Teachers Reveal The Best Gifts They Got From Students – And the Worst

With the end of the school year around the corner, the pressure is on to get the perfect teacher gift.  How do you say “thank-you” to the person who taught your child so much this past year when chances are you know very little about what he or she may like outside of the classroom?  To help, we dug deep to find out what teacher's thought was the best gift they ever got from a student.

Here are what teachers really want:

teacher gifts

Gift cards

Gift cards are very popular!  Gift cards to coffee shops are widely appreciated as are Visa gift cards.  One teacher prefers Target giftcards above all others since she can anything she needs there from coffee to supplies for her classroom to something she wants for herself, including groceries or beer!

A treat just for them

Some teachers prefer gifts that don't seem like “teacher” gifts, but are instead gifts that they can enjoy over the summer for themselves.  One teacher loved getting a Redbox giftcard and popcorn.

Teachers love being pampered!  Gifts that teachers love that are just for them include restaurant gift certificates and gift certificates to a local salon or spa for a mani/pedi.


Books for the classroom library are always appreciated since they can be used year after year.  For a personal touch, some parents give their child's favorite books from the year with a personal inscription to remind the teacher of their child.  

Classroom needs

Teachers spend a lot of their own money on things for their classroom and love receiving things they can use for years to come.  One teacher loved getting a speaker she could use to play music in her classroom.  If your child's teacher ever asked to borrow something from a parent or said she wished she had something for her classroom chances are it would make a great gift. 

Another teacher said she loved classroom supplies she might not splurge on herself, like cute office supplies for her desk (like a nice pencil holder) or fun, colorful pens.

A boozy beverage

More than one teacher mentioned booze being their favorite gift!  Wine is usually a good bet.

Something from the heart

Artwork from students is appreciated!  Once teacher said that she decorated her home with artwork created by her students over the years.  

Several teachers thought that anything heartfelt made a great gift.  One teacher loved getting a sweater as a gift since her student remembered she had mentioned her classroom was cold on a few occasions.  Another student and teacher had talked about their shared love of Burger King and the teacher appreciated getting a Burger King gift card at the end of the year.    

Handwritten notes, from children and parents, are universally loved by teachers.  A note can be given by itself or attached to any other gift as a personal touch.  One teacher expressed that she has kept every handwritten note that she has received over the years.  Another said that on rough days she pulls out handwritten notes and drawings she has received over the years.  One said a poem written by a student was the best gift she ever received.

On the other hand

You may be wondering what not to get as well.  While many parents love making baked goods for teachers, several mentioned that they never eat treats that they get at the end of the year.  One teacher said she doesn't know what to do with all of the mugs she gets and donates many of them.  Another said she can't use anything scented and advised against staying away candles, perfumes, and lotions. One teacher confessed that all of knick-knacks she receives, like mugs, vases, and frames, wind up in a bag she uses to re-gift.  

When it comes to gifts think personal and practical and you can't go wrong!

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Teachers Reveal The Best Gifts They Got From Students – And the Worst

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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