Telling Teachers Thanks

Having been a teacher, I’ve had several friends ask for suggestions when it comes to giving gifts to teachers.  Whether it’s for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11) or for the end of the year, many people wonder just how to say thanks for the hours teachers have put into inspiring their kids.

My first response: Don’t give candles.  OK, there may be some teachers out there who could use another candle, but I had a cupboard full of them.  (In fact, I think I still have a few stashed away.)

My next suggestion is to find out something personal about your teacher.   Running  Socks and Gu may not sound interesting to some people, but it was a gift I knew came from someone who knew me personally (and they got used).  Does your teacher have a special hobby, a favorite place to go out, or a guilty pleasure you could indulge?

I’d also remind people that some of my very favorite “gifts” were sincere thank you notes that came on a random weekday, letting me know that their son or daughter was having a great experience.  Something about getting a note like that, scrawled out on an index card on an unassuming Thursday made it feel so much more sincere.  So go for it during Teacher Appreciation Week, but also take a minute on a day when it isn’t expected, and tell your teachers thanks.

So, with those thoughts out on the table, here are a few other fantastic ideas from around the web that might fit just right for the teacher(s) on your list!

I love this colored pencil vase with flowers from Happy Clippings (She also shares several other great ideas here as well.) I would have loved this as a teacher, and I do believe my boys’ teachers may each find a version of it on their desks this year.  

If you’re one of those lucky room moms who’s in charge of a class gift, this fingerprint tree would be a wonderful keepsake.  They’re very popular with weddings and family reunions, but I also think teachers would love one full of the little fingerprints they had spent the year with.  You can use green prints for leaves or make a fun blossoming tree like the one at  You can find a free printout and tutorial from One Fab Day here.

I’m always a fan of useful gifts, and I love these darling personalized notepads you can find here on Etsy.  If you’ve got a knack for graphic design, you might be able to whip up your own and have them printed locally.

My son has a teacher who is famous for telling her students several times a day how much she loves them.  This I Love You Alphabet was a perfect gift for her this year, and it’s a free printable available from Oopsey Daisy.

And if your teacher has a green thumb, one of my favorite gifts to give has been a Bleeding Heart Bush (formally called Dicentra).  I would attach a note letting the teacher know how much we appreciated what she had done and that we hoped every spring when the bush began to bloom, it would be a reminder of all the hearts she had touched and how fortunate we were to be among them.

What’s your favorite teacher gift to get or give?


Bleeding heart bush image source.



Filed under Celebrate!, Uncategorized

9 Responses to Telling Teachers Thanks

  1. Thanks for sharing my printable!! :) Have a great day! XO

    • notjustcute

      Thank YOU, Alison! I love that printable and have already put it to good use. (And it was very well-received!)

  2. Jody

    My favorite gift to give and get is a gift card to a local teacher store or online store where I can/and the teacher can purchase items for the classroom. I know that’s it’s not as personal, but it is the most useful and has been the most appreciated. One year I recieved a $50 gift card toward the school bookfair. That was great!

    • notjustcute

      I would LOVE that gift! I always have something on my wish list. It would be spent almost before it landed in my hand! (It’s also nice to recognize how much teachers often spend on classroom supplies right out of their own pockets.)

  3. Sally S.

    At the beginning of the year I had my son’s teacher fill out a “getting to know you” sheet that told us a bit about her favorite things including her favorite restaurant, drink, store and treat. For Christmas we got her a gift certificate to her favorite local restaurant and local ice cream shop (her favorite treat) and it was a hit. I am planning on getting her a gift certificate to her favorite store for the end of the year. I feel good knowing that she will truly enjoy what we are giving her because I feel so thankful that she is our son’s teacher.

    • notjustcute

      How smart! Teachers have their students fill those types of sheets out all the time. How nice to have the gesture reciprocated! (And so useful!)

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  5. Great list of ideas!! I’m pinning it.

  6. Cecelia

    I’m in middle school, and I was wondering if giving my e-mail address to my favorite teacher at the end of the year to keep in touch is weird? It’s my last year at my school, and she’s my absolute favorite teacher, she recently had a baby and I’d like to keep in touch, but I don’t want to if it going to be akward. I’m sort of shy to, so how would I bring this up?

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