Year after year, teachers continue to prove how amazing they are—but never more so than during the past two school years. Throughout the pandemic, they’ve navigated virtual and in-person teaching, hybrid schedules, school closures, and students readjusting to the classroom, all with a daily smile for our kids. Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 is the time to show teachers how much we care, what a massive impact they have on our kids’ lives, and how truly deserving they are of our appreciation.
We surveyed a whole bunch of teachers and found out the gifts they really want for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022. Their answers are simpler than you might think—a heartfelt thank-you, the realization that students have listened to them, and coffee!
Read on for our top ideas for teacher appreciation gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022. You can also find more inspiration for homemade gifts in our roundup of 100 Crafts for Kids.
When Is Teacher Appreciation Week 2022?
Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 is Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 6, 2022. Although we honor and value all the hard work, dedication, and love that teachers give each and every day of the year, this is a special week where we can pause and thank them personally for educating our children. We’ve come up with a list of thoughtful teacher appreciation gifts and quotes that you can peruse while deciding what to do to make your teacher(s) feel appreciated for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022. Remember, the gifts don’t need to be extravagant or expensive—it’s the thought that counts.
Tip: Ask your child’s teacher to fill out a “favorite things” questionnaire. This makes it so much easier to pick out teacher appreciation gifts you know they will love. My kids’ elementary school has a binder with lists like this for each teacher, so be sure to check with your child’s school to see if they have something similar. I always check the binder at the beginning of each school year so that I have it to reference for teachers’ birthdays and holiday gifts as well.
20 Great Teacher Appreciation Gifts They’ll Love for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022
1. Handmade Cards
Take a little inspiration from our Mother’s Day cards post and let your little Picasso put together a creative card for their teacher. Once they’ve done their part, take some time to write a good, old-fashioned note of gratitude. (Be sure to use your best penmanship!) A heartfelt note of thanks was a winner with all of the teachers we surveyed. Many said they read these keepsakes over and over.
2. Child-Led Gifts
I’ll be the first to admit that I stress over teacher appreciation gifts, especially at the end of a typical year, when every day seems to be filled with a party or banquet or end-of-year obligation. So it was a relief to hear from teachers that any gifts that come directly from children are always treasured, both handmade ones and those that children pick out and even pay for themselves. Sometimes a gift your child selects seems crazy to you, but if your child insists on it, go with it. They likely know their teacher better than you do, and even if it misses the mark slightly, the thought behind it is extra special in a teacher’s eye.
3. Something They’ve Mentioned
More than anything, teachers’ favorite gifts are the ones that show their students are paying attention to more than their ABCs. One teacher shared that her class made her a window after she lamented that she didn’t have one near her desk. The children crafted a window and added whimsical butterflies and birds she could peep at through the panes. A high school history teacher said he keeps a jar of sand that a student retrieved on a visit to Utah Beach under a flag belonging to his grandfather, a World War II glider pilot. Neither of these gifts cost much, but their thoughtfulness meant the world to the recipients.
4. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
I can’t face one first-grader without a cuppa joe in my system, so it wasn’t surprising to hear from many teachers that coffee is always a favorite. Send in a coffee-shop gift card for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 with a heartfelt note, or get creative with the presentation as you say, “Thanks a Latte”!
5. An Adult Beverage
Toast your favorite teacher with a bottle of wine (or several!) and one of these personalized bottle labels. Note: Some schools do not allow alcohol on campus, so plan to deliver this gift outside of school if that’s the case.
6. A Coupon Book
Your kid might be matriculating to the next grade, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Show your gratitude by crafting a coupon book for your favorite teacher, offering your services for classroom help with chores like bulletin board-making, classroom cleaning, or copying homework packets in the fall. After spending a year with your child’s current teacher, you likely have an idea of the to-dos you can take off their plate to make the transition back to school a little easier. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?
7. A Heartfelt Handmade Item
If your crafting skills aren’t Pinterest-worthy, turn to Etsy, where creative makers have come up with all kinds of ways to pay homage to the difference-makers in the classroom. We love these personalized hand-stamped bookmarks and these cool teacher name signs. No matter your teachers’ interests, there’s like to be an Etsy maker who can craft the perfect gift.
8. Gift Cards
We’ve all heard the statistics about how much money teachers pour into classroom supplies annually. Pay it forward during Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 by sharing a gift card they can use to restock their classroom before fall. A gift card to one of their favorite stores or restaurants would be appreciated as well!
