End of the Year Teacher Gifts DO’s and DON’Ts

End of the school year is upon us.  Some schools are already out for the summer.  We still have another three weeks to go.  And I’m going crazy looking for teacher gifts. So I decided to ask some of my teacher friends (and I have quite a few of those) what they would and wouldn’t want to receive as a part of the end-of-the-year-gift.

Let’s start with the DON’Ts.

Mugs

Some of my friends teach 5 different classes of about 25 kids.  Can you imagine how many mugs that is in one year alone? Even if only two of three students give them a mug that’s…  Yah… you can do the math…

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts

Candles

Just like you, teachers too, have their preferences. They may not like the lavender scent YOU like or they may be allergic to a scent. You don’t want to send your child’s teacher to the emergency room on their vacation, do you?

Apple-Themed Knick Knacks

We all know how symbolic an apple is to the teachers. And we think of teachers when we see apple themed notepads, paper weights or book dividers. But there is only so much space they have on their desks and in their classrooms. So enjoy their sight at the store and slowly walk away…

Body and Bath Products 

These are very personal. One person may prefer vanilla scent over citrus or body scrub over lotion.  According to my friends, most of them end up being re-gifted or sadly, they end up expiring and being thrown away. So keep that in mind when shopping for the next gift for your child’s teacher.

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts

Hand Creams 

Similarly to the bath and body products, everyone has their preference. And let’s face it, how often do you use hand creams? How many of them do you go through in a year? It is very likely that your child’s teacher has their preferred brand or scent. So let them choose their own…

Stuffed Animals

Yes, they are adorable and receiving one from a student, especially a very young one, is sooooo sweet. But what is a teacher supposed to do with a stuffed animal? There is only so much space they have in their classroom, and unless they have their own kids who may play with the toy, they will end up in a box, until one day they will be donated to a second hand store. You don’t expect the teacher to display them in their house. Would you? I wouldn’t!

Picture Frames

These may be very nice, but as with anything else, they take space.  Some teachers have walls lined up with picture frames given to them by their students. But creating such a wall and deciding what picture to put in each frame is a lot of work. And even worse – don’t give your child’s teacher a picture frame with your child in it. You may love them to death, and the teacher may enjoy them as well, but that’s a little creepy if you ask me.

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts

Pinterest-Worthy Home-Made Clutter

You read it right. CLUTTER. You may be crafty and you may have spent hours on the crayon covered glass jar to hold the teacher’s pens or that beautifully painted flower pot. But really, would you want to display tens of those all over your workspace or your home? Because let’s face it, you’re not the only crafty mom in that class. And let me remind you, your child’s teacher often has 50 or more students they teach over the school year.

Home Made Treats

This one was hard for me to swallow, as I love making treats for my kids teachers.  But here is my friends’ justification. First of all – allergies.  You never know what allergies the teacher or their family members have. Two – short shelf life. Most of the homemade treats have to be eaten ASAP or they will go bad.  So if the teacher gets several of them, do you expect them all to be eaten? If so, it leads us to the last point – metabolism. These gifts may be great for a young teacher who has no issue inhaling a box of cookies in one sitting, but it is so much harder when you are older or when you are watching your waistline.

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts

Anything Teacher Themed

Teachers spend ten months in the classroom with your children. They are well aware of the profession they chose. They don’t need the “I teach, what’s your superpower” T-shirt or that extra large wine glass with “I teach, what’s your excuse” on it.

So now that we’ve cover what not to get your child’s teacher, let’s get to the good stuff.  Here is a list of things your child’s teacher will most likely really want.

Teacher Gifts They Actually WANT:

Personalized ‘Thank You’ Note

Teachers love receiving personalized ‘Thank You’ notes letting them know how much you appreciated their work. My friend says that some of the best cards she received were written by the students, not the parents. They included examples of specific class events or lessons that your child enjoyed and will remember for a long time. She mentioned things like special projects they did, guest speakers they had, an extension that the teacher gave your child on a project or a book they read in class and your child really liked. Anything that will show that your child appreciated something the teacher did for him / her or the entire class.

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts

A Box of Quality Chocolates

I know, I said no homemade treats, but this is different. They come packaged, so even if there are allergies that your teacher or some of the family members may have, they won’t be exposed to the allergens. Also, their shelf life is much longer. The teacher is not stuck with trying to eat all of them within a week so that they don’t go bad. Instead they can enjoy the treats over the entire summer.

