Great Gift Ideas for Teachers!

These are my favorite gift ideas for teachers. Just in time for the holidays! Whether you are a student and you want to buy a gift for your favorite teacher, or you have a special teacher in your life, I hope I can help you find that perfect something.

Many of my ideas are inspired by the lovely gifts I received from my students over the years. I wanted to include a lot of items that can be enjoyed both at home and at school. I love gift ideas that are fun and functional. And I purposely included gift ideas that are inspired by a passion for teaching.

There are over 50 thoughtful gift ideas in this blog post. They range from something small to something next level so you can find something on any budget. These ideas will make a great gift for any teacher, or anyone!

A Little Something

These ideas make the perfect gifts from students. I know my students have 5 other teachers, so I don’t want them to spend a lot of money on me. Some of the most thoughtful gifts don’t cost a thing. A Handmade Card or a Handwritten Letter is like the sweetest and most thoughtful gift. A little Gift Tag on a Candy Cane is a such a sweet gesture. A nice little Note and a Piece of Candy from a student always made me smile. I remember heartfelt messages for years to come. Homemade Cookies are so nice to receive around the holidays. I am not a baker, and I am blown away by the delicious treats my students and their families make at home.

If you do want to buy a little something, there are lots of little stocking stuffer gifts that would be perfect. Snacks make great little gifts for teachers. I literally stash snacks in my desk and whip them out when I really need them. A little Snack is perfect. Snacks like Gatorade Zero, Cliff Bar, Lara Bar, Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cups, Microwave Popcorn, bag of Chips, Cookies. Anything from the snack sections of Whole Foods or World Market. Some days I get stuck at school working. I’m not always prepared to pull a late one. When I do, I am always grateful to have those little snacks. Decaf Tea is a safe choice if you don’t know their specific preferences. If they aren’t a fan of tea, they can put it in the break room for dozens of other teachers to enjoy.

A Magnet related to something they like, or the subject they teach is a nice idea. A teacher can put it on their board or on their refrigerator at home. A fun Stamp or new Ink Pad for grading. A nice Fine Tip Felt Pen or Gel Pen. Teachers write and grade a lot. They need a lot of pens. And students are always taking them so we always need more! A Bumper Sticker is cute and fun. I decorate science notebook covers with them.

Something Nice

Teachers spend a lot of time working at their desks. Little touches can make it more fun. There are lots of cute things to make a teacher’s desk more cozy. I like to make my classroom feel more cozy, but to be honest I worry about my stuff breaking or going missing. It’s just a reality. By gifting a teacher one of these ideas, a teacher can add their personal touches in the classroom without fear of their personal items going missing.

Teachers use a lot of office supplies. Cute office supplies like Colored Paper Clips and Pushpins make the day to day stuff more fun. A Cute Pen Holder would be quite useful. Target usually has a nice selection of cute office supplies. A Cute Timer like this ladybug is another great idea. I time everything. It is one of the classroom management strategies I depend on. If I had multiple cute timers to use, I totally would. I bet my students would enjoy using a cute timer, too!

I use a Coaster at home, why not at school? A decorative coaster can be interesting to look at and useful. It adds a cozy touch. A Decorative Tray is another functional gift that a teacher would appreciate. Something that is beautiful and small or medium size would be great for use at home or in the classroom. Whether I’m at home or at school, I always have little paper clips, coins, and things that need a place to go!

A Faux Plant is a really nice gift idea. There are some cute ones at World Market and Target. Something small like a fern or succulent in a ceramic container. A Photo Frame is another nice gift idea. A 4×6 or 5×7 basic wood frame is a nice choice for classroom or home decoration!

A Tea towel and Luggage Tag can be fun and functional. A Pair of Socks is a really nice gift. I love Smartwool hiking socks and crew socks that I buy at REI. I used to get everyone in my family a pair of new Smartwool socks every year. They loved it! I received Keychains from my students and I loved them. Some keychains are like jewelry and make beautiful gifts. A keychain that is related to the gift receiver’s interests is nice. They can use it and admire it everyday!

Because teaching can be hard at times, I don’t think you can go wrong with a self care gift. Candle, Soap. Stress Relief Ball. Bath Bombs and Bath Salts can be used as a foot soak if they don’t like baths. Anything from the health and beauty sections of Whole Foods would be a nice choice. A Magazine like People or National Geographic would be fun to read and unwind. They are easy to pick up and put down and can be enjoyed at home or during lunch at school.

Teachers have a lot of stuff. I usually carry multiple bags to school and home every day. It’s always nice to have an extra Tote Bag around. Little Cosmetic Bags are another good idea. I keep little personal items like tissues in my desk. It’s easy and convenient when I have a nice bag to help me keep my things organized.

You may be trying to give something other than a Gift Card, but Gift Cards are still a nice idea. Amazon, Target, Panera, Starbucks, and YouTube are some of my recommendations. A student once gave me a $15 gift card to Fandango. It was in a cute little decorative bag with ribbon and confetti. It was so neat and I still remember it! I used the gift card to rent some digital movies over Winter Break. It was a great time!

Something Special

Teachers spend the whole day in the classroom, so cute things that make the teacher desk and classroom more cozy and inviting are always appreciated. One year a student gave me a cup holder that attaches to a desk. I thought it was so neat! Another student gave me a tin sign for my classroom, which I love!

