Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love (2024)

Day after day, during school hours and after the bell rings, the schools only work because teachers do. If an educator has ever made a difference in your life, you’ll know that teachers are more than deserving of our appreciation. But how do you choose a meaningful gift that won’t fall flat?

With Teacher Appreciation Week and the end of the school year approaching, now is the perfect time to start thinking about gifts for teachers. Keep reading to learn about the best presents to thank them for the hard work they put in all year long.

“For the record, teacher appreciation gifts are never expected but certainly appreciated,” explains Cindy Rainey, a teacher who also shares her favorite vegan recipes over at Veggie Fun Kitchen. “Over the years, the gifts I’ve found most meaningful and still remember are gifts from the heart.”

Classic gifts like mugs, flowers and cheap chocolate may be low-effort – but they’ve also become a little cliché. Before grabbing the first item you see, take a moment to think about what your child’s teacher might actually use.

More is Less

Don’t forget that other parents will be on the hunt for gifts, too. That travel thermos or mug may look cute in the store, but who needs three dozen of them? Sure, your child’s teacher can always re-gift something they don’t like, but with a bit of thinking ahead, you can find a gift for Teacher Appreciation Week that they’ll actually enjoy.

Small Yet Impactful

When choosing a gift, try to think about the teacher’s personality. Do they have little ones at home? A children’s book to read together over the summer could be a good pick. Do you live in a region with dry winters? Some affordable-yet-luxurious hand cream may be just what they need. Earn bonus points by adding a note from your child explaining why you picked out the gift just for them.

Recognize a Teacher’s Hard Work

Today, with students still struggling to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, teachers are working harder than ever. Here’s how to recognize their efforts.

Write a Letter

A box of chocolates gets eaten once and discarded, but heartfelt recognition from parents and students will stay with teachers for a long time. Consider writing a thank-you letter from your perspective as a parent that discusses what you appreciate the most. Your child’s teacher can keep the letter by them on difficult days to remind them of how their work has positively impacted others.

You can also invite your child to contribute, too. If they’re too young or too shy to write their own message, prompt them with questions like “What’s your favorite thing about your teacher’s class?” and “What does your teacher do that makes you happy?” and write down their responses.

Collect Video Thank-Yous

Another creative way to show a teacher you care is by collecting video messages from current or even past students. Whether it’s a detailed message or just a simple “thank you,” seeing their past students’ faces is sure to demonstrate how much their efforts are appreciated.

Indulgent Moments

Teachers’ salaries can make it hard to splurge on luxurious experiences like visiting the spa, getting a regular manicure or going for a massage. A voucher for one of these experiences is a gift that your child’s teacher might love, but wouldn’t necessarily be able to justify purchasing on their own.

Treatments can be expensive, so consider whether other parents might be interested in chipping in. With a class of 30, if most of the parents contribute just a few dollars, you’ll have close to $100 to spend on your teacher.

Of course, you don’t want to pressure anyone into giving up money they might not have to spare. Make it clear that any gift would come from the class as a whole so that parents won’t feel like they’re being singled out for not contributing.

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Parent Collaboration

If a few parents are able to contribute to a larger gift, lots of possibilities open up. For example, an Instant Pot will let your child’s teacher prepare a quick hot dinner of butter chicken or beef stew after being at school all day long. A portable Bluetooth speaker lets teachers try out new activities with their classrooms and can come home with them at the end of the day. A nice set of glass meal prep jars will help them come to work with a good lunch prepared. You can also see whether parents might have access to discounted products through work to keep costs down.

Help Out by Volunteering

Another gift that teachers are guaranteed to appreciate is the gift of your time. Getting parents to volunteer on field trips and community days can be a challenge, so if you help your child’s teacher out with scheduling, they’re sure to be grateful. You can also muster a team of parents to volunteer at school. Just check with the staff first so that your help won’t go to waste.

Gift Cards

If you don’t know your child’s teacher very well, gift cards are a smart choice. They’ll allow the recipient to choose whatever they want while still offering a personal touch.

But do teachers actually like them? “Gift cards are always very sincerely appreciated,” says Cindy. “As teachers, we spend so much of our own money in our classrooms just to make things nice for our students. It’s certainly nice and appreciated when we have a little bit of money to spend on ourselves.”


Nothing says, “I put some thought into this,” like a DIY project. It’s also a great way to get your kids involved. Homemade jam or a simple batch of fresh cookies are all budget-friendly options that are sure to be appreciated. Or put together your own spice blend – perfect for sausage curry – for a much lower cost than buying it from a store. Just make sure to ask about dietary preferences first.

There are plenty of non-edible DIY gifts, too. Homemade bookmarks can be made with watercolors, pressed flowers or old magazines. Sugar scrubs and bath bombs are easy to make and require only a few ingredients.

A Gift for Everyone

The best thing about DIY-ing a bunch of presents is that it makes it easy to celebrate all of the educators in your child’s life, and potentially the support staff as well. Specialist teachers, custodial staff, teacher’s aides, and the rest of the school faculty work just as hard but can be overlooked.

Buying every adult who helps educate your child a present can quickly become unaffordable. Thoughtful homemade gifts will go further and be more deeply appreciated.

