When it comes to teacher gifts, coffee mugs are great, but there are so many other ways to say thank you to your favorite educator. Redbubble is here to help with a list of the best teacher gift ideas whether you’re looking for a great holiday gift or a meaningful end-of-year gift.
While you can give a teacher a gift any time (and sometimes those little “just because” gifts mean the most), it’s always nice to give a token of your appreciation for the work they do at the following times:
- Holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day
- Teacher Appreciation Week (always the first full week of May)
- Last day of the school year
Before you give a gift, you may want to check the school’s policy on teacher gifts. Some teachers are not allowed to accept gifts from students, or there may be a yearly dollar amount limit. You’ll also want to find out what your teacher likes with a teacher gift questionnaire.
Not sure what to get your favorite teacher? In this post, we’ll cover:
- Practical Teacher Gift Ideas
- Unique Teacher Gift Ideas
- Inexpensive Teacher Gift Ideas
- Funny Gifts for Teachers
- Gifts for Elementary Teachers
- Gifts for Math Teachers
- Gifts for History Teachers
- Gifts for Science Teachers
- Gifts for English Teachers
- Gifts for Music Teachers
- Teacher Gift Printables
Practical Teacher Gift Ideas
Teachers don’t want another cute piece of decor (but if you get it for them, they’ll display it proudly). Instead, they want gifts they can use right away in their classroom.
1. In My Headspace Pencil Pouch
From colorful grading pens and pencils for students to art supplies and dry erase markers, teachers have more writing utensils than the average person. Help them stay organized with a fun pencil pouch. Extra credit if you stuff that pencil pouch to the brim with colorful pens or dry erase markers!
2. Ocean Waves Water Bottle
Teachers spend a lot of their day talking and running activities, so they need to hydrate. Unfortunately, they don’t have time to run to the drinking fountain all day, so a reusable water bottle like this Ocean Waves Water Bottle makes a great gift. For an added surprise, you can fill the water bottle with your teacher’s favorite candy or flavor packs.
3. Small Tool Kit
Whenever something breaks in the classroom, it can take a while for the teacher to fill out a work order and for someone to show up and fix it, especially if it isn’t a safety concern. Your favorite teacher will love a small tool kit they can leave on their desk to fix pesky loose table legs and other small problems in the classroom.
4. Pencil – No. 2 Pencils on Aqua Scarf
It’s no secret that classroom thermostats can be a bit temperamental, especially in drafty older buildings. If your teacher is always bundling up in a coat, this No. 2 pencils carf is the perfect solution to keep your teacher warm while rocking this school supply staple.
As security at schools gets tighter, teachers need a stylish way to keep their keys and school badges on them at all times. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find a lanyard with your teacher’s favorite sports team or geeky obsession.
6. How Do You Know? Tote Bag
A teacher can never have too many sturdy tote bags! Whether they’re taking home paper worksheets that need grading or a school-issued laptop or tablet to record new video notes for absent students, a tote bag keeps it all in one place on the drive home.
7. Gift Card to an Office Supply Store
According to a survey from Adopt a Classroom, the average teacher spends $750 of their own money on supplies for their classroom. Help them out with a gift card to a local office supply store. It’s a gift that not only supports the teacher but your child’s classmates as well. Add a fun tag to add a touch of personality to the gift.
8. Mug Warmer
Ask a teacher when’s the last time they got to the bottom of a cup of coffee and it was still hot. Chances are, they’ll say sometime over the summer. A mug warmer keeps their java hot all day long so they can continue being awesome.
9. Good Vibes Only Sunburst Puzzle
With all the new research related to trauma and anxiety in students, teachers are always looking for new ways to help their students decompress. A jigsaw puzzle with a positive message is perfect for the classroom when a student is having a bad day.
10. Calm Hardcover Journal
Teachers have a lot on their plates, and it can be hard for them to keep it all straight sometimes. A nice hardcover journal gives them a place to make to-do lists, jot down lesson ideas, and take notes during meetings and conferences.
11. Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Wipes
Even before COVID, classrooms were Petri dishes for illnesses. Keep your favorite teacher healthy with hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. Include a fun sanitation tag to make them smile.
Unique Teacher Gift Ideas
Coffee mugs are popular teacher gifts, but veteran teachers already have a cabinet full of them. Opt for one of these more personal and individual gifts instead to make a lasting impression.
