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Child handing red apple to adult teacher in front of classroom chalkboard

Gift Ideas for Teachers That Will Earn an A+

Here it comes — the end of the school year. Between making summer plans and coordinating your schedule with end-of-year projects and celebrations, you don’t have time to worry about picking the right gift for your child’s teacher.

So, we went to the source — the teachers! — to find out what they really want, and how to make your gift stand apart from the rest.

Gifts that teachers love

  • A handwritten note from your child: Teachers say this is by far their favorite gift to receive. Many will save them and use them as a pick-me-up on bad days. And, they don’t take up much space!
  • Gift cards: We heard this one over and over, and for good reason — who doesn’t love them? Choose gift cards for your teacher’s favorite stores, restaurants or places they can purchase school supplies. Amazon or Apple gift cards are also great for purchasing apps they can use in their classroom.
  • School supplies: Most teachers use their own money to purchase school supplies for their classroom during the year. The supply list they sent home with your child at the beginning of the school year is a good place to start.
  • Nice pens: Sounds simple, but remember, school supplies go fast. Pay attention to what your teacher uses at your parent-teacher conferences and buy them a fresh pack.
  • Charitable donations: Is your teacher passionate about a particular cause? Make a donation in their name to an organization that supports it.

Gifts that teachers say to avoid

  • Knick-knacks: Teachers can only display so many apple-themed or “#1 teacher” decorations, so avoid clichés and items that may cause clutter.
  • Perfumes, lotions, powders, essential oils and hair products: Even candles can be a miss since everyone has their own odor preferences and sensitivities.
  • Fruits, candies or baked goods: Again, not everyone shares the same tastes, and teachers say food gifts often go to waste. Your teacher may also have dietary restrictions or allergies you are unaware of.
  • Clothing: Unless you know your teacher’s exact size and fashion preferences, it’s best to avoid clothing and accessories.
  • Crafty Pinterest ideas: If you found it, it’s very likely someone else has too. While your teacher will appreciate the effort, there’s a limit to how many DIY apple candy jars they can enjoy. Stick to something they can actually put to use.

At the end of the day, teachers appreciate the thought behind every gift. But if you put your time and effort toward picking a gift that is suited to their unique interests and needs, you’ll be sure to get an A+.


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