Teacher Approved Back To School Gifts

Summer is nearing its end, and I am in denial…Is anyone else just NOT ready for back to school time?!  While I have not even looked at our school supply list or figured out what my kiddos are going to wear on their first day, I have already spent some time looking up ideas for back to school teacher gifts.  One of my favorite traditions when school starts is sharing something fun, sweet, and useful with our teachers to show appreciation. After all, these amazing teachers spend hours a day with my kids, and pour so much of their time, effort, and personal finances into what they do…they deserve a little spoiling!!

A back to school teacher gift is a variant of the old “bring an apple to the teacher on the first day” idea.  

Now, thanks to Pinterest and Amazon, options are limitless! You can show off your creativity with a handcrafted gift,  get something practical for the classroom, or even just jot down a handwritten note. I’ve polled teachers, both current and former, to find out their absolute favorite EVER back to school gifts!  

**About that gift delivery…you may not have an easy opportunity to bring your gift, such as Meet the Teacher day or supply drop off day, or maybe you have a middle or high schooler who does NOT want to carry in a bunch of gifts to school. If this is the case, you can bring the gifts to the front office and ask the staff to place the items in the teacher’s mailboxes.  If you take this route, you may want to email the teacher and let them know to keep an eye out for their gift. 

Check out the following list, from REAL teachers, to get some inspiration!

  1. Handwritten notes– a heartfelt note from a parent or student was often described as the “best gift ever” from teachers.  Best part? It doesn’t have to cost a dime!
  2. Disinfectant wipes (Like Clorox or Lysol)– nearly every teacher I talked to said a big tub of these wipes was essential. There are tons of cute printable wraps or tags on Pinterest, or just put some colorful scrapbook paper or your kid’s drawing around the container to dress it up a little!  Here are a few of my favorite printables:   easy printable sanitizing wipes label  and free teacher appreciation wipes label.                                 
  3. Kleenex-I especially like to send Kleenex in during the winter/sick seasons, but over half of the teachers I talked to said that Kleenex was always running out (especially middle and high school teachers) and that they would love getting this for back to school.
  4. Post It notes– teachers said that post it notes were like gold…they use them for EVERYTHING!  They especially liked fun shaped or colored post its.
  5. Flair pens– I had no idea what this was and had to look it up, as many teachers mentioned it.  Flair Pens are made by Paper Mate and are smooth writing, quick drying, and come in super fun colors.  I love a good pen, so it makes sense that  teachers do too! (Gel or felt tip pens were also on the list, Flair is just a brand that I saw the most).
  6. Note pads and stationery sets– teachers requested these items for jotting down quick notes, and sending cards/thank you notes/words of encouragement to students, parents and peers.  They love little sets with matching cards, envelopes, and paper pads. These are easy to find at Target or Hobby Lobby.
  7. Quarters for the vending machine– one teacher wrote this down, and other teachers started chiming in “GENIUS!” I would never have thought of this, but I guess vending machines are a usual fixture in the teacher’s lounge.  A roll of quarters with a little note (or even a few dollars in quarters taped to a card) would be a thoughtful and useful gift!
  8. Ticonderoga pencils– teachers are always running out of pencils, and pre sharpened Ticonderoga pencils are just the best, sturdiest brand out there.  Any extra pencils are appreciated, but if you can spend a little more for Ticonderoga, then they’ll really love you!
  9. Expo dry erase markers– this is another item that teachers always need, and are always running out of.  They especially like the extra fine tip or fun colored dry erase markers. I will say from personal experience that off brand dry erase markers do not work as well, so Expo is best.
  10. Mugs and coffeemany teachers love coffee, so it’s no surprise to see these on the list.  Cute mugs filled with candy or individual packets of coffee are always nice.  One teacher suggested  a mug filled with pencils or small supplies. 
  11. Snacks– teachers love snacks to help get them through long days in the first week of school!  Baked goods, bundt cakes, yummy snack bars or candy were most requested items.
  12. Gum and mints– often teachers use gum and mints to tide them over until their break or lunch. These quick little treats are often overlooked, but much appreciated!
  13. Plants and flowers– this may seem old fashioned, but teachers love having a plant or bouquet to brighten up their classroom or home.  A trendy choice is a succulent plant- bonus points if you let your little sweetie hand paint the pot!
  14. GIFT CARDS– teachers always love gift cards.  The most requested places were Starbucks, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby.
  15. Other ideas–                                                                                                                                                                                                  “One mom gave each teacher this little peace of mind stress relief cream from origins (it comes in tiny travel sized containers for in the desk) and a small container of ibuprofen, with a card that said “for all the headaches my son will cause.  Another mom gave me two homemade coupons to come up in the afternoon and make copies for me – THAT was bomb.” – Christy, middle school teacher 

            “ I always love when I get something from my “favorites” page of my website because it shows they took the time to                       learn about me which makes me feel super special!”- Amy, elementary teacher

           “Honestly, as a middle or high school teacher, getting a gift from a kid is so rare, I always remember the ones who give                anything!”  -Amy, high school teacher


I always love when I get something from my “favorites” page of my website because it shows they took the time to learn about me which makes me feel super special!



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