Teacher Gift! (That they will actually like.)

There are ENTIRE Pinterest Boards dedicated to teacher gifts.  67% of which are not great.  They are cute and creative but not really practical.   Let me just say for the record that I LOVE TEACHERS!!  I APPRECIATE THEM ALL!  Teacher Gift


I don’t want to be rude or ungrateful but let me fill you in on a little secret.  Teacher gifts are really appreciated and really akward all at the same time.  I know this because I was one.

Bad Teacher Gifts


Save you hard earned money and walk away from anything apple or wooden, or wooden apple.  That could be a $5.00 Starbucks Gift Card!  Or a gift card to a grocery store.  Oh and one more thing.  We love books but I personally have 6 Billion dollars worth of Barnes & Noble gift cards.    We love the thought, but really where can we put all of the vases with childrens’ hand prints on them?

To be honest a thank you note once in a while was such a lovely thing to receive and it is F-R-E-E!!  Teachers love being noticed and appreciated.  This gift is PRACTICAL.  I realize that.  However, as a teacher sometimes it is really hard to get out of your classroom.  This is a great gift for his or her desk, just to have the essentials with you when you can’t get away!!

So here is a gift that a teacher would really LOVE!  A little gift bag with important little things to keep in our desks.  Such as:

Hand Sanitizer

Coffee Singles

Pain Reliever


Deodorant  (Never let them see you sweat!)

Mints (It may be the only meal we will have all day.)

Tide Wipes

Bleach Pen

5 Hour Energy!

Band Aids

Lunch Related Gift Cards   Chipotle, Whole Foods, Grocery Store…


Disposable Tooth Brush and Toothpaste  (Fresh Breath is Crucial!)  you might need to offer it to a student as well.

Maybe some small gift cards to a coffee shop.  (You know the one)

Don’t forget to add a note  for example:   Thanks for all of your hard work, here are some essentials to keep you going strong!

Now that is a gift a teacher can use!!

Leave a comment


  • Lesli August 20, 2018 at 05:16pm

    Great ideas!! Thank you!!

  • Renee April 27, 2015 at 05:22pm

    I’ve found that teachers really like gift cards from dollar stores like Dollar Tree or Family Dollar. You’d be surprised what they can find to use in the classroom there, including supplies, classroom decor, books, art stuff, etc.

  • connie March 28, 2015 at 05:07pm

    This is awesome!!! I am so glad to see a teacher finally telling us they could USE something that is given to THEM for THEM!! I was just asked by our PTO president to help with the task of putting together a gift idea for teacher appreciation week and these are fantastic!! With my eldest child just entering school (pre-k) I am just starting my school involvement and I am honored to be taking charge of this project. THANK YOU ALL TEACHERS!! YOU ARE AMAZING!!

  • thriftdee December 12, 2014 at 04:45am

    Thanks for the sweet words. Trolls gonna troll! The more exposure a post gets, the more trolls come out of the woodwork!! Happy Gift Giving!

  • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 01:28am

    I don’t understand why there are so many negative and/or rude comments on here. As a teacher you are just trying to give an inside opinion on the gifts that would be more helpful to a teacher. There are several items on this list I would have never thought of so I appreciate your list. I always do something for the teachers, students and bus drivers (for major holidays and for the end of the year) to let them know we appreciate their hard work. Keep up the good work and don’t sweat petty people.

  • Mary Courtney November 25, 2014 at 03:34am

    As a teacher, this is a good gift. As a teacher who commutes and often in need of MANY of these items, especially for Open House, ball games, etc., this gift is FABULOUS!!! I keep a box in my classroom filled with most of these items. One more item to add might be safety pins… They always come in handy!

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  • Aleceia May 17, 2014 at 12:01pm

    Best teacher gift I ever received was one of those things you heat up in the microwave for sore muscles. It had an apple on it. Lol

  • Anjie Behunin April 30, 2014 at 10:28pm

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve tried to be creative but practical….and sometimes those 2 just don’t go together.

