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Holiday and end-of-the-year teacher gifts

Step away from the apples! and other useful suggestions

by Kelsey M.  |  33819 views  |  6 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Some of the best teacher gifts I received were:

  • A huge outdoor pot that all the children in a class had put their hand prints on, full of geraniums ready to be planted, and a gift-certificate to a local garden center. (That was from an entire class.)
  • A giant popcorn bowl filled with packages of microwave popcorn and a gift card to a video store.
  • Gift cards!
  • A really sturdy canvas tote bag with the children's hand prints and names on it; I received that from the second graders I did my student teaching with and I've been using it for nearly eight years.
  • Notes from kids or parents who thanked me for specific things I'd done throughout the year.
I've received many nice gifts over the years, but those are sticking out in my mind right now.

Another quick note, if you do give a gift card to a book store or someplace like Target, it would be easy for the teacher to spend it entirely on items for school. If you intend for her to make more personal use of it, don't be afraid to tell her. I once received an embarrassingly generous gift card to a local book store and I used 75% of it for classroom books because I felt funny spending it all on myself.

There you have it, Midwest Mom's guide to teacher gift-giving! You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

About the Author

A former teacher and current stay-at-home mother, Kelsey blogs to maintain sanity. Visit her family at Midwest Mom. (

Read more by Kelsey M.

6 comments so far...

  • We also have teacher wish lists during our annual book fair. You can go to the board, pick a tag for a book that your teacher is looking to add to thier classroom library. Each year we go to the book fair, my kids get one book for themselves and then pick out one thier teacher has asked for. Then on thier library day the librarian pulls out any donated books and allows the students to present it to thier teacher. Our teacher really like this. They get to build up thier classroom libraries and even get a second copy of a poplular book. We had one teacher that at the end of each year she clears out some older books to make room for the more recent popluar ones. She has one book for each student in her glass and each gets an opportunity to go pick out one and take it home (and keep it) for summer reading.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by sherry3995 on 18th December 2008

  • This year with all the economy issues, our parent club, came up with an idea. They had the teachers fill out wish lists for the classroom, paper, markers, books, the music teacher requested replacement strings for the student guitars etc. The items were listed on postit notes and placed on the wall in the office. Parents came by the office and chose item(s) that they wanted to purchase. I found this good, I could choose something with in my budget and still give to the teacher and help my children. I think it was a successful event for all.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by sherry3995 on 18th December 2008

  • Great article. As a teacher (on leave) those are really great suggestions. I have also received a lot of Christmas decorations and ornaments (just Christmas ones-they aren't all school related). When I put my tree up every year I am reminded of past students. It is really sweet.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Christine on 15th December 2007

  • Wow, those are some great tips! I usually have given holiday photo frames - figuring that they only need to take up shelf space for a small portion of the year and everyone has photos to display, but you've made some good points. I'll have to re-think this for this year!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Deb - Mom of 3 Girls on 5th December 2007

  • I was planning to give my kids' teachers homemade food gifts this holiday, but you've brought up a very good point... I'll need to do some more thinking. Thanks for possibly saving me a lot of hot work and time!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 3rd December 2007

  • So many really useful ideas, thank you!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 1st December 2007