Gifts for those that make a difference: What to get a Middle School Teacher

Think back to your childhood and picture those who had the greatest impact on you. Your parents did the most — they’re the people who always had your best interest at heart, even when it annoyed you. Then you think of other family members, like your older sibling, aunt/uncle, grandparents, etc. But there’s another group of people who probably played a large role in your most formative years: teachers. A majority of the population in the United States spends 12 years surrounded by teachers who not only educate them but also help them develop as young adults. The value that teachers of all grade levels have in our society cannot be overstated. So if you know a middle school teacher — whether your former teacher or a friend who has undertaken the profession — let Gift Card Granny help find a gift to show your appreciation for them. 

Useful Materials for The Classroom

Teaching is one of the most important professions in the United States; millions of children find their role models in the classroom. Teachers spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pocket to provide pencils, markers, books and other supplies to every child they teach. So when you’re thinking about a great gift for a middle school teacher, think about ways to save them a bit of money. Below are some of the basic supplies that teachers drop a decent amount of change on every year.

First Aid Kit Materials
Help a middle school teacher be prepared for any accident in the classroom.

Vendor: Target 
Price: Around $15

One of a teacher’s most crucial responsibilities is to keep children safe. When accidents happen in the classroom, it’s important for the teacher to be equipped with bandaids, disinfectant wipes and other common first aid materials. You can buy basic first aid kits at retailers like Target. If you know a teacher who already has a first aid kit but could use some extra antiseptic wipes, for example, stores like Target are good to check out.

Wilson Jones Basic Round Ring Binder
Because every child in the classroom should be organized.

Vendor: Walmart 
Price: Between $2 and $6 each

Every middle school child can greatly benefits from a set of binders for class. Carrying around looseleaf papers with important notes makes organization difficult, and therefore can hinder the learning process. But not every child can afford their own binders — materials like these can greatly add up. Let’s say one child needs binders for four subjects: English, Math, Science and Social Studies. In certain public schools throughout the U.S., half of the classroom or more could be in need of supplies like binders, so the price tag can add up. If you’re trying to think of the right gift for a middle school teacher, consider binders like the Wilson Jones 368 Basic Round Ring Binder.

Notebooks and Looseleaf Paper
Sometimes the most basic supplies can make all the difference in the classroom.

Vendor: Staples 
Price: $0.25 per notebook

Towards the beginning of the school year, Staples will have bins filled with notebooks on sale for around $0.25 each — an absolute steal when you could be paying $2 minimum for some of their other notebooks. For note taking purposes, you can also buy the Staples Wide Ruled Filler Paper, 8" x 10-1/2", 120/Pack at $0.75 a pack. Again, these are low numbers that can certainly add up for teachers who are ensuring every child in their classroom is provided for, so keep gifts that are useful in the classroom in mind!

Writing/Coloring Materials
Yes, writing materials are old school. Yes, they helps kids learn.

Vendor: Target
Price: $2.39 for 12

Think about it: Could you do anything in the classroom without writing materials? Kids not only need pencils to take notes, but to learn — studies show that writing down information actually helps you retain it. But again, the price of basic writing materials gets in the way of every student having access to them. A 12 pack of Ticonderoga #2 Wooden Pencils costs $2.39, another modest investment that can add up when you consider how easily pencils get lost and how many students need them. And we haven’t even taken coloring materials like Washable Markers or Colored Pencils into consideration. Teachers, and especially students, greatly benefit from these tools in the classroom.

Gifts Any Teacher Would Love

Teachers come from various walks of life — some enjoy outdoor activities, eating out, quirky nick-nacks, etc. There isn’t really a wrong way to show your favorite teacher you appreciate them. Even the smallest gift, like a new placard or new wall decor, will mean the world to them. You can also think as if you’re getting your friend a gift — think about you teacher’s personality and what they like to do for fun!

Gift Card to Barnes & Noble
Maybe it’s a stereotype, but most teachers are avid readers.

Vendor: Barnes & Noble 
Price: Choose from a variety of gift card denominations

Barnes & Noble is a book lovers paradise. Most teachers are well-read and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to buy some new books. If you’re not sure what new book your teacher is eager to read, giving them a gift card to Barnes & Noble would be a lovely idea. Even if they don’t have a specific book in mind, just having an excuse to go to Barnes & Noble can make somebody’s day.

Customizable Placard/Sign
When you need a more DIY-esque gift, Etsy’s got you covered.

Vendor: Etsy
Price: $16

This idea is a bit more DIY in spirit — it’s a gift that can be a bit more creative and personal. For teachers that greatly inspired you or you developed a strong connection with, check out these customizable signs like this one from Etsy that can decorate a classroom desk or wall.

New Tote Bag
For the Middle school teachers that are part time Maxxinistas.

Vendor: TJ Maxx 
Price: Around $30

Believe it or not, teachers usually have a lot of materials to bring to class. Planners, notebooks and any other materials are necessary for the day can be a lot to carry, especially on the days they have a special lesson planned. That said, a new tote bag from TJ Maxx would make a fantastic gift for your teacher.

So when shopping for your favorite teacher, think of ways you can save them money or show appreciation. These gestures, no matter how small, will show that their dedication to the classroom doesn’t go unnoticed. And don’t forget that no matter the gift, Gift Card Granny is here to help!