15 Gifts for Teachers That Will Stand Out
Teachers are some of the most hardworking individuals who don't seem to be appreciated enough for their efforts. Be it staying up late to grade papers or creating lesson plans that can keep even the most distracted kids engaged, teachers do it all.
In return for their dedication and sacrifice (read: additional gray hairs on their heads), it's only right to show your thanks for your child's teacher. No matter which age group they're teaching — elementary school, middle school, or high school — teachers deserve to feel appreciated.
So, if you need help showing thanks for the academic superhero(es) at your kid's school, we've got you covered in our guide to the best gifts for teachers.
15 Best Gifts for Teachers to Show Your Appreciation
From affordable to splurge-worthy, sweet thoughtfulness to quirky humor, there's a gift on this list for all the teachers you want to show appreciation for. Plus, most of these items are perfect for gifting at any time, be it Teacher Appreciation Week in May, at Christmas time, or the end of the school year.
1. Compression Socks
Teachers spend the whole day standing for long periods in the classroom or sitting down to grade huge stacks of tests. This often means poor blood circulation in their legs, leading to leg fatigue, cramped calves, and swollen ankles. Not a pretty picture, if you imagine it.
To help your child's favorite teacher breeze through the school day with well-energized and pain-free legs, why not give them the gift of stylish comfort? A pair of Cuvu's compression socks will do the trick nicely. They’re made with sustainable bamboo material that feels crazy-soft on the skin. With fresh and trendy designs, teachers not only feel good but also look good.
2. Slip-On Shoes
Between countless lesson plans, meetings, and classes, it's easy to understand why teachers are often harried-looking. This pair of slip-on shoes will make their morning routine quicker and their days more comfy. They come with arch support and heel cupping for all-day comfort — a godsend for teachers who are always on their feet. Plus, the glittery, rose hue of the shoes will add a little sparkle to an otherwise dull school day.
3. Patterned Socks
Is your child’s teacher the one who goes all-out for spirit days? Brighten up their day with this pair of socks that says, "You had me at tacos." For the high school coach, these football print socks would be especially relevant. Or you can indulge a teacher with a pizza obsession (i.e., everyone) with this fun pair of pizza-printed socks.
4. Stationery Gift Basket
Teachers are always in need of school supplies which is why a stationery gift basket will be one of their favorite gifts. Grab a few sets of brightly colored highlighters and black ink pens. Include a set of personalized pencils with the teacher's name on them or help them in their quest for motivating students with a set of personalized stamps and cute stickers.
Then, add a few folio clipboards to help them keep their notes organized. This one has a complimentary notepad, silver clip, interior pocket, and pen loop for easy access. Tie everything together with a thank-you note at the top.
5. Travel Mug
A double-walled travel mug is great for teachers who prefer hot drinks on the go. Designed with a leak-resistant flip lid, teachers can toss it in their bags without worrying about spillage. This travel mug is definitely an upgrade from the usual water bottle — it’s easy to carry around and helps reduce plastic waste. Plus, it's free from BPA, phthalate, and lead. The cherry on top? It comes in a cool floral motif.
6. Tumbler With Straw
Great for sipping that cold brew, this tumbler with a straw is exactly what your kid's teacher needs on her desk. Its double-walled, insulated feature keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, no matter the time of the day. The cheerful design adds a nice splash of color too.
7. Zippered Tote Bag
A tote bag is a lifesaver for the teacher who always has to lug around a million and one things. This floral-themed tote bag makes it a fantastic back-to-school gift for your kid's new teacher. The zippered design also means nothing will accidentally fall out of it. And, it also comes in a classic black color for those who prefer a more toned-down look.
8. Starbucks Gift Card
A Starbucks gift card is one of the best teacher gifts. Popping over to the nearest Starbucks is not only convenient but also a necessary caffeine fix when dealing with a ton of paperwork. Make it a thoughtful gift with a well-penned thank-you note to let the teacher know they are greatly appreciated.
9. Wine Gift Card
Teaching a bunch of elementary school or high school kids day after day isn't a job that most of us can handle. A bottle of red wine is definitely a treat after a long day in the classroom.
Everyone's liquor preferences can be quite different, so a gift card to the local liquor store is the perfect teacher gift idea — they get to choose what they really like while you get to thank them for all their hard work (and for handling screaming fifth-graders, which isn’t for the faint-hearted). Definitely a win-win situation.
10. Lunch Tote Bag
Let's face it, the school cafeteria food isn't exactly appetizing, which is why teachers like to bring their own lunches to school. Make it easier on them with this fold-over, water-repellent lunch tote bag with an accompanying buckle for safe food transport. The exterior ID window also means no one is going to steal the tote bag.
Or, keep it chill with this lunch cooler. It features a wipeable PEVA-insulated lining, i.e., easy clean-up in the event of a food spillage mishap. The tote bag is also expandable for stashing more items if your kid's teacher needs to do an impromptu grocery run after school. Plus, the shoulder strap makes it easy to tote it around.
11. Hygiene Gift Basket
With the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene items are the new definition of "classroom supplies." Throw in a few containers of disinfecting wipes and stick on a printable with a relatable quote like "Every day is a clean slate" on the top.
Next, add a few mini bottles of hand sanitizers for hygiene on the go. And don't forget the face masks. Include this pack of 100% cotton, multi-layer face masks for the teachers with a sense of style, or go basic instead.
12. Mason Jar Filled With Thank-You Notes
This one calls for the whole class's effort. Start by asking the other students in your kid's class to individually pen down their heartfelt wishes on a piece of colored paper. Feel free to ask the parents to join in on the fun too.
Then, find a clear Mason jar that's big enough to contain all the thank-you notes. It's the perfect gift for great teachers everywhere — free of charge (mostly) yet full of love and appreciation.
13. Badge Reel
A retractable badge reel is a smart teacher appreciation gift as it means your child's teacher will never have to worry about misplacing their ID card again.
For the coffee lover, this "But first coffee" badge reel will resonate perfectly. Or, instill some positivity in their life with this one that says, "Positive vibes." If you're thinking of a Christmas gift, this one in the shape of a glitter-filled Christmas tree will put teachers in a jolly mood.
Another essential among teachers is a lanyard — it carries their ID cards, staff passes, car keys, whistles, and practically everything under the sun. This is why teachers need a high-quality lanyard that will hold all their stuff in one place. To make it more fun, try a floral design, or you can choose this retractable lanyard that makes losing ID cards virtually impossible.
15. Spa Gift Basket
Sometimes, what teachers really want (and need) is to relax after a long and tiring day. A spa gift basket is probably one of the best gifts for teachers out there. Include a spa gift card in the basket, along with some scented hand lotions. Add a body lotion, scented candle, and some bath bombs.
You can also put in a gift certificate for Audible (if your kid's teacher is a book lover) or Calm (research has shown that meditation reduces stress). Include a heartfelt thank-you note to seal the deal. Your kid will become their favorite student in no time.
The Best Gifts for Teachers Are Thoughtful and Practical
The next time you need to pick a teacher appreciation gift, don't pull the coffee mug card (those are so last year). Instead, pick something that they don't already have by the dozen.
The best teacher gifts are often thoughtful and practical. Choose an item that your child's favorite teacher will actually use rather than chuck into the cabinet. And if possible, send your gift with a funny thank-you note to brighten up their day with a few laughs.