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Teacher Appreciation Week Gifts

Show Your Gratitude: 5 Gifts to Skip + 5 to Get for Teacher Appreciation Week

Guides & Resources / April 30, 2024
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Teacher Appreciation Week is a great opportunity to show your support for educators and education as a whole. Whether you have zero or 100 teachers in your life, there are a variety of steps you can take to show your appreciation. While you can purchase gifts, it’s not necessary. You can make your small contributions amplified in impact by purchasing gift cards, donating to a teacher on a platform like DonorsChoose or donating to an education organization like The Educator Academy to make your small dollars go farther


Why Teachers Need Our Appreciation 

Teacher burnout is high. We need teachers, and we need teachers to know their importance. While gratitude for teachers will not fix this entirely, it is a necessary piece of the puzzle. Higher teacher pay and more robust teacher support are other ways to show teachers their value. However, those are longer-term solutions that can’t be delivered today. While system-level issues continue to be addressed, there are actions we can all take today to support teachers in our communities.


Teacher Appreciation Week Gifts to Avoid 

While these are not inherently bad gifts, they may not make the most impact on the amount of effort you are putting forward. 

    1. Candles: Some individuals have scent sensitivities. In addition, candles can be a fire hazard and are thus often not usable in a classroom. It’s also an item that tends to be overgifted. So, unless you know for sure that they would enjoy a certain candle, it’s probably best to pass. 
    2. Coffee Mugs: There is nothing wrong with a mug! Teachers often get overgifted with this item. Unless there is a need, this can go from cute to cluttered fast. 
    3. Decoration Knick-knacks: Educators often become overrun with “things”. While the apple-themed pencil holder might be cute, they may already have multiple. 
    4. Homemade Treats: Depending on their food preferences and allergies, they might not be able to eat the item. Additionally, food is something that teachers tend to get a lot of during teacher appreciation week, so the item might go to waste in the midst of the filled week.  
    5. Your clutter: Just because someone could use it doesn’t mean they will. While a teacher might be able to use the pom-poms you’ve kept in your supply closet, don’t assume they need or want it. If you do have practical school supplies, feel free to offer them to your teacher! Be thoughtful in what you pass on so that the teacher’s classroom doesn’t become a pitstop on the way to the trash for these items. In general, unless it’s been stated as a need, it’s best not to give it. 


Teacher Appreciation Week Gifts to Get 

Teachers are not expecting you to spend lavish amounts of money on them. They work regularly in an environment with limited resources. They understand that what’s ideal may not be what’s practical. Below are a few free and low-cost options for gifts to a teacher. When in doubt, ask the teacher! 

  1. Write a thank you note: There is truly no substitute for a handwritten note. If your students are not yet writing, you can have them draw a picture and assist them with writing a thank you. Don’t feel pressure to write anything long or lavish. In addition, you can share your appreciation to the building leadership. Email the principal with all the nice things you have to say about the teacher to give them some recognition. Just like at a corporate job, having a boss hear how great you are can make a huge impact on how your work is viewed! Be sure to BCC: the teacher so they can hear your praise too. The gift of gratitude during teacher appreciation week is meaningful. 
  2. Change the social narrative: Utilize social media to spread positive messages about education. Often the messages we see in the media amplify the challenges or shortcomings in education. In contrast, spread positive messages of the impact and importance that education has on you and your community. Tag school districts and buildings to share the joy directly with your child’s educators.
  3. Gift card: Suppliers like Target, Walmart, or a generic Visa gift card are great options. They might be receiving gift cards to the same or similar vendors that will allow them to increase their purchasing power. Plus, they can choose to spend the card on something for their classroom, or for themselves. Giving the option is a great way to ensure the educator in your life is truly getting what they need!
  4. Supplies: If your classroom has a supply needs list, check that for ideas on supplies a teacher could use. Be sure to coordinate with the teacher to ensure you aren’t spending money on an item that will go to waste. This might be a pack of whiteboard markers, a box of tissues, or shelf-stable snacks. No luck with your own educators, or would rather support the community at-large? Check with your local donation-based organizations to see if they are collecting supplies for school donations. Organizations like ScrapsKC frequently donate gently used items to teachers across the metro. 
  5. Donate directly to educators: While you can purchase gifts, it’s not necessary. You can donate directly to a teacher via platforms like DonorsChoose. On DonorsChoose, you can find classrooms and projects that match your special interests. You can even filter it by city and specific school to have a direct impact on your local community. You can donate to education organizations that pool funds to make a bigger impact than one person could do alone. For example, The Educator Academy is raising money for a teacher support funds which supports for educators and teachers in training all year long. Through your donation to these emergency support funds, The Educator Academy can cover costs that might otherwise keep individuals from entering and being in the profession full-time. Additional considerations.


There is no one perfect gift for all times, places, and people. Some items that might feel like a great fit for you may not fit for the teacher. For example, dropping off a hot lunch for the teacher is a great sentiment. However, if they are fasting for religious reasons or have allergies the gesture may not have the impact that was attended. Always communicate with the teacher and or the school to ensure the effort will match the intended impact. 


Support Educators this Teacher Appreciation Week

Join us in supporting the educators who shape the future! The Educator Academy provides a variety of financial, emotional, and curricular support for educators. This year for teacher appreciation week, The Educator Academy is raising money for our teacher support fund. These funds provide crucial assistance to teachers facing unexpected emergencies. This support fund allows us to provide financial assistance to our teachers who otherwise may not be able to persist in the profession. From unforeseen medical expenses to car repairs, every donation directly aids educators in their time of need, ensuring they can focus on what they do best: educating our youth. Together, let’s show our appreciation for their dedication and commitment to our communities. Your generosity can make a profound difference in the lives of those who dedicate their career to shaping young minds.

Donate to the Teacher Support Fund