12. Heartfelt Thank You Note
Being a teacher is hard work and often a thankless job. A heartfelt thank you note from a parent or student is a great pick-me-up on a bad day and reminds the teacher why they started teaching in the first place. A teacher can live off the feeling from that thank you card for an entire school year.
13. Teacher’s Favorite Things Basket
Prove how well you know the teacher with a favorite things basket. Find out their favorite candy, beverage, snack, etc., and put them all in a basket. Even better if you can get every kid in the class to pitch in an item!
14. Easy-to-Care for Plant
Plants in the classroom are silent but heavy lifters. Plant parents have long known that plants improve air quality (a must in older school buildings that lack proper ventilation), but they’ve also been found to lower stress levels, increase concentration, and reduce mental fatigue. Personalize the plant with a sticker with a positive message or a plant pun. If your teacher already has a lot of plants, consider one of these gifts for green thumbs.
15. Organization Membership
Many teachers continue to develop their skills through memberships in educational organizations like the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) or the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). These organizations provide helpful resources and lesson ideas, but memberships can be pricey. Find out what organizations your child’s teacher is a member of, and give them a year of membership.
16. A Book
This is a great gift for any teacher, but especially an English Language Arts teacher. Give them a book that’s important to you, reminds you of them, or relates to a conversation you’ve had at some point, and write a sweet message on the inside cover with the date.
17. Thank you Teacher Spiral Notebook with Student Messages
An excellent end-of-the-year teacher gift is a spiral notebook filled with student messages. You’ll need to plan for this gift so every student has time to write a message, but it will quickly become one of the teacher’s most prized possessions.
Inexpensive Teacher Gift Ideas
Buying gifts for teachers can get pricey, especially if you have multiple kids and they have multiple teachers. Fortunately, these inexpensive teacher gifts can help you let the teacher know you appreciate them without breaking the bank.
18. Writing Utensils
The next time you’re at the dollar store, grab a pack of pencils, pens, markers, crayons, or dry erase markers. Stick a bow on them and attach a sweet card, and you’ve got a gift every teacher will be grateful for.
19. Oops Eraser Magnet
Most classrooms have magnetic surfaces that are perfect for hanging up student artwork and important flyers. A decorative magnet does double duty: holding up important materials and providing a splash of color.
It doesn’t matter what form it comes in — coffee beans, tea bags, or chocolate-covered espresso beans — caffeine makes a great gift for the sleep-deprived teacher (and they’re all sleep-deprived). Check out this list of gifts for caffeine junkies for more ideas!
21. Undo Mousepad
This Undo Mousepad is a nice reminder that mistakes are part of learning, and it adds a great pop of color to any teacher’s desk.
22. Sticky Notes and Sharpies
Ask any teacher and you’ll learn the holy grail of teacher supplies are sticky notes and Sharpies. Not only are the good ones a bit more expensive than the average office supply, but they’re also “borrowed” by students and other teachers! Throw a few in a gift bag and your teacher will be over the moon!
Funny Gifts for Teachers
Teaching is a tough job, and it can take a toll on you if you aren’t careful. Give your favorite teacher the gift of laughter with these funny gifts for teachers.
23. Teacher Tired Sticker
A typical teacher works about 54 hours a week when you factor in grading and lesson planning. Add in their own family commitments, and it’s easy to see why #teachertired is a real thing.
24. Teacher Swear Word Coloring Book
Every overworked teacher has an NSFW inner monologue that includes a lot of swear words. Coloring helps people relax and decompress after a long day at work. Combine the two with this great gag gift. (You’ll probably want to include some coloring utensils since they probably gave all of theirs to students.)
25. You Get a Gold Star Pin
Teachers are always handing out gold stars for everything from cleaning up your desk to getting an A on a test to reading another book. Give your favorite teacher a gold start with this You Get a Gold Star Pin to turn the tables on them. Plus, pins make great flair for lanyards!
26. Thinking Bubble Acrylic Block
Anyone who’s been around a young child for longer than 30 minutes knows they ask a lot of questions. Now multiply that by 30 and you’ll be in the same boat as an elementary school teacher.
27. A Funny Wine Tumbler
Teachers are fueled by two things: caffeine and wine. Help them enjoy their Friday with a wine tumbler engraved with a funny message related to teaching.
Gifts for Elementary Teachers
There’s a special place in heaven for elementary teachers. After all, they sign up to willingly spend their entire day with 30 rambunctious kids. Show your appreciation with these gifts for elementary teachers.
