Guest Post: Gift Ideas For Teachers {End of Year/Christmas}

End of Year Teach Gift Ideas - on

Hi, I am B from I write about fashion, food, home and life. I spend most of my time being a stay at home mum, but my ‘grown up proper job’ is a primary school teacher. I do love being a teacher, I love planning and teaching lessons and getting to know children. I love seeing students learn things and I love seeing them grow and mature. It really is a rewarding job.

I asked Kelly if I could write some tips on buying gifts for teachers for the end of the year. We all love our classroom teachers and it is nice to be able to show that gratitude in the form of gifts. I have given some suggestions for Under $10 and Under $20 as well as ideas for group gifts and ideas for male teachers.

Now, teachers don’t demand gifts, they really don’t expect them. All my teacher friends just love seeing children succeed, so this is not a wish list from teachers, rather, these are things that either I have recieved or some of my teacher friends have received that were just plain lovely. As a teacher, I wouldn’t expect parents to spend more than $20 on a gift, but… if you want to spend more – go for it!

There are lots of lovely little things around under $10. Because the Australian school year finishes in December, Christmas themed gifts can be a sweet little idea.

  • Christmas decorations – handmade is a lovely touch
  • Coffee mugs – personalised or inspirational
  • Ornamental apples – always cute to have an apple on the desk
  • Chocolates – always popular
  • Pot Plant – a Ponsietta is a nice touch
I would say that $20 should be your upper-limit on a gift for a teacher, it is their job to be lovely and warm and caring. A well thought and penned card is just as nice as an expensive gift.
  • Fancy keyring – either personalised or with bling is cool
  • Cool stationery – teachers cannot have enough note books, pens or sticky notes
  • Engraved Pen – teachers are renowned for being pen stealers, this could help
  • Coffee/Tea Hamper – a selection of coffees or teas is perfect for teachers/caffeine addicts
  • Calendar – there are so many lovely calendars around, and teachers love these too

Group Gifts

  • If you are super organised, you can get some other parents in the class to pool some money to buy a more expensive gift. Day spa vouchers, store vouchers or jewellery vouchers are beautiful ideas.

Male Teachers

  • You may want to think outside of the box for male teachers… Mr Cool {Physics teacher} once got an English Premier League Soccer jersey from a class – which he thought was pretty cool
  • Sporting gear; soccer ball, cricket ball, hat, zinc cream, if your teacher is sporty
  • Coffee/Tea packs
  • iTunes vouchers, movie money
  • Photo frames, key rings, mugs or wine {if appropriate for your school *wink*}

Notes on handmade

  • Handmade ornaments and other pretty things are lovely. I love the thought behind the gift and appreciate that it took someone {probably a hard working and tired mum or grandma} precious time to make.
  • Some thoughts on home cooking; I have taught in some ‘interesting’ schools and I have had to have a ‘I do not eat home-made’ policy. Having said that, I have made shortbread stars for my children’s teachers. I included a little note saying that we all used clean hands and made sure all the equipment was clean and hygienic – not everyone is as clean as you think!

Finally, some tips to remember…

1) Keep the gift small {when you get 30 gifts it can be overwhelming}

2) Instead of thinking of a big gift and a small message in a card, buy something smaller and write a heart felt card

3) Let your child be involved in picking out the gift, or the wrapping or the card writing. They have built a relationship with their teacher all year and I know I love getting cards from my students

Just for a bit of fun {and not sound ungrateful} here are some gifts that got Mr Cool and I chuckling over the years…

  • Non-alcoholic wine – Mr Cool made a bottle into Sangria, he added proper red wine and fruit juice to it
  • Ties, socks, handkerchiefs – just a little awkies…
  • Re-gifted things – check that cards are not left in gifts people
  • I was given a gorgeous silver necklace from a student, I am pretty sure it was stolen. True. The student is now quite possibly in the clink {nothing to do with my teaching}

Have I missed anything? What are some great ideas you have had?

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Thanks for having me Kelly! So nice to be here! Really…

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

Latest posts by Kelly - Be A Fun Mum (see all)


  1. Jodie Gunders says

    I love the awkward gifts! Hehe :-) My failsafe teacher gift option is Envirosax. You can never have too many. They come in awesome colours and designs. And at least once a year, they have a 50% off option. That said, my Preppie son has given Star Wars gifts for the past two years.

  2. says

    I’m a teacher too. The other day I pulled out a vase to put some little flowers in and remembered that it was from a student I taught in year 2 (and she graduated last week). I used to keep it on my school desk and put flowers in when children brought them in. I was inspired and this morning I had one very excited little boy take his teacher and teacher’s aide vases full of hand picked flowers from the garden.

    • says

      Awwww, that is so nice!

      I remember bringing flowers in for my teacher with the wet cotton wool and all wrapped in alfoil…. I am glad that some kids are still doing that!

      The vase is a lovely gift idea – wish I had thought of that!

  3. says

    Love it, B!

    Right, well, I’m crossing socks and jocks of Mr W’s list – since you mentioned it – and leaning instead towards handmade pencil case…

    Tell me though: if Mr 6 has two teachers this year, should I be getting them both the same thing in case they compare notes?

