Gifts for distance learning teachers

A few of my kids' teachers (middle and high school) this year have really gone above and beyond to make distance learning meaningful and really get to know their students this year. My daughter also has a tutor who is just truly amazing (also all via Zoom this year). I really want to do something special to recognize these folks at the end of the school year, but am just not coming up with any great ideas. I suppose an online gift card is never a bad idea, though I am trying to shop local. With that it is hard to think of a local place that would for sure appeal to these folks...... ideas? 

I usually buy a bunch of Peets gift cards for my kids to pass out to teachers at the end of the year, but this year that won't be possible.... and for these particular teachers I wanted something more than that.

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

I had a similar question around the Holidays as a kinder parent. I just asked my son’s teacher what they would like and got that. The principal suggested teacher-friendly gift cards to give from local businesses near the school including restaurants, cafes even grocery stores that offer them. Many teachers, aides, librarians we haven’t met in person are hard to shop for but educators understand it’s the thought that counts. Everyone was thankful and some gave really heartfelt personal  thanks.

This is a lovely idea and something I always like to do as well.   I don't know where the school is but what about a local independent bookshop?   Pegasus has several locations and carries new and used books.  Books,Inc. is a small chain and has a beautiful shop on Shattuck and Vine; Diesel bookstore on College;  and not sure if Mrs. Dalloway is still in business.  Even Moe's!     Berkeley Bowl is a great gift card idea.   The gift shop A Priori on Vine near Walnut is a wonderful shop with beautiful, reasonably priced lovely items for the home, bags, earrings, nice cards.  (I'm on north side but don't know the south side equivalent).   Cole Hardware is a great local shop.    Personally, I think that teachers appreciate lots of things but books especially are a treat.  

Yes, you can use PayPal, Vemno, Amazon, ApplePay/AppleCash or Visa/MasterCard gift card.  (If you don’t know how to do it ask your kids.)  


My wife is a teacher and dreads it when parents give her gift cards to specific businesses.  (Pete's, Starbucks, Target or most recently a local sandwich shop and restaurants.  It’s not that she doesn’t appreciate the thought, but it’s the hassle of carrying around all of those different gift cards and then remembering to use them.

The timing of your post could not have been any better.  Just last night she was looking through the box of the box she has of unused gift card she’s been given over the years last night.  There must be over 200 card hundred totaling $3,000 - $5,000 dollars, probably more.  I know there’s one gift card to a very nice restaurant that has to be 10 years old she’s never used.

COIVD has been hard on everyone.  It’s wonderful that you want to show your appreciation to your kid’s teachers just give cash, Amazon, AppleCash, or a Visa/MasterCard gift card to make it easier to redeem.

I am a teacher and I agree that the gift cards are a nice thought, but ultimately frustrating. I have a stack of unused Starbucks gift cards because I don't actually like Starbucks. I was given a gift card for a nice sushi restaurant in SF -- I live in Oakland and have a fish allergy. You get the idea -- buying specialized gift cards for someone you don't know isn't always a win. I also think that the idea of giving grocery gift cards is a bit condescending -- if you honestly think I can't afford groceries, than please fight for teacher pay raises. If you want to give a substantial gift, please give cash. If you want to give a meaningful gift, please write a thoughtful letter -- this means so much to teachers.

I gave my kid's resource teacher a DoorDash e-gift card.  Then they can pick their restaurant.  Send it with a note telling them how wonderful they are and how much you appreciate what they've done for the kids this year.  

As an aside, my mother-in-law gave all of us $50 AMC gift cards for the Xmas holidays.  She also gave them for birthdays.  This was during the pandemic, so someday we will see     $3-400 worth of movies.  Anyhow, don't do anything like that!