8+ Awesome Gift Ideas to Show Teacher Appreciation

Now that the kids are settled in to their new classrooms and back to the school routine, we thought now would be the perfect opportunity to show our love for the people who not only teach our children, but the ones who play with, comfort, guide, and inspire them as well. Yes, it’s customary to give a gift to your child’s teacher when school lets out for the summer, but why not show your appreciation by surprising them with a gift at the beginning of the school year instead? Bonus–you’ll get in their good books right off the top!

Fit-Everything Tote Bag

Teachers have a lot of stuff to bring to and from class every day, so a big, strong, practical tote bag is an essential part of a teacher’s kit. If your kid’s teacher already has a good bag, you could also get some super useful must-haves to fill up that bag:

Lunch Box

Buying lunch is expensive, but packing a lunch everyday can get complicated. To make bringing food from home a little tidier, a great lunch box is key. A bento-style box keeps healthy lunch items in their right place, or a bag with insulated compartments keeps the hot side hot and the cold side cold.

Fix-It Tool

Unfortunately, not all schools are in the best of shape, and sometimes things in the classroom fall apart. Instead of waiting for the custodian to show up when something goes haywire, help your teacher take matters into their own hands with a handy multi tool that can be stashed in a desk drawer or a bag.


Self-care is a hot buzzword at the moment, but nobody deserves a little pampering more than the people responsible for the moulding of your children’s minds. Give the gift of a little relaxation with an aromatherapy diffuser and essential oils, some manly pampering with a grooming gift set, or a good, clean scrub with a skin care gift set.

Cold & Flu Fighters

Cold and flu season can hit teachers the hardest, especially the ones who are are around small, sticky people all day. You can help prepare your teacher’s defences with a cold season care package with some fun tissues, hand sanitizer, or vitamin C supplements.

Kill-Proof Plants

A plant does wonders for brightening up a dull space (like an institutional classroom), but teachers are busy people, and who has time to dote over a delicate flower? For a sweet teacher gift, a succulent is a great choice because they are virtually indestructible, and they look very cute on a desk.


Most teachers we know wouldn’t be able to function without a generous supply of coffee everyday, and we suspect that the typical offerings from the teacher’s lounge aren’t up to the standards that our amazing teachers deserve. A travel coffee press and a bag of fair-trade ground coffee would come in very handy for any teacher who regularly caffeinates.


Gifting books for the classroom is a wonderful way to thank a teacher and help their students. Depending on the teacher and the grade, these books could be selections for story time or curriculum textbooks. Go ahead and ask your child’s teacher if there are any textbooks that could use an update for the upcoming school year–you could even start a campaign with the other parents of your child’s classmates to pool together the funds for an entire set of new textbooks.

Are you a teacher? What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Tell us in the comments!

How to Greet–And Charm–The Teacher

Teacher and pupils working at desk together at the elementary school

Back to school means new classrooms, new school supplies—and a brand new teacher for the year. We spoke to a handful of British Columbia primary- and high-school teachers and asked them what would totally charm them for the new school year. Read ahead for the three things you need to make a great first impression on your instructor.

Detail from Michelangelo's famous painting

Help Children Craft the Story of Their Summer

It’s an oldie but a goodie, teachers say: asking students to share stories about their summer.

“It’s a great icebreaker for students if we can talk about our summers together on the first day of class,” says Mindy, who is welcoming back a class of Grade 2 students.

Not only is it a great icebreaker, she says, but the storytelling exercise can help students feel more at ease speaking in class. Many teachers plan to use a storytelling exercise in the first few days. So if your child has social anxiety in any way, or is perhaps just a wee bit shy, you can help by working with them to pick out a great story and practicing at home. A positive initial experience will help your child participate more fully in classroom discussions all year round.

High School Students With Teacher In Class Using Laptops

Organize the Not-So-Obvious School Supplies

Many students need more than just pencils and a backpack to navigate today’s classroom. Tuck a thumb drive into their pencil case to make getting homework assignments home a snap. If your teen is smartphone obsessed, ask them if they would like to experiment with an app like Remember The Milk or Wunderlist to help them track homework assignments, university applications and chores.

“Having any usernames and passwords easily accessible also makes the first day go smoothly,” says Lynette, a high school teacher. She recommends figuring out how to get them as soon as school starts, if not in a scheduled computer class, and keeping them tucked somewhere safe until the student has them memorized.

One key to a great first impression on your teacher? An open and positive attitude.

Show Up With Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude

“Whatever happened last year is in the past. Every one of my students starts with a clean slate,” says David, a grade nine teacher. Every teacher we spoke to reiterated the importance of being enthusiastic about the upcoming year and avoiding defeatist attitudes.

“I hate it when kids come in on the first day and say, you know, I’m no good at math,” adds David. “Everyone has subjects that they find difficult. Positive thinking helps everyone make a good start. It’s okay not to know everything on the first day – that’s why they call it learning!”

Ultimately, going back to school is a matter of preparation that extends far beyond the bookbag. And your child’s teacher is an important partner in helping your child grow into a happy, healthy adult. Charm them and you’ve got a charmed year ahead.