If you can read this, thank a teacher. Like, today.

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week, meaning free pedicures and lattes should be raining down on all those lovely people who take care of our kids’ precious minds throughout the school year. So, don’t hold back: Tell a teacher how much you appreciate all the hard work they do.

And while you’re thinking about the teachers in your life, it’s a great time to pick up something special for those end-of-year teacher gifts. Something easier to wrap than pedicures and lattes. -Christina

Sweet Treats

p.o.p. toffee

I have two words for you: School Lunches. I think our teachers deserve a little something wonderful, like the artisan and handmade treats from CMP fave Foodzie. Grab the 25-piece p.o.p. Butter Crunch Candy Tasters, and your teacher will be the hit of the lounge. ($25)

Khaya Cookies

Khaya Cookies are sweet, delicious, support local growers and workers, and come so prettily packaged, you don’t even need to wrap them. If the teachers will forgive the saying: It’s a no-brainer. ($5 each)

Divine Chocolate Blissful Gift Set

With three Divine Chocolate bars, a pound of Mexican roasted coffee and three recycled paper bookmarks from Nepal, Divine Chocolate’s Blissful Gift Set just needs a book and a hammock for some serious summertime relaxing. ($21)

For the teacher who begs “No Sweets!”

Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind

After a year with my angel, I bet those teachers could use a good laugh, like the funny and poignant summertime read: Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind. ($15.63)

Cruelty Free Leather Journal

Give your teacher a place to record all of this summer’s adventures, even if every day starts with, Summer! Whoo! Love the Cruelty-free leather Travel Journal from handmade Expressions with its globe design and the 100% tree-free paper inside. ($25.95 at Celery Street)

Growing Wishes Seed Kit

With seeds to grow flowers representing everything from friendship (sweet pea) to happiness (lavender), The Growing Wishes Seed Kit will remind your favorite teacher of his or her special gift long after the classrooms empty out for the summer. ($20 at Uncommon Goods)

Personalized gifts for a favorite teacher

Sweet Bella Cards

Even if the school building is more “modern cinder block” than “little red schoolhouse,” my son’s preschool teachers would love these personalized notecards from Sweet Bella Cards. ($15 for set of 8)

Custom Apple Bookplate

For the teachers who are generous with their classroom’s books, help them get those hardcovers back with a set of Personalized Teacher Bookplates by Lockettte. I love the modern-style fabric apple that is affixed to each one. ($10 for set of 8)

Chez Sucre Chez Tea Towel

Even though my son thinks his teachers live in the school building, I know better. Getting them a Hand-Embroidered Monogrammed Tea Towel from Chez Sucre Chez is a personal (but not too personal) way to bring a little lovely thank you into their home. ($18, in many color combinations)

top photo: Plantine Cookies’ Thank You Tin at Foodzie ($50)


Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford loves homeschooling, running, cool kids’ music, and coffee. Not in that order.


  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Sarah Wood

    What is sad, is that most parents do not recognize Teacher Appreciation. I am teacher, and cannot tell you how much something would be appreciated right now. I hope some of my students parents read this article and take some hints.

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Ouidad Blog

    Thank goodness for all of the wonderful teachers out there! These are great Teacher Appreciation ideas. (Yet even a flower from the garden is a thoughtful gesture.) Love your blog!
    -Deb for Ouidad

  • Reply May 5, 2010


    I agree with Sarah. I am glad that our school’s student council recognizes teachers this week, or we would go completely unnoticed. Because I am a teacher, I always go out of my way to recognize my daughter’s teachers. It means so much and takes so little energy.

  • Reply May 6, 2010

    Amy Weller

    J.M. and Sarah…I completely agree with you two. I, too, am a teacher who has yet to receive even a thank you from my students or parents this week. But I did send a nice fruit basket to my daughter’s teachers with a wonderful thank you note from my daughter (ok..I did help she is only 4), but it’s the thought that counts!

  • Reply May 6, 2010


    My husband brought home a lovely potted flower with a sweet (printed but nevertheless) note from the PTSA yesterday… He’s not a teacher, he’s a speech language pathologist, & it was his first teacher appreciation event in his new school career. He was thrilled, & I now get to enjoy the flower too :-)

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