Teachers are everyday superheroes! They dedicate so much of their time and effort to helping their students and wider community, and they deserve to be thanked and appreciated on a regular basis. But finding the perfect custom gift for a teacher can be complicated.
When giving a gift to a teacher, remember that personal touches go a long way. By and large, most teachers would choose a handwritten thank you card from a student over a generic gift card. At the same time though, you need to think about etiquette and what makes an appropriate teacher gift. The last thing you want to do is make them feel uncomfortable!
In this article, we’ll share some tips, things to avoid, and specific gift ideas to help you come up with the perfect way to celebrate that special teacher in your life.
Personalized Gifts Teachers Will Cherish
Some teachers receive a lot of gifts over their many years of teaching. If you do decide to give them a gift, you want it to be something they will actually use and appreciate, rather than something they’ll re-gift or throw away. A personalized or customized gift will be cherished by your teacher and show just how much you care.
To personalize a gift, don’t just slap “Mr. M” on a notebook – instead, think about their likes and dislikes and include a personal note, drawing, or some other kind of handmade element to the gift whenever possible. For example, if the gift is for your young child’s teacher, maybe they could create their own hand-drawn and decorated wrapping paper to top it all off.
When it comes to gifts for teachers, it truly is the thought that counts!
10 Hand-Selected Gifts for Teachers
1. Custom Leather Key Fob: These hand-made, leather keychains with brass hardware make a great gift for any teacher. They are made-to-order, come in a wide variety of colors and styles, and can be personalized or customized to show your appreciation.
2. Eco-Friendly Reusable Cutlery Set: Most teachers bring their lunches to school, so a reusable cutlery set is a thoughtful and useful gift idea. Better yet, choose an eco-friendly cutlery set made of bamboo or other sustainable materials.
3. Scented Candle: A luxurious scented candle is a classic gift that will help encourage your teacher to relax and unwind after a long day of work! We love that this thank you candle comes in a ceramic vessel that can be used as a coffee mug when the candle runs out… a gift that keeps on giving!
4. Self-Care Gift Box: Because teachers spend a lot of time thinking about and caring for their students, we love the idea of a wellness gift set that promotes some much-deserved self-care. A gift box or basket filled with wellness-themed items like fragrant incense, a soft Turkish towel, some nice hand lotion, or herbal tea will surely make your teacher feel pampered.
5. Insulated Coffee Mug: Coffee mugs are a classic teacher gift, but some are much nicer and more practical than others. These insulated Yeti mugs will keep your teacher’s beverage of choice piping hot or ice-cold for hours while they teach or grade papers. You can even personalize the mug by choosing your teacher’s favorite color and adding some text, a monogram, or a logo to the exterior.
6. Morning Ritual Gift Set: Instead of just a coffee mug, why not give your teacher a box or basket full of goodies to help them start the day off right? This morning ritual gift box comes with a ceramic mug, a beautiful dish towel, and some sweet treats. It can be customized with either coffee or tea to match your teacher’s preferences.
7. Potted Plant: A bit of greenery in a classroom can go a long way and make the space much more enjoyable for your teacher and fellow students. To make the gift extra special, go the DIY route and make or paint a pot on your own to hold the plant. Making something with your own two hands is a fantastic way to show your appreciation.
8. Office Supplies: Some high-end stationery or office supplies will bring a bit of luxury and style to your teacher’s desk. This office upgrade gift box comes with gold-dipped pencils, a classic notebook, leather coasters, and some goodies to cheer up your teacher during the workday and remind them that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed!
9. Thank You Note: Many teachers say that the gifts they most appreciate receiving are handwritten, heartfelt thank you cards or letters from their students (or students’ parents) – so no matter what you decide to give them as a gift, be sure to top it off with a personal note of gratitude!
10. If you want to tug at your teacher’s heartstrings and make them feel extra special, get your fellow students and/or class parents together and ask them to send you short video clips with personalized thank you messages. Then put them all together to create a video montage. Your teacher will cherish this sentimental gift for years to come!
Gifts for Teachers: Key Considerations
One important thing to keep in mind when selecting a gift for your teacher is that some public school teachers are not allowed to accept certain gifts. Oftentimes, public school teachers cannot accept anything worth more than $50. Even if there isn’t a policy about accepting gifts, be mindful not to go overboard because it can make some teachers feel uncomfortable.
It’s also important to think about equity and the fact that some other families might not be able to afford gifts for their teachers. So be careful about when and how you present your teacher or your child’s teacher with gifts and try not to make a big show of it. Instead of an individual gift, you could collect donations from other students/parents and pool money to buy the teacher a gift that comes from everyone in the class, regardless of whether or not they are able to contribute financially.
Custom Teacher Gifts: Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re shopping for your teacher or your child’s teacher, here are some additional tips and things to avoid:
- Many schools have strict policies that prohibit alcohol on campus - so it’s usually best to steer clear of any alcohol or drinking paraphernalia. Especially if your child is the one delivering the gift!
- When it comes to food, avoid products with allergens and try to choose healthy options. Teachers get a lot of sweets, especially around the holidays, and many of them go to waste.
- Cash can make some teachers feel uncomfortable, and many schools have strict policies against accepting money from students or parents. Gift cards are usually a safe alternative, though they can sometimes feel a bit impersonal.
- Try to avoid excessive or unnecessary waste. Choose consumable products instead of plastic clutter and be as eco-conscious as possible!
- Avoid gifts with religious undertones, especially around the holidays. Christmas ornaments are a common teacher gift, but not all teachers celebrate Christmas and have a tree to hang them on.