Teacher gift hunting doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Show appreciation for the time teachers spend with your children by keeping it simple, and abiding by one very basic rule.
Did You Know?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that public-school teachers teach an average of 1,001 hours per year at the pre-primary level, 782 hours at the primary level, 694 hours at the lower secondary level and 655 hours at the upper secondary level of education.
In reality, we cannot begin to count the ways a teacher contributes to the betterment of our communities. There’s no way to gauge the actual time spent with each child and the lasting impact a teacher has on their students.
However, we are more than capable of repaying some of that gratitude with thoughtful gestures and gifts throughout the year. Again, there’s never a bad time to give thanks to those who dedicate so much time and energy to our children.
The One Basic Rule (What To Avoid)
Some may already know this, but for those who don’t, it’s really quite simple: do NOT buy gifts for the classroom.
Imagine you’re a teacher being told ‘thank you‘ by a parent with classroom supplies meant for your own child. It smacks of thoughtless and inconsiderate, and communicates that you only really value them as your child’s teacher.
It might come as a shock to some, but yes, teachers are people too. They have lives outside of the classroom and enjoy things other than art supplies and reading material.
Unsure what some of those things could be? Don’t know when it’s OK to give gifts to teachers in your life? There are some better times than others, such as holidays and the end of the year, and we outline the best seven (7) teacher gift ideas to consider.
PRO TIP: Start a teacher wish list with categories (Favorite coffee/wine/etc., entertainment, home goods, random, etc.) for them to fill out. You can share this on your group’s website or social media accounts, or hand out at the next meeting so that parents understand exactly how to buy for the teachers in their lives.
Teacher Gift Ideas (T.E.A.C.H.E.R.)
T.houghtful Homemade Gifts
Better than anything you can buy, a thoughtfully crafted gift by your little ones means the world to a teacher. These are items that they’ll cherish forever, and show more meaning than traditional gifts. By creating your own items, you give them a memory that they can reflect upon and always remember your child. Keep in mind they’ll come across a lot of them over their career, and will appreciate ways to remember individuals that they impacted along the way.
You can take this approach when considering options below, and create a custom gift takes a few of their wishes into consideration. (i.e custom rubber stamp, coffee cup, school tote, wreath or home fixture, etc.)
Movie tickets or a gift card for a “night out” are cool. But imagine getting all of the kids and parents together to pitch in for a concert or experience out on the town. This requires knowledge of events or attractions that they’d like to attend, and quiet coordination with other parents in the classroom.
The best part of a gift like this is that their students can keep a secret, and really make them feel special for an evening.
Obviously not for enjoying on campus or between breaks, a good bottle of wine can be a nice thing to retreat to after a long day in the classroom. It doesn’t have to be expensive. And it doesn’t have to be the best bottle you can find. Just be sure to ask what they like, and try not to overthink it.
Not a wine drinker? Ask them about their favorite beverages or spirits, and build a basket of goodies that they can mix up at home at their leisure.
C.offee (or Tea!)
We’re gonna go out on a limb and say there are likely no teachers that don’t have a morning routine of coffee or tea. These gifts can include gift cards to their favorite cafe, or the supplies to make their own at home. New custom cup with a thoughtful message? Sweet. And it allows them to put whatever they want in their cup.
There are endless options when it comes to teacher gift ideas for their home. Depending on what they need or mention they could benefit from, you can find affordable options in kitchenware (utensils, cups/bowls/plates, cookware, etc.), candles an inscence, clothing (a new scarf or sweater in the winter or some sunglasses for the summer break), hardware (portable tool kits), or even plants (Check out “Air Plants” as alternatives*).
- Phone charge, portable charging station
- Audible membership (audible books)
- USB flash drives
- Pillow massager (portable)
- Smart home device (Echo by Amazon, Google Home)
- Hand sanitizers & lotions
- Chocolate-covered anything (consider allergies*)
- Interactive classes (yoga, painting, cooking, etc.)
- Puzzles or board games (not for the classroom*)
- Fitness & wellness essentials
- Salon etc. (manicure, pedicure, massage)