One of the most common things I am asked during Teacher Appreciation Week is “What do teachers really want?” I think this is a tough question to answer because it depends on so many things; how well funded is their school? Are they the primary breadwinner? Are they paying for three kids in college? Do they like to fish? Finding the right gifts teachers want isn’t universal; it’s about finding the right thing to say thanks, and that means getting to know your teacher. Think about hobbies, collections they may have in their classrooms, do you run into them at Target every weekend? That might be your clue.
If you can’t think of anything on your own don’t fret, here are some tried and true options that even if they don’t hit the mark for your teacher make great re-gifts which is one of many teacher super-powers!
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- Heartfelt Notes
These are by far my favorite to give and receive. As a teacher I keep them all in a special file, when I have a particularly rough day, I read through these notes and remember why I love to teach.
Good stickers are expensive, and some of us go through them like water. We can never have enough so stock us up!
- Gift Cards to Big Retailers
These aren’t personal but remember you are reading this list because you can’t think of something personal and when personal fails go for practical. Target, Amazon, and even just Visa gift cards are a great way to say thanks.
- Personalized Stamps
These stamps are awesome. So many options to choose from, my favorite are the book label ones!
- A personalized tumbler with lid
Spilling hot coffee ( ok lukewarm) is sad, spilling it on a student is even more tragic. This mug is rad. Also with your teacher’s name on it, there is no way that a sub will grab it from the staffroom dish rack and use it.
- Thank You Cards
Teachers write a lot of thank you notes. Stock your teacher up with them!
- Books for his or her classroom don’t fret too much about titles we just need more books!
- Wiggle Seats
One of the most prominent requests teachers have when asking for supplies is sensory tools like wiggle seats. It’s not a flashy gift, but for an elementary teacher, it’s a practical one.
Even if the school has one trust me having one at home has changed my life. I have an older version of this one, and it fits in my bag! Don’t forget to get laminating sheets too.
Please remember the number one thing on this list doesn’t cost a thing, and it truly is my absolute favorite thing to get as a teacher. I cherish each note, drawing, and kind word. So if all you can offer is a kind word to your teacher it is more than enough!
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