6 Gifts to Show a Teacher How Much You Care: and 8 gift ideas to make them wonder

May 4th to May 8th is teacher appreciation week.  Teacher appreciation week is like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.  You appreciate teachers, mothers and loved ones every day.  Teacher appreciation week just reminds society to take a minute to thank teachers for all they do.  But, unlike mothers and girlfriends, don’t expect a teacher to drop hints that the special week is approaching.

Let teachers know you notice their daily sacrifices. Ever try to eat lunch, make 50 copies, reply to an email AND go to the bathroom in 30 minutes?  Teachers do every day.  What gifts show how much you care?  The best gifts are from the heart.  Other gifts just make teachers, say “um… thank you?”

A group of teachers talked about the best and funniest gifts they ever got.  Some of them will make you laugh out loud.

Funniest Gifts

“One year, I got the cover of a book. Not the book, just the cover ripped from the book.” Said a second grade teacher.

“I got a bottle of lotion with about 20 drops in it, an angel with a broken wing.”  Was the student making an allegorical statement?  Nah, he just rummaged through the couch cushions that morning and gave the loot to his teacher.

“One time, I got some pink, rhinestone, dangly earrings.” Said a teacher who doesn’t wear pink or earrings or bling.

Mrs. L said, “A long while back I received some homemade fudge for Christmas. However there were pieces of it thrown into a plastic grocery bag so it looked more like dog doody. Needless to say I didn't eat it.”  Yes, presentation matters, especially when gifting fudge.

Is this fudge?

Is this fudge?


A kindergarten teacher in San Diego got bright red lipstick and a shot glass.  Ready to party with the 5 year old set? Tijuana or bust!

A teacher was happy to receive a rose, until she realized it was actually lacy panties rolled to look like a rose. Needless to say, she blushed, when opening it in front of the class of fifth graders.

A middle school teacher looked confused. “Gifts, what gifts? I can’t get the parents to even come to conferences!”

Mr. Forrester remarked, “I got an 8x10 framed photo of one of my students.”  “It was awkward, I am not going to put a picture of one individual student on my wall.”

Pictures do make great gifts when it includes everyone in the class.

Best gifts

One parent took pictures of each kid in the class.  Then she wrote what each kid dreamed of being one day.  She framed the whole thing.  It was adorable.

Gift cards are always a big hit. One creative parent asked families to get gift cards from different places. Then she arranged the gift cards on a picture frame to resemble a bulletin board. Teachers often spend their own money for class projects. Give them gift cards at fun places to splurge on themselves for a change. Starbucks, Whole Foods, Barnes and Nobles, Michael’s, and local restaurants are popular with many teachers

“Letters from the kids inspire me to keep teaching.  It lets me know that I’m making a difference.” Miss Tanner

You can never go wrong with homemade goodies.  Just make sure that you check with him or her about dietary restrictions first.

One student made a project showing all the ways his favorite teacher influenced him.  Years later, the teacher still has it hanging in her classroom.

One family simply gave their teacher mangoes from their tree.  Sharing in the bounty from their garden touched her heart.  It doesn't have to be expensive or labor intensive.  Just reach out and show teachers how much they mean to your family.  

Boy gives flowers

Want more clever ideas? The National PTA has a Pinterest board devoted to ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week.  

Do you sell something on Etsy that teacher's would like? Leave a link in the comment box.

Do you know somebody that sells creative frames, or stationary or other teacher appreciation gift ideas?  Share this article with them.  I'll help them get the word out.