Choosing gifts for teachers can be tricky – many typical teacher gifts have become so clichéd that some teachers end up with a box full of similar items that they’ll never use!
Every teacher is different, so there’s no such thing as a list of the “best gifts for teachers”. But we’re going to give you 21 fun and unique ideas for gifts to show your appreciation for a hardworking educator.
Whether you’re looking for teacher appreciation week gift ideas, back-to-school gifts, end-of-year gifts, Christmas gifts, or just want to say thank you to a special teacher on any occasion, you’ll find plenty of great gift ideas on this page! (And for those of you with overworked and underpaid teachers in the family, many of the items listed here also work great as birthday or Valentine’s Day presents!)
Gifts for Teachers – General Tips and Advice
The first thing you need to know: When it comes to teacher appreciation gifts, what your child’s teacher doesn’t need is more coffee mugs, plaques, tote bags, or picture frames saying “World’s Best Teacher” or other such “cute” slogans! They don’t need any more candles, soaps, or bath bombs from their students. No home-baked goods either – if they don’t know where it came from, it’ll likely just end up in the trash! And sure, some teachers may love chocolate, sweets, or lotions – but others may have allergies or simply not enjoy these very same things… and have probably already received them from fifteen other students!
That doesn’t mean these are bad gifts per se – rather, what is means is: If you truly want to show your appreciation for a teacher, then it’s important that you know the teacher! Is the teacher a coffee lover or a wine drinker? An avid cyclist or a yoga fanatic? Find out their interests and then get them something related – it’ll be much more appreciated than any apple-themed “teacher gift”!
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that they love sweets or candles or whatever – but it’s best to know before you buy!
For many teachers, gift cards are great too – as long as they’re for somewhere that you can be sure the teacher will use them.
And no matter what you gift them, the absolute best way to show a teacher that he or she is appreciated is with a handwritten note or card from their pupil – so when giving teacher appreciation gifts, don’t forget the most important part! They didn’t choose the teaching profession for the gifts, but rather for the feeling of making a difference in children’s lives – and your child’s note will transmit this feeling better than any gift ever could!
What we’ve tried to do below is give some original and unique teacher gift ideas for when you don’t know the teacher’s likes or interests. (If you do know what the special teacher likes, then check our menu above for lists of 21 gift ideas to match whatever their interests or hobbies may be!)
Alright… pencils ready, everyone – here are 21 gift ideas for teachers!
1) Teachers’ Acrylic Personalized Pen & Pencil Holder
Gifts that can be put to good use in the classroom make perfect gifts for a teacher. Personalized gifts are always appreciated too. Put 2+2 together – and this elegant personalized acrylic pen and pencil holder makes an excellent teacher gift!
Any teacher needs to organize plenty of writing implements at their desk – and this gift item, with its artfully etched apple enclosing the teacher’s name, will enable him or her to do so in a stylish manner!
2) Sterling Silver Reversible Apple “Teach” Pendant
As we made quite clear above, there’s certainly no real need to buy a teacher an apple-themed gift… but if you’re going to get her one, then why not make it an elegant sterling silver apple necklace?!
This beautiful yet affordable pendant is engraved with the word “teach” on one side and the phrase “To Teach Is To Touch Lives Forever” on the other. It’s a classy piece of silver jewelry for a teacher to wear, remember, and cherish forever – yet it’ll only cost about the same as the other students’ parents are spending on little mason jars filled with sweets! (Which pupil’s gift do you think a teacher will remember a few years from now?)
And this necklace is also great as a Valentine’s Day, birthday, or Christmas gift for any loved one who works as a teacher!
3) What If There Were No Teachers?
What If There Were No Teachers?: A Gift Book for Teachers and Those Who Wish to Celebrate Them is a small book that highlights just how important teachers are in each and every one of our lives. Can you imagine a world without teachers?
The best part is that the back page even has a space set aside for children to write a personal note to their teacher!
(See #15 below for another creative gift book for teachers!)
4) Inspiring Teacher Personalized Glass Treat Jar
A handcrafted, personalized treat jar inscribed with the line “Teachers inspire dreams, shape lives and give us hope for the future” in the shape of an apple – around the name of the special teacher.
Like the first gift on our list, this is both an attractive piece that they’ll be proud to display on their desk… and an item that they can put to good use in the classroom!
5) Personalized Pens for Teachers
Teachers’ pens and pencils have a way of disappearing in the classroom. Want to help your favorite teacher make sure that the kids won’t keep pilfering all of her writing instruments? Gift him or her a set of personalized pens! The set pictured above is a particularly nice option that includes not only personalized pens, but also a personalized maplewood box that includes the name of the child that delivered the gift, as well as the grade level and year.
Inexpensive sets of a dozen personalized pencils are available too – and represent a cheap alternative gift option that will be even more useful in the classroom!
6) A+ Teacher Personalized Clipboard
Teachers have tons of papers to organize, including lesson plans, test papers, homework assignments, and so much more… which makes this personalized clipboard yet another very practical customized gift for a teacher!
