The 30 Best Thoughtful Gifts for Teachers

Our top picks from Pottery Barn, Yeti, Williams Sonoma, Etsy, and more

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No gift—big or small, extravagant or practical—can fully demonstrate how grateful we are for our children's teachers, whether in kindergarten or high school.

We researched the best gifts to say thank you, from practical picks they can use at school, to thoughtful items for their time away from work. Our favorites include the Pottery Barn Mini Faux Potted Orchid, the Yeti Rambler Insulated Cup, and a Personalized Rubber Stamp from Etsy.

Here are the best gifts for educators.

Our Top Picks

Pottery Barn Mini Faux Potted Orchid

Pottery Barn Mini Faux Potted Orchid

Pottery Barn

This pretty potted orchid isn’t real, so it can remain on your teacher's desk throughout the entire school year and beyond. Not to mention, it won’t spark any allergies. The small potted “plant” won’t be distracting on their desk, but it's eye-catching enough to make their space feel a little more upscale and serene.

There are approximately eight blooms on each plant, handcrafted from polyester, plastic, and styrofoam with a wired center. Though fake, the orchid has a super realistic look that adds a bit of class and freshness to any space, but without all the hassle and high cost of buying, caring for, and replacing real plants.

The extremely lightweight pot and plant can easily be wiped clean with a soft, dry cloth in case of dirt or dust.

Etsy Personalized Male Teacher Rubber Stamp

Personalized Male Teacher Rubber Stamp

PinkPueblo2 Etsy

There's just something about a personalized gift that makes everyone feel special. This custom rubber stamp features an image as well as a short phrase of your choice. Customize the look of the person, including their hairstyle, tie, facial hair, or even a few choices of eyeglasses. You can purchase the stamp alone or even throw in an ink pad for a few extra dollars.

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask

Courtesy of Lunya

Lunya is a brand known for great robes and loungewear, and this sleep mask is also a winner. The silk mask fits snug against the eyes without being restrictive, so there are no annoying gaps or light peeking through. The elastic band is comfortable, and when the mask needs to be cleaned, it can just be thrown into the washing machine.

Room Essentials 12"x 12" Letterboard

Room Essentials 12"x 12" Letterboard

Room Essentials

Whether teachers use this message board for classroom announcements or as a place to post a rotation of inspirational quotes, it’s a fun addition to any learning space. The 1-inch plastic letters slide easily into the grooves on the board, making it easy and quick to change out the message on a daily basis. Kids will love walking into the room and seeing something new each and every day. It’s the little things that count!

Knock Knock Why You're the Best Teacher Ever Fill in the Love Book

Knock Knock Why You're the Best Teacher Ever Fill in the Love Book

Knock Knock

The small hardcover book, which is protected with a clear plastic jacket, has 112 pages of prompts for your child to fill out about their teacher. Examples include “The best thing about our classroom is…” and “You are the best…I’ve ever known.” You can even get the whole class in on it: Each child can fill out and sign one or two pages for a gift any teacher will cherish for a lifetime. It’s the perfect end-of-year gift for a teacher who really made a difference.

Yeti Rambler - 36 oz

Black YETI Rambler

Amazon

For those with a slightly bigger budget, gift a sturdy and high-quality tumbler that your favorite teacher can easily bring to and from school every day. This Yeti rambler is made from stainless steel and keeps drinks cold until the last sip. The tumbler comes in over 15 colors so you can customize the gift to the recipient (or match the colors of their classroom).

ODISTAR Desktop Vacuum Cleaner, Mini Table Dust Sweeper

ODISTAR Desktop Vacuum Cleaner, Mini Table dust Sweeper

Amazon

Not only is this simple gadget affordable, but it's pretty genius. The small device is a handheld vacuum that quickly cleans up a desk. It sucks up dust, small food particles, and more. Just add two AA batteries, turn the device on, and watch it go to work.

Esker Plantable Candle

Esker Plantable Candle

Esker

Those looking to splurge on a favorite teacher or professor that's an advocate for sustainability will love this plantable candle from Esker. At first glance, the sleek terra cotta makes a beautiful addition to any desk or classroom. Once all the wax is burned, add water with the included seed paper and soil pod, and watch your new plant grow.

Williams Sonoma Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods, Set of 12

Williams Sonoma Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Williams Sonoma

Chocolate is a universally beloved gift for any occasion. Williams Sonoma has endless choices for gourmet chocolate that are simple and delicious while also elegant. These playful but decadent chocolate-covered pretzels come with a variety of toppings for sharing and sampling. The best part about gift baskets is that they can be sent anywhere as a token of love.

