Teacher Appreciation Week: Shift from Mugs/Pens to New Gifts?

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  • #95530 Reply

      With Teacher Appreciation Week approaching, many of us are once again pondering the perfect way to show our gratitude to the educators who shape our children’s lives. While the traditional gifts of mugs, pens, and gift cards have long been staples of this special week, there’s a growing movement to move beyond these generic items and opt for more thoughtful and meaningful presents.

      This shift in thinking stems from a desire to truly recognize the immense contributions of teachers, who often go above and beyond to nurture and inspire their students. Instead of simply adding to their collection of mugs or pens, many people believe that gifts should be tailored to the individual teacher’s interests, hobbies, or classroom needs.

      But what exactly could these new and improved gifts look like?

      #95531 Reply

        The gift is not the mug or the pencils… it’s the look in the child’s eyes when they give it to you and you say a sincere thank you

        #95532 Reply

          30+ years ago when I was a teacher in the UK we used to love getting tacky gifts and the tackier the better. We each had a shelf in our classrooms where we’d display them.

          #95533 Reply

            Shame on some of y’all. Seems that so many appreciate NOTHING anymore. Since when do the entitled get to pick and choose their gifts. I bet every cup, mug or whatever, no matter how cheap or inexpensive was purchased with much love in someone’s heart not to mention the happiness it gave that child to give it.

            For Pete’s sake if you don’t want it or don’t like it or will NEVER use it just except it graciously, thank them profusely for even caring enough to think of you and then give it away or donate it.

            Useful: What gifts are considered ideal for daycare or preschool teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week?

            #95534 Reply

              As a retired teacher I suggest giving items for the room, borders, storage, posters, tissues, wipes, stickers, paper, whatever may be in low supply in the spring.

              #95535 Reply

                I plan to gift lemon scented hand sanitizer lotion with a Starbucks gift card. And then giant pack of Expo markers at the end of the year.

                #95536 Reply

                  We used to have one of the parents collect donations for a nice gift card.

                  #95537 Reply

                    I bet they would appreciate gift cards to Office Max for the supplies they have to pay for out of their own pocket. Or a Starbuck’s gift card. They probably need that too!

                    #95538 Reply

                      For teacher appreciation, I stock the break room with deli sandwich platters, chips, drinks, and cupcakes.

                      #95539 Reply

                        Accept the gifts! Some families shop at the dollar store or can only afford inexpensive items. Up to you to donate or regift. Not everyone can afford the gift cards or more expensive items.

                        #95540 Reply

                          Gift cards to a local grocery store, home improvement store, coffee shop, movie theater, etc are good ideas.

                          #95541 Reply

                            My daughter is a teacher and she does get the occasional coffee cup but she mostly gets gift cards. She loves all the gifts her kids give her no matter what they are.

                            #95542 Reply

                              I worked as a para for a while. I always appreciated the pens (stuff went missing from my office all the time).

                              As for the mugs, it did get a bit much at one point! I recommend gift cards as teacher gifts… coffee, food, target. Then it’s used for something they need instead of something you think they’d want.

                              #95543 Reply

                                I always think about having a Teacher Gift Exchange party the Friday of Teacher Appreciation Week or the last school day before Christmas break.

                                It would be a fun social where everybody could swap unwanted gifts and end up with something they could use, or leave unneeded gifts to be donated. However, that could be viewed as ungrateful.

                                I just give cash or gift cards.

                                Related: Should I join Teacher Appreciation Week festivities? Seeking inspiration for expressing gratitude with gifts

                                #95544 Reply

                                  I’m a teacher and I really do cherish the gifts I receive and the sweet generosity behind them. I trade out mugs and after a couple of years I send the older ones to the staff lounge. I use some to hold my pens, markers and pencils.

                                  I eat/use up/drink the rest or share it. But I totally get it.

                                  #95545 Reply

                                    Teachers, etc. love getting pretty dish towels, soap, things they use everyday. Let the kids pick out these gifts. They love doing it. And wrapping with minimal help!

                                    #95546 Reply

                                      You would think that after awhile you would have too many mugs. But I loved all mine. I still have most of them. Since the majority were Christmas cups, I get them out each year and use them for the entire holiday season.

                                      It makes me feel good to think of the happy face of a child when they bring you a gift.

                                      #95547 Reply

                                        I have several teacher gifts such as mugs and tumblers from Goodwill If the teacher had taken them out of the box they would have noticed the gift card tucked in the box.

                                        In a way I felt bad for the student who gifted it.

                                        #95548 Reply

                                          I stopped gifting. No more obligatory gifting, holidays, birthdays and such.

