Inside: Need holiday gifts for teachers? Choose a holiday present for your child’s teacher from this teacher-approved list of ideas teachers will love to receive.
As a teacher, we never expected holiday gifts from our students.
But on the last day of school in December, most of my students came in carrying goodies and baskets and small gifts for me.
Over the years, I mostly got lotion baskets, coffee mugs, and chocolates. And when it comes to gifts from my students–especially my students at my low-income school–I can honestly say, it really is the thought that counts.
My craziest holiday gift was a bright red mouse candle hot glued to a real mousetrap. I can honestly say I didn’t see that gift coming.
Now that my kids are in school and send in holiday gifts to their teachers, we needed a better plan than lotion, coffee mugs, and mouse candles.
I want to give my kids’ teachers a gift they’ll really enjoy and something they really want so they don’t end up with their 98th coffee mug from my kid.
And especially these days with social distancing, Zooming and quarantining to stay safe, our teachers need all the love and appreciation we can give them.
Best Holiday Gifts for Teachers
1. A Thoughtful Holiday Card
Since it really is the thought that counts, your child can hand make a card or drawing and explain why their teacher means so much to them.
Teachers don’t need a gift. But teachers really do love a token of some kind to know they were thought of…and a homemade card is perfect!
You can ask your child questions to help them write or dictate for you to write their answer:
- Why do you love your teacher?
- What does your teacher do to make you feel special?
- Why are you so glad they’re you’re teacher?
- What do you do in your class every day that makes you love school?
I often also write a note or card to my kids’ teachers thanking them for everything they do, giving specific reasons why I’m so grateful they’re the ones teaching my child, and wishing them a much deserved and restful break.
2. ASK them what they like so you KNOW what to get them
Just like no two people are alike, no two teachers are alike. But with a heavy degree of certainly, teachers love gift certificates. But figuring out which gift certificate they would love the most takes a quick ask.
We use this Teacher Questionaire to see what our kids’ teachers really like so when it comes time for holiday presents and Teacher Appreciation Gifts and End of the Year Gifts, we know exactly what they like most. (You can get download it at the bottom).
This way, you know exactly what gift card would be especially appreciated by them.
One teacher may love to get a Starbucks gift card to feed their caffeine addiction but another teacher (like my daughter’s current 4th grade teacher) never touches the stuff.
Because I love Starbucks and most teachers love Starbucks, that would easily be my go-to teacher gift. But I now know to get my daughter’s teacher something else this December…because I asked.
Don’t have time to ask? Stick with Amazon or Target where they can get anything they need. I once got a gas card from a student and it was so nice to fill up my gas tank for “free.”
3. Gift them something for their Classroom this December
Teachers spend their own money on their classrooms: curriculum, art supplies, books, flexible seating.
So a gift they can use for their classroom is one less thing they have to buy themselves.
Many teachers have digital wish lists, Go Fund Me Pages, or Donors Choose page.
They may also have a wish list on Teachers Pay Teachers and want a gift card to purchase new curriculum.
4. Surprise them With Their Favorite Drink in December
The days in December are long and crazy for educators.
We have holiday shows to practice for, and crafts to make, and parent gifts to make and we have to actually teach and keep our students’ attention even though they’re thinking about wish lists and Santa and winter break.
Showing up to school with their favorite drink in hand to get them through the day would be a huge gift.
Use our drink order to ask them what they want. Over the years, we’ve brought McDonald’s Diet Cokes, hot tea, cold sparkling water, and Cloud Machiattos with two pumps of sugar-free carmel.
Find out what drink would really excite your child’s teacher with our Drink Order and then send in a drink whenever you have extra time.
The last week of school in December would be a great way to say “Thank you for everything you do, you’re almost to Winter Break, I know it’s crazy, I know the kids are bouncing off the walls, I appreciate you, You’re amazing.”
5. Give or Make Sentimental Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Sweet, thoughtful sentimental gifts are always great as December gifts for teachers.
We have given thoughtful books with poems, signs, and artwork for their classroom.
6. Go Shopping For Them
Before School and After School Cups (If you’re going to get them a teacher mug, make it a really good one)
Teacher Earrings Ms. Frizzle would love
Choose Kindness Tshirt to remind their students to be kind often
BONUS: When in Doubt, Give Them a Gift Card
Seriously, have I mentioned giving them a gift card? Teachers LOVE gift cards.
If you don’t have time to run to the store again this December, you can get an online gift card and send it to them in minutes.
If you don’t have time to ask them what they want, you can always do Amazon (You’re an Amaz’on Teacher) or Target (You help us stay right on Target) or even a gas card like my student gifted me years ago (You fuel up our minds, fuel up your car on us!)
Because a gift card will always be put to better use than another coffee mug, a basket of lotion or a bright red mouse candle attached to a mousetrap.