What gifts do teachers love and hate? We found out – Here’s what they said! In a survey pitched at teachers, they described their favourite and least favourite gifts from students…

What to get

Something homemade

A card, note or ornament made by your child is actually one of the most cherished gifts according to teachers. Many teachers keep cards given to them by their students and cards are really easy to keep. I know my favourites have included a picture of the little miss or mister and their attempt at spelling my name. Those from older students are really special, especially when they articulate what you have meant to them. They bring a tear to the eye and make it certain that they’ll remember your little cherub.

Something personalised

An item with the teacher’s name on it is also a popular one. A water bottle, coffee mug, teaching stickers, the list goes on. These can be useful and also extra special when it includes the teacher’s name. It also means no other staff members accidentally claim their mug.

Something for the holidays

Term 4 is always craaaazy busy for teachers, so anything to help them enjoy some time off is a pretty safe bet! Movie tickets and gift certificates are easy but still thoughtful. If you know your child’s teacher well enough to know their beverages of choice… a bottle of wine, some of their favourite tea bags or their favourite chocolates can also go down well. I will warn you though, teachers will regularly get chocolates and might not drink – make sure you know what they love first if you go down this road!

Something grown

One that surprised me a little was the number of teachers indicating how much they loved receiving a plant or potted flower. I guess it’s another ‘know what your teacher likes’ kind of deal but a few teachers expressed loving the idea of receiving something that had been loved and nurtured by their student. If you’re into plants, this might actually be a really lovely gift (I think I’d be likely to kill it before it got to the teacher). Having said that, when I was leaving a school I had been teaching at I gave my colleagues orchids and they were delighted. Something to consider!

What NOT to get


This surprised me a little but many teachers say no to liking candles. From the explanations it actually makes sense. The gifts teachers prefer not to receive are scent related. Perhaps this is because there are so many different scents out there and many of them you either love or hate. It’s hard to pick the right scented candle for someone else!

Soaps and other personal products

Once again relating to the ‘scent’ issues, teachers don’t like to receive smelly things. It’s a very personal choice I guess that can either be a hit or miss depending on how well you know your teacher, but it seems it’s best to steer clear of scented items altogether.

So what's the BEST gift?

Make or buy something and whack your child’s photo or name on it. If it’s a card type item or letter you’re guaranteed to melt your teacher and have them store it for eternity. If your child writes a special message, or simply their name… it’s guaranteed their teacher will love it. It caters for any budget, any age group and any skill level. If you’re strapped for time, buy a small key ring, frame a photo or get a mug or calendar with your kid’s face on it. If you have the time and the patience to make something with your little cherubs, do that! You won’t disappoint.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Julie Cavaney

    Ha ha so true or chocolate. One year I got 8kilo’s that is a lot of chocolate. A personal favourite is wine 🙂

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