                                          #95549 Reply

                                            I think….you should be grateful they thought of you at all. Not complaining about it.

                                            Yes.. I was a preschool teacher and I was thankful for everything that I received.

                                            #95550 Reply

                                              I took the mugs that I’d gotten over the years as gifts for my students. I filled them with cocoa packets. The kids loved them.

                                              #95551 Reply

                                                I received enough Christmas mugs to have one a day for coffee starting Dec 1and ending Dec 31.

                                                #95552 Reply

                                                  At the beginning of the year, I ask my children’s teachers for their “faves” (restaurant, snack, store etc). On that list I also have a section for them to write items they do NOT want.

                                                  Yes, they’d appreciate whatever they’re given, but I’d rather not give them a coffee mug if they don’t even drink coffee.

                                                  I don’t want to waste my money or make them feel guilty for regifting or throwing out something they can’t use/don’t want.

                                                  Proposed: To participate or not in Teacher Appreciation Week? Seeking gift ideas to show gratitude

                                                  #95553 Reply

                                                    Any gift you should be grateful for… don’t like it, don’t need it, donate it, just don’t gripe! They didn’t have to get you anything.

                                                    #95554 Reply

                                                      I have started “thanks so much… I love this… and pass forward as a gift to someone else… if you get a gift from me… please feel free to forward it and set it free to be enjoy

                                                      #95555 Reply

                                                        As a retired teacher and principal…as a crafty retiree… I so now want to do the personalized gift for my grands to give, but you have reminded me…no! Stuff is too much. Gift cards.. or honestly just a sweet note of how much you appreciate them!!

                                                        Memories shared of what your child or grand loved about them. Promise you…those notes will be saved until their children have to throw them away!

                                                        #95556 Reply

                                                          I was teaching before kids and it is overwhelming to receive so many little gifts. I always appreciated and loved the thought that went into them but got more joy out of a letter from a student.

                                                          As a parent I now offer to organise a class gift and each student contributes (if they want to) a small amount of $5 or $10 and we buy the teacher a gift card.

                                                          #95557 Reply

                                                            I have been a Teacher assistant for 39 years. My Christmas tree is all ornaments from students over the years. I love school supplies, can never have too many pens.

                                                            I love Starbucks gift cards and drinking coffee out of mugs I have been gifted. I love the chocolate boxes Snd always share with my family.

                                                            #95558 Reply

                                                              Sadly yes. I just moved to a new school this year and my parents showered me with candy & gifts at Christmas. I felt so guilty. A friend took some, another teacher who donates to the homeless took some of the chocolate, and part of it went into a donation bag at home in the garage.

                                                              I did get a pretty ornament which I promptly hung on my tree though. And I ate a little bit of the chocolate & used the couple of room fresheners….but my mug cabinet is full

                                                              #95559 Reply

                                                                Found out our teachers in our county have to pay out of pocket for endorsements and any other extra trainings. So cash it is for now on!

                                                                #95560 Reply

                                                                  Dollarama gift card tucked inside a homemade card my kid helps me make (she is in kindergarten). She writes the teacher’s name on the card and envelope, and a cute simple message (joyeux Noel!) and signs it, then I write a personal note inside thanking them for everything they do for my kid and how impressed I am with her progress etc. Teachers have seemed to love it so far.

                                                                  As a child of a primary teacher.. I know how much money gets spent at the dollar store for supplies, and even if they get their class stuff elsewhere, there is tons of useful stuff there they can use.

                                                                  Not a fan of gift cards for fancy / unique places they may not shop at, since they likely will have to use some of their own money when buying something, or have money leftover on the card, etc.

                                                                  #95561 Reply

                                                                    I was ‘only’ a preschool aide, but I’m here to say…no mugs, no candles, no apple anything. Sorry if I sound ungrateful, but I’ve never received so many mugs and candles, most with apples on them. Best gift ever?

                                                                    A home burned CD of selected Christmas Carols decorated with stickers and mini school pics of my boys! I was an aide to 2 of triplets.

                                                                    I STILL listen to that CD and they are graduating high school this year! It has stayed in my car for 15 years now..

                                                                    #95562 Reply

                                                                      I received a few small gift cards towards the end of my career of 35-years. These were a thrill and easy for all.

                                                                      I have one student gift left and it is high up on the sixth shelf. My kids will enjoy it. Small wooden box with a torn piece of paper my seventh-grade girl wrote the word “Hope” upon.

                                                                      She replicated Pandora’s box and was bubbling with joy watching me open it. What a memory…and a treasure.

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