One Teacher’s Best Teacher Gift Ideas
As a teacher, I have been fortunate to receive gifts from students and their families. These gifts are never expected but always appreciated. If you are looking for just the right present for your favourite teacher, here is my list of 25 best teacher gift ideas.
A Handwritten Note
The best teacher gifts I have ever received were heartfelt handwritten notes. Sometimes as a teacher, it can feel like things go in one ear and out the other. Hearing from a student or family, the impact you have made makes such a difference.
The handwritten note can be on a card or just written on a piece of paper. And it can be written by the student or a family member. Taking the time to tell the teacher how much you appreciate him/her goes a long way.
School or Classroom Supplies
So many teachers pay out of pocket for things for their classroom and students. If you are looking for a practical gift that will surely get used, think about giving school supplies like scissors, glue sticks, highlighters, hand sanitizer, a good pencil sharpener, books for the classroom library, or age-appropriate board games.
These classroom supplies will save teachers from spending money from their pocket and continue to benefit future students.
Personalized Teacher Appreciation Gifts
The sky’s the limit on personalized gifts. Here are some suggestions for that perfect personalized teacher gift.
Personalized pencils come in all different colours with tons of options available through Amazon. Nobody will wonder who the pencil belongs to when the teacher’s name is engraved or printed right on it.
Having personalized stationery created for that special teacher will help them make perfect notes for their students. There are many options for personalizing stationery, so you can choose the perfect thing that fits your budget.
Some personalized teacher stamp options:
- This book belongs to Teacher Name.
- Teacher Name thinks you’re fantastic.
- From the library of Teacher Name
- Teacher Name says, “Great Job.”
Or use your imagination to come up with something that will be the perfect teacher appreciation gift.
Online you can order some very unique and creative notebooks that are personalized. Pick a pattern or design that matches the personality of the educator in your life. They will be continuously grateful as they use the notebook throughout the year.
If you (or the students) are creative, why not make a personalized crayon wreath for the classroom door. Pinterest has tons of inspiration if this is what you’re thinking. You can get most of the supplies at your local dollar store, making this a gift that won’t break the bank. But the time and effort you put into creating it will make this gift priceless.
Consumables are some of my favourite teacher gifts to both give and receive. If you want to go the extra mile, give a consumable that you made yourself – pickles, jam, preserves, and cookies are all great options for this.
Is your teacher a coffee or tea drinker? Beverages also make great consumables. You can get a teacher a bottle of wine or another adult beverage for a more grown-up gift.
A unique spin on a consumable gift is to fill a mason jar with the teacher’s favourite gum, chocolate, or candy. That jar can then be kept on the teacher’s desk and accessed as needed.
Teachers often keep their keys or school ID on a lanyard. Why not get them a new one? You can use your imagination or shop around for the perfect one for the teacher in your life.
Sturdy Tote Bag
As a teacher, I am often hauling schoolwork back and forth between home and school. A sturdy tote bag will help with this and be a daily reminder of the thoughtful student who gifted it.
If your teacher is an avid reader, why not get them their next book to read. Not sure if they are a reader? Then a recipe book or Richard Benson book are great universal gift ideas for teachers.
Something to Add to Their Collection
Is the teacher in your life a collector? Why not get something to add to their collection; a figurine, stickers, book, or anything else that would be the perfect fit for their collection.
Sticky Notes Set
What teacher doesn’t love and use sticky notes regularly? Why not show your appreciation by getting your teacher floral or funky sticky notes sets for them to use in their classroom.
Are you a checklist person? Chances are your teacher is too. Why not get them a unique checklist notepad that fits their personality?
The majority of teachers I know use a daily planner. Christmas time or the end of the year are great times to look for a new daily planner for that special teacher. You can often find ones that start at the beginning of the calendar year and others that start at the beginning of the school year.
Basic Tool Kit
In a classroom, there are always things that need to be tightened or adjusted. And a basic tool kit can also be repurposed as an at-home or in-car tool kit during those summer months away from the classroom.
Recipe Box Filled With Each Student’s Favourite Recipe
This gift may take a bit more planning in advance and is probably not a great last-minute gift. But if you can take the time to prepare a recipe box filled with each student’s favourite recipe, this will be a class gift remembered for years.
Surprise Lunch Delivery
Pizza anyone? As a group gift, why not have lunch delivered as a surprise to the school? The students will love watching the surprise on their teacher’s face when the surprise lunch arrives.