ArOmis Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

ArOmis Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

Courtesy of Amazon

Essential oils are known to have different healing powers, making them a perfect gift option for teachers to implement in their classrooms or in their daily life. Choose between calming lavender for nap time, energizing orange for activities, or rosemary for concentration during tests and quizzes. No matter how they use this thoughtful gift, this classy and interesting essential oil diffuser will fit perfectly with any decor.

Etsy Personalize Teachers Appreciation Coasters

Etsy Personalize Teacher Coasters

Etsy

These adorable coasters will add a bit of color to any teacher's desk. The resin-coated coasters are filled with push pins, crayons, paper clips, and other school supplies. Just add in your teacher's name, and the Etsy shop AScopriosInnerBeauty will add it on top in beautiful script. It's a great way to show your appreciation to the educators that shaped you while also supporting small businesses and artists.

Modern Picnic Luncher Tote

Modern Picnic Luncher Tote

Courtesy of Modern Picnic 

Bringing lunch to work just got a bit more stylish with Modern Picnic's Luncher Tote. It looks like a purse, but it's actually an insulated bag with slots for cutlery. It measures  8.5 x 9.8 x 6.5, sufficient enough to fit a few food containers. The strap is removable and the vegan leather exterior comes in almost a dozen color options.

Winc Gift Card

2020 Summer Water® Rosé
2020 Summer Water® Rosé.

Winc

While an alcohol subscription may seem strange coming from a child, college or graduate school students may opt for this personalized wine gift card. Winc offers a custom experience and has over 100 wines to choose from so your teacher can relax with a bottle shipped right to their door every month. Note: It may be helpful to know the alcohol preferences of the teacher before purchasing.

Here for the Burn World's Best Teacher Candle World's Best Teacher Candle

World's Best Teacher Candle

Here for the Burn 

Candles are a great, relaxing gift and this one from Here for the Burn has a burn time of 60 hours. Choose from a variety of scents, like mango guava, Moroccan amber, bergamot, green grass, and tonka bean. Even after the candle has burned, the 9-ounce glass with "World's Best Teacher" is sure to be something they keep and upcycle for other uses.

Uncommon Goods Teas of the Boston Tea Party

Teas of the Boston Tea Party

Uncommon Goods

A history teacher or just a tea lover will get a chuckle out of this present. The set includes five glass vials of teas, specifically varieties that were thrown overboard during the Boston Tea Party. The package comes with brewing directions and even a few fun facts about tea. The cherry wood display would look great on a countertop and is perfect for a traditional English tea party.

Etsy Teacher Enamel Pin

Teacher Enamel Pin

Etsy

The concept of giving a teacher an apple might be a bit outdated, but this small accessory is kind of along those lines. The apple-shaped enamel pin comes in colors including black, white, and red, and the gold lettering reads, "I am a teacher. What is your superpower?" This is a small gift—it's less than 1.5 inches, but a way to show appreciation, and your teacher is sure to wear it with pride.

Trade Gift Coffee Subscription

Trade Gift Coffee Subscription

Trade

Coffee lovers will absolutely love this recurring gift. Trade's subscription allows java lovers to take a short quiz based on their preferences, and then they can choose the frequency with which they'll receive deliveries. The company has a selection of more than 400 coffee varieties, so there's always something new and fun.

Simple Houseware Mesh Desk Organizer with Sliding Drawer

Mesh Desk Organizer with Sliding Drawer

Amazon

It can't be easy keeping tabs on a range of classes, paperwork, and even supplies, but a desk organizer like this can at least help. The organizer, which comes in black or silver, holds a range of items, without taking up too much desk space. The bottom features two shelves, one of which has compartments (great for supplies), and the top has five letter organizer slots for paperwork.

Papier Demi Daily Planner

Demi Daily Planner

Papier

We're in a tech world, but writing things down never goes out of style. This Papier daily planner is perfect for busy teachers because it helps them organize life in and outside of the classroom. It makes it easy to track daily to-dos, along with habits, goals, and more. Plus, the pages aren't dated, so the planner can be started at any given time—no need to wait until fall.

Ostrichpillow Mini Handy Pillow

Mini Handy Pillow

Ostrichpillow

When your overworked teacher needs a nap at home, this pillow will come in handy. The material is soft and the interior is packed with micro-beads. It slips on over the hand or forearm to create a compact nap pillow and offers great head support.

