Looking for clever teacher gifts and ideas? You’re not alone.
Every year readers write to ask the a variation on the same question about clever teacher gifts.
What are some inexpensive gifts for preschool teachers?
How should I handle middle school teacher gifts?
What are the best gifts for high school teachers?
Do you have ideas on gifts for elementary school teachers?
What are some teacher appreciation day or teacher appreciation week gift ideas?
Basically, all these parents want to know is what they should buy a teacher.
When people ask questions about clever teacher gift ideas
These teacher gift questions happen three times a year.
- I get asked about the top 10 teacher gifts right before the December holidays.
- In May you’ve got Teacher Appreciation Day and Teacher Appreciation Week. FYI, if you’re asking, “When is teacher appreciation week?” in 2021 it is May 3 through May 7. Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday May 4.
- Then in May or June, I get asked about end of school year teacher gifts.
Parents want to know the etiquette of giving teachers gifts (do I give or do I not give?). They also want to know appropriate gifts for teachers, what are good gifts to choose, and how much they should spend.
Tips for clever teacher gift ideas
To make my advice easier to follow, I’ve broken out tips based on the “level” of school your child attends. Read on for my ideas on what to give your favorite educator this year for the holidays, Teacher Appreciation Day or for the end of the school year.
Teacher Holiday Gift Ideas for 2021
Not surprisingly, the 2020-2021 school year is presenting a unique challenge. This is true with buying teacher gifts.
One, many teachers are teaching virtually. Two, students are learning remotely. Three, because not being in a classroom together makes it harder to deliver a teacher holiday gift, I’m going to add gift ideas that are exclusive to this year only.
It’s the same with teacher appreciation day or week gifts. If you’re only seeing your teacher from quarantine, how can you get them their teacher gifts? Don’t worry–I’ve got some great ideas.
Also, I’m keeping advice from the before times. Because this is a perennially popular blog post, my hope is that we will soon go back to education like in the before times. And then my original teacher gift ideas will once again be easy to buy and deliver.
Inexpensive Gifts for Preschool Teachers
Most nursery or preschool teachers spend a lot of time in the classroom or out on a playground, using their hands. It’s true with teachers at daycare, too. Whether it’s pushing kids on the swings or washing out paintbrushes, these teachers deserve a gift of pampering.
When you’re thinking about inexpensive gifts for preschool teachers or teacher gifts for daycare, why not think about a gift card for a manicure, pedicure or massage? You can make this an inexpensive class gift for your child’s teacher by asking parents to give a small amount. The more people who can contribute, the bigger the gift you can give.
Buying pampering gifts on Etsy
Because going for a massage, pedicure or manicure in person may be difficult this year, why not buy and ship a pampering gift to your teacher? You can always mail it to the school’s address.
You can find lots of homemade and unique teacher holiday gift ideas on Etsy. Plus, by shopping on Etsy, you’re supporting small business owners.
Teacher Gift Ideas Amazon
If you’d rather send your teacher something tangible from Amazon, there are plenty of pampering and other kinds of handmade gifts on Amazon as well. Yes, that’s right–Amazon has a marketplace for crafters, too.
Gifts for Elementary School Teachers
Since I’ve run into my children’s teachers at the local java joint on school mornings, it dawned on me that a coffee gift card to help them with their morning Joe just might be the perfect teacher gift idea. With many people getting food delivered these days, a gift card for a local restaurant that delivers or a food delivery service might also make for a great teacher gift idea.
The gift of games for the classroom
Another clever gift idea for an elementary school teacher? A board game for the classroom. This is assuming that the class is meeting in person.
My daughters favorite when they were little was Connect 4. If you give the gift of games for the clasroom, this gives the kids something new to play with during indoor recess. When my daughters were in elementary school, I know that their teachers always appreciated a new box of board games or puzzles.
Don’t forget staff and specials teachers
FYI, when my kids were in elementary school, I gave a gift to the primary classroom teacher. In addition, I gave school staff appreciation gifts. That would be for student teachers, classroom assistants and other staff in the school.
Also, I always gifted the specials’ teachers. I figured not many parents remembered those educators who are an integral part of your child’s school experience as well. Maybe it’s because my mother was a physical education teacher and my father a music teacher that I remembered little gifts for these teachers.
Middle School Teacher Gifts
Once again gift cards can come in handy as a teacher gift. Wondering how much to spend on teacher gift cards? Even if you can only afford $5 or $10 each, that’s enough.
Darden is the parent company of many restaurant brands you know. This includes Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Yard House. This year you can choose contactless gift giving with Darden E-Gift Cards. This way you can buy them online and email them to the teacher/recipient.
Check out gift card marketplaces
You can also try buying gift cards on one of those marketplaces. These are the online stores that have legit gift cards at a discount.
Raise is a legit way to buy gift cards at a discount. Use code RAISE75AF to save $5 on $75 worth of gift cards–first purchase only.
Best Gifts for High School Teachers
One of the best gifts I could give my daughters’ high school teachers was a way to give back.
In our school district there is an education fund that allows you to make a donation in the teachers’ names. The teachers are notified of your donation. Then, they are able to apply for a grant to use this money to somehow better their classroom or their students’ educational experience.
It’s one of those perfect little gifts for teachers that doesn’t cost a lot but can make a huge impact.
If your school district doesn’t have a foundation, then many of the middle school teacher gifts work for high school teachers, too. So think restaurant gift cards or some of the pampering gifts I found on Etsy or Amazon.
Gift card for an online stylist
A well-dressed high school teacher might enjoy the gift of a personal stylist. An affordable personal online stylist, that is.
Online styling company Stitch Fix gift cards start at $20. You can give Stitch Fix for men’s clothing and women’s clothing. Here’s my review of four popular women’s online styling companies.
Subscription boxes for teachers
Another idea for teachers gifts would be some kind of subscription box. First, you should check out Cratejoy. It’s a subscription box marketplace. I guarantee you’ll find something a teacher will like there.
After that, you may want to check out my blog post on the most popular subscription boxes by state. You may find something specific to your region, in the form of a subscription box, that you can give as a teacher gift.
Teacher Gifts in College
Just kidding–you’re finally off the hook. Now it’s up to your kids (now adults) to figure out how to come up with teacher gifts for their professors!
One More Idea for Clever Teacher Gifts
Still stumped about clever teacher gifts? I know that a handwritten note from your child can go a long way. Have your child tell a teacher how they feel (in a good way) about being in that classroom. That might be the best gift of all that a teacher could receive.
In fact, many teachers tell me that the best gift they can receive from a student is a note from a student.
If you’re a teacher or an educator and I’ve missed any great ideas you’ve given or received, please post a comment below.