Best Gifts for Teachers and Coaches

One might wonder how I could possibly know anything about the best gifts for teachers seeing as I am a homeschool mom and am, therefore, my own kids’ teacher.

Hmm. Kind of seems like my kids should be reading this post and buying me some coffee shop and restaurant gift cards as a thank-you for my daily devotion to their education. Am I right?

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Any amount will do, Boys. 

Truly, their love is all the thanks I need. No, really. (That and the fact that they clean our toilets, vacuum our floors, unload the dishwasher…)

Even as a homeschooling family, we have a list of teachers and coaches we try to bless with a little something at Christmastime. Bible class teachers, youth workers, church ministry staff, music teachers, basketball and soccer coaches, the list goes on.

Perhaps we should begin by sharing a list of what NOT to give a teacher. Just say no to adding to a teacher’s collection of coffee mugs and/or anything that says “#1 Teacher.” And don’t even think about combining the two (a coffee mug that says “#1 Teacher”). Do we or do we not love those who care enough to educate our young? So let’s move on to the actual good suggestions, brought to you mostly by my Facebook readers who were kind enough to share their best ideas!

Best Gifts for Teachers and Coaches

Best Gifts for Teachers and Coaches

1. Gift Cards

Do these seem impersonal? I guess they could. But write a kind and appreciative personal note, then slide in a gift card that will provide your teacher with free dinner, free ice cream, free coffee, free shopping, or free anything fun from around your community. I personally love receiving gift cards and never think them impersonal!

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2. Movie Passes

Again, include a personal note of appreciation. Maybe a package of popcorn. Perfection. (I like that these come in a 3-pack!)

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3. Supplies for the Classroom

When I asked for gift suggestions on my Facebook page, Stephanie said this, “I always ask the teachers if they have any classroom needs-supplies, games or activities for inside recess days, etc.” Brilliant gift idea! (These Sharpies are a great price right now! Do all teachers love Sharpies, or is it just me?)

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4. Wrapping Paper and Scotch Tape

Who thinks of these things? Several on Facebook suggested that this was a hit. I love the idea!

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5. Breakfast in the Break Room

Meredith shared this fabulous suggestion, “One year I brought in breakfast for the office staff of our elementary. We were newish to the school then, and I didn’t want to bring in homemade food that might make some uneasy, so I made up my own shortened (and with prices that fit in my budget per person) list of breakfast options from Panera and handed it out early with a date on it I needed to collect them. I brought in orange juice and iced coffee from the grocery dairy section and a chopped fruit bowl from the grocer (but bananas and oranges or apples would be good too, I was just really wanting everything to clearly be commercially prepared if that makes sense) to go with each person’s selections. Panera boxed all the other stuff up and I brought it in early before the kids arrived. It was about $6-7 per person and we have a small office staff. They really loved it!”

Fruit tray

6. Maple Syrup, Honey, or Jelly and Homemade Bread

While I think it’s best to be cautious on the homemade food gifts we give teachers (they may be leery about eating it unless they know us well), a jar of homemade jam and a loaf of homemade bread is a real treat! Teresa suggested, “This year teachers will get a pint of maple syrup and a jar of strawberry jam from our farm. In the past I have done loaves of homemade cinnamon raisin bread, and those were well-received.”

Terra says, “I’m giving them local honey in little bears this year…helps with immune systems…so not the typical gift.” Kris makes homemade Biscotti. I love all these unique ideas for homemade goodies!

7. Jamicure in a Jar

We all know I love jars! While I’m pretty sure my sons’ male basketball coaches wouldn’t appreciate this gift of manicure items, any female teacher or coach surely would! My friend Joy makes and gives these and emailed me with, “I love mason jars for gifts! Fun to dress up and make fancy then useful afterwards. But you already know that because you’re queen of mason jars! I include the wraps or polish or both with a nail file or care kit, cotton balls, personal lotion and of course, a few chocolates!”


8. Family Ornament

Again, we should stay away from apple-shaped ornaments that say “#1 Teacher.” But April shared, “My favorite I ever did was a Christmas ornament with her family name on it.” Now this is a great idea!

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9. Family Fun Night

Brittany suggested a Family Fun Night with, “Redbox gift certificate with popcorn and candy.” Brittany is a teacher, so I think this suggestion is definitely worth listening to!


10. Car Wash Tokens

As someone who constantly has a filthy vehicle, I like this idea very much!! Lyn said, “When the boys got into middle and high school and had so many teachers, I started getting gift cards for the local car wash (one or two washes each). Our local place runs a “20 for $100″ special each year. It’s inexpensive, different and they love them!”

Fill in the gaps! What are your favorite gifts to give teachers and coaches?

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