School's out: Gifts to thank your teacher

First published: 16-07-2015

School's out: Gifts to thank your teacher

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The school year is finally at an end, so you might be thinking of getting a gift for your child's teacher. Of course, most staff members will tell you that every gift is appreciated, but chances are they're running out of room for all those 'World's Greatest Teacher' mugs.

With that in mind, we've made a list of some other gifts you can get for them to say 'thank you' for all their hard work over the past year. Some are simple, some are quirky, but all of them are meaningful and are sure to put a smile on your teacher's face.

Food and wine

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There is a reason why these are such popular gifts! Come the end of the year, many teachers will appreciate the opportunity to relax with a bottle of their favourite tipple, while a box of chocolates or biscuits will always go down a storm.

To make it a little bit more unique, why not try baking a batch of cookies instead of buying them from a shop? This is also a great option if you have more than one child at the same school, as a box of cookies can be passed around the staff room for all the teachers to enjoy. Make sure you write down all the ingredients so they know exactly what's in them, just in case they have any allergies and need to steer clear of certain foods!

If you want an alternative to wine, you can't go far wrong with a jar of coffee or box of tea. We all know how hard teachers work, so that little boost of caffeine will be an enormous help!


If there are a few of you wanting to club together for a really nice gift, you can't go far wrong with a voucher for a restaurant or shop. This way, you're letting the teacher pick exactly what they want, so you know that your gift will be put to very good use.


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Another very popular option, flowers make really pretty - and often relatively inexpensive - gifts that are perfect for summertime.

Bear in mind that a lot of teachers head off on holiday as soon as school ends to make the most of their time off work, so a good option might be a flower or plant that doesn't need much watering, like an orchid. This will survive a long time without any maintenance and therefore makes an ideal present for anyone going away over the summer.

Ethical gifts

Set up through international charity organisations, ethical gifts include things like buying goats for families in developing countries, books for a school, or paying for a water tap to be installed in a village.

These gifts can be a great idea if you want to show appreciation for your teacher's efforts, especially if you know they like to be active in ethical matters.

There are plenty of school-based options if you want to get them something to do with education, and you can spend as much or as little as you like. If you're after an alternative to clubbing together with others for a voucher, this might be what you're looking for!

Something for their desk

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A teacher's desk is where they keep all their essential items for the school day, and buying them something decorative or practical could be the perfect gift.

Here's a few ideas for items you could look out for:

  • Hand cream - something antibacterial and moisturising would be great, so they can stay clean and look after their skin

  • Personalised stickers or stamps to say 'well done' when they are marking students' work

  • Pencil caddy - so they can stash all their spare pens and pencils without making a mess

  • A small clock to help them keep track of time (try one with an alarm function so they can set timed tasks!)

  • Sticky notes, paper clips, and anything else they use on a daily basis

  • A sweetie jar - to keep them going throughout the working day, or to reward students for good work

  • A photo frame - something to personalise their desk and make it their own.

Something for the classroom

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Depending on what subject(s) they teach, a great gift could be a poster to go on the classroom wall. For a Geography teacher, a large map would be perfect (providing they don't have one already), or for an English teacher, you could get a poster with a book quote.

Alternatively, they may really appreciate an addition to their classroom library. A book to keep in the classroom (either for the kids to enjoy reading or for them to use as a resource in lessons) would be ideal. If they have been mentioning a particular book throughout the year, maybe look out for a rare edition or a signed copy for them to treasure.


Ultimately, what matters the most is making the effort to thank them. All teachers appreciate the gifts they receive, but cards are generally considered the most special gifts of all.

Taking the time to write down how much you have appreciated their hard work will mean a lot to them. The kids may want to write the message of thanks themselves, but having a parent jot down a line or two to reiterate that message will be the icing on the cake.

If they've worked hard and made a difference, let them know!

Whether you spend a little or a little bit more, there are so many ways to show your appreciation for a special teacher before school is out. There's a lot of effort and stress that goes into teaching, so a gesture of thanks is sure to be very gratefully received.


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