School teachers are a special sort of person and Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect way to celebrate them. I have been on both sides of this… I’ve been the teacher and as a parent.
No matter where you teach – whether it be in a private or public school, in a distance learning setting with a virtual school, or a hybrid of both – teachers are working hard to help their students.
Personally, I’ve had great teachers in elementary school through high school, and even in college. I still correspond with my first-grade teacher, via notes and cards, over 30 years later. 🙂 I have always loved giving my teachers gifts over the years to show appreciation.
When Is National Teacher Appreciation Week?
National Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated during the first full week of May. National Teacher Appreciation Day, AKA National Teacher Day, is celebrated on that first Tuesday (of the first full week in May.)
Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 is May 3 through May 7. This week is used to celebrate teachers, support staff, administration, and anyone else in the district.
What do teachers really want for gifts?
You are probably wondering what teachers really want for gifts. There are so many ideas, but I’m going to narrow it down today to the ones that I know they can use. Here is a quick list, but if you want more specific ideas, skip down to the next section where you’ll find more detailed ideas.
- Gift Cards
- Books (oh- Check out this article about what teachers wish parents knew about reading with their kids)
- School Supplies
- Games for Indoor & Outdoor Recess
- Something signed by the entire class
- A card, picture, or note
- Offer to volunteer (in or out of the school by doing things like printing, cutting, and prepping)
Teacher Appreciation Week Gift Ideas
As a teacher, I’ve received teacher gifts that range from DIY flower pens to a surprise lunch from a local restaurant. I think that every teacher appreciates these tokens of appreciation, no matter what the gift may be. With that said, I’ve asked my teacher-friends and we came up with this list of our favorite teacher appreciation week gift ideas.
1). A Hand-Written Note from the Student
There is nothing that a teacher loves more than a hand-written note. It is truly a gift for teachers from students because they are putting in extra work to show their appreciation. 🙂 A letter or note is a great gift because it shows that you have taken the time to think about them and write down your thoughts.
Even an email or message on social media is enough to tug at a teacher’s heartstrings. Have your child write about how they have helped them do something, be something, explore something, or learn something.
While a thank-you note makes a great gift all by itself, if you decide to use one of the gift ideas below, I suggest including a hand-written note with the gift.
You can even have your child fill out a teacher questionnaire. They are memorable and they look so cute & trendy!
2). A Hand-Written Note from the Parent
At the same time, one of the best teacher appreciation gifts you could give to your child’s teacher is a note to say how YOU Have noticed a difference in your child.
Has this teacher inspired them?
Helped them to work harder?
Helped your child to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset?
Tell them! There’s nothing like a few words of affirmation to let someone know that they are appreciated.
3). A Group Gift from the Class
Have the students work together to make a great gift!
- A photo book with snapshots taken throughout the year and a little note from each student written on an index card.
- An apron for crafting with a signed note from each child.
- A picture tote bag with the class picture.
- One of my friends made a bookshelf for their child’s teacher and each of the kids in the classroom put their handprints on the bookshelf with a variety of paint colors. Then, each child chooses a favorite book to add to the bookshelf.
- A plant with a beautiful note like this one:
4). Out-of-the-Box Gifts from the Student to the Teacher
There are gifts that are for teachers and then there are gifts that are for everyone – the fun gifts. The ones that you just enjoy because they are for YOU. Here are some ideas!
- Audible Membership – I love audiobooks!
- Echo Dot – they can use this in the classroom to play music, set reminders, etc. or they can use it at home.
- Personalized Stickers for Teachers (perfect to keep on their books!)
- Personalized Art – All of the students name & a personal message to the teacher. This is adorable & one of my favorite ideas.
- Personalized Art – Apple with Students’ names in it. A little twist to the idea above. This one would be great for a smaller class or preschool class.
- Metal Personalized Bookmarks from students to teachers – This will certainly be used for many years to come!
5). School Supplies
It surprises most people to learn that teachers have to buy their own school supplies. When I first started teaching, I learned that the average teacher spends between $500-$1,000, from their own salary, on school supplies for their students.
School Supply Ideas:
- Pencils (pre-sharpened pencils are a bonus!)
