The Best Gifts for Teachers Approved by Teachers

Everyone loves teachers. They are such special people and have the most important jobs of shaping the next generation. To choose to be a teacher with all that’s going on right now just says so much about these wonderful human beings. They give so much and care so much, and make a huge difference in our children’s lives. So it’s only natural that you’d want to give your favorite teacher a thoughtful gift to show them how grateful you are and how much you appreciate them.

I asked the teachers who follow me to share their favorite (and least favorite) gifts, and heard from over 50 teachers on what they do and do not want. And then I took it a step further and went over my gift guide with a few of them to come up with a list of the best gifts that teachers actually want. The biggest thank you to these teachers who helped approve this gift guide. Because while I had some ideas, I wanted to make sure these gifts for teachers were teacher-approved. See more ideas in my shop.


The Best Gifts for Teachers Approved by Teachers


A teacher’s work never seems to end. From spending a long day with kids to coming up with lessons plans, it is a job that takes so much time and energy. Gifts are a wonderful way to say thank you to the people who teach our children. If a gift isn’t in your budget this year, a hand-written note is very much appreciated. Teachers love them! If you’re looking to get your child’s teacher a gift for the holidays, teacher appreciation week, or end-of-year teacher gifts, I came up with a list of the best teacher gifts. And they’re approved by teachers! I ended up removing a few items I had on my original list because no one (and I mean no one) wants a mug. Not even a travel mug.

 As the mom of a grade-schooler, I have a whole new appreciation for teachers now. We were so lucky to have the best kindergarten teacher. I was excited to do something for her for the holidays, and for the end of the school year, too. We even brought her flowers for teacher appreciation day.

I’ve put together a list of teacher gift ideas that you can buy from various Etsy shops, Amazon, or Target. 


What Teachers Want

I polled my Instagram followers, and asked teachers to weigh in on what they do and don’t want. The two most-loved gifts did not surprise me. In fact, they were exactly what I expected they’d be. The perfect gift is a thoughtful note or drawing, and cash or a gift card. A gift card is a useful gift since they can use it to buy whatever they want. The top gift card requests were for an amazon gift card, target gift card, or Starbucks gift card for the coffee lovers. Amazon, Target, and Starbucks seem to be the favorite among teachers. Visa gift cards are the least-favorite and hardest to use.

A spa gift card came in right after those, but I did not include that since I’d recommend finding a local spa near you. They don’t mind a gift as long as that gift isn’t a mug. They feel this way about all mugs, including travel mugs.

The perfect gift is a thoughtful note or drawing, and cash or a gift card.

It is often the case that teachers use their own money for school supplies, so gift cards can come in especially handy if that’s the case. Now, some people struggle giving a gift-card as a gift and want to give a small token with said gift card. If that’s you, this is a teacher-approved list of things to include with a gift card. 


What Teacher’s Don’t Want

While teachers love gift cards, it seems that Visa gift cards happen to be their least-favorite type of gift card. Teachers do not want hand soap, hand cream, candles, baked goods, homemade treats, or mugs. I can’t stress how much they don’t want mugs or soap. These are the most commonly gifted teacher appreciation gifts, and they usually end up getting rid of them. Most food gifts get thrown away. And I mean, really, how many world’s best teacher mugs can one person own? 


Consider an Experience Gift Card

I gave my daughter’s kindergarten teacher a gift card to my favorite local nail salon. I know that she lives close by, and I put enough on the card for a foot massage, manicure, and pedicure. An experience gift is always nice, because it’s an opportunity to relax or treat yourself to nails, a massage, or even a nice dinner. 



Gift Card

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This sweatshirt is so cute. Everyone loves a sweatshirt, so it's a practical gift, and the fact that it can be monogrammed adds a personal touch.
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Personalized Stationery

Stationery is always good to have, and I always love a personalized gift.
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Williams Sonoma

Pastry Sampler

Most of the teachers I heard from don't want homemade treats, and get too many sweets. But this pastry sampler offers some breakfast treats which seems to be a bit of a loophole, and they come frozen which seems like a better option as far as food goes.
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Electric Kettle

An electric kettle is great for the teacher who loves a cup of hot tea at school.
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Costa Farms

ZZ Plant

ZZ plants are wonderful because they are nearly impossible to kill.
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LL Bean

Monogrammed Tote Bag

This is one of my favorite tote bags, and I love that it can be monogrammed with your favorite teacher's name. It comes in a handful of different colors, and is a great gift.
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Paper Mate

Gel Pens

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Ok, so I know I said no mugs, but this isn't a mug. It's a tumbler, and if I were a teacher, I'd probably regularly leave mine at school, so having an extra one seems like a great idea.
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Sentimental Gifts

Sentimental gifts reflect the appreciation and impact a teacher has had on their students’ lives. These gifts often carry emotional value and are cherished for years to come.

Handwritten Notes:

Handwritten notes and cards from children are always treasured by the people who love them. A heartfelt letter from a student or a group of students expressing gratitude and sharing specific ways the teacher has made a difference can be incredibly meaningful. I was sure to let my daughter’s teacher know how much we appreciate her and all she does for her class. 

Student Artwork:

Artwork created by students, especially if it captures memories or inside jokes from the classroom, can touch a teacher’s heart. I think it’s so sweet and important to get our kids involved when it comes to appreciating teachers. 


A framed class photo or a collage of memorable moments throughout the school year serves as a reminder of the positive impact a teacher has had on their students.

Memory Book:

A scrapbook or memory book filled with messages, photos, and anecdotes from current and former students can be a touching tribute.

Personalized Gifts:

Items like a tote bag or piece of jewelry engraved with the teacher’s name or a meaningful message show thoughtful consideration.


When selecting a gift for a teacher, it’s important to consider school policies regarding gifts, as some schools may have guidelines in place to ensure fairness and avoid conflicts of interest. Additionally, gifts should be appropriate and respectful, reflecting the professional relationship between teacher and student.

Gifts for teachers should be thoughtful, respectful, and reflective of the teacher’s contributions to their students’ lives. Whether practical, sentimental, experiential, or a group effort, the best gifts are those that demonstrate genuine appreciation and recognition for the hard work and dedication teachers invest in their students’ education and development. By choosing gifts that align with a teacher’s interests and needs, students and parents can convey gratitude in a meaningful and impactful way.




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