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10 Awesome End of Year Teacher Gifts

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It’s the end of the school year, tests have been completed, and your kids are a year wiser thanks to their hard-working, often under-appreciated teacher. Feeling generous? Here are some ideas for gifts to show your thanks.

Things to help for the following school year:

  • Classroom supplies: Teachers tend to use their own money, much of which doesn’t get refunded, to buy things like binders, notebooks, two pocket folders, pencils, colored construction paper, reams of copy paper, Kleenex, and hand sanitizer. Donating some, or even just one, of these items will help her prepare for next year.
  • Age appropriate children’s books: New teachers who are still trying to build their classroom library especially appreciate this gift. Add a nice touch by writing on the inside cover why you, an adult, still love or appreciate reading today, so kids will be encouraged to read as well.

Crafty gifts/sweet sentiment:

  • Cute painted flowerpot that says, “Thanks for helping us grow!” Inside, you can include seeds of your favorite flower (Forget-Me-Nots are a great option for this idea), a ruler, or flower pens like these:
flower pen teacher gift
  • Book written by the student. One of my second graders loved to draw, so her mom helped her create a little book for me. She used the writing skills we had worked on all year to create her own little story about us, what she loved learning, and then drew some cute pictures. I now read this book to my kids and love it more and more each time.
  • A good, old-fashioned drawing the student does of their favorite part of the school year. Believe it or not, but teachers tend to keep most of the drawings their students create for them!
  • Chill pills: How cute is this idea from Cook. Craft. Love. to make a candy jar with the attached reminder to take a breath when things get overwhelming (which is almost daily for teachers)! Your intended teacher will keep this on her precious and limited desk space for years to come:
chill pills teacher gift

No time? Fast gifts:

  • Gift cards: Many people think gift cards are a thoughtless, last minute gift but I say, not so! It has become an expectation for teachers to spend much of their own tiny paycheck for their job, so a gift card to places like Wal-mart, Home Depot or Office Max help replace some of that. I always loved getting gift cards to restaurants or the movies so my husband and I could have a financially stress free date night!
    • You don’t need to dress up the gift card in any way; just handing it to her will make her day. But if you’d like to add a catchy phrase, here are some ideas:
      • “Thanks for keeping me on Target”
      • “An App(le) for my teacher” (Apple store)
      • “It’s been a treat being in your class” (DQ or Baskin Robbins)
      • “Thanks a latte for all you do” (Starbucks)
      • “Teachers come In-N-Out of our lives but stay in our hearts forever”
      • “Thanks for making me feel like a star” (Cinemax or Fandango)
Target gift-card- teacher gift
  • An email of thanks: After my first year of teaching, a parent emailed me, thanking me for specific things she saw that I helped her daughter with. She took the time out of her busy day to describe how my teaching was going to impact her daughter’s life. It made me cry tears of joy! I printed this email and put it in my teaching keepsakes.
  • A card: If you want to do a little more than just an email, a simple card, even with nothing in it but a few kind words of thanks, goes a long way. It shows you acknowledge all the hard work your kid’s teacher put in to shaping his life. Sometimes, all we teachers need is to be shown someone saw what we were trying to do!

Other Teacher Gift Ideas:

  • Home cooked meal: I loathe cooking, especially after a long day of teaching, then trainings and meetings after school, then all the normal next-day prep that’s necessary. A few times, parents have surprised me with a home cooked meal and I kid you not—I almost cry and kiss each mom who does. The relief of not having to worry about one more thing! This meal doesn’t have to be fancy, and doesn’t even have to be home cooked. Heck, a Little Caesar’s pizza still gets the point across that you were thinking of her and wanted to help out.

Take it from a former teacher: when you take just a few moments to show your child’s teacher gratitude for all her hard work, she’s rejuvenated and very, very grateful. Of course, a gift of any kind is not expected, but if you do want to do something, rest assured—she will remember your kindness for years to come.

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