Gift Ideas For Teachers

Lounge By mkolmar Updated 7 Dec 2008 , 5:20pm by mkolmar

mkolmar Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:01am
post #1 of 25

I need gift ideas for elementary and pre-K teachers.
I know not to give a mug because they are loaded down with them. What else do teachers need/ don't need?

24 replies
karateka Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:12am
post #2 of 25

I usually give small gift cards. Our school sells "scrip" where we buy gift cards for stuff from the school, and the school gets a percentage of the sale.

I figure everyone likes to have a gift card for a little treat, either a free starbucks latte or McDonald's breakfast on the way to school, or even a bit off their latest run to Wal-Mart.

navywifetrat Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:22am
post #3 of 25

I make popcorn buckets for them. I usually put a couple packages of microwave popcorn, a few boxes of movie candy, a movie gift certificate and a pizza gift certificate.

I worked at a school for one year and they get enough trinkets, etc. I don't think you can ever go wrong with gift certificates.

jen1977 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:44am
post #4 of 25

I always do cookies...both decorated and assorted drop cookies and put them in a big chinese take out type container. The teachers all love them, and a few times I've been told that they save them to take to parties or family Christmas dinners. My son has the same kindergarten teacher that my older son had, and she is on an insulin pump, but LOVES my sugar cookes. She says they are the only cookies worth raising your blood sugar for! I love that it's something they are supposed to eat so they don't feel like they have to keep it. Gift cards are also a good idea.

JodieF Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:17am
post #5 of 25

I work in an elementary school. You really can't go wrong with gift certificates, even if it's to Wal-Mart! We all buy so much for our classrooms out of our own pockets. If we get gift cards, it helps off set those costs. If there's a teacher store in your area, a gift card from there is wonderful! Believe me, you can only have so many coffee mugs, ornaments and perfume.

Of course, my favorite gifts are the ones the kids make, especially when they write to me! I keep every one of those notes!


charlieinMO Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:43am
post #6 of 25

One year I bought a gift cert. from a teacher supply store then she could go buy what she needed. Last year I bought a plastic storage tote and filled it with approved snacks, clorox wipes, hand sanitizer etc. She seemed to really like it. I had been in her room and she has a tote full of craft stuff like buttons, ribbon, bells and stuff that the kids use for craft projects and it was over flowing so I thought the tote would be handy. Hope that helps some.

Swede-cakes Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:56am
post #7 of 25

Jodie, that is so sweet that you save the notes that the kids give you!

Every year at Christmas time, my kids and I use a big house shaped cookie cutter to make cookies. It's cute with a little chimney on top, and that's where I put a hole in the dough for a tag that I attach later on. I decorate them to the nines to look like a cozy winterscape house with icicles and snowy window panes. Make a 2"x3" card w/ pretty edges and my son writes "To your home from ours ~ Happiest Holidays!" Bag and tie them, and give one to each teacher. (Three kids = 3 teachers and 3 asst. teachers)

At the end of the school year, we give all the teachers Barnes & Noble gift cards so they can grab a book to enjoy once school is out for Summer, and my kids make thank you cards.

Their teachers have loved both of these gifts...and that makes my kids so very happy!

michellenj Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 11:12am
post #8 of 25

I agree that gift certificates are the way to go, especially if you don't know much about the teacher.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 11:23pm
post #9 of 25

I give Cold Stone gift certificates, gourmet pretzels, gourmet apples or chocolate dipped Oreos. Never had any complaints about any of the above.

shanzah67 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 11:25pm
post #10 of 25

Walmart Gift Card is always a winner icon_biggrin.gif

michellenj Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 11:26pm
post #11 of 25

I love to give homemade gifts (i.e. fudge, choc. oreos) but in my old office people used to bring us homemade gifts, and I got creeped out by their cleanliness.

redhare Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 1:08am
post #12 of 25

Thank you for posting this my dd is in preschool this year and since she's my oldest child this will be my first experience w/ teacher gifts. SO THANK YOU for this thread.

Question how much are y'all doing these gift cards out for?
I also heard that teachers in general hate the apple stuff LOL so as tempting as it might be I'm trying to avoid those things.

imagine76 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 1:08am
post #13 of 25

i'm an art teacher so i don't get many (darn those lucky classroom teachers!) but the best ones i've gotten were from a little second grade boy that made me 2 ornaments in cub scouts -you know the pipe cleaner and tri bead ones? he wrapped them himself and everything. i still have the gift tag he wrote with the ornaments and remember him every year. too sweet

tchrmom Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 1:34am
post #14 of 25

All these ideas are great. We LOVE the notes and letters-- from the kids and/or from you. And if you have a teachers who is really wonderful, write her a letter and give a copy to the principal. This is my 19th year teaching, and I still have a picture that one of the students in my first year painted for me. It's hanging in my classroom. She is now a teacher herself.

