It’s almost time to say goodbye to the teachers who have helped our children grow and learn during the last year. I’m personally really happy with the teacher my son has had this year, along with the teaching assistant. They have really helped him develop – not just with traditional school subjects, but helped him manage his emotions and fostered his social skills too. I love saying thank you teachers. Don’t we all love to be acknowledged in our jobs and have the people we work for tell us how they appreciate it? Spreading joy and thanks by giving teacher’s a school leaving gift is something I want to continue to do every year. But maybe you’re not sure what to buy your teacher as an end of year gift, so here’s my teacher’s school leaving gift guide to give you some ideas you may not have considered!
Hand Crafted Gifts
My first mention is of course the personal element. Teacher’s do their jobs because they love working with our children and helping people grow into amazing people. The end of the year can be bittersweet for teachers – watching children they’ve spent a year helping move on to new things. A hand crafted personal card, gift or poem can mean the world to them. Get the kids involved with writing or making something. A while back I went direct to a teacher to get her personal opinion on what makes a good teacher gift. Rachel, a Year 4 teacher in Cardiff said “The best gift is honestly something that the child has been involved in, like writing in a handmade card, bringing in some home made cookies in some tupperware (which I will always re-use!) or just giving me a hug… If it’s something that shows that the kids have learned something from us, or got to know us during the year then it makes it all the more special.“
That being said, I am not a crafty or creative mum. Whilst I will get my son to make a card, I’ll also be buying a gift. Buying a gift can be very thoughtful, emotional or practical. Let’s see what you could buy your teachers at the end of the school year! What do teachers really want?
Note that some of the items in this gift guide were sent to me for consideration for inclusion. Some links may be affiliate links. Products and recommendations are entirely my own choice to include.
Personalised Teacher Gifts
A mug is a great gift for a teacher. Not only do teachers get through a lot of drinks in the day, but a mug is also a useful tool for holding things like pens and pencils too! Having a large amount of teachers in a school means it can be really handy to have a mug in the staff room with your name in it. They can also of course take them home and use them at home. You could consider having some custom mugs, with photos, names or messages on them made by Max Spielmann, who offer a wide variety of photo gifts. As you can see from the image, all you have to do is select a design and then you can input the name. It’s then printed as a wrap around on the mug – it’s so easy to do!
A personalised bag
A teacher will always have need for another bag, with so much stuff to carry! A personalised bag is relatively inexpensive, like this personalised teacher bag for just £10, but looks really fun and shows your appreciation.
Using a photo website like Max Spielmann, you can turn your children’s art into something memorable, and even useful. From mugs, to mousemats, to bags, and t-shirts, or even just a printed card. You can make a collage by taking a photo of lots of artwork together, and then use that photo to create a gift. I know that my son’s teacher enjoyed a little giggle at the “Daddy Dolphin” artwork, so why not give that memory and bring a smile to their face again. Are you even a parent if your child hasn’t presented you with a picture that looks remarkably rude?
Practical Gifts that makes a Teacher’s job easier
Teachers have to pack in a lot in a short amount of time, and often there’s not a huge budget in schools. In fact teachers often have to supplement their teaching supplies out of their own pocket. I asked Rachel whether she’d ever done this and she admitted, “Yeah, sometimes I will buy stickers as rewards and I’m forever buying packs of pens and notebooks as they seem to disappear very quickly!” Whilst it might not seem as personal as other gifts, a practical gift will be one you know for sure will be used and will make your teachers life easier. Practical teacher gifts can include:
You can get some awesome teacher’s notebooks and they’re only around £5 so this is an ideal gift if you have multiple teachers to buy for, or want to put together a bundle of practical teacher gifts . The fun image on the front will brighten up any teachers day, whilst also giving them something practical that they can use.
Pens and Colouring Supplies
There is never a pen around when you need it. Gifting a pack of pens is going to be appreciated by any teacher. For a mega gift I’m sharing the Doodlerz Creative Collection – it’s a set of 60 coloured gel pens and would make an amazing addition to the classroom. Gifts like this help the teachers help the children, and save them having to dip into their own pockets if the school doesn’t have any spare budget. If you are worried about the school budget, you could always offer to volunteer for the PTA and help fundraise, as most schools rely heavily on fundraising to make improvements for the whole school.