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Gift Cards

You can never go wrong with a gift card. Now, you may say: “my child has a different teacher for most subjects and I have more than one child.  It can get expensive very fast.”  I’ll say, I agree. But according to my teacher friends, it will cost you about $5.00, if not more, to buy them a gift they will never use. So why not give them a gift card for $5.00 instead.  And if they have several classes, those gift cards do add up.

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts

Some of the favourite gift cards include movie passes, bookstores, coffee shops, teacher supply stores, even, iTunes or dollar stores. And yes, there is also that controversial gift card, you know, the one to the liquor store. Believe it or not, after dealing with some students for the whole ten months, teachers would love to see that gift card included with a ‘thank you’ card, more so than any other.

I know that gift giving is not an easy task, but I hope that this little list will help you choose the right gift and to make your child’s teacher really happy!

If you have any other ideas that the teachers in your life received and loved, please share them in the comments. I’m always looking for something unique to give to my kids’ teachers.

 

Stay away from the mugs! Use these ideas for gifts that teachers will actually appreciate and use. End of the Year Teacher Gifts do's and don'ts #mindoverlatte #teachers #education #gifts #teachergifts #endoftheyeargifts


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66 thoughts on “End of the Year Teacher Gifts DO’s and DON’Ts”

  1. Chocolates are great gift for anyone and any occasion . Picture frames can include the picture of their students that can be great gift or some sweet message from their student can be framed too.

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  2. I just love the idea of a picture frame. They’re one thing at our house that we’re always running out of because I have so many special memories that I want to have out and see every day. I bet by the end of a busy school year, your child’s teacher does as well. x

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  3. At the end of the year we have a teacher appreciation week. Each day has a different theme to include plants, snacks, classroom items and colored picture and more ideas. I like this because anything goes. You can buy a plant, bring a flower or color a picture. You don’t need to go broke on the deal and it’s all all-out thoughtfulness. I have donates to the classroom and felt good with that as its not just for the teacher but the kids in years to come also reap the rewards. Throughout the year we also try to appreciate the teacher as well as the bus driver!

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  4. I’m guessing most teachers have shelves full of mugs but it just seems like such a great gift idea. You definitely give some other great ideas!

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  5. Yeah, this is right on the money, especially in regards to the personalized notes. That’s the stuff that is worth keeping!

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  6. Gift cards are a great idea. I never thought about how a teacher may get 10 of the same thing! Keeping it small seems like a good idea. Also, I really think the thank you card is best. Most teachers want to know they made a difference, and a genuine thank you shows them they did. Good ideas and observations!

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  7. I am a former teacher, and I can say that there is not a better gift than receiving a thank you card for no reason at all. I have to point out that we do not have the custom of giving gifts at the end of the year.

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  8. I enjoyed reading your post as this theme is so close to my family! My aunt is a teacher and I have seen so many variants of gifts! 🙂 Your advice is definitely helpful!

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  9. This is a very helpful post for parents for deciding thoughtful gifts for teachers who play a very pivotal role in the life of their kids. Thanks for sharing it!

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  10. You’re giving gifts to teachers in the US? Wow – isn’t that considered bribe in a way? In Europe this is totally uncommon and I’m not even sure if they are entitled to accept gifts from parents.

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    • Yes, in Canada it is customary to give teachers a small gift as a token of appreciation at the end of the school year and sometimes for Christmas (at least in Catholic schools)

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    • I couldn’t agree more. Homemade cards and personal messages are wonderful. I make my kids write one thing that they enjoyed the most in and one positive thing that they will remember for a long time about that teacher or their teaching. 🙂

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  11. What a thoughtful post!! It was so tricky to figure out what to get for my daughter’s amazing Kindergarten teacher. It’s a good thing you mentioned mugs because I remember volunteering at the school and seeing her with a new mug every week, LOL

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  12. Gifts teachers may like: I’d add jewels, a tiffany’s necklace, a mac book air or iPhone 8. 😀
    If this can’t be given, a Virginia Woolf poetries collection could do!

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    • Truth be told, I feel like many of my kids’ teachers most definitely deserve those extravagant gifts, but I’m sure your English teacher would appreciate a nice poetry collection!

