Best Teacher Gift Ideas

You don’t have to spend a fortune to give a gift a teacher will adore. Here are teacher-approved gift suggestions that won’t break the bank:

  • Make it yourself. Bake Christmas cookies with your kids. Package them in a reusable tin. Or, make a unique ornament together that will remind the teacher of the student.
  • Give from the heart. Teachers care more about the thought and effort than the value. Cheryl Storie, an elementary school teacher from Edmonton, says a dollar store item given with pride and selected by the student is just as treasured as a more expensive gift.
  • Make it personal. A student once gave Donnie McDougall, a professional musician and teacher, a framed photo of McDougall playing at a local jazz festival.
  • Think in pairs. Major movie chains have gift certificates for movies plus concession treats. Give a pair of tickets.
  • Give books. Give a book for the classroom or a gift certificate to a bookstore. Donate to the school library in the teacher’s name.
  • Pool your resources. Join with other parents and give a certificate for a spa or dinner at a restaurant.
  • Practical but consumable. Give a bottle of wine, or a box of chocolates. Ceci Flanagan-Snow, an equestrian teacher and former elementary school teacher from Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, suggests a fancy pen or an assortment of tea or jams.
  • Give to others. Heather Wright, a community college instructor and former elementary school teacher from Kitchener, Ont. once had a goat given in her name to a family in Africa. Charitable donations in the teacher’s name honour the teacher and help others.
  • Say thank you. The best gift doesn’t need to cost anything. Teachers say a heartfelt thank you note is kept and re-read, and is one of their most cherished gifts to receive.

Best to avoid:

  • Coffee mugs. Teachers confess they have more than enough.
  • Perfumes. Some people have severe sensitivities to them.
  • Underwear. Issues of size or, as one recipient of a negligee found, inappropriateness, may arise.


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