Easy Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

It’s the first week of May and that means it is Teacher Appreciation Week. And IMHO (in my humble opinion) teachers should be appreciated more than ever.

High stakes standardized tests. Teacher evaluations tied to those high stakes tests. School grades based on the tests. Most teachers put and keep a smile on their face and continue to inspire, challenge and teach each and every student in their classroom despite all the outside pressures.

The good news is that those pesky high stakes tests are now over for this year and everyone in your child’s school can take a deep, collective, cleansing breath. In through the nose… Out through the mouth.

Are you relaxed? Yes, keep reading. No, repeat deep cleansing breath then keep reading.

Have you thought about what to get your child’s teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week? If not, Engage the Brain has you covered. We have scoured the Internet and curated some of the best ideas and suggestions. These easy teacher appreciation git ideas are put into two categories: Ideas for the Classroom and Ideas for the Teacher.

Photo courtesy of signupgenius.com
Photo courtesy of signupgenius.com


Money and time is always a consideration. The suggestions in each category have a range of costs and preparation time. Pick accordingly.

FYI (For your information) these are NOT Pinterest ideas. These suggestions are for the mere mortal parents who want to do something to acknowledge their child’s teacher, not turn this week into an homage to Martha Stewart. If you are THAT parent, you don’t need our help!

Ideas for The Classroom

Publix Gift Card

It is well documented that teachers spend several hundred dollars of their own money each school year on supplies for the classroom. Purchasing snacks for students who forget theirs or treats for celebrations make up a good chunk of the money. A Publix gift card will allow the teacher to restock their “classroom pantry.”

Whiteboard Markers/Erasers

Even with Smartboards and other technology entering the classroom, teachers and students still use the whiteboard and markers. In fact, some teachers give each student an individual whiteboard the size of a clipboard to use during class. Each student needs markers. Unfortunately the markers wear out and are expensive to replace. Target sells a pack of 4 markers for about $5.00.

Hand Sanitizer and Kleenex

There is never enough Kleenex and hand sanitizer for a classroom. When cold season starts going around and through the students, these two supplies seem to constantly run out.

Books for classroom library

Most elementary school classrooms and some middle school classrooms have a classroom library. Purchasing a book or several books to be placed in the library is always a welcome gift for the teacher. Not sure which books to get? Ask your child what books he would like to read and purchase those.

Ideas for the Teacher

Spa Day/Massage

Most teachers are on their feet all day walking the classroom. One moment they are scowling at the two boys in the back of the class who are not paying attention and the next reteaching how to divide fractions to a student in the front row. A massage would be a welcome treat to regenerate a teacher’s spirit and tired body.

Provide lunch

School lunch schedules are short and hectic. After dropping the students off at the cafeteria for lunch, many teachers go make copies or prepare and set up the classroom for the afternoon lessons. Often lunch is forgone for an unhealthy, quick snack. Treat your child’s teacher to a lunch from a favorite, local restaurant.

Ornaments/Coffee mugs

As a former classroom teacher, and someone who is married to a classroom teacher, I can say first hand coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments are treasured gifts. Each time a coffee mug is used, it brings back memories of the student and class from that year. At Christmas time when we decorate the tree, we each have a section of the tree where we hang our student ornaments.

Handwritten Thank you notes

If you want to make a classroom teacher misty, write a heartfelt thank you note. Acknowledge all the hard work the teacher has done this year to help your child succeed. Hallmark may hire the best writers to convey messages, but a simple thank you written in your own words sends a powerful message that you appreciate the teacher’s effort with your child.

Wrapping it up

Teachers are the unsung heroes among us. They tend to be over worked and under paid. The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week and this provides the perfect opportunity to thank your child’s teacher. You can purchase something for the classroom or provide something special for the teacher. Whether you splurge and purchase a full day spa treatment or write a short thank you note, it truly is the thought that counts.

David Karch (Learning Specialist with Engage the Brain)









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