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Teacher Gifts That They Really Want

With Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10, and the end of the school year right on its heels, it’s time to find ways to say thanks to these amazing individuals who give of their time, their talents — and often their own funds — to make a profound impact on our kids’ lives. How can we give them something commiserate to what they mean to our kids and to us? We’ve got your answers! We’ve conducted a purely scientific survey (in other words, we asked on Facebook) to bring you this guide of what teachers really want… or need… or both. 

Gift Cards
By far, the most popular teacher request is for gift cards. “Unless you know the teacher well enough to be able to get them something personal or meaningful, I’d go with gift cards,” Tonya said.

According to a guide at weareteachers.com, Amazon is preferred by 57% of teachers. “I can get anything I need for my office there, from office supplies to fidgets,” guidance counselor Brenda said. 

Other popular general stores are Target or WalMart, or Visa cards, which give the teacher so many options. A teacher supply store Lakeshore Learning, or a bookstore like Barnes & Noble are more possibilities.

Restaurant gift cards give teachers a break on those nights they don’t want to go home and deal with dinner. Or if you know there’s a place they frequent — like Starbucks, Sonic, or another coffee shop — give them a gift card for there.

Handwritten Notes
“Teachers don’t do it for the income. They do it for the outcome.” Despite the tongue-in-cheekiness of the quote, there’s truth in the sentiment. Handwritten notes were the second most often mentioned gift, both by our teachers and on the weareteachers.com list.

College professor Stephanie said, “I had someone write me a note and hand me a flower once, and I about wept.”

“I am a words of affirmation gal, so I love a handwritten note and/or picture of the student and me,” said middle school teacher Brittni. “I love a parent email to my principal thanking me.”

Snacks or Sips
If the teacher filled out a favorites sheet at the beginning of the year (or if your kid knows) it’ll be easy to put together a basket of their favorite candys, snacks, or drinks whether it be Jolly Ranchers, Godiva chocolates, espresso pods
or K-cups. 

Classroom Gifts
Stock their classroom with what the kids clean them out of each week — pencils, erasers, and notebook paper, Chris said. 

Or become the teacher’s hero and gift them their own personal laminator, such as the Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator with Never Jam technology. A label maker, such as one from Brother that can print from a computer, will also bring order to their classroom.

Search Etsy for personalized stationery, stamps to put their names in their books, or personalized tote bags. Select a Fujifilm Instax Mini camera, a tiny fridge for a six-pack, or a live plant to jazz up a classroom. 

Unique-to-the-Teacher Gifts
The more you know the teacher, the more personal your gift may be. Whether it be big earrings, a favorite art print, or something bacon-related, you can give a memorable gift that’s unique to that one teacher. “An old poetry book from an antique store is among the best gifts I’ve ever gotten,” Beth said.

And Please, No Mugs

Although teachers are sure to appreciate any gift, too many mugs means they will probably get donated. So shy away from the mugs, the cups, and maybe the soap collections – unless you know the teacher will love and appreciate them.

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