Advice | No more coffee mugs! Here are the gifts teachers say they want or need. (2024)

Nearly every week, my daughter, a kindergarten teacher, brings home or orders a package of goodies for her children.

That’s what she calls her students, and she’s always looking for a game or supplies to help teach them basic concepts about reading, writing and math. When I asked what she wanted for her birthday this year, she listed only stuff for her classroom.

Advice | No more coffee mugs! Here are the gifts teachers say they want or need. (2024)


What do teachers not want as gifts? ›

Here are the 8 don'ts when it comes to gifts for teacher appreciation day
  • Alcohol.
  • Mugs.
  • Christmas ornaments.
  • Generic “you're the best or #1 teacher” knick-knacks.
  • Candles or other highly scented items.
  • Personal hygiene items like soaps, perfumes, colognes, etc.
  • Items without a gift receipt that they are stuck with.
Apr 25, 2023

What do teachers want most for gifts? ›

As one teacher put it, “The way to a teacher's heart is through school supplies!” Another says, “I would be totally excited to get a “blinged-out” new stapler, class set of new rulers, or a gift card to help fill the needs in our classroom!” A few more ideas: a Lakeshore gift certificate, dry erase markers, “funky” ...

What gift cards do teachers want? ›

It's probably no surprise that Amazon gift cards win by a mile as the top teacher choice. A majority of teachers say they'd prefer an Amazon gift card during gifting time. With so many different things you can get (plus Prime shipping and other perks), it's easy to understand why.

Is coffee a good gift for teachers? ›

Coffee is an easy teacher appreciation gift that is appreciated by the whole school. Grab a few bags or boxes of coffee then stick-on these adorable labels. Presto… the gift of coffee!

Is $50 too much for a teacher gift? ›

Legally, most public school teachers are not allowed to accept gifts worth more than $50, but even if a family gives me a $5 gift, I think about the time and labor that went into it… and frankly, feel uncomfortable.

What can teachers accept as gifts? ›

It is illegal to accept a gift that could be construed as a reward for a past official action or because of the position an individual holds in the decision-making process. It may be permissible in some states to accept an item such as a gift basket valued at less than $25 or $50.

Do teachers prefer gifts or gift cards? ›

Most teachers tell SheKnows that gift cards are what they prefer. Especially those that can be used on classroom supplies (sadly). So skip the knickknacks, parents.

What is teacher's Favourite gift? ›

A letter or card. By far, this is the best gift a student can give a teacher. Teachers live to see their students' progress and growth, and the thing they treasure the most is a handwritten letter from a student thanking them and letting them know that they made a difference.

What teacher needs the most? ›

The most in demand teaching subjects
  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition.
  • Foreign language.
  • Mathematics.
  • Reading.
  • Science.
  • Special education.

Is a $20 gift card good for a teacher? ›

Most teacher gift cards fall between $10 and $30, but there is no required amount for a gift card — we're sure they would appreciate any and every amount you want to give! There's no pressure for an amount.

Is $5 too cheap for a gift card? ›

A $5 gift card may be all that you can afford. If the value seems low, don't add to it if it means compromising your own budget. Don't send a U.S.-based gift card to an international recipient.

Do teachers like cash gifts? ›

And more than any physical gift, teachers appreciate your support. Whew. OK. That being said, if you're insistent about giving gifts to the teachers you care about this holiday season, there is one gift I can guarantee every teacher is happy to receive and will definitely put to good use: cash.

Why do teachers love coffee? ›

Your teacher requires fuel to keep going from one hour to the next, while staying happy and energetic. Coffee offers the caffeine needed to fuel your teacher and help him or her get through the day. Otherwise, they could easily fall asleep in class as your teacher will lose his or her edge.

Is it okay to give teachers flowers? ›

Any teacher would appreciate a lovely basket of flowers to dress up the classroom or bring home and enjoy.

What is the perfect gift for teachers Day? ›

Custom coffee mugs are great gift ideas for your teachers. Whether they use them as desk accessories to hold pens and pencils or sip from it every morning to get their day going — mugs make great teacher keepsakes they will cherish for years to come.

Is it inappropriate to give a teacher a gift? ›

School gifting culture varies, and sometimes, certain gifts are prohibited. “Public and private schools vary, and some items are considered attempts to influence grades, especially cash and gift cards used as cash,” says Schweitzer.

What teachers don t want for Christmas? ›

The Worst Gifts You Could Buy For Teachers
  • Personalised items. Do not get them anything with your kids name or face on. ...
  • Homemade or handcrafted goodies. ...
  • Handmade goodies. ...
  • Candles. ...
  • Body and bath products. ...
  • Coffee mugs. ...
  • Anything that is marketed to shoppers as “Teacher Gifts” ...
  • Jewellery.

Is it OK to give teachers cash as a gift? ›

Every teacher I know would feel very uncomfortable with cash as a gift. There are even rules for some teachers/school boards that say any gift with a value over a certain amount of money needs to be reported to administration because it can be seen as a bribe (like, for a good mark or favour).

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