Teacher Gifts That Don’t Suck

Nov 16, 2015

It’s so hard to come up with good teacher gifts. The last day of school before winter break is drawing near and with it comes that age-old dilemma: What to get your child’s teacher in appreciation of a semester’s worth of service? I went straight to the source for some teacher gift ideas and asked the teachers themselves what type of gift they enjoy getting the most. Perhaps their answers will surprise you…or maybe not? Following is a guide of teacher gifts that don’t suck.

  1. Thank-You’s From the Heart

    Christina Rufenacht, teaches in a high school where teacher gifts aren’t part of the routine. “But the best thing I’ve ever gotten was a handwritten, sincere expression of gratitude from a student,” Rufenacht says. “In fact, I still have that note on my home refrigerator.”

  2. Potted Plants

    Kathleen Moll teaches fourth and fifth grades. She has kept every card a student has given her in appreciation. But, she says, “I also love getting potted plants.”

    Taking home a potted plan will serve as a reminder of how much a teacher is appreciated. Looking at it everyday will warm any teachers’ heart.

  3. Gift Cards

    Many teachers love gift certificates that allow them to purchase products they need or want. “A book you have read and highly recommend would also be a great gift because often the time off represents our only time to indulge in such relaxing activities,” high school teacher Selena Sutherland says. Gift certificates to spas, bookstores, beauty salons, and restaurants are a great way to help your child’s teacher relax.

  4. Educational Materials

    If you happen to know your son’s teachers really well, buying them actual teaching materials that you know they need or want is a possibility. “Each individual teacher’s needs varies per classroom as far as books/maps/toys go,”  however, to avoid giving materials your child’s teacher doesn’t want or have time to incorporate into lessons, don’t be afraid to just ask them what’s on their wish list for next year.

  5. Treasure Box Prizes

    For kindergarten teacher, Ana González, fast food restaurants can be an unusual blessing. Like many other teachers, González keeps a “treasure box” in her classroom. The box is filled with fun, little prizes to reward students for good academic performance or a job well done. But teachers typically have to stock them using their own money.

    “I like for parents to donate items (I ask for gently used happy meal toys and such) for our treasure box,” González says. “I use these trips to the treasure box as positive reinforcement for good behavior and completed work.”

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