    I think I’m going to use your suggestions as a beginning of the year survival kit! A teacher could certainly use all of those things all year long. 🙂

  • Teacher Appreciation Ideas - Crazy Little Projects April 25, 2014 at 03:54pm

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  • Saraliz April 22, 2014 at 08:01am

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and it is a big help considering my girl is graduating 5th grade this year and has had some amazing teachers the last 6 years. She told me ” I would want gift cards and money momma I think that’s it” done and done!

  • thriftdee April 14, 2014 at 08:09pm

    Yikes, A little firestorm erupted around here! Thanks for the spelling tips! 🙂 All corrected. And why is it so hard to spell check in the new WordPress format anyway?!

  • Sarah April 14, 2014 at 06:53pm

    Teachers are people too. If you wouldn’t want to look at an ABC vest or wooden apple, what makes you think someone else, just because they are a teacher, would want something as atrocious as the example vest, necklace above? Yikes. I agree with teacher here. Teaching is
    on the “top ten most thankless jobs” out there. We can pay “meathead” athletes millions to dunk a basketball, but somehow can’t keep our government from cutting budgets to the point where almost no one wants to go into that profession anymore. We need to be thankful for the teachers that are out their and trying their hardest because we all know they’re not doing it for the money. IF ALL THEY WANT IS A NOTE OF THANKS FOR MOLDING OUR FUTURE OR AN OFFICE SUPPLY GIFTCARD, LET’S GIVE THEM THAT INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING THAT THEY’RE “UNGRATEFUL” for a wooden apple or hideous vest. FYI STEPHANIE; Perhaps you need a dictionary to find some other ways to say what you mean without being rude. What part of that comment wasn’t rude exactly? This teacher is trying to help save money and give us better ideas of appreciation, and you want to focus on her misspelled words? Can we say, Un-called for?

  • Stephanie April 02, 2014 at 04:57am

    Reliver? Bleach Pin? How about a dictionary or spell check? Not to be rude but your post sounds extremely ungrateful.

  • Pam November 19, 2013 at 02:07pm

    Great idea! At the beginning of the school year, I bought pain relievers, tums, mints, lara bar, drink mix ins, sewing kit anything I could think of that a teacher might need and wouldn’t be able to leave the room to get and put it all in a pencil box with Teacher Survival kit on the top. I hope they won’t have to use the boxes but glad they have them if they do. It’s a challenging job and I could never do it.

  • thriftdee November 19, 2013 at 05:06am

    That is a great idea Sheila!

  • Sheila Eyster November 19, 2013 at 12:50am

    I loved thank you notes and all gifts when I was teaching. But what I wished for and never got was gift cards to an office supply store. It would help buy things for my classroom that school limited budgets didn’t provide and cost me money every month. I didn’t need personal things as much as I needed help supplying my classroom.

  • thriftdee November 18, 2013 at 04:12am

    I agree Melissa it is the thought that counts! A thank you note is my very favorite!!

  • Melissa November 17, 2013 at 08:11pm

    For the record, I am a teacher and I appreciate any gift. it is the thought that counts!

  • Lisa November 03, 2013 at 02:10pm

    The more I read about what teachers don’t want
    the more I think I can save my money. Most professionals don’t get gifts at anytime through the year. I’d feel grateful that someone thought enough of me to spend their hard earned money on me. Thanks for the savings!

  • Back to School | Growing Weisser September 02, 2013 at 02:45pm

    […] This post has a great practical list of gift ideas to put your money to good use: https://thriftdee.com/2013/08/teacher-gift-that-they-will-actually-like/ […]

  • Samantha September 01, 2013 at 04:42am

    Thank you so much for finally saying it!! I am a teacher as well and I agree with you. I really do appreciate the gifts my students give me but I would like things that I can use. Gift cards totally! I hope parents look at this site! Thank you for sharing.

  • Marina August 31, 2013 at 04:09pm

    Love these tips! Thank you. Did not think about book cards being redundant. Will keep that in mind!!! And do get grocery cards. Very helpful.