The Art and Science of Gift-Giving

With everyone feeling a financial squeeze these days, it’s tough to find a gift that is both affordable and meaningful. Don’t feel pressured to break the bank. Handwritten letters, video messages, volunteering and DIY gifts are all thoughtful alternatives that won’t be as expensive as traditional presents.

Heidi Bruaw, a teacher sharing vintage recipes over at Real Life of Lulu, confirms that it’s the heartfelt gifts that teachers will remember for years to come. “The best gifts I have gotten as a teacher have come from the heart. Handwritten, heartfelt notes are much appreciated and don’t go overlooked. A coffee card to my favorite place is nice, but gifts chosen or made by my students themselves are the ones I cherish most.”

Sara Nelson is the food blogger behind Real Balanced, a site that shares easy and balanced recipes. Since 2017, she has shared delicious, nutritious and allergy-friendly recipes with thousands of blog readers and social media followers. Sara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two children and their dog.

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love (2024)


Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love? ›

Thank You Note For Teacher Appreciation

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you so much for everything you do for us! All your fun activities and interesting lesson plans have taught me so much this year, and I always look forward to coming to class. You're the best!

What do teachers want for teacher appreciation week? ›

Gifts for Teachers: What they REALLY Want
  • Candy. Teachers receive a lot of chocolate and other candy this time of year — it's just too much, they say. ...
  • Mugs. ...
  • Homemade treats. ...
  • Clothing, jewelry or other items featuring apples or school themes. ...
  • Lotion. ...
  • Trinkets. ...
  • Pets. ...
  • Thoughtful notes.

How can I make my teacher Appreciation Week special? ›

Straight from the students' mouths
  1. Make sure teachers hear the value of their work from the students themselves. ...
  2. Invite students to help decorate for Teacher Appreciation Week. ...
  3. Organize student contests that will help kids get to know their teachers better. ...
  4. Interview students about their teachers.

What should I write to my teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week? ›

Thank You Note For Teacher Appreciation

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you so much for everything you do for us! All your fun activities and interesting lesson plans have taught me so much this year, and I always look forward to coming to class. You're the best!

What is the best teacher gift? ›

Gift cards are always a safe choice. Sometimes the best gift is one they can choose for themselves. If you're in a pinch or don't know the teacher well enough to choose a more personalized gift, a gift card is the way to go — and will always be appreciated.

Is $100 too much for a teacher gift? ›

It really depends on each individual family's circ*mstances, too. For some, $100 is right on the mark, while for others it's overly generous. It certainly seems that no one finds it stingy, however.

How do you surprise your teacher? ›

Gift cards or certificates

For example, you can give a set of certificates that offer five casual dress days, a chance for an administrator to teach a class or a free catered lunch.

What is the best suggestion to a teacher? ›

In-Classroom Suggestions for Teacher Improvement
  • Analogy – Tell them something it's like.
  • Diagram – Help them visualize it.
  • Example – Let them experience it.
  • Plain English – Describe it in everyday words.
  • Technical Definition – Discuss the formal, bigger-picture details.

What do teachers want from administrators? ›

Teachers want their princi- pals to acknowledge them as educated professionals and especially as indi- viduals. Respect implies that the principal dutifully “knows” the teachers both professionally and personally. This fosters a sense of caring, a behav- ior that builds a relationship of mutual respect.

How do you say Happy Teachers Day in a unique way? ›

I feel so blessed to have a teacher like you who not only pushes me towards achieving my goal but also supports me in every step. Today I celebrate you for being selfless, devoted, hardworking, and the wisest person in the classroom. I am grateful to be your student. Happy Teacher's Day!

What to say to thank your child's teacher? ›

Best Things to Say to Your Child's Teacher
  • Thank you. ...
  • We appreciate you. ...
  • Your sacrifices don't go unnoticed. ...
  • You made this easy to understand. ...
  • My child wants to learn more about this. ...
  • You truly care about your students. ...
  • You're making a huge impact. ...
  • I wouldn't be where I am without you.
Dec 20, 2023

What is a great teacher quote? ›

A good teacher can awaken joy in their students and leave a positive impression that lasts a lifetime.

What is beautiful message for Teachers Day? ›

Happy World Teachers' Day Wishes, Messages, Greetings, Images and Quotes:
  • Your influence goes beyond books. ...
  • Your patience and dedication make you one of the best teachers we have ever had. ...
  • May your passion for teaching continue to ignite the minds of many. ...
  • Thank you for making learning an enjoyable experience.
Oct 5, 2023

Do you give gifts for teacher appreciation week? ›

I would say gift cards are probably the most common. Between $25 and $100 from over half the students, and the rest may get gifts. Gift cards allow teachers to treat themselves more than they normally would be able to.

Do you give gifts to teachers on Teacher Appreciation Week? ›

Gift cards are a great way to do this for them! Sooooooo many teachers simply said that gift cards were what they really wanted for teacher appreciation week. “If you don't already have a list of their favorite things, send an email and ask for specific things, like a favorite drink or sweet/salty snack.

Do you give a gift for teacher Appreciation Day? ›

Giving a gift to a teacher is a kind gesture and can be a good way to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Whether it is appropriate or not depends on the culture and customs of the school and the country you are in, as well as the relationship you have with your teacher.

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