Now that my older kiddo is in middle school, we have 7 teachers to shop for a Teacher Appreciation gift. After a lot of thinking and some research, I compiled a list of 12 ways to show appreciation on a budget – most of these items could be done on a budget of $5-$10 per teacher.
While teachers really just appreciate being thought of, these ideas seemed to be popular among the educators I polled.
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Teachers LOVE giftcards! Amazon, coffee shops, Target, restaurants, etc. When I did a very informal poll of some educators, this was a top pick!
If you look, you can find some very nice packs of notecards with cute designs or even their initials!
Classroom supplies in a storage box/bin
Many teachers purchase classroom supplies from their own pocket, so if you can purchase a few items and send them to school in a cute storage box, this is always a welcomed addition to the classroom! Ticonderoga pencils are always a big teacher favorite.
A store-bought treat or drink that you know they like
If you know the teacher likes a specific type of treat, bring it to them at school! They will be touched that you remembered and grateful for an extra snack on a busy school day.
Homemade treat or snack in a reusable container
For Christmas, we made homemade caramel puffcorn and sent it in a nice lunch container that the teachers could keep and reuse over and over. It was a hit!
If they have a Donors Choose project or Amazon wishlist, support those.
It sounds unconventional, but sometimes teachers have their Amazon wishlists available or even larger projects they are funding through Donors Choose. Spend the money you would have spent on these and they will be so grateful!
Nice set of pens, dry-erase markers, or black Sharpies
These are always popular since they are often used up earlier in the school year. Papermate Flair pens usually get major brownie points!
Write a nice note
Teachers love notes from families and most of the teachers I know save those nice notes for years to come.
Donate a book to their classroom library (if they have one)
Lots of teachers have classroom libraries, and I bet that they would love a book picked out by your kiddo and add to the library.
A small fan for their desk
Many local schools don’t have central air, and the rooms can get warm during those warmer months. You can find a USB fan for about $8-$10 on Amazon in a variety of fun colors.
Custom cookie or dessert from a local bakery
If you have a local bakery, place an order for a custom cookie or treat. Many of them will even package them up in a cute gift box for easy gifting!
Something for the personal interest of the teacher
If you know your teacher loves a certain sports team or book series, or they are a devoted “pet” parent, find something that applies to that interest!
Remember, the main goal is to recognize them – they will appreciate whatever you get them! Oh, and remember Bus Drivers, office staff, lunchroom staff, and paraprofessionals, too!
Check out Teacher Gifts: What Teachers Really Want At The End Of The School Year for more ideas.