It’s always a gamble come the holidays or the end of the year when it comes to what (if any) gifts admin will give the teachers. While many schools are generous during Teacher Appreciation Week with massages, delicious lunches, and more, some admin opt for crappy puns and useless junk. After polling other teachers on social media, these are officially the worst teacher gifts from administration ever.
Worst Teacher Gifts
Teachers don’t expect gifts from administration at all. They don’t owe us anything for doing our jobs. However, if they are going to put something in our mailbox during Teacher Appreciation Week or the holidays, we’d rather it not be something condescending and obnoxious. A handwritten note would be nice. But a pen that was taken from the supply closet with a printed piece of paper that says, “You’re an INKcredible teacher!” No thanks.
Something about getting a crappy gift from admin feels like a slap in the face, especially since they make so much more money than us, and often make our jobs much more difficult than they have to be.
Awful Teacher Gifts from Admin
Here are some of the worst gifts teachers have received from their administration, ranked from not so bad to the absolute worst. And yes, these are all real gifts given to real teachers. (As always, my snarky teacher commentary is provided in italics.)
Recently, cheesy puns attached to lame snacks or office supplies have been all the rage in schools. If you want to give me some Cheez-its, that’s fine, as long as they’re not expired. But when you attach a cheesy pun that says, “We think you’re grate!” there’s something so annoying about it that it makes me want to smash the crackers with a tight fist to relieve stress.
Why do people in a position of power think that teachers love puns? It just shows how view us as children.
The Mint Puns: This is the hottest Christmas gift for admins to give. They take one peppermint or a candy cane and attach a tag that says some garbage about commitMINT, encouragMINT, involvMINT, or investMINT and feel like geniuses. Sometimes they get creative and say it’s for your enjoyMINT or tell you that you were MINT to be a teacher. (And that’s when I spend all afternoon sucking that candy cane into a very sharp point and fantasizing about using it to show them how I feel about their gift.)
Then there’s the Chapstick with “Chappy New Year!” or the even more embarrassing “You’re the balm!” Ugh. Puns.
Punny Gifts From Admin
When I asked teachers to submit their worst teacher gifts, puns were on a majority of the gifts. Here are some of the most painfully “punny” teacher gifts from administration.
Garbage, Like, Literally Trash
Quick note to admin: If you’re going to give us anything that looks like trash or is something that has no use and will immediately go in the trash, please don’t even bother.
Honestly, I find useless junk and knick-knacks some of the worst teacher gifts ever. It’s not hard to come up with something even remotely useful to give a teacher to show you appreciate their hard work. These are just downright awful.
Supplies We Should Be Entitled to Anyway
Just your friendly reminder that most teachers don’t get any supplies (including basic office supplies) provided to them by the school or district!
Teachers rarely get the support, funding, paychecks, or materials they need to be successful in the classroom. Administration loves to put a Band-Aid on this problem by promoting self-care.
News flash: you’re likely part of the problem and forcing self-care on us is not helping.
Cheap Teacher Gifts from Administration
If it’s such a pitiful gift that it leaves teachers feeling less more insulted than appreciated, best not to give the gift at all.
Bad Admin Gifts to Teachers
These were just a sampling of hundreds of messages I received about the worst teacher gifts from administration.
Have you ever received a bag gift from admin? If so, please share your worst teacher gifts with Teacher Misery! You can leave us a comment below, share it anonymously with a Teacher Secret, or find us on social media and join in the ongoing conversation around teaching. Check me out on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube!
Jane Morris, Author
Jane Morris is the pen name of a teacher who would really like to tell you more about herself but is afraid she’ll lose her job. Jane has taught English for over 15 years in a major American city. She received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from a well-known university and her M.A. in writing from an even fancier (more expensive) university. As a professional queen of commiseration turned published author, Jane’s foremost passion in life is to make people laugh.
She has written several highly acclaimed books unpacking the reality of teaching and life inside the school system. You can view her full library of works here.