The Best Teacher Appreciation Gifts that Won’t Make it Weird

teacher gifts that aren't weird

I’ve seen a lot of weird teacher appreciation gifts. Yes, I do think it’s nice to give gifts to teachers. Whether it’s for teacher appreciation or Christmas, or what have you.


Don’t make it weird.

No, I’m not a teacher, and I’ve never been a teacher, but I do have friends and family that are, and I’ve seen some weird stuff.

I’m not sure why there seems to be so many weird gifts given to teachers out there, but there are and I’ve decided put a stop to it.

That’s why I’m sharing 5 things you need to quit giving teachers. But don’t worry… I have the answer for you. I have something that teachers DO want and how to make it cute.

the history of teacher appreciation week

History of Teacher Appreciation Week

Before we get to the list of what you should and shouldn’t give teachers, let’s talk about what Teacher Appreciation Week is and who started.

See, when you understand the background of a holiday and how it began, you begin to appreciate it more.

Teacher Appreciation Week originated in 1953, and teachers have Eleanor Roosevelt to thank for its inception. Roosevelt convinced Congress that there needed to be a specific day on which teachers were recognized. Prior to Roosevelt going before Congress, it is believed that some states did practice, but it is unclear and unsubstantiated. The theory, however, is that either a teacher from Wisconsin or Arkansas (they aren’t sure which) wrote letters to her trying to get her to help teachers’ cause. The Arkansas theory states that Mattye Whytte Wooldridge began communicating with leaders in the education system to form a day on which teachers would be honored. She ultimately began writing letters to Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt decided the cause was worthy of her attention and took it to Congress. Even with Eleanor Roosevelt taking the case to Congress and getting their help and support, it would take another 27 years for it to become an official national day. It was 1980 when the National Education Association (NEA), which was formed in 1857, joined together with the Kansas State and Indiana State Boards of Education and began to lobby Congress to have the day nationally recognized.

what to stop giving teachers
5 things to stop giving as teacher gifts

Stop Giving Teachers These Gifts

Now that your history lesson is out of the way, let’s get to the weird gifts. Look, I’m not judging. Okay, maybe a little, but please, stop giving teachers these gifts, it just makes it weird.

Food with no explanation

Here’s the thing about food: people have different diet restraints, allergies, etc. IF you’re going to give them food, at least make sure they know what it is and what’s in it.

This may seem petty but imagine if you had an allergy and someone gave you something that had an ingredient in it that you couldn’t eat but you didn’t know. Chances are, it would end up in the trash.


Yes, this one is weird too. Especially if it’s clothing like a robe. Yeah, that’s just weird, I’m sorry. When it comes to clothing, you don’t actually know their size, you don’t know their real style either. Believe it or not, what they wear to school might not be their favorite style.

Clothing can definitely make things really weird. IF you want to do clothing, stick with accessories like scarves. They are certainly one size fits all.

Handmade Crafts

Okay, with this one, I’m not talking about crafts you might sell, I’m all about those. But you know those drawings your kids do that you throw away? Don’t give those to teachers. I’m sorry, but they’re going to throw them away too.

Don’t have your kids make them a pencil holder out of crayons either. It’s just weird. Teachers work hard, they deserve something better, that’s just fact.

Bath Items

I don’t know why I would have to explain why this is weird, but it is. Do you want them thinking of you when they are bathing? I mean, really.


Now this last one might surprise you and while I don’t think all jewelry is a bad idea, I do think it can be weird. Sure, some cute earrings that are similar to what you’ve seen them wear before might be fine, but it can be borderline. Tread carefully. Like I said, it can get weird, fast. Remember, this is essentially a gift from your kid too.

So those are the categories I honestly think you should stay away from. I’m sure I could have triggered you if you’ve given these items before but remember, it’s just an opinion. However, if you think about it from their point of view, you might see the weirdness.

Now, I’m not one to give you a problem without a solution. And trust me I have one for you.

teacher gifts that don't suck
Teacher gifts that aren’t weird

The Best Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Two words: gift cards.

I think gift cards don’t get enough appreciation. Now, this can be weird too. So don’t give them something absurd like Victoria’s Secret. I hope I don’t have to explain that one to you.

Nevertheless, I do think gift cards can be meaningful, cute, and exactly what teachers actually want. That’s why I’ve created a teacher gift card bundle.

These printable items are available to download and go with the gift card. Make it more meaningful with a unique and one of kind card. Don’t pick up a card from the grocery store that everyone else will have… please.

And to make it even easier on you, I’ve broken these designs down to fit both specific shops and general ones. Here’s how to use them

Thanks for Keeping Me on Target this Year!

Clearly, for a Target gift card. Pretty much everyone loves this store, right? I mean there’s something for everyone. Plus, they can get school supplies there. Since teachers have to buy their own supplies, this can be a good way to help out!

Sip, Sip Hooray, Coffee is on me today!

It’s probably good to find out if they drink coffee before giving this one out, but a good one regardless. Most adults do drink some form of coffee, and if they don’t, there’s plenty of other drinks at coffee shops.

Thanks for being an Amazing Teacher

Amazon pretty much has everything. There’s no doubt that pretty much anyone can find something they want from Amazon.

You’re One of a Kind

Now, if you’re wanting to support small businesses (hey thanks!) then this one may be perfect for you. Give them an Etsy gift card! They can find something one-of-a-kind just like them!

For Any Card

Not sure what gift card you want to give them? That’s okay! I’ve included a fun pencil card holder that will work for any gift card you decide to buy. Just don’t make it weird!

Printable Teacher Appreciation Gift Cards available in The Printables Club

How to Download the Cards

Join The Printables Club! You can download 1000s of printables for celebrating everything and everyone.

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