For the teacher who seems to have everything, funky socks can make a great present. There are so many different designs out there that chances are you will be able to find something that your teacher doesn’t already have. And the students can make a game out of checking out the teacher’s socks to see which ones they are wearing.
A small plant or succulent can change the feel of a classroom. If you give a plant to one of your teachers, try to find something hearty and doesn’t need a lot of attention. There are enough other things to worry about in a classroom than keeping a high maintenance plant alive.
There are endless possibilities of personalized gift baskets you can put together for the teacher in your life. This can be as easy as buying a prepackaged one. If you have a high school student, get them involved in putting together a movie night basket with popcorn, snacks, and their favourite movie.
Or get an idea from any of the other items on this list and compile them as a class gift from everyone.
Something for Them to Pamper Themselves
After a long day with students, every teacher could use a little pampering. Some suggestions that teachers can use for self-care or self-pampering are scalp massagers to relieve muscle tension, cotton spa slippers, or spa comfort eye pillow.
Thanks for Helping Me Grow Kit
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a kindergarten or elementary teacher? Buy some seed packets (maybe of the student’s favourite things to grow or eat). Bundle them together with a lovely ribbon and write a cute note that says, “thank you for helping me grow.”
Etsy has lots of downloadable sign ideas for teachers. You can get one that gives a funny or quirky definition for the word teacher. Or one that states the name of the teacher. With a digital download, you can print it off at home or take it to your local print shop for the best quality.
Pick up a unique frame and your local secondhand store, and this gift is ready for the walls of any school classroom.
A personal laminator is great for a teacher to laminate student work to put up on the walls to last a little longer. If you are thinking about giving this as a gift, I recommend including extra lamination sheets.
Reusable Metal Straws
Not sure what to get the teacher in your life, and nothing on this list is sparking you into action? Why not get the practical, inexpensive gift of reusable metal straws?
Touch Screen Gloves
If you want to buy a gift for a teacher who is often outside on supervision, touch screen gloves are a great option. Touch screen gloves will allow the teacher’s fingers to stay warm while they checking the time on their phone or using it for any other reason.
A Gift That Changes Lives
Maybe you don’t want to buy a physical gift for the teacher in your life, but you still want to show them that you care. One idea is to donate in their name to a relevant charity. The donation could be to a child-related charity, like the local children’s hospital or something else dear to the teacher or family’s heart.
A Gift Card
And if all else fails and you want to purchase a gift for the teacher in your life, but you’re not sure what they really want, why not get them a gift card? You really can’t go wrong with gift cards. And you can often get them for any denomination and most shops and stores. Bonus if you buy a gift card to support a local vendor.
Teacher Gifts to Avoid
There are some gifts that you may want to avoid when shopping for that special teacher. It is not that these presents are not appreciated, but instead, they usually are overly-gifted or not necessary.
You won’t often find a teacher who doesn’t already have more coffee mugs than they can use. Like you, teachers often have their favourite mug that they drink from all the time while others sit on the shelf collecting dust.
Candles and lotion are difficult to give to a teacher. Even though it seems easy and universal, it is often impersonal and may cause allergies for the teacher if they are sensitive to certain scents.
Contrary to popular belief, not all teachers collect apple-themed tchotchkes. When I think of all the teachers I know, very few, if any of them do. If you ask me, those apple-themed presents are better left on the store shelves.
Gifts That Break the Bank
One time in my teaching career, I received an extravagant gift that made me extremely uncomfortable. As a teacher, I’m not looking for anything expensive; that is not why I am in this profession. Most teachers would much rather a heartfelt handwritten card than a gift that breaks the bank.
Gifts That Expire Soon
Although consumables make great teacher appreciation gifts, ones that expire right away may not be your best option. Look for things with longer shelf lives, or opt for something that doesn’t expire at all.
It’s the Thought That Counts
Most teachers will be grateful for any gift from their students.
Whatever gift you pick, you can go that extra mile by adding a personal touch by including a handwritten note or cute poem instead of a card. It is the thought behind the gift that makes it meaningful.
And remember that giving during the holidays isn’t mandatory. One way to stand out is to give a teacher something outside of traditional holidays.
Some of the gifts that stand out to me the most are ones that my students gave in unique times; the start of the school year or the parents who bring a chocolate bar or other small treats to parent-teacher-student conferences.
A gift shows that you are thinking about the teacher, want to say thank you and that you appreciate the work they do. It’s not about spending the most money or buying the most extravagant thing. Use this list of best teacher gift ideas as inspiration to find that perfect meaningful gift for the educator in your life.