9 Ways To Show Appreciation For Teachers Who Can’t Accept Gifts On World Teacher Day

by Angela Andaloro

This year, we’ve been reawakened to the awesomeness of teachers. Teaching is one profession where you truly see individuals go above in beyond.

The 2020 school year has shown us countless examples of that, even in the face of a global health crisis. Monday, October 5 marks World Teacher Day. As you reflect on the ways that good teachers can change a child’s life, you might be compelled to give a teacher a token of your appreciation’

But it’s not always that easy. In certain school districts, there are rules against teachers accepting gifts of monetary value. How that’s defined will vary, so check for your district.

If you want to show your appreciation for teachers with something that doesn’t break the rules, you’re in luck. There are a number of clever ways to get around the rule that will still show the teachers in your life how much you appreciate all they do.



If you show up with lots of hot coffee, no one will ever tell a soul. The caffeine will render them silent. If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, you can “donate” a bag or two to the teacher’s lounge.

Homemade Gifts

kids crafts

Making something special for someone you care about is the ultimate priceless gift. Let your kids take the creative lead based on something their teacher likes, a joke from their class, or something else special. It’s sure to be something the teacher cherishes.

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Baking can be soothing, and it’s something the kids will love. They’ll be extra proud when they bring something homemade to their teacher.

Not that culinarily inclined? You can always buy something at the store and give it a “homemade makeover.” We won’t tell!


Teachers buy classroom supplies with their own money all the time. If your favorite teacher has an Amazon wish list or a Donor’s Choose fundraiser, donating to that is as good a gift as any. As a bonus, it’s a gift that goes back into that classroom, so you can feel twice as good about it.

Buy a Supply

tissue sneeze

There are more obvious and common classroom supplies that teachers often pay for themselves. The need for tissues and paper towels is always there. This year, donations of cleaning and sanitizing items may be one of the best ways of showing appreciation for a teacher.

A Personalized Note

A Personalized Note

There are three different ways you can make this gift really special. One is to have the kiddo write their teacher a note about how much they love their class. The second is for parents to write a note. The third, and in our opinion best, is to put them both together! Have fun using cool pens, fancy stationery, and more. It’s a little thing that will mean a lot.


plant gift

First of all, everyone needs a plant. There’s a chance it might live in a teacher’s classroom, so keep that in mind when making your pick. You can even help your child propagate a plant you have in your own home!


photo frame

A picture of your kids is a sweet memento for a teacher that they’ve created a special connection with. You can also allow your kids to take a picture of something that reminds them of their teacher. A homemade frame really seals the deal!

Gift Cards

gift card

This one could be a stretch so again, double check your local rules! In some districts, you can gift to the classroom but not the teacher. If you donate gift cards to a classroom, you can help teachers stock up on much-needed supplies.