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Lessons Learned: Teachers Gift Ideas


As the end of the school year approaches, it can be difficult to come up with great gift ideas for your child’s teacher. The days of giving a simple apple have passed! Teachers have a tough job, and an end-of-year present is a nice way to thank them for all their hard work. This year, give the teacher something they actually want. We’ve consulted with a few teachers here in Halifax, and got lots of feedback about gifts. Here are the best (and worst) gift ideas to help you find that perfect something on any budget.

First, here are the top 5 cliché gifts to skip this year.

1. Mugs: Within a couple years of being a teacher, most teachers have an overflowing cupboard of these. Personalized or not, just skip this option.

2. Sweets: Although it’s a pretty common choice, teachers often get too many sugary presents during Christmas and June. For the health-conscious teacher, this is far from ideal.

3. Stuffed animals: Seriously reconsider any gift involving a stuffed animal, no matter how cute it is!

teacherstuff4. Candles: Similar to mugs, teachers usually get an overabundance of these, and they end up piling up in the closet.

5. Soap: It isn’t fun and sends the wrong message.

Don’t waste your time with those “below average” gifts!


Now, here are 10 great gift ideas to give the teacher the thank you they deserve:

1. A best-seller book: Give teachers a great novel to read over the summer. Chances are they haven’t had a lot of free reading time, and the two months off is a perfect time to catch up on those popular reads.

2. A personalized notepad or stationary: There are many business stores that do personalized notepads and stationary for affordable prices. If it’s an elementary teacher you’re buying for, add a fun design to the notepads to make them unique.


3. An interesting hard-cover book for the classroom: Giving teachers a useful and fun book to keep in the classroom is always a great idea. Illustrated books about Greek Mythology, space, animals, or any interesting topic are awesome for students and teachers alike. Choose something that will entice kids to sit down and turn the pages.

4. Gift certificates: These are always a good idea. Get one for a nice restaurant, a close by coffee shop, a movie theatre, a spa, or even iTunes.

5. Pretty Picture Frames: This is always a nice idea for teachers to keep at work or take home and enjoy.

6. For her- A mani/pedi: For female teachers, a manicure or pedicure gift certificate is a perfect gift to allow for some self-indulgence after a busy school year.

7. For him- A nice tie: Male teachers will appreciate a quality tie because it’s both useful and stylish. Choose this gift for a professionally dressed teacher- a grade 1 or 2 teacher likely doesn’t need a tie.

8. A donation to charity in the name of the classroom: This is always a great idea, especially for an established teacher who doesn’t need a thing. There are all kinds of great organizations that give back to the community. This is the gift that keeps on giving!


9. A collective classroom gift: If you can get the entire class involved, a communal thank you present can be a meaningful thing for teachers to get. Make a DIY classroom memory piece (for example, getting everyone to sign a large homemade card, or sign a scrap book highlighting the year), or pool resources to get a larger gift (a signed director’s chair, for example).

10. A handmade thank-you from the heart: This costs virtually nothing and is often the most appreciated gesture of all. Get your child to make a list of great things about their teacher, and to write how much they will miss learning from them. This gift is guaranteed to warm the heart, and is the easiest to make!

Search online for DIY ideas and examples of the gift ideas above. These gifts are sure to be successes, and will end the year on a high note!

Written by Shila LeBlanc from Halifax Learning. With various locations in the city, Halifax Learning Centre offers many different programs to suit everybody’s needs – it’s more than just tutoring! For more information on programs like SpellRead, Momentum Math, French and more visit their website

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