The Perfect Gifts for Teachers?

Every year we invest hours of our time and thought into putting together adorable, delightful and even quirky gifts for our children’s teachers. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The one gift they really want is cash.

It may sound crass to say teachers want cash, but they do! After asking several of my friends who are teachers, they all admitted that while they do think the gifts they receive are adorable, the one thing they truly appreciate and use are gift cards.

Think about it. Teachers are on a limited salary. With smaller school budgets, teachers often spend their own money to get craft supplies for their classrooms rather than have kids go without. What better way to say thank you for their dedication than to help them out where it will ease the burden.

It’s easy enough to pop into a store. And while it may feel like “cheating,” sometimes it is the gift that counts. Popular places for gift cards include: Target, Walmart, OfficeMax and Staples.

I’m not saying ditch the idea of creating a sweet gift for the teacher with your child. It’s important our children learn the importance of saying thanks. But we also need to think about what will help out our teachers. This holiday, think about making a present that creatively presents a gift card to your child’s teachers. They’ll thank you for it.

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  1. Yup – you are so right! My son and his wife are teachers, my sister is a teacher, my cousin is one and so was my father-in-law! I even worked in Special Education until I retired a few years ago! Don’t get me wrong, gifts of any type are appreciated, it’s just that with limited budgets and literally nothing in the budget for arts and crafts, let alone field trips, any cash donated or gifted goes a long way!

    1. I was really worried this post would rub people the wrong way, but I’ve gotten great responses like yours. If people want to their a teacher, they should do it in a manner that fits what teachers need!

  2. I was a teacher–and you are so right. However, I do give some homemade goodies in a coffee cup or something I picked up at a garage sale with a homemade ornament the kids helped with–and I use my discover cashback to get giftcards free for me–Valuable for them! I even blogged about it!

  3. Totally agree… although as a parent, I feel like giving cash is a bribe in some way. Yet, a gift (even a gift card) is not. Funny, how that works.

  4. I 100% agree with you!! After teaching for almost 10 years, I got lots of sweet holiday gifts from students and their parents. I appreciated all of them but I really loved the cards with notes of appreciation & a gift card/cash with the suggestion of “Go and treat yourself!” I always looked forward to a special dinner out with my husband or shopping for something fun for myself. 🙂 Whitney

  5. Great idea! Gift cards are great! I’m thinking Starbucks.

  6. I worked with a lady who’s husband was a Social Studies teacher in a small Catholic school in the city and she admitted to us that the gift cards are the way to go because some of the quirky and cute stuff gets thrown to the side and there just simply is not enough space on their desks or at home even to display it all, especially when the teacher has children of their own!

    1. I didn’t even think if the teacher has kids, too. Can you imagine how many crafts they’re given at the holidays?!?

  7. I get lots of gift cards from students, and I think it is such a kind gesture. I would also add gift cards to Starbucks or Barnes and Noble ~ I don’t know a single teacher who doesn’t love coffee and/or books!

    1. I’m with you there, Sarah. Plop me at Starbucks with a good book and I’m in heaven.

  8. Thinking the last time I got a gift from a student. LOL. I guess that is what I get for teaching at Juvy.

  9. This is so smart. I was just thinking about what to get for my daughter’s daycare teachers, and a gift card is just the thing! Add a little tin of cookies, and a homemade Card from your child, and it says thoughtful AND useful! Perfect!

    1. You’ve got the idea, Emily! My teacher friends thank you.

  10. Yep! We love gift cards!!! Popular places at my school are oriental trading, target, Starbucks, Barnes and nobles or half price books, and teachers pay teachers. I would bet the teacher would also happily let you know where they order their supplies from 🙂

    1. Great point, Stephanie! It never hurts to just ask directly where they shop so you can be sure you’re getting the right gift card for them 🙂

    2. Oooo. I never would have thought of Oriental Trading! Great suggestion.

  11. That is great. I hate giving gift cards because I feel that I didn’t put enough though into it but it is true that I love receiving them. I guess it doesn’t make sense than not to give them. I hope you clean up on gift cards this year. Happy holidays.

    1. Give away! I was surprised when my teacher friends admitted that they really love the gift cards. It makes such a difference for them 🙂

  12. Amen, Sister. I’m a teacher, and there is nothing better than a green bill in a Christmas card or a gift card to a favorite store or restaurant. Last year a child gave me a card with $50 inside. I about passed out from excitement!

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