Gifts to Buy for Teachers that Don’t Suck

Although I appreciate my kids’ teachers and think they are hilarious and fun, I NEVER know what to buy for any of them.

I have heard stories about teens being gifted graduation caps and gowns (from sites like by their thoughtful teachers on their grad-day, and it was amazing to see how much the teachers cared!

It only makes sense that the students return the favor in some shape or form. So, after years of failing and learning the hard way, I’ve come up with this list of gifts to buy for teachers that don’t suck.

Gifts to Buy for Teachers


Walter CeasersLet’s be realistic. When is the last time you hung out with your kids on a bad day and didn’t say “I need a drink”. Well guess what? Teachers have your kids and at least 19 other adorable troublemakers for about 7 hours a day. Sure your kids’ teacher may not drink but guess what is easily giftable? Booze. It’s win-win. Especially when you have got a liquor store in Thornton or anywhere near your home, booze could be easily delivered as a gift.

My go-to in the drinks department are liquor store gift cards. Don’t write the teacher’s name on the card in case she/he actually does want to regift your thoughtful but not on the mark present. If you want to step it up a notch, you could put together an adorable boozy gift pack like this one from Walter. If you teacher doesn’t drink, she/he still has a great morning beverage and some awesome bottles for stuffing stockers or gifts for someone else.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are so unthoughtful and lame. Said no teacher ever. Teachers don’t make a lot of money. They do seem to accumulate a lot of ceramic apples and bad Christmas ornaments.

Gift cards are actually incredibly thoughtful. They say “Hey, I like you enough to not burden you with one more crappy gift you aren’t going to use”.

Even better are VISA gift cards. Why? Teachers can use them anywhere including the internet. So although you may think the teacher loves buying things at Target, she may in fact prefer a pedicure and use it on that.

Gift cards. They make great gifts.

Classroom Decor

Like I’ve already said, teachers don’t make very much so are often strapped for cash, but they also come under a lot of pressure from management to decorate their classrooms using their own time and money. Get them something cool for their classroom, like a neon sign from Neon Filter with an inspirational/educational quote written on it. This will have a big impact on the room and the students are also sure to love it. Decor is also easy to theme to specific school subjects, so if the teacher is a geographer, you could get them travel posters, or if they’re an art teacher you could get them some art prints. You can also help make the room come alive by adding some houseplants to it. Maybe head online to look over the various types of jade plants and similar houseplants and pick a few for a thoughtful, eco-friendly gift.


Okay sort of tacky and expected but there is some really good chocolate out there. My key to buying chocolate for teachers is to skip all the really processed chocolate and head to a real chocolate shop like Soma Chocolatemaker. If you have to buy processed, go with Godiva. Don’t worry about spending loads of money on good chocolate. Four really good truffles will beat out any large box of Brandy Beans.

Vietnamese Coffee truffle. Photo Credit: Soma

Vietnamese Coffee truffle. Photo Credit: Soma

Gifts to Buy for Teachers That Do Suck

Just for clarity, here are a bunch of teacher’s gift options that do suck.

  • Anything that isn’t the full price of what it is. A gift card for a very expensive restaurant for $50 is very generous but it sucks. You don’t want to give anything to a teacher that forces them to spend money to enjoy it.
  • Anything involving doing anything with you and your child. Sure the teacher might enjoy that Nutcracker matinee you have four tickets for but she/he certainly doesn’t want to be forced to hang with you or your child outside of school. Its also unprofessional and can get them in trouble.
  • Anything LOCAL in the neighbourhood of the school. The teacher might really like spas. Still, if she/he doesn’t live in the neighbourhood, the teacher doesn’t want to have to trek back to the neighbourhood on a weekend to enjoy a spa treatment next to the people whose children they teach. They also don’t want to bring a date to the most popular restaurant near the school.
  • Anything ceramic or made by your child. Handmade gifts from kids are great only when they are your kids. Don’t believe me?Ask each kid in the class for something handmade to put in your kitchen and see how annoying it is.
  • Anything illegal. You may all joke that your kid’s teacher looks like a stoner. Don’t assume anything or give them anything illegal. Unless you like having Child Services over for tea.
  • Anything you baked. You may be a great baker. Doesn’t matter. They have seen your kid pick his nose and or scratch her butt and that’s enough to not make them eat food from your kitchen.
  • Anything you ACTUALLY SELL unless you sell booze or good chocolate. Let’s be realistic. It sets up a weird relationship when you give a teacher something you sell in multi-level marketing. They do not want to feel compelled to buy more. Instead let them come to you if they want one of your products and gift them a VISA card for the value instead.

You are not actually required to get anything for your kid’s teacher but if you are going to, make sure to get them something from my list of Gifts to Buy for Teachers the Don’t Suck.

Disclaimer: None of the companies featured gave me any compensation to be featured. This is simply a public service announcement in honour of teachers that work so hard for our kids. My kids’ teachers did not ask me to write this. Although I am pretty sure they both like booze.

9 Comments on this post

  1. Great post Sarah-I love it.

    Kim-Marie Evans / Reply
  2. Love this!!! Too funny and true 🙂 Ms. S

    Steph / Reply
  3. If money is an issue, a nice note from an appreciative parent would be really nice to get once in awhile.

    Barb S. / Reply
  4. Our teachers actually have started putting a wish list up so when parents go for conferences they can pick one of the snowman for something the teacher actually wants… one year my daughters teacher wanted gift cards and ranch dressing… i try to always get them something off their list to thank them for putting up with my brats!! also, usually get them some chocolates or a nice yummy snack to enjoy while not stressing at night!! Thanks for all u do 🙂

    melissa leyh / Reply
  5. […] bloggy friend Sarah created a gift wishlist for Teachers that DOESN’T Suck. Please, just go peek at the opening graphic. Hilarious. Her suggestions are spot […]

  6. […] bloggy pal Sarah created a gift wishlist for Teachers that DOESN’T Suck. Please, simply go peek on the opening graphic. Hilarious. Her options are spot […]

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