Teachers, especially in elementary school, usually receive plenty of presents during the holiday gifting season. Despite the best of intentions, however, it can be easy to overlook school support staff like paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, custodians, and secretaries. Whether you are a teacher or administrator looking to give back to your staff or a parent of a student who wants to send a message of thanks, we have the perfect gift ideas for you! Some gifts for paraprofessionals and other support staff are practical, some are sweet, some are funny, and some are all three! Check out our list of the best gift ideas for your school’s hardworking staff.
Quick tip: Check your school’s gift policy before giving; some prohibit homemade treats and/or gifts over a certain monetary value.
(Note: We AreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
Gifts for Paraprofessionals
1. Personalized Gift Card Holder
Since everyone loves a gift card, we can’t think of a more appropriate gift for paraprofessionals or any other school support staff member. While a gift card by itself isn’t the most personal of gifts, you can make it special by adding one of these engraved gift card holders!
Buy it: Gift Card Holder at Etsy; Amazon Gift Card at Amazon
2. Personalized Sweatshirt
Although some educator apparel can be tacky, we think this sweatshirt is just the right amount of understated. We especially love that it can be personalized with your favorite paraprofessional’s name!
Buy it: Custom Para Sweatshirt at Etsy
3. Custom candy bags
This gift would make for a cute valentine, but really it could be given any time of the year. If you’re a teacher, administrator, or PTA chair, you could buy in bulk and then give them out to the whole team.
Buy it: Gift Bags at Etsy, Heart Candies at Amazon
4. Wish bracelet
The best gifts for paraprofessionals are both affordable and sentimental. We love this bracelet since it sends a sweet message and serves as a happy reminder for your student!
Buy it: Wish Bracelet at Etsy
5. Personalized Lanyard
These pretty lanyards are the perfect gifts for paraprofessionals who appreciate stylish accessories. You can personalize the adorable tag that looks like lined notebook paper with a name. Plus, choose from several different bead color combinations.
Buy it: Personalized Lanyard at Etsy
Gifts for secretaries
6. Personalized Greeting Card
Cards with heartfelt notes are perfect gifts for everyone on your lists, including secretaries. Give them alone or pair them with another gift of your choice. We love that this card can be given by a teacher, an administrator, or a student since you can customize it with your own note inside.
Buy it: Personalized Greeting Card at Personalization Mall
7. Funny Candle
If you’re looking for gifts for your coworkers at school, this candle works for everyone on your list. Bonus: It will be sure to make your friends laugh!
Buy it: Funny Candle at Etsy
8. Waterproof sticker
School secretaries are special and are often the most recognizable face in the school, so don’t forget them come the holidays! We love this waterproof sticker that they can use to decorate laptops, water bottles, notebooks, and more.
Buy it: Secretary Waterproof Sticker at Etsy
9. Attendance Shirt
It’s a fact, teachers are human and sometimes they forget to take attendance. This funny T-shirt is perfect for any school secretary who needs a reminder. It even comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose their favourite.
Buy it: Have You Taken Attendance? Shirt at Etsy
10. Personalized Notepad
Give your school secretary this personalized stationery for all their notes. You can get similar designs for other school support staff members like nurses, school counselors, and social workers.
Buy it: Personalized School Secretary Notepad at Etsy
Gifts for Cafeteria Workers
11. Cafeteria Squad T-Shirt
This T-shirt is undeniably tasteful and comes with a kind message for your favorite “cafeteria squad.” Gift the whole crew these tees to wear on special days or even just as Friday attire.
Buy it: Cafeteria Squad T-shirt at Etsy
12. Custom Cutting Board
Equally pretty and practical, these personalized cutting boards would make for a perfect holiday or retirement gift for everyone’s favorite cafeteria worker. Make them think of you while they prepare their favorite meal at home!
Buy it: Custom Wooden Cutting Board at Etsy
13. Badge reel
This cute badge reel will surely bring a smile to the face of a special “lunch lady” in your life.
Buy it: Lunch Lady Badge Reel at Etsy
While an apron is a good gift idea for anyone who frequents a kitchen, this option is cuter and sturdier than most. This apron is pretty enough on its own, but adding personalization really gives it that extra special touch!
Buy it: Personalized Linen Apron at Etsy
15. Retro Lunch Tray Earrings
These earrings are unbelievably kitschy but they are also so adorable. They will surely be a big hit, especially for cafeteria workers in elementary schools.
Buy it: Retro Lunch Tray Dangle Earrings at Etsy
16. Tool Belt/Apron
We love the practicality of this gift, which will surely come in handy for that special custodian in your life. With a five-star rating and over 6,000 reviews on Amazon, we trust that this tool belt will stand the test of time.
Buy it: Toolbelt/Apron at Amazon
17. Dirt Whisperer T-Shirt
This T-shirt would be perfect for a custodian with an especially good sense of humor. Why would your favorite custodian want to wear a basic undershirt to work when they could wear this funny, attention-grabbing one?!
Buy it: Dirt Whisperer T-shirt at Amazon
18. Yoda’s Best Custodian Tumbler
Do you know a custodian who is also a Star Wars lover? This coffee tumbler is equally practical and adorable. We just love the cute play on the word Yoda!
Buy it: Yoda Tumbler at Etsy
19. Custodian Sweatshirt
Who doesn’t love a nice cozy hoodie during the chilly fall and winter months? Since this one comes with a sweet message, it will ensure that the special custodian in your life knows just how much they mean to you!
Buy it: Custodian Sweatshirt at Etsy
20. Personalized Key Chain
Let’s face it, custodians have to lug around a lot of keys. These stylish key chains will make sure that they do it in style. We love that you can really personalize them to match your favorite custodian’s personality since they come in a variety of shades and fonts.
Buy it: Personalized Leather Key Chain at Etsy