACHER APPRECIATION MONTH.
But in case you do miss it, a teacher appreciation gift is very appreciated at any time during the school year.
But what to give them as a thank you?
Know you can always buy a gift card. When in doubt, always buy a gift card. It’s what most teachers really want.
But if you have your heart set on something more personal, or want to add something sweet to the gift card, here are my go-to ideas I’ve used in the past, or plan to use this May.
This list ranges from Martha-Stewart-level-crafty on down to pulling something together the night before.
Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas and Teacher Thank You Present Ideas:
1. Did one teacher teach all of your kids? Create something that includes all of your kids to showcase their years of service.
2. Feeling organized? Send an email to each parent and have them send in one flower from their garden or the store. Stand outside the classroom in the morning and put each of the flowers into a vase for a sweet, but kind of disheveled bouquet.
3. Use their handprint on a potted plant, an apron, a canvas, or a poster board. Cute little phrases like, “Thanks for Helping Us Grow” and “Thanks for the Helping Hand” make most teachers smile.
4. Feeling creative and have lots of patience? Spell out “Thanks” with the kids’ bodies.
5. Not feeling crafty? Did I mention buying a gift card? Craft stores, movies or restaurant cards are all perfect. It really doesn’t matter. A colleague of mine once got a gas card and swore it was the best teacher gift she ever got. And it doesn’t need to break the bank. A $5 gift card so they can go get coffee would be perfect. Put it in a paper to-go cup and write “Thanks a Latte” on it.
6. Buy a gift for the whole class… a new book, an educational game, or craft supplies. Ask the teacher what they could really use in their classroom. My daughter’s first-grade teacher wanted tissue boxes and hand sanitizer because she was tired of catching their colds.
7. Have a class pet? Make a cute sign for the animal’s home to spruce up the cage.
8. Gift them Margaret Wise Brown’s The Important Book and have your child tell you what they think the most important thing about their teacher is. You can create a poem similar to the ones in the book and glue it to the front page. My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher told me she cried when she read it!
9. Have your child draw, dictate or write them a card. Sweet words from students are always appreciated. I still have one from a student who thought I was beautiful because my lipstick was pretty.
10. Find out what your teacher loves…their favorite sweet, favorite color, favorite book genre, favorite hobby, favorite drink. Get them something you know they’ll love. Get this FREE printable and find out what their favorites are!
11. Write them a letter from you and tell them how important they’ve been to your child and to you. It feels good to hear it sometimes.
12. Bring in fresh juice and a bagel and set it on their desk. That will make any teacher’s morning better.
13. Have lots of pictures? Make a collage they can hang in their classroom.
14. Let your child pick something out they think the teacher might like and attach a note explaining why they thought it was the perfect gift. One year I got a bright red mouse-shaped candle glued to a real mousetrap. Looking back, I really would have loved to have heard the story on why that was the right gift for me.
15. Ask them what their favorite morning beverage is and make a coffee run before school. When I handed a teacher her green tea before the morning bell even rang she had this look in her eye that might have been true love.
16. Buy their initial at the craft store and glue on cute clothespins. It’ll be an instant desk organizer or picture holder.
17. Feeling super organized? Send an email to the other parents and have them ask their kids what they love about their teacher. Older kids can email you one adjective that describes their teacher. Collect their responses and write it down on poster board.
18. Glue crayons or pencils onto a frame and stick in a picture of the whole class. Print it from their class website if you need to.
19. You can rarely go wrong with potted plants, flowers from the store, or flowers straight out of your garden with the roots still hanging on. Teachers keep jars in their classes for this purpose.
20. Donate money towards their GoFundMe or Donor’sChoose.org projects. Get them one step closer to their iPad or whiteboard or PE equipment.
21. Bake some cookies and send them in with a note about how sweet they are or how your student is becoming a “Smart Cookie” because of them. Or buy some cookies from the store. A sugar pick-me-up is always appreciated, no matter how it was baked.
22. Bring in a box of donuts for the staff lunchroom with a note about how you “Donut what you’d do without them.” That’s a recess the teachers will especially look forward to.
The bottom line is, you can’t go wrong when you’re thanking a teacher.
This is the time to show them how much you appreciate how hard they’re working to teach your kids.
And it really truly is the thought that counts when you thank a teacher. Unless you’re buying them a bright red mouse candle attached to a real mousetrap.
Then, they might also need a cookie.