Great Gifts for Teachers and School Staff

Teacher's Desk

It’s holiday time! For many of us, that means giving gifts. It’s fun to give a gift, when you have a great idea for what item to give.

One common challenge? Finding a great gift for teachers or school staff.

In episode 406 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, we shared suggestions from listeners.

Here are some ideas—many of which come from teachers themselves:

  • A note from a child—many teachers mentioned how much they love these
  • Gift cards—note: these are easier to use when they’re more general (Target, MasterCard) rather than specific (Starbucks, a local movie theater)
  • A jar filled with strips of paper on which every member of the class wrote a favorite memory
  • As an end-of-year gift, a beach towel with magazine and mini-sunscreen
  • The gift of a parent’s time in the classroom
  • A recipe book to which each child contributed a favorite illustrated recipe
  • School supplies, such as pencils or dry-erase markers
  • Stationery printed with the teacher’s name and school
  • Anything handmade by a child
  • A donation to a cause of special meaning to the teacher 
  • A gourmet box lunch with a note and a nice bow

One listener mentioned that she asked teachers to fill out a “Getting to Know You” sheet, with questions about favorite foods, favorite drinks, favorite treats, hobbies, etc. That information made gift-buying easy.

I can’t resist mentioning a few items from The Happiness Project store that would make great gifts for teachers:

Several teachers noted that while they always loved the thoughtful gesture represented by a gift, they would rather not get “World’s Best Teacher” mugs (“school staff rooms are overflowing with these”) or sweets (“We have allergies and a very specific diet. When people load us up on cookies we often can’t even eat them and end up tossing them”).

The most common observation from teachers? The most meaningful gifts they can receive are notes of appreciation and favorite memories from their students. Many teachers mentioned how they look back on these gifts, years later.

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