25 Thoughtful Gifts for the Teachers in Your Life—According to IRL Teachers
It's no secret: Teachers don't get enough credit. Even though they're the ones who have the difficult task of educating each generation with many of the skills needed to navigate the world, they don't always have the necessary resources to support them in the classroom. However, the teachers we know never fail to go above and beyond, which is one reason to show them some thanks and appreciation this holiday season, and beyond. So, if you're looking for a gift for the teacher in your life, you've come to the right place.
25 best gifts for teachers
Whether they're a traditional educator or a longtime mentor, we've rounded up some of the best gifts for teachers to snag this holiday season to help put a smile on their face.
Gifts for organization
Originally $11, now $9
Sprinkle a little dose of sunshine into your teacher’s life with this set of daily uplifting messages. For wellness expert, UCLA test prep instructor and founder of First Choice Admissions, Bruce Hanson, positive affirmation cards like these are a great way to support your teacher emotionally. “Research has shown when you see and repeat positive phrases using self-talk, you affirm the statements in your head,” says Hanson. “Over time, they replace the negative feelings and thoughts you have. Therefore, increasing overall mental wellness.”
This set contains 30 pop-up cards to read anytime you need a pick-me-up. Plus, you can use the back side to jot down any small reminders for your next class.
If there is one thing that teachers can use in their arsenal, it’s a good notebook (or twenty), says voice teacher Juli Henderson. “Teachers need space and time to write down their thoughts because they hold so many words all day of others’…it is a great self-care reminder,” says Henderson. This journal includes 112 lined pages, an attached ribbon book mark and a lovely leather cover for extra durability. Plus, you can personalize it by adding your teacher’s name or initials on the front. And if you really want to wow your teacher, Hendersen recommends dropping a little note on the first page.
Help your teacher stay organized on their lunch break with this Monbento Bento Box. Made with BPA-free plastic, this lunch organizer breaks down into two large compartments big enough to fit your pasta and side salad. It also has a smaller container to store your dressing and small treats. And thanks to the airtight seal, you can travel with your leftovers without any spillage.
If your teacher is one to skip out on meal prep and order in, help them save a little money on the delivery fees with this GrubHub gift card. This way, they can treat themselves to one of their favorite takeout spots during the week. According curriculum designer at Knovva Academy, Victoria Jones, covering lunch is one of the surest ways to win over your teacher’s heart. A gift card like this “allows for flexibility and can be used by any teacher regardless of diet restrictions,” says Jones.
What makes this tote bag so teacher-friendly is its durable cover and deep pocket space. In fact, go ahead and think of this as the “throw-it-all-in-there” bag. The outside is water-repellent and features an external zip pocket to store your phone, wallet and other personal items. The inside pocket is also big enough for a small laptop if you plan on grading papers on-the-go.
Originally $6, now $3
Even if you have planner, it can be hard to remember to jot down all the tasks you need to accomplish in one day. That why handy little sticky notes like these can be a huge help in a teacher’s toolbox, according to Ohio-based AP psychology teacher and TEDx speaker McKenna Reitz. They’re especially useful for creating smaller “to-do lists, notes, and ideas” for later use, she says. Each pad contains 50 3-by-4-inch sheets to stick on your papers, folders or any other document you need to leave a message.
If your teacher loves sipping on coffee throughout the day, this Yeti tumbler is going to make their refills a lot easier. The double wall insulation and stainless steel keeps drinks cold and pipping hot down until the very last sip. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy clean up. “I didn’t get the hype for Yeti for a long time—then I owned one,” says Jones. “And now [I] can’t use anything else. Every teacher I know uses some kind of thermos or mug daily and a nice one would be a welcome gift. Yeti also allows for personalization if you wanna go the extra mile.”
In order to stay organized both inside and outside the classroom, a planner like this can be an effective tool to prioritize your time and duties for the week. This 12-month planner is simple in its design, allowing you to organize your agenda down to the minute of the day. It also includes a monthly and weekly view to help your forward plan your schedule.
Gifts for relaxation
For Jones, there’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work to the beautiful fragrance of a candle. “Depends on the person, but as a teacher, I loved getting good-smelling candles for my home.” And this trio set from Boy Smells can to turn your living space (or classroom) into all out spa. Each candle features vanilla, rose sage and other floral notes to help you unwind.
During the days when you feel your heart racing from anxiety or caffeine overload, these Speks Magnet Balls can help you decompress. Roll them together in your hand, or stack them on top of each other when you need to distract yourself. Devices like these are a great way to regulate your emotions, according to Hanson. “We are all a little more anxious these days and having a manipulative that is kinesthetic can calm you when you are in sensory overload,” says Hanson. “It’s discrete and helps regulate and uneasiness.”