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  13. I totally agree with you. As a kid, I used to give my teachers thank you greeting cards most of the times. I used to make very creative cards, so that the teacher remembers that it’s gifted by me. Back then, we have no concept of gift cards. But now I think gift cards are the perfect gift for every occasion when you cannot think of a suitable gift.

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    • A friend of mine, who is a retired teacher, still has many of the handmade thank you cards her students gave her. She is it’s so rewarding to read them once a while…

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  14. Since my daughter is still a toddler I haven’t been faced with the “what to get her teacher” question. I like your suggestions but I would probably make her a small crochet accessory or a home made treat. I get what you are saying but I don’t care about how long they last. They are healthier too.

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    • But on the other hand, she probably feels bad to give those gifts away. It’s like keeping your kids pictures from kindergarten even though they are in high school, because of their sentimental value… they’re useless, but you still keep them…

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  15. I used to be a teacher and I’ve had many gifts over the years. I’ve had students take me out to a restaurant (they were 18 and leaving school, so booked a restaurant for our whole class!). I’ve also been gifted makeup, handbags, scarves, plants, and even fish in their tank! I think like you said, I really loved the cards I was given and the letters they wrote at the end of the year the most. Thanks for a great post!

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  16. Teaching is a noble profession and I have high regard for people of the academe. They mold our children in the right way to reach their dreams. We must, as parents, remind our children to always be respectful to their teachers and to thank them for helping them grow. A Teacher gift at the beginning or end of the school year will show how much we care for them.

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  17. Those ideas are great, and I think the personalised card is the most special one to offer, or any other kind of gift that the all class can colaborate, that would be my choise

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    • Many teachers express similar sentiments. They love gifts that they can use in their classroom with students just as much as those personal noes 🙂

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  18. nice here, always i will have the thank you note in all i can decide to give to them TEACHERS, they do alot and deserve alot from us all. nice list.

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    • I agree. It’s amazing what they put up with over the school year. A thank you note is probably the most personal gift you can give them.

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  19. My daughter always made her teachers a homemade “thank you card ” and I must admit never indulged in buying the teacher a gift. She once brought her teacher a bunch of flowers from our garden which also went down well. Good do’s and don’ts gift guide here..

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    • I love the flower idea. I find that lowers are a more popular gift in Europe. My cousin always comes home with armful full of flowers on the last day of school (in Germany).

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  20. I am a teacher as well but we do not get presents at the end of the school year. I do get presents for Mother`s Day and I always feel bad when I receive something that I am not going to use.

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    • You are so right! The funding seems to be cut more and more and the craft supplies are getting more expensive. I can’t even imagine how much they spend on their classrooms and on interesting and innovative crafts.

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  21. My mum used to be a teacher and I can remember her bringing home piles of presents at the end of every school year. I love the idea of gift cards, who doesn’t love picking something out for themselves and spending them.

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  22. Being a former teacher I do agree with much of this except for the box of quality chocolates. I understand for chocolate lovers why they would want such a thing. But I feel like it’s subject to the individual just like anything else. For all you know they might be allergic. And what’s worse . . is that just like many of these gifts especially the homemade confections, they affect the waist line and you may have already gotten ten other boxes of chocolates along the way. I always did.

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    • That is a very good observation. And that’s why my initial thoughts were to compare it to the home-made goods as well. And I agree that even for the chocolate connoisseur, ten boxes of chocolates may be a bit much 🙂

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  23. My niece has been after my life to take her to the store to buy something for her teacher and the timing of this post couldnt have been better. I especially liked the idea of candles, Pinterest worthy home made clutter and the gift card. Will finalize on one of these!

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  24. I remember my Mum hustling so much to find a perfect gift for my teachers and regardless of the effort or love behind any sort of gift.. there is always something missing if the teachers don’t have a gratifying personality

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    • I can totally relate to your observation. And sometimes, we send a gift just to be polite, even though our kids didn’t really connect with their teacher over the year.

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  25. There is a saying “its the thought that counts” Personally being a former teacher, I think that there is no greater gift than a student that says, “Thank-you I have enjoyed learning from you”. The sense of job satisfaction that comes with a simple “thank-you” is s by far a greater gift, than any consumable thing that you could give.

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    • That’s exactly what I get my kids to write personal thank you notes to their teachers. I honestly think they are worth more than any gift that one can give. I’ve gotten a few notes life that from people I helped out in the past, and I still have some of them. They are more memorable than a box of chocolates.

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