There are few phrases elementary teachers dread more than “indoor recess.” Help them prepare for anything with a fun, age-appropriate board game.
29. Gift Card to a Craft Store
Elementary school is full of creative products, but all those cotton balls, colorful pom-poms, and pipe cleaners aren’t provided by the school. Your elementary school teacher will love the chance to spend money at a craft store so their aspiring artists can achieve their artistic visions.
30. Night Sky Leggings
Elementary teachers can be found playing on the playground and sitting on a carpet reading to kids, so flexible, comfortable clothing is a must. A fun pair of leggings like these Night Sky Leggings are perfect for under t-shirt dresses and skirts so they are ready for anything.
31. Sticker Sheets
Elementary students love stickers and will crawl over each other to earn one. The common star stickers are cheap and easy to find, but you’d be surprised what a kid will do for a sticker sheet of their favorite cartoon character.
32. Fun Bandages
Recess and gym class can get a little rough at times. While the school-provided bandages work fine, every teacher knows a bandage with the child’s favorite cartoon character makes the scrape heal faster.
Gifts for Math Teachers
A lot of us have a complicated relationship with math, but the best math teachers know how to make math class fun. Let them know how grateful you are for one of these gifts for math teachers.
32. Map of Mathematics Poster
Most math posters involve pictures of formulas or black and white photos of famous mathematicians. This Map of Mathematics Poster is the perfect colorful addition to your favorite math teacher’s walls.
33. Calculator Batteries
It never fails: students sit down to take a test and their calculator dies. Any math teacher will appreciate you contributing to their calculator battery stash. AAA batteries are most common but check with the teacher before you take a trip to the store.
34. Math Clock
What’s better than a normal clock? A math teacher will tell you it’s a clock that requires you to do math in order to figure out the time. Perfect for any high school math classroom.
35. A Pi-Shaped Pie Pan
Ask any math student, and the highlight of the year is always Pi Day. Your favorite math teacher will appreciate this pi-shaped pie pan, especially if you include all the ingredients for their favorite pie.
Gifts for Science Teachers
While no real-life teacher can take you on a voyage through the human digestive system in a magic school bus like Miss Frizzle, they can set things on fire as part of their lesson plan, and that’s pretty cool. These gifts for science teachers are sure to have them geeking out.
36. Paleontology (Black Colorway) Tote Bag
Teachers will love any tote bag, but if you can connect it to their content area, they’ll love it even more. This paleontology-themed tote bag makes a great gift for anyone who teaches about dinosaurs.
37. Metal Fest Classic T-Shirt
This tongue-in-cheek classic t-shirt lists all the different types of metals like they’re heavy metal bands playing at a festival. It’s the perfect gift for a science teacher who also happens to be a metalhead.
38. Anatomy Spiral Notebook
Every great scientist needs a notebook to keep track of their experiments. An anatomy teacher will love this hilarious take on the anatomy of a popsicle.
39. Biology Still Life Poster
Highlight all the elements of the study of life with this still-life poster. Great to hang up in the classroom to add a pop of color to those drab walls.
Gifts for English Teachers
Any gift for bibliophiles will do for an English teacher, but these gifts will bring a smile to their face.
Deep Sea Reader ~ Magical Book Illustration Zipper Pouch designed and sold by Emma Carpenter
40. Deep Sea Reader ~ Magical Book Illustration Zipper Pouch
Perhaps more than any other teacher, English teachers love their pens. A zipper pouch highlighting the joy of reading is the perfect place to keep them!
41. In Books We Trust Sticker
If there’s one thing English teachers prize more than their grading pens, it’s books. This sticker is the perfect accessory for water bottles, phone cases, and lesson plan books to share their love of the written word.
42. Team Oxford Comma Laptop Skin
If you want to get an English teacher off-topic, ask them about their thoughts on the Oxford comma. This laptop skin advertises their position to the world. (Just keep them away from the journalism teachers who are anti-Oxford comma.)
43. Stationary Love A-Line Dress
English teachers have a reputation for being a bit quirky, so this Stationary Love A-Line Dress makes a great addition to their wardrobe.
44. Personalized Library Stamp
Most English teachers put a lot of money and time into curating their classroom library. A personalized library stamp or embosser helps borrowed books eventually find their way home.