9. Fun in the Sun
With summer approaching, many teachers are already daydreaming of days at the beach. Put together a beach-themed gift that could include a nice beach tote, a fun beach towel, a new tumbler, sunscreen, a gift card—there are lots of options!
10. A Scholastic eGift Card
Though we’ve mentioned gift cards already, we’re giving Scholastic eGift cards an entry all their own, mostly because gift cards are the number-one gift teachers told us they love. You can purchase the gift cards online and have them sent to the recipient via email. What’s great is that you can buy multiple Scholastic eGift cards at once, so if your child has a few teachers, it’s a one-stop-shopping experience. With books, materials, and more to purchase, Scholastic is super popular with teachers. This is sure to be a hit for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Everyone loves a little something sweet. Teachers Survival Kit courtesy of jaseyscrazydaisy.com
11. Sweets and Snacks
Get creative crafting an emergency stash of goodies for teachers to keep in their desks. We love the personal touch of this apple-inspired candy dish, which hides the contents brilliantly, and this sweet Hershey’s Kiss-filled jar. For teachers that prefer salty over sweet, this nacho-themed gift basket is sure to be a hit.
12. Spa Treatments
This one can take on multiple forms. You could go all out with a gift certificate for anything from a mani/pedi to a massage at a local spa, or go the DIY route and craft some homemade bath bombs.
13. A Customized Gift
Teachers sang the praises of personalized gifts like notepads and stationery emblazoned with their names, or other personalized supplies they can carry into the next school year. And they’re likely to think of your child every time they use those supplies.
14. A Class Gift
One friend spent her kids’ elementary years collecting photos and personalized letters from every family annually and organizing them into custom photo books for each teacher. There were lots of tears—from her as she stressed about tracking down every kid’s work and making shipping deadlines—and from dewy-eyed teachers when they opened the heartfelt collection. Other group gift options include treating teachers to a fancy meal at a restaurant, buying a big gift card, or handing over a large stack of cold hard cash so they have a little summer spending money.
15. A Thoughtful Plant
While not every teacher has a green thumb, those that do will appreciate a new plant for their collection. Bonus points for personalizing it with one of these cute and creative “Thanks for Helping Me Grow” printables, or setting them up for a culinary summer with this fun herb garden collection.
16. A Yummy Meal
Arrange to drop off breakfast or lunch for the teachers and support staff for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022—perhaps a variety of bagels from Panera, a chicken-nugget tray from Chick-fil-A, or a few pizzas. Even something as simple as picking up their favorite Starbucks coffee one morning is sure to brighten a teacher’s day!
17. A Feature for a Star Teacher
Put together a movie-themed gift with a DVD, a theater gift card, or a gift subscription to a streaming service (if you happen to know of one that they don’t already subscribe to), along with popcorn and movie snacks.
Create a bouquet loaded with fresh flowers and gift cards. Photo courtesy of giftcard.com
18. A Bouquet
Everyone loves flowers! Send your favorite teacher a bountiful bunch of her favorite flowers along with a kind note. For a fun twist, consider an alternative such as a gift card bouquet or this bouquet of candles.
19. A Heartfelt Poem
You don’t have to be Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost to compose a note of gratitude for your teacher. Many classes and grade levels have even studied poetry by this time in the school year, so put your knowledge to work and impress the educators in your life with some thoughtful, personalized poetry to make their Teacher Appreciation Week bright.
20. Don’t Forget Elective/Specials Teachers
My kids absolutely love their “special” classes each week (PE, music, STEM, art, etc.), so I always like to include a little something for these amazing teachers as well! These personalized clipboards make a fun gift for Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 with a handmade card and/or a gift card clipped onto them.
Teacher Appreciation Quotes Perfect for Cards
If you’re not sure what to write or need a little inspiration to get started, use one of these quotes to make your teacher smile.
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” — Fred Rogers
“It is the supreme art of a teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” — Albert Einstein
“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” — Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
“The great teacher is not the man who supplies the most facts, but the one in whose presence we become different people.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes.” — Guy Kawasaki
A final note that bears repeating: Multiple teachers we talked to emphasized that it wasn’t the size of the gift that mattered, but the thought behind it. So, don’t make Teacher Appreciation Week 2022 stressful for your family. Know that any thoughtful, heartfelt gift is always appreciated!