    • says

      Pencil cases would be cool…

      Regarding the two teachers…. hmmmm…. I think it would be fine to give them the same gifts – perhaps different fabrics though ;-P

      Anything home made is lovely…. I am jealously watching my kids ‘play’ with the lovely pencil cases of yours I bought…. Might have to get one for myself!

  4. Lyndall says

    Wonderful ideas! I asked some teacher friends for their low-down on preferred gifts lately – many also urged no-handmade, and no chocolate – one received 15 boxes last year! Coffee vouchers also ranked high on their wish lists!

    • says

      I have already recieved some fudge. I don’t eat sugar! That will certainly be brought along for our Christmas camping trip for someone else to eat!

      Handmade CAN be nice, but… I always check the state of the child’s school bag before I would eat it…

  5. Catherine says

    As a teacher I have loved getting handmade cards from students, especially the one a student drew with a picture of his vacuum cleaner and after asking his mum how to spell it, he proudly wrote each letter by himself (pre school student).

    Just a note though: be careful with smelly things. I got a beautiful present one year I had to pass on to a friend as the smell from it gave me a migraine.

    • says

      Oh, yes to the smelly things! I have been given some truly overpowering things too! That is one of those things that may require a bit of research before purchasing…

  6. Anna says

    I got a beautiful handmade box for World Teachers Day this year. Unfortunately there was so much glue involved that the lid was glued shut and I have no idea what was in the box!

  7. says

    Great ideas! Last year I got my kids to describe their teachers – and using their words, I made up an A4 poster on Wordle and framed it. The teachers loved it. It hardly cost me anything, but it was something different and something personal.

  8. says

    I love things the children have picked out themselves. When I taught kindy, I had a little boy give me a jar of spices…and I still remember it (and him) 15 years later because it was so individual and from the heart. His mother just let him choose what he wanted, and that was what he chose.

  9. A fellow teacher says

    I like your suggestions :-) . One of the loveliest presents I saw that was given to a teacher, was a canvas painting done by a young child (who had additional needs). If your child is interested in art, you could buy an inexpensive canvas and acrylic paints from a store like kmart, then have your child do a painting.

    Also, you wrote: “it is there job” instead of “their”.

  10. Rebekah says

    I think you mean “their” job not “there” job but since I am not a teacher maybe I am incorrect. The gift ideas are nice.

  11. Tanya says

    Love the suggestions but the grammatical & spelling errors by a teacher is a bit worrying.

    ‘Their’ job not ‘there’ job
    ‘Renowned’ not ‘re-knowned’

  12. Jenny says

    As the wife of a male teacher I have to say, there are only so many places to put “world’s best teacher” plaques and coffee cups. Best gifts he has received… personalised note block, stationery, homemade pickles, a new release book from favourite authors, and wine or chocolate. Frankly I love all the chocolate he is given. I love the practical and consumable as managing teacher resources and the stash of stuff can be overwhelming in our small home. It’s the cards he loves and keeps when they are heartfelt.

  13. says

    I like the assembled ‘teacher recovery kit’, put things like panadol, tissues, coffee, tea etc in a basket- it’s practical and gives a chuckle- great for male teachers like my husband. I also love Christmas ornaments; we have some from years ago. One person found out all the names of the family somehow and wrote them separately by hand (nicely) on a set of baubles. They are still a highlight when putting up the tree as the kids find theirs! Also someone made a particularly gorgeous one out of pins, sequins and a craft ball with the year on it.

  14. Naomi Thomson says

    Tanya even teachers make mistakes, they’re human not perfect!
    Thank you for the great ideas it can be hard to think of something small but meaningful.

  15. says

    Thanks for this post.
    My little one is in daycare and I have arranged something for her direct carers. First year I gave some artwork prints, last year prints with a thank you and little fingerprints. This year I’m not sure what to do, but probably something as suggested here.

  16. Teacher Mum says

    My favourite all time gift was from a boy in my class that would rather be outside playing than inside learning. It is an inexpensive white square platter that was personally splattered with brightly coloured glass paint and it has his christian name and the year painted on the back. I still have the platter and use it weekly, in fact I use it so much it rarely gets put away. Now every year I give that same gift idea to my 3 children’s teachers and if we’ve had the teacher before we change the platter to a salad bowl to make a matching set. Now when we have shared lunches the staff room table consists mostly of hand painted platters by my children I know that my children have touched the hearts of those teachers as much as they have touched the hearts of my children.

  17. Lena says

    What an ungrateful lot you are. I have always made my children’s teachers beautiful home made treats. To study and check if the children are clean enough? Really? I can only hope that not all teachers are as ungrateful and demeaning as the ones posting here

  18. Elana Krane says

    Teachers are under paid and never pamper themselves. Gift cards are wonderful and hand written cards beautiful. They often have children of their own to fill their trees with decorations and art – give them gift cards! Honestly they will remember your child as they drink that coffee using your gift card or remember you child as they eat that yummy lunch someplace!

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