45. Favorite Shakespeare Quote Poster
For better or worse, Shakespeare is a required part of the curriculum for nearly every high school English course, so chances are the English teacher in your life has a favorite play or line. Find a poster with the quote and some colorful artwork for them to hang up in their classroom.
Gifts for Music Teachers
Music teachers often hold a special place in the hearts of their students. Let your music teacher know how much you appreciate them willingly listening to your off-key rendition of Oh Susanna on the violin with one of these great gifts for teachers.
46. Synthesizer Laptop Sleeve
It’s hard to find a more versatile musical instrument than the synthesizer. Music teachers born in the 80s will appreciate this piece of music history on a laptop sleeve.
47. Favourite Playlist Spiral Notebook
Before you could curate a playlist of musical favorites on an app with a simple search, you had to sit next to your boom box ready to hit record for hours as you waited for it to play on the radio. Any music teacher will appreciate the memory as they jot down ideas for their next concert set list.
48. DNA Piano Cap
For many music teachers, music is so entrenched in who they are it’s practically part of their DNA. This is the perfect cap for band directors to wear during outdoor practices.
Gifts for Art Teachers
Art teachers have a reputation for being eccentric free spirits. Find out what art medium they’re passionate about and pick up a few supplies for them to work on outside school hours, or give them one of these gifts for art teachers.
49. Gift Card to an Art Supply Store
Like everything else, the cost of art supplies just keeps going up. Your favorite art teacher will appreciate a gift card to the local art supply store, whether they spend it on themselves or to buy supplies for student projects.
The Loneliness of Autumn – Leonid Afremov Framed Art Print designed and sold by Leonid Afremov
50. The Loneliness of Autumn – Leonid Afremov Framed Art
A piece of framed art is always a hit for art teachers. They can hang it up at home or in their classroom for inspiration.
51. Don’t Even Gogh There Lightweight Sweatshirt
This sweatshirt is sure to make any art lover laugh, and it’s inexpensive enough that if it gets a few specks of paint on it, it’s not the end of the world. Great to wear inside and outside the classroom!
Gifts for History Teachers
Whether their favorite era is colonial or Renaissance, history teachers are full of random interesting facts about the past. These gifts for history teachers will show them you were paying attention at least a little.
52. Pegalion Washington Essential T-Shirt
If they teach American history, they need this t-shirt that features President Washington holding a lion. It’ll at least make their lecture more interesting as you try to figure out what Washington had to do with a lion.
53. Museum Membership
Help your favorite teacher spend more time in the past with a museum membership. Memberships often come with great perks like lower (or even free!) admission and access to virtual events. Some even come with lesson plan banks for teachers!
54. A Collection of Great Speeches
The biggest historical moments often coincided with the greatest speeches in history. The history buff in your life will appreciate having a collection of them at their fingertips.
55. Historical Figure Bobblehead
Have a little fun and give a history teacher a bobblehead version of their favorite historical figure or a figure they discussed in class. It’s the perfect piece of historical decor and makes a great prop during lectures.
Tips for Giving the Perfect Teacher Gift
Now that we’ve given you some ideas to get you thinking, here are some tips to help you earn an A+ in gifting this school year.
Personalize Your Gift
We’re going to let you in on a little gifting secret: it’s not about how much you spend. Instead, it’s about personalizing a gift, which means you need to know more about your teacher than the fact they are a teacher.
Have a teacher fill out this back-to-school questionnaire to find out what their wants, preferences, and needs are so you can provide them with the best gifts throughout the school year, whether you’re looking for Christmas gifts for teachers, teacher appreciation gift ideas, or an end of the year teacher gift.
Elevate Gift Cards with a Special Gift Tag
Gift cards are the ultimate gift for teachers: they can use them to buy something they need for their classroom or something fun for themselves. Just make sure the gift card is to a place they’ll actually use based on the teacher gift questionnaire above or a local retail store that has everything. Don’t forget to use this printable gift card tag to make it even more special.
Get Creative with Labels
While it can feel weird to give teachers gifts for basic needs like hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, those supplies get expensive, so every teacher will appreciate them. That doesn’t mean the gifts have to be boring, though! Spice them up with these sanitation labels so they become more like decor than necessary supplies.
Looking for more perfect gifts for teachers? For teachers who love animals, see our list of gifts for cat parents or dog parents, or check out our list of foodie gifts for the teacher that loves to cook.