Crafting and Teaching Supplies
I’ve been assured by several teachers that crafting supplies are always gratefully received, but it needs to be age appropriate. If your child is in reception then a Mega Craft Kit could be appropriate, as there’s going to be plenty of opportunity for younger children to do free form crafting. For older children, gifts such as stationary supplies might be more appropriate. For all primary school children there’ll definitely be a call for reward stickers! You could put together a gift pack containing stationary such as pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, coloured paper and more.
Whilst each school will have a team of cleaners, teachers are expected to keep their classrooms clean and tidy during the day. This can be challenging especially in foundation years, when you have hordes of 4, 5 or 6 year olds running around, wreaking havoc. I have trouble cleaning up after one, let alone twenty of them. A practical teachers gift could be something that will help them in the classroom such as storage boxes, organizational supplies or tools to help them clean or tidy.
My ultimate recommendation for a practical gift in 2023 is the Hoover
Thoughtful Things Teachers Can Use Themselves
A hat for all weather
Teachers have to stand outside in all weather, from blazing sunshine in the summer term, supervising lunches and organizing sports day, to freezing winter. So I’d like to recommend some gifts that will make your teachers life more comfortable. A wonderful summer hat is this Helly Hansen Roam Hat. It’s a great gift for the end of term as it means the teacher will be able to use it all summer on their own vacation, but a good quality one will come in handy for years to come. Helly Hansen sell a variety of active and outdoor gear so if the hat isn’t suitable, you’re bound to be able to find something else.
Winter Hat and Gloves set
On the opposite side of the spectrum from a sun hat, a new winter hat and glove set will be perfect for the oncoming autumn and winter terms.
I’m not trying to make this all weather related but let’s face it, teacher’s are at the mercy of the British weather. It can go from sunshine, to freezing cold, to pouring down with rain, and teachers have to stand outside very often, particularly those supervising younger children. Umbrellas are easily lost and broken, so having a good quality one spare always makes a good gift in my opinion!
A Prezzee Gift Card is ideal for any teacher. Sometimes the best gift is letting someone enjoy a bit of shopping and choose for themselves! This is ideal if you don’t know the teacher that well, or if you know they’re getting a lot of similar gifts from other children. Prezzee can be personalized and sent in just a few minutes, and can be redeemed across hundreds of brands from shops like John Lewis, Waterstones and Amazon, to eating out, or even pair for an Airbnb break! A guaranteed hit with absolutely anyone.
Treats for Teacher Gifts
If you’re not a baker yourself then buying some cupcakes is a very thoughtful gift. Lola’s Cupcakes offer a variety of cakes, cupcakes and brownies, with beautiful designs, in an array of flavours. This would be a gift anyone would love to receive for sure. I sampled a box myself and what really impressed me is that they are available gluten free, as well as having vegan options and lower sugar options. As I haven’t been able to eat gluten for over a decade, I was really pleased to see this inclusivity and let me assure you, they were absolutely delicious.
An amazing tea gift
Give the gift of a cup of tea. I love this Pukka Tea gift set which teacher can keep in the staff room and make a cuppa during break.
Satisfy that sweet tooth
A gift of sweets is bound to go down a treat with any teacher with a sweet tooth. It’s also a gift that can be shared between multiple teachers, or they can even share it out with the children and spread some joy. I recommend this Sweet Teacher gift on Etsy, but there’s loads of different options, or you could easily make your own pick and mix box with a printed personal message.
Can’t go wrong with chocolate!
You can buy this Chocolate Gift Hamper on Amazon and you’ll receive a beautifully packaged gift box. It’s good value and a really easy option, but if you have a box you can reuse then it’s also easy to pop to the supermarket and make your own chocolate gift hamper which can work out cheaper and give you the option of choosing your own chocolate based on what you think your teacher would enjoy. And now I’ve got one of these chocolate gift hampers for you to win!
Win a Chocolate Gift Hamper
Win the above Chocolate Gift Hamper worth £15 including postage to any UK address. Entries by 26/7 at 11:59PM.Win a Chocolate Selection Box Gift
If you love my gift guides – and I know a lot of you do, as I receive such positive feedback on them – it’ll be a while until my next one now, which will be my back to school gift guide published in August, full of things to get your kids ready for school again. But first, let’s enjoy the summer holidays, I hope you all have a good one!