20 Brilliant Gift Ideas for School Support Staff

Ideas for paraprofessionals, secretaries, cafeteria workers, and custodians!

Personalized school secretary stationary and "Para" sweatshirt as examples of best gifts for paraprofessionals and other school support staff

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: WeAreTeachers 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

Gift Card Holder for Paraprofessional: Thank You For Helping Me Grow, as an example of gifts for paraprofessionals

Since everyone loves a gift card, we can’t think of a more fitting 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


A woman is shown from the neck down. She is wearing an off white crewneck sweatshirt that says PARA and her name over it. (gifts for paraprofessionals)

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

A white paper bag says We heart Our Paraprofessionals (gifts for paraprofessionals)

This gift would make for a cute valentine, but really it could be given any time of 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

A cardboard backing has a red string bracelet with a hand charm on it. It says "it takes a big heart to teach little minds"

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 of your student!

Buy it: Wish Bracelet at Etsy

5. Personalized Lanyard

Beaded lanyard with Mrs. Smith on tag, as example of gifts for paraprofessionals

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

A black greeting card says "It takes a big heart to help shape little minds" there is a heart with a teacher's name in it (gifts for paraprofessionals)

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

A candle has a wrapper on it that says "I would totally hang out with you even if we weren't getting paid."

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

A sticker has a rainbow and heart on it and it says "school secretary" (gifts for paraprofessionals)

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

Jeans, red sneakers, and black shirt that says, "Have You Taken Attendance?"

It’s a fact, teachers are human and sometimes 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 pick their favorite.

Buy it: Have You Taken Attendance? Shirt at Etsy

10. Personalized Notepad

Personalized school secretary notepad next to a gold tumbler with straw.

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

A dark blue t'shirt has a circle on it that says words like compassionate, caring, and loving on the outer circle. The inside says Cafeteria Squad. (gifts for paraprofessionals)

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

A dark wood cutting board is shown with a name engraved on it (gifts for paraprofessionals)

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

A cute badge holder says Lunch Lady and has a cartoon bagged lunch, apple, and coffee cup.

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

14. Apron

A linen apron has space on it for personalization.

While an apron is a good gift idea for anyone that 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

Dangle earrings are designed to look like old school cafeteria trays with lunches on them.

These earrings are undeniably 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

Gifts for School Custodians

16. Tool Belt/Apron

A black, Dickies brand tool belt is shown.

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

A black tshirt says "dirt whisperer" in white letters. (gifts for paraprofessionals)

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 Best Custodian Tumbler

A black tumbler says Yoda Best School Custodian with a baby yoda on it.

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

A black hooded sweatshirt says Custodian in yellow and A key role in so many lives in white.

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

Several leather keychains are shown with different things inscribed on them. They are in a variety of colors.

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

Looking for more gifts for paraprofessionals and school support staff? Check out these great stocking stuffers.

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Teachers get lots of gifts, but what about everyone else? Here are the best gifts for school support staff like paraprofessionals.