Teachers are often undervalued and go above and beyond for their students. Teachers deserve all the things. Seriously, all the things. Back to school is a busy time for teachers. They have already spent hours, money, and headaches getting ready for your child to come to school. Back to school gifts for teachers can be just the thing to make your child’s teacher smile. This school year, why not show your appreciation for your teacher with a practical gift? We have put together a list of the best gifts that teachers will love!
Giving teachers what they really want
Teachers love your kids. So, whatever they bring into the classroom, your child’s teacher is going to tell them thank you and appreciate the thought. I have many family members and friends who are teachers and not one of them would complain or roll their eyes at a gift from a student. They love to know that kids (and parents) are thinking of them.
But…teachers are people too. There are only so many homemade crafts, mugs, and candles they can use! Many well-meaning parents have totally missed the mark and left their child’s teacher with things they couldn’t or wouldn’t use. My favorite teacher gifts to give are practical gifts that can help them in the classroom. So, anything you see on this list will be a reflection of that goal. Let’s get started!
1. Gift cards
I’m just going to throw this out. I know that some people don’t love giving gift cards. They think it’s tacky or boring. But, in all of my interactions with teachers that I know, when asked what gifts they prefer to get from students, it’s gift cards.
Which makes sense. The average teacher pours a lot of their own money into their classrooms and students. I believe that gift cards can offset that cost. So, even if you don’t love the idea of giving your child’s teacher a gift card, think of it as helping to offset some of what it costs to fund the classroom.
I personally love giving gift cards to teachers, because all I need is an email address and you can send a digital gift card last minute (if you are like me and forget until the last minute). I also love that teachers get to decide if they want to use that card for their classroom, or as a true gift (i.e. all for themselves!)
2. Stay well gift basket
I’ve been in my kids classrooms and watched the students. Kids are gross. Help your teacher out by gifting them tissues, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer. You can put it together in a nice basket, or simply send a baggie full of items with a thank you card taped to the side. Your child’s teacher will appreciate the help keeping things clean!
If you have a little bit more to spend, you could also include some echinacea, vitamin C, and other items that help boost immunity. These can be lifesavers for teachers during the winter months!
3. School supplies
Whether its glue sticks, dry erase markers, or printer paper, school supplies are always needed! There are so many cute ways to dress up a school supply gift. You can put together a little gift basket or even a cute pencil holder.
Last year my son’s teacher had personalized notes that had his name at the top. It was the perfect thing for parent teacher night when he was writing notes for parents in the middle of the conference. Of course, they were from a previous student! Get your child’s teacher some here!
5. Snack bin snacks for students
Our twins 1st grade teacher was always in need of snacks for her snack bin. Those little first graders just needed a pick me up here or there. It’s hard to teach with hungry kids, so she kept a nice snack bin to share with those who didn’t bring anything from home.
You could put together a nice basket of snacks that are individually wrapped. Just make sure to check with the teacher or school first to see what they allow. I know some schools have very specific rules about food gifts!
Alternately, your child’s teacher may have a prize bin that needs refilling. Pick up something like this set of fidget toys below to help them out!
6. Handmade cards
Do you know what teachers really love? Seeing the creativity and growth of their students. Encourage your child to write or draw a handmade card for their teacher.
Ask any teacher what they need help with, and I’m sure they could hand you a list of ways you could volunteer in their classroom. I know it’s not a physical gift you hand them for back to school, but the promise of support from parents can buoy up our teachers and give them time by taking things off their plate.
Teachers often need help with anything from reading with kids, to class parties, computer lab help, and even cleanup around their classroom.
8. Thank you cards
They receive so many gifts from students a year. One of my kids teachers used to draw their own little cardstock cards to the kids to say thank you for their gifts and I thought it was so sweet. You could do the same, or even just get a nice pack of blank cards so they can write their own personal thank you notes.
Save them a few minutes drawing and pick up a pack of your favorite thank you cards to give to them! I love this cute set of thank you cards from Amazon.
9. Portable power bank
You child’s teacher is on the go all the time. From recess duty, to walking kids to gym, they don’t always have easy access to a plug when their phone is losing power. A portable power bank is a great way to keep them charged up!
10. Yummy treats
There are so many cute ways to package a treat for teachers! And, most could use a nice chocolate bar as a pick me up.
Tips for giving back to school gifts for teachers
- Involve your kids. Get them to draw a picture, make or sign a card. Ask them what they think their teacher would like.
- Check with the school for any gift giving guidelines. Some schools have rules about food gifts, so be sure to check before you give anything edible!
- Don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money. A little bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way! Teachers are often overwhelmed with gifts at the beginning of the year, and a simple gift will be appreciated.
- Remember that teachers don’t always have space. Consumable gifts such as school supplies, gift cards, or treats are a great way to give gifts without burdening your child’s teacher with something to store.
- Give often. Don’t wait for back to school, Christmas, or the end of the year. Check in with your child’s teacher often so that you know them. Support them and their classroom throughout the year.
- Ask them what they need! Some teachers are great at putting out lists and asking for supplies. Other’s aren’t as good at asking for help. If you aren’t sure what your child’s teacher could use, ask them! I like to send my kids teachers a text or email often and offer to pick up any supplies that they might need for their classroom. Do the same! They will be so appreciative that you asked.
I hope this list of practical back to school gifts for teachers has given you some ideas! Remember, the best gift you can give your child’s teacher is a thoughtful one. They will appreciate anything that you put thought into!
Need more back to school ideas? Read: Creating an After School Checklist