10 End-of-the-Year Teacher Gifts They Really Want

As a former classroom teacher, it’s so gratifying to receive an end-of-the-year teacher gift as a thank you for teaching your child. But I’m going to share a dirty little secret that your child’s teacher can’t tell you: a lot of them probably go in the trash.

It’s not that we didn’t love teaching your child! It’s just that end-of-the-year teacher gifts can feel like a lot of “stuff” when we’re about to pack up our classroom for the summer. That cute coffee mug? I got 4 of them! The lovely plant? I don’t have a green thumb. Here are some end-of-the-year teacher gifts teachers really want (and let me give you a hint – you can skip right to number #1):

10 – A writing instruments. You know how you can never find a pen when you need one?

9 –  Local pastry shop assortment. I’ll be the most popular teacher in the resource room!

8 – Note cards. Perfect for writing home to tell you how great your son or daughter is doing!

7 – Flowers. A cynic may say they don’t last, but they sure look and smell good for a while.

6 – Prize box items. A lot of teachers keep prizes in the classroom as small rewards or incentives. Help fill their prize box with small prizes that would motivate your child.

5 –  Magazine subscription. Light and fun, or educational and informative – both are great!

4 – A favorite food or drink. If you know me well enough to know this about me, you can’t go wrong!

3 – Classroom supplies. So many teachers spend out-of-pocket, so why not support them with fresh supplies?

2 -Handwritten note or drawing. I kept them all, because they usually have the ‘awww’ factor and remind us why we went into teaching in the first place!

And…(drumroll please!)

1 – A GIFT CARD! The list of reasons why teachers like gift cards goes on-and-on. They are easy-to-carry, re-giftable, flexible, and easy-to-buy (for you!). Don’t feel self-conscious about the dollar value – it’s the thought that counts. And if you’re worried that a gift card feels thoughtless, make it personal. For example: “I know you love mystery novels and I hope you’ll choose one by an author you’ve been enjoying lately!” or “I know you love to cook and I hope you’ll find a beautiful, marbled steak to enjoy this weekend!” or “You are always so patient with the kids! I hope you’ll enjoy a moment of relaxation for yourself at the spa!”

In closing, let me say this about end-of-year-teacher gifts: Seriously. Gift cards.

Article written by Carrie Weber

Carrie Weber
Carrie is part of WorldStrides Curriculum & Academics team, and holds an M. Ed. in Secondary Science Education. She has taught middle school and high school students. She is currently working toward completing a STEM Curriculum certificate through the NASA Endeavor program. Her research interests are focused on field experiences to facilitate better understanding of science.