End of the Year Gifts Teachers Say They DON’T Want

Looking for the perfect gift for your child's teacher? Here’s what to skip this year.

By: Amanda Mushro


Adorable African American schoolgirl gives female teacher a apple on the first day of school. They are standing in front of a chalkboard.

Photo by: Steve Debenport

Steve Debenport

Before the final bell rings on this school year, many students will be handing their teachers end-of-the-year gifts. To help out parents who are still searching for the perfect present, we surveyed some amazing educators about the gifts they've received from students.

We love teachers and, of course, they don’t go into their profession expecting elaborate gifts from their students. So, when asked, every teacher we surveyed said they were grateful for each and every gift a student has ever given them. However, if we want to show those spectacular teachers just how much we appreciate all of their hard work and dedication to our kids, here’s a guide on what to skip and what to gift instead.




Photo by: Nathanael Asaro / EyeEm

Nathanael Asaro / EyeEm

Almost every teacher surveyed said they have way too many coffee mugs and don’t have room for another. So, if you pass a cute mug that you were thinking of filling with candy or a gift card, skip the mug and just give the goodies.

“Best Teacher Ever” Swag

Photo by: Instagram: designs_by_dawnj

Instagram: designs_by_dawnj

We love when our kids adore their teachers and that “Best Teacher Ever” keychain sure is cute. However, chances suggest your kid’s teacher has roughly a million keychains, pens, buttons, shirts, ornaments and desk décor that already sport that title. Instead, you or your child can write a nice note telling their teacher why they have earned “Best Teacher Ever” status.




Two candles with lavender flowers on light blue background

Photo by: tashka2000


A lot of teachers commented on the insane number of candles they now own and how they will never be able to use all of them during their lifetime. To avoid filling their junk drawer, ask if your teacher has created a classroom wish-list on Amazon. This way you can put money toward a gift they want or need for the next school year (because remember, most teachers pay out of their own pocket to decorate their classrooms and provide supplies!).

Lotions, Bubble Bath and Hand Sanitizer



Wicker basket with spa treatments on wooden table. Still life. Sun flare

Photo by: Sergey Nazarov

Sergey Nazarov

We know how hard teachers work and they deserve some “me time.” However, unless you know the exact scent of lotion, hand cream or bubble bath they enjoy, skip these gifts. Same goes for hand sanitizer. Teachers can use this for their class during the school year, but they don’t need or want to take it home with them over the summer. Instead, go in with other parents to get that hard-working teacher a gift card for a pedicure or a day at the local spa.

Homemade Food and Treats



Homemade Marshmallow Crispy Rice Treat in bar form

Photo by: bhofack2


Your family may love your banana nut bread but, when it comes to gifting teachers, grab a gift card to a local restaurant instead of sending in your homemade goodies. If you're looking to D.I.Y. a gift with your kids, check out our LifeHacks video!