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End of Year Teacher Gifts

Image courtesy of Pat138241 & Freedigitalphotos.netImage courtesy of Pat138241 & Freedigitalphotos.netEvery year that goes by is another year of school finished for your child. But how do you thank the teacher who cared for your child each school day? Gift giving to teachers can be exceptionally hard, especially if you want to avoid giving a gift that the other 20 kids will be gifting too! So, we have put together a list of ideas that we collected by going straight to the source – teachers!

Now, before we start it is important to remember one thing, your child has more than one teacher! If possible, try to get a little something for the others as well who are often overlooked - librarian, music, art, choir, religion, first aid (if your child is frequent-flyer there), relief teacher, teacher’s aide, therapists, and any anyone else! It takes a whole team of staff to ensure your child’s education needs are met.

  • Stationery! Teachers love stationery, in fact walking down an aisle of stationery is a piece of heaven. Whilst some teachers can be picky, or would love to go shopping for themselves (just to experience the smell of fresh notepads in the stationery shop), a gift of a notepad, nice marking pen, or stickers and stamps will never go stray! Many teachers also love personalised stationery, whether it is stickers or stamps, or an engraved pen. These presents are useful and will likely be used the following year.
  • Vouchers! A voucher saves the worry of giving an ordinary, repetitive gift as you can never have too many vouchers! Consider one that will give the teacher something to do in their holidays that is relaxing (day spa, movies, massage, restaurant, coffee, nails) or one that will let them purchase something meaningful from a department store (books, new diary, stationery, something personal etc.).

  • Image courtesy of imagerymajestic & freedigitalphotos.netImage courtesy of imagerymajestic & freedigitalphotos.netWine – this is a bit controversial. Nevertheless, it was on the list! And who would really say no to it? Shop wine here!

  • A nice jar – lots of teachers keep treats in their classroom so a nice jar to store these treats in will always help make a classroom look nice, and feel special.

  • Pampering items- whilst hand creams and perfume can be common gifts, other items such as bath bombs, nail polish (if you know the colour they would like), body scrubs will always get used. However, keep in mind that these gifts can be personal and some people have sensitive skin. Also, male teachers don’t really enjoy a can of lynx.

  • A donation in their name. You may buy the teacher a star or purchase a goat for a town by donating to World Vision in their name. The teacher that has everything may really appreciate this!

  • A box of fruit or platter of pastries. You wouldn’t think this would be an amazing gift, but teachers really appreciate this. They can share the pastries in the staff room, or they can take their box of cherries home to share with their family.

  • A personalised frame -  filled with the Teacher’s name and all the things the students love about the teacher / favourite memories of the year

  • A picture book. If the teacher teaches younger grades, you may consider giving a picture book that she can read to her class in later years. Inside the cover you can put a little note from the student.

  • General ‘useful’ items – beach bags, personalised water bottle, make up bag, pencil case

Common gifts that can still bring love

  • Christmas ornament for the tree. This is particularly good if the classroom has a Christmas tree that gets put up each year, but a Christmas ornament will remind the teacher of the student each year as they place it on the tree. Again – personalised is better!

  • Pot plants. Not an ordinary pot plant, but something with meaning or that is in fashion.Think geometric pots and terrariums! Indoor plants are better.

  • Chocolate. Teachers have mixed feelings on this, some love it, others are not a fan. Some teachers reminded us that it usually is melted by the time it gets home and that they diet too and don’t need you tempting them, “30 boxes of chocolates from one class is enough to last me, let alone what I get given in my personal life too”. However, at the end of the day everyone loves chocolate (unless they are allergic, in which case don’t buy it for them – seriously!).

  • Candle. They can be very lovely gifts, however there are only so many that can go in one house, with one teacher admitting “one year I had to re-gift some candles!”


The most appreciated/memorable gifts

Every teacher we spoke to said that they feel special regardless of the gift they received and that there really is no bad present they could think of, but their favourite gifts are the hand-written notes by either the students or parents that genuinely thank the teacher for their effort. Those are the gifts that reinforce the rewarding feeling of making a difference in a child’s life, the reason they got into teaching (let’s face it – we all remember our favourite teacher from school, we just hardly ever told them at the time!).

Other memorable gifts are those that have been chosen by the student themselves, particularly if the child is young. They are often very proud of what they have selected and eagerly watch the teacher open it to see her reaction (some are bursting with so much excitement that they let their lips loose first and tell the teacher before the unwrapping even begins). One teacher said that she often gets amused when a child gives ‘mums old jewellery’ as a gift (and it is not known whether Mum actually knows about this), however was quite impressed when another class collected money together as a whole to give a gift voucher with a fairly big amount.  


image courtesy of paul goody & freedigitalphotos.netimage courtesy of paul goody & freedigitalphotos.netThe ‘im-sorry-my-child-was-really-challenging-this-year-gift’

Don’t feel obliged to buy a bigger, more expensive gift just because your kid was the one that gave the teacher a hard time this year. A card that thanks them and a little gift to say thanks is all they really need. If your child made great improvements with the teacher, let them know what a difference they made.


The new teacher vs. the experienced teacher

The year’s difference in experience can only mean one thing, the experienced teacher of many years has received a lot of Christmas gifts from students and probably has a Christmas tree full of ornaments from students, a cupboard full of #1 teacher mugs, and a classroom full of pot plants! When speaking to more experienced teachers they have opted each time for the more ‘disposable’ gifts – chocolates, vouchers, coffee/tea, stickers to use in class & other stationery items.


Our favourite gift

After talking to quite a few teachers we had one suggested that we couldn’t pass up – Survival Kits! You can really have fun with these. Start off with a basket that can be used in the classroom, put a sign on it, “Mr Brown’s Survival Kit” and fill it! You can include as much or as little as you want and it can be filled with very different things – treats to get the teacher through the day, stationery (of course), coffee vouchers, water bottles, gum, a game for the class to play (teachers love resources too), tea/coffee, sun screen for playground duty, coloured whiteboard markers, a book mark, band aids and hand disinfectant gel, or anything from the above list! You can also make the present extra special by adding a little explanation for each item, for instance if a male teacher you may include beef jerky with a note “thanks for ‘beef’ing up my knowledge”. You can really have fun with this gift and I am sure the teacher will have fun navigating through the box of goodies!


Regardless what you choose, so long as it is accompanied with a genuine, heart-felt note the teacher will love it!