November 29, 2018

10 Thoughtful, Useful Teacher Gifts

Gift the special teacher in your life something they won’t want to be without.

Teachers spend an incredible amount of time, money, and focus beyond what they’re asked to ensure their students have a rewarding experience.

This includes purchasing additional supplies like markers, pens, and notepads for their classrooms, stationery materials, in-classroom decor and craft supplies, and sanitary items like wipes, clothing stain remover, and soap.

In addition to those extra expenses, teachers also spend long days at school, meaning they’re constantly bringing items from home and staying on-site for long hours. It’s important that they leave the house prepared!

Choosing a teacher gift, especially when you want to make a positive impression, can be a daunting task. You don’t want to be creepy or too personal if you don’t know them well, and you also don’t want to clutter up their classroom with things they don’t need.

To start the process of choosing a great teacher gift, start by asking those who know the teacher – your children or fellow teachers/administrators at the school – a few questions before you shop:

  1. Have you ever heard [teacher] complain about something they have, like a leaky coffee cup or heavy briefcase?
  2. Have you ever heard [teacher] talk about something they don’t have or don’t have enough of?
  3. Do you know if they have something old or outdated that could benefit from a modern upgrade?

We have compiled a gift guide to help you shop for the teachers in your life — whether they are friends and family members who teach, or your child’s own teacher at school — so that you can wow them with something they love for the holidays.

Even if you’re not quite sure what to gift the special teacher in your life, one of these options will surely make them smile.

1. Reusable Coffee Cup

Anyone who has tried to transport their piping hot coffee in the car or on the bus knows the struggle of leaking, spilling, and messy vessels. Treat the teacher in your life to a truly leak-proof insulated cup (in a style that anyone could enjoy) that they can use all year-long.

2. Tote Bag

Every day teachers carry numerous books, supplies, and personal items to and from work. Rather than giving the gift of more “stuff,” give them something stylish to carry their things in. A teacher’s tote bag should be:

  • Sturdy with a reinforced bottom
  • Easy to clean and keep looking nice
  • Tall and wide enough for binders and folders

Choose a classic look that’s easy to care for to ensure it fits into their daily wear.

3. Nice Lanyard

Almost every teacher I’ve known has to wear quite the collection of items on their person every day — ID card, keys, small tools, a pen, and other necessities are typically stuck on a freebie lanyard from last year’s education conference. Why not help them upgrade this everyday essential? Even doing a quick search for lanyards yields a vibrant selection. Look for one that has the features the teacher in your life could benefit from, like a retractable ID card holder or an adjustable length.

4. Disinfectant Wipe Dispenser

It may seem trivial, but the luxury of disguising the labeled packaging of the unavoidable disinfectant wipe should not be overlooked. At home, we can stow most of our brightly colored, loudly designed packaged cleaning supplies in cabinets or beneath the sink, but teachers don’t always have an abundance of storage.

Smooth out the decor of their desk space with a clean, minimal holder for Clorox disinfecting wipes so they can keep their classroom clean and their desk personally expressive.

5. Bluetooth Speaker

There seems to be a never-ending struggle with school-provided computer speakers, no matter how new they are! Long-gone are the days of quiet classrooms. Teachers are constantly turning to audio learning tools, videos, upbeat music to spark creativity, and the occasional movie-day when the curriculum demands.

An inexpensive but indispensable classroom asset is a bluetooth speaker, one that connects wirelessly to any device of the teacher’s choosing. They can keep a handle on the music and not be limited by the sound quality or cord-length of their provided sound system.

6. Quality Fountain Pen

A true gift of distinction remains the classic, high-quality fountain pen. There’s an element of prestige to producing a fountain pen from one’s pocket or purse to sign a document, leave a handwritten note, or merely to scribble a grocery list on your way out of work. Where it’s common for most of us to subsist on free monogrammed pens from the doctor’s office or a scribe we swiped from a restaurant, gifting the special teacher in your life with a lifelong personal utensil will surely wow them.

Because teachers so often reach for their pens, consider gifting them an additional set of ink refills and a pen quiver for use on their favorite notebook.

7. Sturdy, Professional Notebook

You can feel the difference picking up a cheap, spiral-bound notebook from the dollar bin and a sleek, quality-bound paper book. A professional notebook says, “I have important things to say,” which every teacher does. It’s important for each of us to have a place for our thoughts, and for that place to be of worthy real estate for the brilliance we record.

Treat the special teacher in your life to a place that can be all their own. Not sure quite what style they’d like? Throw a curveball with a bullet journal.

8. Teacher Emergency Kit

Who’d have thought you could fit so many useful items into such a small package? This idea comes from a fellow teacher who, after many years in the profession, counts having an emergency kit as one of her most important assets.

Whether a student spills their chocolate milk on their white shirt or the teacher realizes they’ve arrived at work without applying deodorant… this kit can save the day.

9. Personalized Stationery

Nothing says professional like personalized stationery. A sticky note pad with your teacher’s name printed across the top will help them make an impression all-year. Using Vistaprint, you can personalize a variety of items to gift to your teacher affordably. Some favorites include:

Customize with their name and possible their title, degree, or class for a personal touch!

10. Dry Erase Markers

More than one teacher has told me that the greatest gift they’ve ever received are a pack of super nice dry-erase markers — an upgrade from the cheap, old ones usually available in their supply closet. Cool colors, comfortable handles, and long-lasting ink are the most important qualifiers! Grab a couple sets on Amazon, wrap them with a ribbon, and you’ll have the perfect gift for your favorite teacher.

When choosing a gift for a teacher in your life, give them something they wouldn’t buy for themselves or that could make their life a little easier while they do some of the most important work in the world.

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