Originally $79, now $64
Sitting and preparing lesson plans for hours on end is no easy task—and it can really mess with your back (same goes for any kind of desk sitting). But you can at least make it a little more comfortable with this Cushion Lab Back Relief Lumbar Pillow. The extra dense memory foam inside provides a sturdy support for when you’re working in bed or chilling on the couch.
Want to help your teacher relax? Give them an adult puzzle. “Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning,” Jill Riley, MSN, RN, senior clinical operations associate at Baylor College of Medicine wrote in a blog post for the Baylor College of Medicine. “The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem solving. Spending time alone with a puzzle is also a great way to unwind and reset from a busy day.”
Each Jiggy puzzle features designs by real artists and includes: a reusable glass jar, a tube of puzzle glue, a straight-edge tool to spread the glue and a print of the art to guide you to success.
Show a nod to the role and impact your mentor has had in your life with this super cute framed print. It will definitely mean a lot, according to Reitz. “An inspirational sign that can be hung in [our] classroom will help brighten our day!” This one is currently available in four sizes, with 24″ X 26″ inches being the largest.
Crocs aren’t the most stylish shoes on the planet, but we at W+G (and podiatrists) can’t deny how comfortable they are. In fact, these are one of the few slippers with arch support that allow you to be on your feet for hours at a time. As a bonus, these also have a teddy lining to keep your feet extra cozy in the winter time.
On the days you didn’t get enough sleep and you’re feeling stressed, let this Ostrichpillow Hot & Cold Eye Mask help you relax. It uses thermal therapy to relieve eye strain, irritation, migraines, facial tension and other temporary ailments. Plus, it’s weighted down with natural clay beads to provide comfort and block out any light as you enjoy some nap time.
Made in France, these L’occitane hand creams are the ultimate VIP treatment for your hands this chilly, dry season. Each one contains a super hydrating formula to help protect against environmental stressors and replenish your skin barrier, which is great after a night of shaking hands after a PTA meeting.
To take some of the pressure off preparing a meal every night, Hungryroot is here to be your home chef (kind of). This meal subscription service not only delivers groceries to your home, but it also customizes and recommends recipes and produce for you to make your meal prep easy for the week. Additionally, you can choose from meats, proteins, bread, grains, pasta, or whatever your heart (and kitchen) desires. Gift cards start at $75 a pop.
Gifts for the classroom
Never underestimate the value of a good charger, especially when it’s time to prepare a presentation from your laptop. “The ability to charge a device is crucial for all, but having your own special one is a treat,” says Hendersen. This Anker charger features everything you need to stay on course if your computer needs a backup charge including: three outlets, two USB ports and a flat plug.
Forget using the teacher’s break room to store your leftovers. The Frigidaire Retro Compact Refrigerator refuel without any leaving the classroom. It features more than enough space to store your lunch containers and four bottled drinks all at once, thanks to the extra space in the built-in wire basket door.
One of the most essential items in a teacher’s classroom is a set of felt tips pens, says Reitz. Like pencils, these are a must-have for marking up papers and making notes for future lesson plans. This 12-pack of pens comes in all the colors of the rainbow and features the option to add your teacher’s name on each one for a personal touch.
If your teacher loves a good dessert to snack on in between periods, then surprise them with these yummy chocolate cookies from Partake. What makes them unique is their diary- and gluten-free recipe. Plus, these treats are 100 percent vegan, so you can respect anyone’s food allergies and preferences.
Want to escape flu season? It’s tough when you’re in the classroom every single day. But with an air purifier, you can arm yourself. The Levoit Air Purifier helps to eliminate microscopic airborne contaminants through its powerful three-stage filtration system. This includes removing dust, allergy-causing pet danger, smoke particles, mold spores and other odors within minutes.
For a pencil case, this is one heck of an organizer. The inside pocket can carry up to 50 pencils and pens, as well as a charger and other large personal items. You can also use it as a personal makeup bag to carry with you on a field trip.
“Teachers LOVE receiving gift cards that can be used to purchase supplies, snacks, and items for our classroom!” says Reitz says. “Teachers are always in need of something and when we are able to utilize a gift card instead of our own money, it makes it that much more meaningful.” And what better place to fill up on school supplies than Target? According to Reitz, teachers “love” gift cards from Target to pick up items for the classroom.
An organizer, Bluetooth speaker, and an assistant all wrapped into one. The Google Nest allows you to stream and play your favorite music, give you a breakdown of the news, and make calls on your behalf when sync your phone with the Google Home app.
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