It’s the last week of school! I have so many friends who are teachers or used to be teachers that I decided to ask them what they’d like for a gift from their students. I thought about asking moms, but figured I should just go straight to the source.  After all, it’s what the recipient wants that matters, right?


Here are the top things teachers said they do NOT want.

  • Scented things like lotions and candles.  All gifts are appreciated. However, there are some that get re-gifted to others….lotions and candles. Those are such personal preferences.”
  • Plants, mugs, picture frames, magnets, etc.  you can only take so many lotions, candles, plants, mugs and picture frames.
  • Candy and Sweets A lot of my colleagues are on diets and food isn’t always the right thing, especially sweets.”

What do teachers want?  To sum it up in two words: Gift Cards.  If you know what your child’s teacher likes to do in their spare time than go for a store focused on that.  Not sure?  How about an activity?  And what teacher doesn’t need help buying books or other school supplies?  If you can only spare $5 it is still appreciated.  Or organize the other parents and pool your funds to provide one larger gift from all of you.

Pull out a note card and hand write a thank you note to the teacher.  A personal message thanking them for their efforts is huge.  Have younger kids throw in a drawing or note of their own.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Interests/Hobbies:  Starbucks, Michael’s/Hobby Lobby, Home Depot/Lowe’s (gardening or home improvement projects), Barnes & Noble or Half Price Books, iTunes, sporting goods stores
  • Practical:  Target, Office Depot/Staples, Kroger, Kohl’s, Stein Mart, mall gift cards, TJ Maxx
  • Activities/Outings:  dessert places, movie theaters, spa’s (mani/pedi), restaurants

And a few comments from the teachers:

  • As a teacher, we mostly appreciate gift cards. Even a 5 dollar target or sbux card is great!
  • As a teacher I always appreciate ANY gift, but I too tend to get too much food that isn’t good for my waistline….it is constantly in the teachers lounge too! I love getting a gift card to Barnes and Noble or even an iTunes gift card!
  • We’re always grateful if you think of us. Especially the often forgotten special area teachers. Trust me, as a teacher, if I’m given something, it will get used somehow.
  • The coolest gift I ever received was a gift card to the mall… so it was good in ALL of their stores. The BEST gift? I’m a huge baseball fan, and one year a family got tickets to a game for me. 1st base… field level. Awesome!!
  • Always appreciated gifts for the classroom… Books for our library, toys/puzzles for indoor recess, magazine subscriptions, etc.
  • As a reading teacher, I like getting grade appropriate books to add to my classroom library. I also ask the student to write their name and the year on the inside front cover. When students borrow them the next year, they always notice the signature.
  • The best gift that I ever received was a donation made in my honor to an animal sanctuary.
  • Gift cards are awesome… Or something I can use in my classroom like stickers, books, special markers, stamps and stamp pads.
  • (and my favorite comment): I liked liquor. But people get mad when I suggest that. Also long heartfelt notes were awesome.