SimplyHolleyMarie Logo Final1

A Former Teacher’s Guide to Teacher Gifts

A Former Teacher's Guide to Teacher Gifts

Summer is coming and that means summer break for teachers and students!

Teachers everywhere are counting down the days until the last student leaves the building. And let me tell you that countdown helps them get up and keep going in the morning! Teaching is a hard job, it’s a rewarding job but it’s hard.

So I wanted to write about some gift ideas for your child’s sweet teacher (sweet or not they still deserve some thanks). I was a teacher for 8 years. I taught in private schools, title 1 schools, online, and public schools–we moved a lot in 8 years.  And as tokens of thanksgiving from parents and students I’ve received everything from great gift cards, to cute mugs, to used deodorant, to shoes that weren’t meant for me. Let’s just say if mom and dad don’t buy something, kids will grab something from home and gift it to their teacher.

I was always super grateful for anything I received. But I wanted to share with you some of the things I liked most or that I found beneficial.

If your child is in middle school or high and has many teachers you could always just buy several $5 or $10 Starbucks gift cards and maybe something bigger for a teacher your child particularly likes.

Before we get started, contact the room parent and ask if they’ve had the teacher fill out a favorites questionnaire. This can be really helpful as you think of a gift.

Teacher Gift Ideas

Gift cards!

I LOVED receiving gift cards. I think anybody loves getting a gift card but, I particularly loved receiving gift cards at the end of the school year. Gift cards are like a free pass to go shopping or delight in your favorite food or drink.

One of the coolest things I have seen over the years was a teacher gift card tree. If you choose to make one of these you can either do it on your own and buy several different gift cards at whatever price point or you can make it a class effort, having each student send in one or two gift cards (or money) to the parent volunteer.  All you need then is a jar, some shredded color paper, stick, ribbon, hot glue gun, and decorative paper. And just glue the gift cards to the sticks. I found this example on Pinterest.

So cute right?!

Well, even if you don’t do a gift card tree and you gift something else it’s always nice to add a little gift card in, $5 to Starbucks will make a teachers day–I promise!

Teacher Decor

Teacher/Classroom decor is so fun to receive. I loved getting containers to put my materials in, cute little statues, plaques with sayings, wreaths for my door, etc. Etsy has some of the cutest things and you can personalize so many items.

I found this at an Etsy Shop.

And this too! Soo cute!

One of the cutest gifts I received was a clipboard with my last name initial.  I loved this thing and used it often!

Totes, Mugs, & More

Personalized totes are so fun to receive. As a teacher, I was always carrying a teacher bag. I would carry papers, planners, books, school supplies and many more things in this bag to and from work. It was often like a Mary Poppins type of bag. And after a while, the bag would get worn or I’d get tired of it and want a new one. Depending on your price point you could find fun bags all over from Target to Amazon, to Vera Bradley, to Etsy. The bigger the better, the more pockets the better. Teachers like to keep their things organized.

Mugs and water bottles…these are a few of my favorite things! Seriously though, I still have some of the travel mugs I was given in 2010 from students. Personalize them if you can and stick a gift card inside. A perfect gift that will be used over and over again.

Key chain lanyards and badge holders. Most teachers have keys for their classroom and they like to keep them close by. I always kept my keys on my badge which I wore around my neck. Check out places like Vera Bradley, Etsy, and Brighton for some really cute key

Top it off!

Top it off with a personal card from your child. I loved receiving a personal card with cute drawings from my students. Those meant so much to me, I actually still have a folder of them. So forget about buying a card from the store (unless you want to write a sweet thank you note yourself, which I recommend) and have your child create a card for their teacher. She/He will cherish it!


  • Get a gift card even if it’s only $5.
  • Make it personal. Teachers usually love having the first initial of their last name on things.
  • Look on Etsy for super personal items and keepsakes.
  • Have your kiddo shop with you, I mean they were with their teacher all year.
  • Write a thank you note along with your child’s homemade card.


  • Don’t forget a gift. Even if you weren’t particularly fond of the teacher he or she still spent all year with your child.
  • Don’t forget the other teachers who worked with your child…the music teacher, PE teacher, etc. They would love $5 gift card or even a note of appreciation.
  • Don’t make homemade cookies and think your child’s teacher will just love them. I mean teachers love some yummy food but really after a whole year of teaching your child you can probably come up with a little something more. And if you do gift them with food give them something else that lasts.

I hope these ideas can help out a little. Teachers are a great gift to our society and are often much under-appreciated so go ahead and make a teachers day. It really doesn’t take much!



Leave a Comment

About Me
Cavaliere FAmily on ship

I'm Holley, I am a wife and mom who loves making each day enjoyable for my family! I'm so glad you are here! I hope you find ways to make your life simple, fun and organized! Enjoy!!!

Stay Updated