In this tough economy, no one expects you to do a lot, and no one wants to think that a child or his/her family is going without anything for a gift for us. If you do have the means, the gift certificate ideas are great. If you are a reader, and you know that the teacher is, give him/her a book. Most of the time, it can be exchanged if needed. Definitely, no mugs, ornaments, and knickknacks unless you know the teacher really likes them or it's a first year teacher who doesn't have it all yet. Thank you for bringing this up.

mkolmar Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 4:09am
post #15 of 25

Thanks for the ideas. I was trying to decide if a gift card would be a good idea, glad to hear it is. I found out today that the teachers have a wish list so I took the tags for certain items. I decided to give a book off of the list (I signed up for) and pencils, tissues, anti-bacteria wipes with a gift card.
Money is kind of tight this year for our family, but we always spend more on the teachers. They don't make enough money for the amount of work they do.
On the day school lets out I'll make them either chocolates or cheesecake so they can have it on Christmas, that way they don't have to make dessert.
I did this the last few years and they liked it a lot. I'm sure they will like the gift cards too. Thanks everyone for the input.

funcakes Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 11:20pm
post #16 of 25

Personally I think mkolmar could just print out her post and give it to the teacher! How seldom we teachers hear that sentiment. It's usually oh, you have the summer off and only work half a day, what a cushy job. The other posts are correct, teachers after a few years have enough mugs, and apple decorated stuff. A heartfelt thank you note, with or without a gift card is the best gift ever.

mkolmar Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 11:59pm
post #17 of 25

Thanks. My kids are going to draw pictures and write notes to their teachers also. I'm very vocal to the teachers about all the hard work they do, so they know how I feel. I'm very blessed to have my kids at the school they go to. They work very hard.

samimax Posted 30 Nov 2008 , 2:28pm
post #18 of 25

Fist, thank you for your kind words about teachers. So many times I have read (on this site!) how horrible we are. It's nice to hear someone appreciates what we do! THANK YOU!!!

Gift cards to target, wal-mart, and starbucks (just a few dollars) are gifts I love to get, but the best gifts are letters and pictures from the kids. I save them all, and take them out to read at the beginning of each school year. Those are the best gifts!

GI Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 7:06am
post #19 of 25

I am not a teacher, but one year I received a box of "hand-made" note cards, you know, the kind that people stamp and then dress up in ribbons and glitter and such. It came in so handy because cash was very tight for me and that way, I always had a card (b-day, thank you, blank) to give to a person on their special day.

It was truly a thoughtful gift and the gift-giver didn't need to put a dollar amount to it. icon_smile.gif

-Tubbs Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 4:10pm
post #20 of 25

I did cookie bouquets last year, which all the teachers loved. I may do the same this year. My kids decorated the terracotta pots and I made the cookies.

I'm ashamed icon_redface.gif I have given mugs before - I thought they'd be useful!!

My daughter's first year of school, I was wondering out loud what we should get for her teacher. She replied "my teacher likes nice white wine" - I couldn't decide if it was funny or incredibly rude that the teacher had told the children what to buy her!!

redhare Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 4:26pm
post #21 of 25

well, I went to Michaels the other day and bought the $2 wooden frames, then some ribbon, stickers and lil mini daisy artificial flowers. My daughter picked ALL of the supplies - and we will cover the frame w/ the ribbon and w/ stickers say "best teacher" and my daugher wanted daisys on it so we got those to put on there also - then I will put a copy of the picture I took of my dd on her first day of school with her teachers. I know it's cheap and cheesy but hopefully they will like it and I know my dd will LOVE created them.

GI Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 5:29pm
post #22 of 25
Originally Posted by TubbsCookies

My daughter's first year of school, I was wondering out loud what we should get for her teacher. She replied "my teacher likes nice white wine" - I couldn't decide if it was funny or incredibly rude that the teacher had told the children what to buy her!!

icon_eek.gif Gee, I thought all ALCOHOL was illegal at schools! Like smoking and drugs! I am pretty surprised her teacher even mentioned this! I would've skipped the booze on this teacher!

-Tubbs Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 5:32pm
post #23 of 25

This was about 8 years ago, in the UK. At that time it wasn't uncommon to buy wine for teacher gifts, but to specify the type and that it had to be "nice" struck me as hilarious.

(NB I think we probably bought her a mug icon_lol.gif )

GI Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:15pm
post #24 of 25

Oh, wow, times have certainly changed at the schools for the better!

How horribly tacky of her to say "nice." Yeaaaaa, I would've given her a coffee cup from Goodwill! icon_twisted.gif

mkolmar Posted 7 Dec 2008 , 5:20pm
post #25 of 25

BWAHAHAHA, I'm laughing my butt of right now.
Man schools have changed in the past few years.

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