As a mother of five school aged children, I am often stumped as to what sort of gifts to give teachers during the holiday season. While my children are with their teachers for most of the week days, we really don’t get to know them well enough to know what they would like as a gift. I usually try to give something somewhat generic that everyone would like, as well as inexpensive so that I’m not breaking the bank buying gifts for everyone. If you’re trying to figure out what to buy your child’s teacher, check out some of my suggestions below!
Top 5 Gift Ideas for Teachers
1. Gift cards
You can’t go wrong with a gift card! It’s no secret that teachers aren’t the highest paid professionals out there, and often spend a good bit of their personal money on supplies for the classroom. A simple $5 or $10 card to Starbucks, Target, or a local school supply would be a great gift for any teacher. Even better would be a Visa or Mastercard card that could be used anywhere! I know some people feel like gift cards are impersonal, but you could always add in a handwritten note thanking them for all they do.
Who doesn’t like indulging in a sweet treat? A small bag of chocolates or a mug with hot cocoa mix are both easy, inexpensive gifts. If you’d like to step it up a notch, you could give them something a little more “gourmet” like these handmade wine spreads from Saucy. Your local sweets shop or bakery would also have several yummy items that would make great presents. The gift of food is something that the recipient can share with their family as well.
3. Personalized items
Personalized items like notepads and pens are things that every teacher can use. You can easily order them online from sites like Vistaprint, and customize them with your child’s teacher’s name. You could also opt for something like a monogrammed coffee mug, and fill it with candies or tea bags, giving them something they can enjoy now as well as for years to come.
4. Handmade items
One of my favorite gifts we have given in the past was for a teacher two years ago that was getting married. I printed out a simple wedding cake outline on cardstock and each of the children in the class colored and decorated their own cake. We then cut them out and attached them all together (like a honeycomb centerpiece) to make a standup cake that could sit on her desk. Another great option is to have each of the children draw a picture or write something telling their favorite things about their teacher, and have them all put together into a book. A simple comb binding could be done at an office supply store, or you could scan them in and use an online service like Shutterfly to have them printed into a hardcover book.
5. Handwritten note
If you are really on a tight budget and can’t afford to give a gift to your child’s teacher this year, consider giving them a card with a handwritten note inside, telling them thank you for how much work they do every day. If they have really made a difference in your child’s life, let them know. Teaching can be a hard (and often, thankless) job, and they’ll really appreciate hearing from you how much you appreciate them. Be sure to have your child write their own little note to include as well.
If you have a room parent that is coordinating a gift from the class, they may ask for a small cash contribution and then use that to buy one large gift like a gift card to the teacher’s favorite store or restaurant. Before spending time putting together your own gift, check with the room parent and see if they already have something planned for the whole class.
Barbara from Atlanta’s Frugal Mom said: “What I always liked and treasured best was the personal gifts. As a spec Ed teacher, it meant the world to me to get a “thank you” note from both the child and parents one year from a particular child, especially since she struggled so with the act of writing. As tempting as it may be, I advise steering away from “teachery” nik-naks. I can’t tell you how many apple-related paraphernalia I have!” Make sure to check out the rest of MY frugal teacher gift ideas.
Lindsey from Redhead Baby Mama had this to say: “Personalized notepads are awesome, I once got a travel coffee mug with my initial embroidered on the inside. I still use it! Otherwise, giftcards, or a handwritten note go a long way!”
Miranda from Not Super…Just Mom wrote about teacher gifts on a budget earlier this year, and this really says it all: “When I’m wondering why in the world I got into this profession, I open my “Bad Day box” and read those notes and cards. I remember the students who’ve said “Hey, you know? You made a difference.” I remember that moment and that student and I know that I don’t suck at this. Someone out there thinks I’m doing a good job. And then I find a little well of renewed strength to make it through the day or week or grading period.”
No matter what you choose, don’t forget to think about the other teachers that your children has, such as enrichment instructors like art, music, speech, etc. Often those teachers are overlooked around the holidays, but they would appreciate a special gift as well! We typically give a larger gift to their main teacher, and smaller gifts for the other teachers.
What do you give your child’s teacher for the holidays? Are you a teacher yourself, and if so, what is the best gift you have received from your students in the past? Share in the comments below!
*This post is Tiffany’s top five teacher gift ideas. Check out mine here:Keep on saving! :o)
**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**