Revealed: The one gift teachers want at the end of year

Book tokens or booze, pyjamas or Prosecco? Nope. Most teachers just want a note of thanks or a personalised card.

teacher gifts

Whether it's wine or gin, lipstick or flowers, chocolates or stationery, teachers up and down the land will be receiving gifts from their pupils this week.  

But it seems that just a card or a note is the one thing teachers would like more than anything.

At least, it is according to teachers on Twitter, where author, teacher and mother-of-three Rhian Ivory posted the following shout-out: "Teachers of twitter! I'm buying end of year gifts for my kids' teachers and would like to know: 1. What gift(s) do you hate being given? 2. What gift is on your wishlist? 3. Are mugs/box of chocolates a total cop out?"

Responses included one teacher asking for a signed England cricket shirt, while another asked for alcohol that “doesn’t look like alcohol so it can be drunk in class,” while another asked for an email of praise copying in the headteacher.

But, joking aside, the most popular response was just a personal note of thanks.

Biology teacher @_EuanGray said: “As a teacher, I find gifts completely unnecessary. My Ss [students] and their parents let me know that they appreciate what I do. A card with a nice message inside is more than enough. It’s lovely that parents want to give gifts, but it puts undue pressure on those that cannot. #education”

In Yorkshire, head of maths @missradders said: “I’d rather have a nice card with a message I can keep, I have them all stuck on my office wall & they genuinely are re-read on bad days!”

@sharonmariej said: “As a teacher, I always appreciated the kind messages written in cards more than any gift. I was uncomfortable with gifts as some children didn't bring anything (parents couldn't afford etc) and it broke my heart to see them look ashamed almost when they saw the others give.”

And a mug is indeed, it seems, a total cop-out.

Deputy head @lifeatthenest says: “When you’re sitting round your kitchen table with a group of friends and you realise everyone is drinking out of a best teacher mug – you feel like a bit of a narcissist! I can’t throw them away though.”

@MrTRoach says: “No mugs please! There’s a cupboard in every staff room full of ‘Best Teacher’ mugs. A personal note"

@_batshitcrazy said: “Unless you are buying a cup with a lid. Now that’s v useful as there are never enough of those when you are on playground duty in the cold and you want a warming drink.”

Teacher @suzi0207 took a more practical approach with a nod to funding issues being faced by schools.

She said: “I bought my child's teacher a bag full of classroom supplies as the budgets are so poor that staff often go buy their own glue, pencils, rulers. Etc (I am a teacher so thought it would be nice to help them out)”

And while cards or notes seemed the firm favourite, booze was still up there.

Tes columnist and headteacher Michael Tidd received around 1,400 likes for his tweet which stated: “Parents, if you're struggling to find the right thing to buy as a thank you gift for your child's teacher, don't. Just buy a cheap card, and write a note inside saying why you want to thank them. That'll be more valuable to them. (Although I'm sure they'll accept wine too!)”


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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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