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Teacher appreciation gift ideas

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas: Creative Ways to Say Thank You

No one deserves to be celebrated more than our teachers. Consider our ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week and find the right teacher appreciation gifts for each day.

Teacher Appreciation Week Gift Ideas

It takes a special type of person to choose a career in education. Teachers are committed to making a difference, and their hard work pays tremendous dividends year after year. Teachers dedicate their lives to our children. Every May, we have the chance to devote one week to them.

The first full week in May is designated as National Teacher Appreciation Week. Some families choose to recognize their teachers in their own way, but many Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas work best when the class implements them together. Ideally, one or two class parents will create a schedule for the week, communicate the plan to the other families and streamline the students’ efforts.

The best teacher appreciation gift ideas allow students to showcase their creativity and express how much their teachers mean to them. Our suggestions are presented as a day-by-day model for what a full week might look like. Some of our examples will likely trigger other Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas. And for schools that only celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day (instead of the whole week), any of these suggestions will make suitable Teacher Appreciation Day gift ideas as well.

American Express Gift Cards: The Gifts that Stand Out
  • Can be used virtually anywhere in the U.S. where American Express Cards are accepted
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  • Choose from a variety of designs appropriate for the educators in your life


Start the week off by decorating the classroom door. Pick a theme, create a message and have the students work together to create an entrance worthy of the teacher they’re honoring. There are plenty of appropriate adages with the word “door” (“you open the door to our world,” “teachers open doors,” etc.), but any sentiment will work.


Homemade cards and handwritten notes are often the most cherished teacher appreciation gifts, especially when students express their genuine gratitude. For a preschooler, that might mean a smiley face. Students who are better at using their words can write proper thank you notes, poems, or lists of all the reasons why their teacher is wonderful. Notes from parents can mean the world as well, so consider sharing your own thoughts with your child’s teacher.


Gift baskets and food trays make very nice teacher appreciation gift ideas. Each student can bring in a muffin, scone or pastry, so the teacher can enjoy breakfast the rest of the week. Healthier versions work too. Assemble a basket with fruit, jams, honey, cheese and crackers. You can also send the teacher home with a full dinner. Assign an item or dish to each child and have a class parent pack it all together.


Some Teacher Appreciation Week gift ideas require a little extra planning, but this one is worth the effort. Ask every student in the class to make a sign with the word or phrase they think best describes their teacher. Then have each kid pose for a picture with his or her sign. A class parent can arrange the pictures into a collage, a photo book or even a calendar. In every case, the images will remind the teacher how much he or she is appreciated, long after Teacher Appreciation Week is over.


On the final day of Teacher Appreciation Week, present the teacher with a gift from the class. Each family can contribute an amount within their means and the funds can be pooled together. Consider giving an American Express® Gift Card and have each student offer a suggestion for how the teacher can use it.

Gift Cards make great teacher appreciation gifts because they offer teachers the freedom to pick out what they want. They’re also flexible and can be used in store or online, virtually anywhere American Express is accepted. Now that’s something any teacher can appreciate.

Gift Cards for Teachers

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