The overhead fluorescent lighting in the classroom is so harsh. A Small Desk Lamp is more warm and relaxing. I often turn the lights down low to watch video clips, movies, present on the projector, and use the document camera. It would be great to have a Booklight attached to my clipboard when the lights are off so I can find and write on it easily.

A Coffee Table Book like an atlas or encyclopedia can make a lovely teacher gift. I love my classroom library. Students read books from my classroom library after a test, when they finish work early, or for fun during lunch. A Bookend is another functional gift idea that can be put to good use at school or at home.

An Insulated Lunch Box is another functional idea. Even if they already have one, it’s nice to have a backup. It’s such a bummer when I realize I left my lunch box in the fridge at school. Or sometimes I want to pack a lunch for a weekend picnic, and its a buzz kill to pack up my lunch box and be reminded of school during my chill time. Nice Tupperware is another good idea. I love the glass kind with a secure top. Something from this WeanGreen teacher gifts list might be just what you’re looking for! I bought mine at Whole Foods.

A Coloring Book or Calligraphy practice book would make great gifts. Teachers make a lot of posters and stuff, so calligraphy skills certainly come in handy. A coloring book or calligraphy are great for staff meetings when you need to sit and listen for a long time. Coloring or doodling requires just enough focus to keep you from zoning out, but not enough to distract you. I’m a big fan of coloring and doodling. I wrote more about the teaching strategy of coloring in my blog post How She Teaches Being Alive: 6 Characteristics of Living Things. I love The Biology Coloring Book.

Something Extra

A Good Olive Oil from an olive oil store is an amazing gift. High quality olive oil can be used on salads as well as for cooking and roasting. I love an Arbequina. It is a little sweet, a little bitter, and a little bit peppery. This gift idea comes with a fun bonus. It is fun to go to the store and try the different oils before you buy! These stores usually also have Vinegar, which would make another excellent gift. Perhaps a nice balsamic. Crackers, Olives, Hot Sauce, and Chocolates are often sold at these local stores and would make great gifts as well.

An Insulated Travel Mug with Handle is a great teacher gift. Your favorite teacher can enjoy their coffee on the way to school, starting their day off on the right foot. They might use it for a cup of tea on their prep period as a little pick me up during the day. This is another gift that can be used at school or at home. I love Hydro Flask. I purchased some from REI, Whole Foods, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. I have half a dozen already and I would definitely add another to my collection, so I think this is a great gift idea!

Universal Yums is a subscription box for snacks from around the world. The snacks come in themed boxes of different countries. Anyone who likes to travel will love this gift. The snacks are really good. They also send you information on the snacks and the countries they come from. I got this for my husband and he love, love, loved it!

Something Next Level

There were years when I received gifts from my students that were just next level. Like a $200 Amazon Gift Card. One year a student got me a beautiful necklace of the solar system. It was beyond! These are big gift ideas that would be great for a friend or family member who is a teacher.

A Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp makes a great gift for a home or classroom. They glow a pinkish orange and feel warm and cozy. I love all 6 of my Himalayan rock salt lamps! A Crystal is beautiful to look at but they can be pricey. A large crystal for a desk or bookshelf can easily be $50. There are smaller ones that are just as beautiful. Something like a purple Amethyst would be perfect for a teacher. It is great for anxiety!

A Lava Lamp is a cool gift idea, especially for a science teacher. Students love to look at them! A lava lamp demonstrates heat transfer, density, and convection. The wax is heated at the bottom and rises. As the wax rises it cools and condenses, and sinks back down. Be careful, they get very hot!

Teacher Style Box is a clothing subscription box specifically styled for teachers. They currently only offer female styles so it would be great for a friend, daughter, aunt, cousin, mom, sister. I am dying to try this when I get the chance!

When I need to work late at school, I like to listen to music. I have a Wonderboom and I love it. I even listen to it in my car! The Wonderboom sounds great and is super portable. Perfect for use at school, home, the park, or the beach. It is $99 at Target and would make a gift that is sure to be next level!

If you’re stuck on what to get and want to get something online, check out this list of 22 Hilarious Classroom Supplies from Bored Teachers. There are super cute, clever, and original ideas in this list. Bored Teachers has lots more shopping ideas. I like Bored Teachers’ ideas because they are created for teachers by teachers. Also Useful Gifts for Teachers from Amazon is pretty good. The notepads are fun. I like the sayings and phrases that are specific to teaching. And their Teacher Gifts list also has a ton of ideas.

It is special to receive a gift as a teacher. It is never expected. Teaching can be a hard job. A lot of the time I feel like chopped liver. But when my students and their families tell and show me their appreciation, it means a lot. I put a lot of thought into these gift ideas so you can find the perfect gift for a special teacher. I promise they will love any of them! I guarantee it will be a surprise and you will put a smile on their face.

What are some of your favorite and most memorable gifts that you received? Let me know by leaving a comment! I would love to hear from you! To read more about me and my classroom, check out the blog posts below!

*I am not affiliated with any stores or brands that I mention in this post. They just happen to be in my my town or have stuff I like. I have no knowledge of their larger views and am not connected with them in any way. Don’t come for me!

Published by How She Teaches

I teach Biology and Earth and Space Science in high school and middle school. I want to share my personal experiences and teaching milestones with anyone who wants to learn.

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