We’re happy to welcome Becca Reed to share her choices for 5 meaningful gifts for teachers as the school year draws to a close. 

Close your eyes and think about the people in your life who helped shape you for the better. Those who sparked a belief or curiosity or inspiration in you for the first time. Or maybe, those people who simply made you feel safe.

Go ahead, take a minute.

There’s a pretty good chance that one of the people who came to mind included a teacher.

Over the course of our lives, we spend thousands of hours with our teachers, and our children will do the same. With the exception of caregivers, educators are the primary voices speaking into the soil of kids’ souls. The potential for impact that this relationship creates is, quite honestly, staggering.

But what does this mean to teachers? From experience, I can tell you: It feels like a profound responsibility and an awesome honor.

In the midst of ever-changing expectations, debate about compensation, and checklists of responsibilities that only seem to get longer, it’s the cultivation of kids’ hearts, minds, and life trajectories that keep teachers in the game — the opportunity to create moments that will stay with those students forever.

With everything teachers are investing in their students’ lives each day, investing back into them is worthwhile. And while we can do more to support teachers at a societal level, these are 5 of my favorite meaningful gifts for teachers that can show your appreciation, one student-educator relationship, one school year at a time.

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Top image: Teaching Little Minds notebook by Jessica Steury for Minted

5 Meaningful Gifts for Teachers

The end of the school year is the perfect time for meaningful gifts for teachers to show the educators in your life that you see them, and deeply appreciate the way they show up for their students every day. Note that the best gifts for teachers are those that acknowledge who they are, what makes them tick and what makes them smile.

With that in mind, here are some heartfelt recommendations for meaningful end-of-year teacher gifts that I know will truly resonate with your child’s teacher:


Handwritten note thanking a teacher: the most meaningful gift you can give a teacher costs nothing

1. A Genuine Handwritten Letter

Easily the most meaningful gift a teacher can receive is more or less free — a genuine, handwritten letter from a parent or student. Take the time to explain specifically how they’ve impacted your child’s life.  Share a special moment where the teacher made a difference. Encourage your child to contribute their thoughts and feelings in the letter, no matter their age. Highlight special moments, achievements, or funny anecdotes from the classroom. Nothing hits home quite like sentiments from kids in their own words.

I can assure you that these letters tend to wind up in a special collection that helps remind teachers of the years of the impact they are making on so many lives — especially during challenging times. (Image: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

Related: 5 teacher note tips for a thank you card to remember

Gift cards for teachers from Target: One of the most meaningful 5 gifts for teachers

2. Gift Cards That Show You Understand Their Needs

The list to satisfy classroom supplies and give students everything they need to learn is never-ending. Gift cards are practical and thoughtful, allowing teachers to choose what they need or enjoy — both for their classrooms and for themselves.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to make a gift card into a more meaningful teacher gift:

  • Amazon Gift Cards: Ideal for teachers who might need new supplies or want to purchase something for their personal use. Many teachers have vibrant Amazon wish lists. A Barnes & Noble card works as well.
  • Restaurant Delivery Gift Cards: Offer to take away some of that school-day stress by sharing a meal delivery option from DoorDash, Grub Hub, or even a favorite local cafe or restaurant. It will definitely be put to good use!
  • Target Gift Card: Most teachers have a Target nearby that they frequent. This is a versatile gift card option that can be used for classroom supplies, personal items, or something special they may not typically purchase for themselves. Plus, so many of the designs (above) are perfect for teachers.


Meaningful gifts for teachers: A personalized notebook from Minted helps them stay organized, jot down ideas, and find continued inspiration

3. Organizational Tools…Personalized

A teacher’s need for organization is real and ever-evolving, and tools to help teachers structure their lives are nearly always welcome. If you want to make this a more meaningful teacher gift, add a personal touch with personalization.

Personalized gifts show intention, consideration, and understanding of a teacher’s unique interests and personality. Think about organizational gift items they can use daily in their classroom or personal life, like:

  • Personalized Note Pads: Perfect for jotting down quick notes or reminders, it’s easy to find personalizable options, which makes it that much more delightful for gifting. The personalized teacher appreciation notebook (by Jackie Crawford for Minted, above), is made for teachers, of course — but they have plenty of artful designs to suit any taste from soulful and pretty to modern and geometric.
  • Personalized Book Stamps: A thoughtful and practical teacher gift for helping to preserve that classroom library they’ve likely spent years curating.
  • Classroom Welcome Signs: You’ll need to know the style and personality of the teacher for this special gift that’s a little less common than some others. But adding a touch like this to a teacher’s domain is a special way to say “I see you” — and “you always made me feel welcome.”


The most meaningful gifts for teachers: A special book, like Lessons Learned from Deborah Roberts

4. A Special Book

While teachers often have wishlists of books for the classroom, it can be a joy to receive a book all their own. If you know your teacher’s favorite genre, a favorite historical hero who’s featured in a new biography, or any book at all that they’ve mentioned wanting to read, this can be a thoughtful and appreciated gift.

Above: Lessons Learned and Cherished: The Teacher Who Changed My Life by Deborah Roberts is a
giftable collection of essays celebrating teachers, by contributors from Oprah Winfrey to Misty Copeland. Plus, a portion of sales supports public school classrooms through Donors Choose.


meaningful teacher gifts according to a teacher: A potted pothos plant from the bouqs to remind them that they're helping students grow every day

5. A Plant for the Classroom, to Let Them Know How Much They’ve Helped You Grow

A small, easy-to-care-for plant can brighten up the classroom or home and serve as a lasting reminder of your appreciation — and a constant reminder that their work is helping students grow every day.  A Pothos, like the one above (from the Bouqs) is especially resilient if you’re unsure whether your teacher has a green thumb. A Snake Plant is another easy option. And of course, both last longer than a bouquet of flowers.

Whatever you choose to give a teacher to show your appreciation, whatever lets them know that they are seen, understood, recognized, and appreciated really make a difference. These are just a few ideas to help pour back into teachers so they can continue to show up in deep and impactful ways for all their students for years to come.


Becca Reed: Guest contributor to Cool Mom Picks

Guest contributor Becca Reed is a longtime public school early educator, turned curriculum advisor, education podcaster, and development lead of Learn Kind, the first-of-its-kind social-emotional learning kindness curriculum from grades K-8. She’s currently the Chief Programs Officer of kindness.org, working on curricula and resources to help humans reconnect to our shared humanity through work, schools, and life.