Home Blog Thank You Teacher Gifts 2023: Your Guide On What's Best & What to Avoid

Thank You Teacher Gifts 2023: Your Guide On What's Best & What to Avoid

A Thankbox teacher thank you card

The end of the school year is a time when pupils and parents want to show their collective and individual thanks to their favourite teachers.

It’s traditional to send teachers on their summer break with a gift. But what do teachers value most? And what do they dread receiving?

To gain some insight we not only took a deepdive into our data, we also directly surveyed hundreds of teachers. We wanted to find out their top five gifts and also the ones that make them shudder and shake with laughter. 

The Five Worst Teacher Gifts

Here’s the dark side of thank you teacher gifting. Definitely, 100% avoid giving anything from this list:

  1. Mugs - How many does the average teacher need? They get so many they either end up binning them or, for the less wasteful, filling their cupboards at home. One respondent was even gifted a mug complete with coffee stains. So please, spare them the 10th mug they'll have to fake-smile when receiving.

    Mugs on a shelf

  2. Underwear - You read that right. One of the surveyed teachers received bright pink pants! Maybe that student's mum should check her drawer for missing items...

  3. Snake skin - This was undoubtedly gifted with love and affection - at least we hope that it was. However, the teacher who received a child’s pet snake skin was at a complete loss as to what to do with it.

  4. Adults only website gift vouchers - Yikes. Awkward. While gift vouchers are one of the most popular teacher gifts, think about what it’s a gift for though. One male teacher surveyed received a voucher for an adult-only website. He was totally perplexed and unsure how to react.

  5. A box of chocolates - A half eaten box to be precise. Several teachers received a box of chocolate which was already half eaten. One even had the old wrappers still in the box. Perhaps someone got hungry on the way to school?

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How to Really Make a Teacher’s Day! 

The Five Best Gifts for a Teacher!

To show real thanks and appreciation to your teachers you can’t go wrong with any of the following. From the Thankbox Teacher Gift Survey here are the five most popular teacher thank you gifts:

  1. A card from the whole class  - 80% of teachers surveyed prefer a card from the whole class to a physical gift. They appreciate the personal messages, stories and photos. They also value being able to revisit these memories for many years to come, even into their retirement. They are also conscious that a single card reduces waste enormously. 

  2. Gift vouchers - 85% of teachers agreed a gift voucher is the best gift option if one were to be given. It is seen as meaningful and has the added benefit of allowing them to choose what to spend the voucher on. Top tip: ensure the voucher is relevant to their lives (i.e. avoid adult websites!) 

  3. Handmade gifts - Teachers love the time and effort put into handmade gifts by pupils. Some examples teachers from the survey gave are: 

    • “A poem written about the four years I taught a pupil” 

    • The parents of the whole class coordinated making a lovely piece of art made where each child contributed

    • A bracelet made with the sea glass we had collected on a class trip to the beach

      A handful of sea glass

  4. Christmas tree decorations - Not for the summer this one. However, many teachers mentioned that Christmas tree decorations make a great gift as “you can’t have too many of them”. Unlike mugs then! They truly value remembering their pupils each time they decorate their trees.

  5. Personalised stationery - Teachers find these types of gifts always useful and the personalisation is a nice touch showing consideration and thoughtfulness. 

In Summary

We conducted the Thankbox 2023 Teacher Gift Survey to help parents who often find it stressful choosing something personal and appropriate to say thank you to a teacher, or even how much to contribute to a gift collection.

The survey returns and analysis of our data highlights a clear preference for whole-class cards as opposed to physical gifts. If an actual gift is included then a gift voucher is preferred as it gives the teacher personal choice. For a physical gift the preference is for thoughtful handmade ones. 

Thousands of teacher thank you Thankboxes are created every June and July and include a gift collection. A Thankbox:

Create your teacher thank you and start your gift collection immediately.

Images: Mugs | Sea Glass