7) “Time To Change The World” Personalized Teacher Marble Desk Clock
This personalized marble clock is a stylish yet affordable gift that would look great on any teacher’s desk.
It comes custom engraved with their name and an extra line of personalization on the front, as well as a message about the importance of teachers on the back. Made of genuine solid marble, with a quartz movement timepiece accented in warm gold tones, it’s a truly unique keepsake that they are sure to treasure for a long time – long after the soaps and candles that they received from the other children have been used up (or not)!
8) Sterling Silver “Mobius Circle with Apple” Teacher’s Pendant Necklace
Another imaginative sterling silver pendant necklace that would make a great gift for a wonderful teacher – this one features a cool Mobius strip loop with an apple and some hearts, as well as the line: “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches the heart.”
9) Composition Notebook Pouch
Teacher gifts don’t have to be apple-themed! This creative pouch makes use of another symbol that every American immediately associates with school days – the classic black-and-white composition notebook. But instead of holding pages full of notes, this sturdy zippered canvas version will hold keys, phones, pencils, or anything else a teacher may need!
10) Personalized Self-Inking Stamp
Want to show your appreciation to a teacher with a gift that he or she will use every day?
This personalized self-inking stamp is a great gift for a teacher at any time – end of the year, back to school, whenever! It can be customized with the teacher’s name, a choice of 5 graphics (apple, check mark, smiley face, etc.), and a choice of 5 messages (Great Job!, Excellent!, etc.)
11) Teacher Life: A Snarky Chalkboard Coloring Book
Who says only children can color? Now teachers can too – with this coloring book made just for them!
You’ll be giving more than the gift of a funny book – because this is a great, cheap way to give the gift of stress relief to a hardworking teacher who might sometimes get just a bit overwhelmed by her tough job!
12) Teacher Earrings and Bracelet Set
Another piece of unique jewelry made just for teachers, this set includes a teacher bracelet and a pair of cute apple earrings!
13) “Teacher’s Little Learners” Personalized Doormat
This personalized doormat is a unique gift idea for teachers of younger grades and preschool – in other words, “little learners”. Give a special teacher a special way to welcome her pupils into her classroom!
Although we should mention that one reviewer said she would actually be hanging it on the wall – because, in her words, she “can’t stomach the fact that people would actually walk over this beautiful piece of art”!
14) “Teacher’s Little Learners” Personalized Desk Pad Planner
A customizable personalized desk planner is another creative and practical gift for a teacher of “little learners” who could use some help organizing her daily activities and lesson plans – and an especially helpful gift for new teachers just getting the hang of things!
15) Because I Had a Teacher
Because I Had a Teacher is a cute, heartwarming book that makes a great little thank you gift from a child to a preschool or elementary school teacher!
16) “Teachers Inspire” Personalized Crystal Apple Keepsake
The truth is that most teachers have already gotten so many apple-themed knickknacks as gifts that they really don’t need any more! So, for this list, we’ve avoided useless apple trinkets that most teachers will just toss in a box at home and forget.
While this item may not be as useful as the other teacher gifts we’ve mentioned, it’s such an elegant and stylish gift idea for a teacher who has made a difference that we had to include it on the list. To customize this reverse-engraved crystal apple keepsake, choose from three inspirational teachers’ quotes or write your your own special message, then add two more lines of personalized text for the teacher. Your precious teacher gift will come in a beautiful satin-lined gift box – and will be proudly displayed on the teacher’s desk or bookshelf for years to come!
17) “Teach Love Inspire” Necklace
Another lovely pendant necklace made just for teachers – this one comes ready for gifting with its own special card reading: “Teach. Love. Inspire. To teach a child is to touch the future”. (Don’t forget to have your child add a nice handwritten note!)
18) 3-D Personalized Teacher’s Watch
A cute handcrafted watch designed just for teachers, featuring lots of school-themed imagery and customized with the name of the special teacher! Great as Christmas or birthday gifts for teachers – or as a graduation gift for a new teacher who’s just starting her education career!
19) Teacher Bead Bracelet
An inexpensive yet attractive bead bracelet made specially for teachers – delivered in a nice satin-lined gift box with a sentimental verse on the enclosed card.
20) Teacher’s Floating Locket Necklace
One last piece of unique teacher jewelry for the list – this one a locket featuring all 12 birthstones and a whole bunch of school-themed enamel and silver-tone charms, delivered in a premium gift box especially for gifting to a teacher.
21) F in Exams
F in Exams – along with its sequels, F for Effort and F This Test – are packed with examples of “the very best totally wrong test answers” that have been encountered by American and British teachers, from primary school through high school. Guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of any teacher!
Alright, everyone, pencils down!
Whether you’ve been searching for Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day, end-of-the-year, back-to-school, or teacher’s appreciation week gifts for teachers who have earned them, we hope you’ve gotten a variety of great ideas.
And your homework for tomorrow? Check out the menu at the top of the page – where you’ll find 21 gift ideas for each and every other person on your list!