Appreciation Gifts Sure to Delight Your Child’s Teachers

It’s only my son’s second year in school and I already know a good teacher can make or break a child’s school year. Often going above and beyond their allocated resources (both time and money) for their students, we naturally want to show our gratitude at the end of the school year with some great appreciation gifts.

So I took to the experts and interviewed several teachers to ask what they really want when it comes to gifts and appreciative gestures. If you read no further let me just say this: yes to gift cards, and please god, no more mugs!

Yes! Appreciation Gifts Teachers Want

teacher smiling at girl and her motherThe number one most requested gift from teachers is… {drum roll} gift cards! Target, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Chik Fil A, or Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards all make great gifts to thank the hardworking teacher in your life. Select a gift card for a restaurant near the school so the teacher can pick up lunch, or add a handwritten note from you or your kiddo to add a personal touch.

Behind gift cards, office or classroom supplies came in a close second. Stationary pens, flair pens, felt tip pens, multicolored Sharpies, dry erase markers or Post It notes are all in-demand items.

If you’re still on the fence – ask! Ask your teacher or someone who knows them well what they like and go from there. Some schools even have Love Lists where teachers have explicitly listed their likes and dislikes so you can get them something you know they will love.

Maybe: Proceed with Caution

A lot of the gray area around teacher appreciation gifts has to do with teacher preference. A Starbucks gift card makes a great gift… if your teacher drinks coffee. A candle might be appreciated… unless your teacher is sensitive to smell. Books, plants, flowers, snacks, sweets, candles, ornaments or anything personalized can make a great gift if you know your teacher well enough to know that it is something they will like or use.

Just Say No

A resounding “hell no” {and other expletives} goes out to mugs. Teachers have too many mugs and will unfortunately just end up donating or giving most of them away. Another “no thank you” for most teachers is chocolates or other sweets. Teachers said they get too many, and often end up throwing most away. In the hot spring and summer months in Texas, chocolate melts before it even gets eaten. While some teachers appreciate snacks, you can leave homemade snacks at home.

Many schools don’t allow teachers to accept wine or other alcoholic beverages on school grounds, so if you have your heart set on a bottle of wine for your teacher, maybe go with a gift card to Total Wine & More instead. Lastly, and I can’t believe I even have to say this, lingerie or gift cards for Victoria’s Secret are not appropriate gifts for teachers. I would even go as far as to say unless you are a guest at their Bachelorette party, lingerie is not an appropriate gift for…anyone.

So, now that you know what your teacher really wants {and doesn’t}, you can run out and grab a few gift cards, have your kiddo write a nice handwritten note, and prepare to spend the rest of the summer remembering how much you appreciate your child’s teachers!

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Sean Watson
Sean was born on a cattle ranch in Colorado and grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She moved to the Texas Hill Country with her parents and siblings after receiving her BA in Psychology from Ripon College in 2010. Starting in Kerrville, and eventually making her way to Fredericksburg, Sean spent the year after college dabbling in both social services and the service industry, never quite finding the right fit, but knowing her passion was in service. While living in Fredericksburg, she also met her future husband, Will, and they both eventually ended up in Austin and started dating a year later. While in Austin, Sean found a passion for the practice of yoga. After her initial 200-hour teacher training with Gioconda Parker, she started teaching in 2012, and less than a year later, it became her full time career. Sean has enjoyed teaching and training both domestically and internationally for almost a decade. Meanwhile, Sean and Will got married in May of 2015 and Will’s job moved them to the Clear Lake area of Houston a few months later. Weeks before their 4 year anniversary, they welcomed son Liam {April 2019}. Sean went from full time to part time yoga teacher and, after March 2020, has been teaching yoga exclusively on the online platform, Patreon. Sean and her family are excited to welcome a second baby boy in January 2022! You can follow her on Instagram @seanellenwatson for adorable family photos, yoga content, and things she thinks are funny.


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