Teacher Appreciation Week Gift Ideas

Have you volunteered in your kids classrooms lately? I have and let me tell you, I don’t know how teachers do this job day in and day out. Just that one hour of volunteering had me exhausted. In my opinion, I think being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs out there!

So when I got notifications from school about the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week, the wheels in my head started spinning. I did a recent Facebook post on my personal page asking what teachers want, and I’m excited to share with you their most AND least wanted items.

What Teachers Want

Gift Cards: Unanimously, everyone wrote gift cards. Some of the best ideas were to coffee places and / or restaurants close to campus.

Alcohol: Yep, you read it right. Many teachers dished that they loved to receive alcohol as a gift. Feel a little uncomfortable handing over a bottle of wine or a 6 pack of beer to your kids teacher? Don’t fret, I have you covered. Give them a gift certificate to New Orleans Original Daiquiris, Martins Wine Cellar, etc.

Food: Lots noted that they loved to receive food. However, NOT homemade (more on that later). Some ideas are some snacks for their desks or planning breaks; think granola bars, La Croix and you can’t go wrong with chocolate. Other ideas are to send donuts to the teachers lounge or even treat your teacher to lunch!

Office Supplies: Unanimously, almost every Teacher noted that they loved to receive office supplies! I honestly have never thought to give this as a gift. Popular items are Sharpies, Flair Pens and Expo Markers. I know this fall when I see the school supplies go on sale, I’m going to stock up on some of these items for gifts!

Classroom Decor: A few teachers noted that they like personalized gifts for their classroom. An example I liked was a burlap door hanger of the school mascot and their name. A gift I gave a few years back was a clipboard with our school mascot along with their name, and many teachers have used it for years since!

Handwritten Notes: What’s more personal than a handwritten note? Have your child write a sincere note to his or her teacher and this will surely make him or her smile! Most teachers noted this was their favorite gift by far, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

What Teachers Don’t Want

Homemade food: As nice of a gesture it is, most teachers admitted that they threw away homemade food when given as a gift. So if you wish to give something edible, go with store bought.

Lotions, candles, body wash, etc.: Most teachers admitted they have received more than enough lotions and candles in their years of teaching to set them up for years to come to never have to buy them again. While you may love a certain scent, someone else may hate it. So if you are dead set on giving them some smelly lotion you just adore, opt for a gift card to that store.

Generic Mugs: A #1 Teacher Mug may look adorable, but it becomes a useless item if you already have 4. How many does one need? The teachers I surveyed mentioned they do like personalized items, so maybe opt for a pretty monogram on a tumbler in school colors rather than the generic mug.

So there you have it! What would you add to the list?

Let us know, we love to make our teachers feel loved and appreciated!

Mary Olivio
Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.


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