By Jiji Lee

16 Unique Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Give something truly special to a teacher who means the world to you.

“Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.” –W.B. Yeats

Teacher Appreciation Week in 2020 is celebrated the first week of May, but you can express your gratitude any day of the year, especially since so many of our educators have gone above and beyond this year. 

But what do you get the person who has made such a significant impact on your child’s life or your very own? Is a personal thank you note enough? Is a gift card too impersonal? Do they really need another coffee mug?

Selecting a teacher appreciation gift is almost like buying a gift for a co-worker or boss. You want to keep it professional and practical but you also want to add a thoughtful or personal touch. But don’t worry--you don’t have to stay up all night making them a home-made gift either. 

We’ve rounded up unique teacher appreciation gifts that will surely brighten their day and make them feel valued. Plus, these gifts will not only feel special and comforting, but they won’t break the bank either! 

Tips for finding a unique teacher appreciation gift

One way to find a unique and thoughtful gift for your teacher is to elevate the everyday items in their daily life. These are the things that your teacher uses all the time but would never think to upgrade. Some items include:

  • Stationary
  • Notebooks
  • Pens
  • Hand soaps
  • Hand creams
  • Coffee or tea
  • Lunch boxes

Next, think about the teacher’s personality and taste.

  • Do they have a silly sense of humor? 
  • An artistic and creative side? 
  • Are they into health and fitness? 
  • Do they love camping and the great outdoors?

If you don’t know the teacher too well, you can always opt for something that’s visually pleasing. You can never go wrong with pretty packaging!

1. Lovely hand soap

    Who doesn’t like fresh scents and beautiful packaging? This pretty hand soap would instantly transport someone to the south of France and make the simple act of handwashing feel like a spa day. Plus, any item that makes your home feel more like a hotel is a definite plus.

    2. Luxurious hand cream

    Teachers are constantly working with their hands--grading papers, working on the computer--and this rich and hydrating hand cream would offer a soothing respite to their busy day. These would pair perfectly with a gift of hand soap too, but they’re also luxurious enough to gift on their own. 

    3. Kunisawa Executive Notebook

    Your teacher can use this beautiful notebook for brainstorming, writing lesson plans, or taking notes during meetings. The smooth, luxurious paper makes every day writing feel so special. 

    4. Washi tape

    Teachers have to juggle so many deadlines, dates, and plans--you can help them have fun with managing everything in their planner with colorful washi tape. There are so many organizational and decorative uses for washi tape. Your teacher could use washi tape in their notebooks, planners, calendars, or use them to label their supplies. For different uses for washi tape, check out our guide here

    5. Bright pen

    This bright red pen would pair well with a notebook or journal and bring sunshine to any desk.

    6. Highlighters and gel pens 

    Give their school supplies a refreshing upgrade with fun and vibrant gel pens and highlighters. They can use gel pens to mark up tests and papers or use highlighters to mark up their planners or visual journals. 

    7. This Week Notepad

    Help your teacher crush their week with this helpful weekly notepad. They can use this one to write down to-do lists, keep track of habits, or manage their work flow.

    8. Nice tea or coffee

    Teachers get up early to devote their days to educating and inspiring people, so they definitely need a coffee or tea break in their day. Why not give them a nice bag of coffee or soothing herbal tea in pretty packaging? This will definitely make their break feel that much more restorative.

    9. Flower sugar cubes

    You can also add this adorable package of sugar cubes in floral shapes to make your teacher feel like they’re sipping coffee in a European cafe. :)

    10. Skillshare gift certificate

    Maybe your teacher has always wanted to learn a new language or try their hand at photography. If you know your teacher well enough to know that they’re interested in learning outside their own classroom, give them a gift certificate to an online class and help them pursue their hobbies outside of school.

    11. Debit gift card

    If you’re not sure what your teacher would like, a prepaid gift card is a generous gift. By purchasing a basic debit card, they can choose exactly what they need (rather than you choosing the store for them). If you’d like to give it a personal touch, add a personal thank you note to the gift. 

    12. Aroma diffuser

    After a long day of teaching, teachers deserve a chance to relax and comfort themselves. An aroma diffuser can turn any environment into a soothing one and instantly provide stress-relief. 

    13. Cute mouse pad

    A mouse pad is something we use everyday so why not use one that’s decorative and pleasing to look at? A mouse pad with a Portuguese tile pattern would bring a smile to your teacher’s face every time they used it. 

    14. 3-ring binder with dry-erase interior

    This is perfect for the teacher who wants to manage all their paperwork in one place. They can store notes, lesson plans, papers to grade, and other essential documents in this 3-ring binder. Bonus: the notebook has a dry-erase interior where they can write reminders or to-do lists! 

    15. Lunch box

    Even grown-ups need a special lunch box. This insulated lunch bag can be transported to school, field trips, or any trips they take outside of school. There’s even a mesh pocket inside to keep utensils, chips, or an apple :)

    16. Thank you card with a personal note

    There’s nothing that touches a person more than a heartfelt note of gratitude. You can describe a specific moment in which the teacher made you feel special or inspired. Or if letter-writing isn’t your thing, try writing a simple list of ten things you’d like to thank your teacher for. This kind of gift almost always means so much more than you think it will; I bet your teacher will always refer back to this list whenever they need a smile.