- Electric Pencil Sharpener
- Dry Erase Markers for the whiteboard.
- Individual Dry Erase Boards with markers & erasers (class-size set)
- Colored Pencils
- If you want to present them in more of a “gift” sort of way, you can put them in mason jars. ♡ You can dress them up with these perfectly adorable printable tags.
- Post-it Notes
- Lined Sticky Notes
- Motivational Teacher Stamp Set (to give encouragement on papers)
- Notebooks for the class
- Crayons (class-sized sets)
- Sticky Chart Paper
- Highlighters (24 pack)
- Hand Sanitizer (and lotion for dry hands!) 🙌 Give this gift with a cute teacher gift tag like this one!
- Tissues (grab a ten-pack!)
- Lysol wipes
- Paper Towels
- Glue Sticks
- 2-3 hole punch
- Art & Craft Supplies (you can fill up at the dollar store or order bulk packs like this.
- Privacy Shields for Desks for test-taking. You can also make these by taping two folders together.
- Stapler for paper packets (capacity of 25 sheets)
- Scissors for the teacher and a bulk pack for the kids
- Paper Trimmer
- Dominoes or Dice 🎲 (I used both of these things for math, centers, games, and so much more!)
- Personal Laminator (They’ll use this a lot!)
You could even buy a bunch of supplies and put them into a Tote bag with a “TOTE-ally Awesome” & Adorable Gift Tag like this one…
6). Organizing School Supplies for Teachers
- Clear Containers (holds supplies)
- Binder clips
- Printable Labels or a label maker
- plastic file folders
- Ziplock bags of all sizes
- turn in trays
- whiteboard magnets
- Milk Crates (They can be used to store things AND they double as a stool when teachers make a lid/seat.)
- Plastic Drawer Unit (this set of four is great!
- Plastic Shoe Boxes
- Short-Weave Plastic Baskets
- 12-Drawer Rolling Cart or go bigger with this awesome rolling cart!
- Divided Caddies for tables or desks
7). Gift Cards for Teachers
You can send these gift cards digitally or you can dress them up with a cute gift card holder like these and deliver it in person.
- Amazon Gift Card (nearly half of all teachers said this is the best place to give a gift card)
- Visa gift card
- Starbucks Gift Card
- Target Gift Card
- iTunes Gift card
- Gift Certificate to a book store like Barnes & Nobel
- Teachers Pay Teachers gift card
- Gift Cards for stores: Best Buy, Staples, Walmart, or Michaels
- Gift Card for food delivery (lunch on a Teacher Work Day) 🙂 Think GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, or even a favorite restaurant.
- Self-Care gift card to a local spa or store.
Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas for the Staff
- Candy bars in the teacher workroom (complete with these perfect printable gift tags!)
- Send in a candy jar with a “How Sweet It is To be Taught by You!” gift tag. Then, each day of Teacher Appreciation Week, send in a different bag of candy. Let your child’s teacher fill her jar each day with the treats that you send in daily. You can do this for the teachers’ lounge or for the office staff, as well!
- Stock the Teachers’ Lounge with gourmet coffees & teas.
- Have a Teachers’ Car Wash at a local car wash place or even have them come to the school. All teachers get a free car wash.
- Dress up the teachers’ lounge with new books, magazines, snacks, or even new decor.
- Get a membership to somewhere like courses.com for the school- teachers can watch it in the teachers’ lounge or during planning periods.
- Coordinate a car wash and invite the school staff and teachers to get their vehicles washed for free.
- Have breakfast for the staff. You could ask parents to volunteer to prepare breakfast (or pick up pastries) on specific days so you get a variety of foods each day.
- Plant flowers near the school or outside of the classroom windows to give the teachers something beautiful to look at each day.
- Host a luncheon for the teachers and ask parents to volunteer to cover the classroom for one period so the teachers can attend.
- Ask local restaurants, bakeries, shops, or spas to partner with you to provide teachers with a free item or small gift card.
Happy Teachers Appreciation Week!
Enjoy your week! Save those letters, cards, pictures, and notes from your students, parents, and staff. If you need more ideas, check out these gift ideas for parents.
Looking for non-toy rewards for students? We’ve got you covered!