Core Meditation Trainer

Core Meditation Trainer

Courtesy of Core 

Help your child's favorite teacher embrace moments of zen with Core's meditation trainer. The handheld device sends small vibrations to keep the user focused as they follow along with the app's guided meditations and breathing techniques. The sensors also measure heart rate. The app features a variety of sessions, as well as soundscapes, to suit all needs.

Artifact Uprising Wooden Tabletop Frame

Wooden Tabletop Frame

Artifact Uprising

A lot of us are guilty of snapping a ton of pics on our phones, but never actually printing them. This photo frame just might encourage your teacher to display their favorite image. Simply upload the pic and it's set in the wood frame, which ranges in size from 5 x 7-inches to 10 x 8-inches. The detachable metal stand means the frame can be placed on a tabletop or even hung.

Uncommon Goods Library Card Tote Bag

Library Card Tote Bag

Uncommon Goods

A sturdy tote bag is something everyone needs, but it's especially useful for a teacher who has books, graded papers, and more to lug around. This 100 percent cotton tote isn't just useful, but the library card design is super fitting. Measuring 18 inches long, the bag can hold quite a bit and the interior pocket keeps smaller items like keys and phones from getting buried.

MasterClass Annual Membership

MasterClass Annual Membership

Though teachers are used to being at the head of the class, they're certainly students of life as well. MasterClass offers a range of subjects so whether they're interested in finances or coding or home decor, there's something for every interest. The virtual classes can be watched from anywhere, at any time, and new courses are added monthly.

Floom Flower Delivery

Flowers are always a great way to show you care. Maybe it's a teacher's birthday or celebration of a special achievement, and a Floom flower delivery has great bouquets. Shop for flowers or live plants and the delivery can conveniently be scheduled up to a month in advance.

AlwaysFits Pep Talk Postcard Book

AlwaysFits Pep Talk Postcard Book

AlwaysFits

As much as your teacher is devoted, there are sure to be days when they need a bit of encouragement. That's where the Pep Talk postcard book comes into play. The set includes 20 cards (10 different designs) printed on thick paper and feature colorful designs. They're sure to make a recipient smile and the 5 x 7-inch cards would look great on the fridge or memo board.

Knockaround Custom Blue Light Blockers

Custom Blue Light Blockers

Knockaround

Staring at a computer screen can put a strain on anyone's eyes, so a pair of blue light blocking glasses can come in handy. Knockaround makes it easy to customize pretty much every part of the glasses, from the lenses to the arms and frame. There's a range of colors and prints available so you can customize a pair that's just as unique as the recipient.

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators (A 36-Week Plan of Low-Cost Self-Care for Teachers and Educators)

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators

Amazon

Finding a gift that's specific to teachers is sure to make them feel special. "180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators" includes a range of self-care tips and weekly, themed advice. The 36-week guide breaks topics down in easy, accessible ways. Choose between paperback or a convenient Kindle version.

Amazon Waxed Canvas Lunch Bags

Waxed Canvas Lunch Bags

Amazon

Even adults can use a great lunch bag—and while this may look like a brown paper bag, it's actually a washable and reusable bag made of cotton and beeswax. The waxed canvas is waterproof and any internal spills can easily be wiped away. It's spacious enough to fit food containers, drinks, and any yummy snacks.

Make Em Laugh Teacher Nutrition Facts - Glass Coffee Mug

Make Em Laugh Teacher Nutrition Facts - Glass Coffee Mug

Amazon

Not only is the glass mug pretty stylish, but the teacher "ingredients" on one side are pretty funny. The nutritional breakdown includes patience, inspiration, passion, and other amazing qualities that make up a great teacher. The coffee mug holds 13 ounces and is conveniently dishwasher and microwave safe.

What to Look for in a Teacher's Gift

Appropriate Budget

Before dropping serious dollars on a teacher's gift, check your school's policy to see if they limit how much you can spend. If not, you could consider pooling with other parents on a larger gift. Otherwise, $50 is usually an appropriate maximum, though as long as it's heartfelt, any gift of any dollar amount would be appreciated.

Convenience

Remember, the teacher needs to get this gift home, likely on a day when they are receiving many gifts. Consider the convenience of carrying your present to their car or on public transportation. For instance, everyone loves flowers, but does the teacher have a vase to keep them in water until school lets out? It's a great idea to keep the gift on the smaller side.

Nothing Too Sensible

While we all know teachers deserve the best school supplies available, and unfortunately sometimes foot the bill themselves, it might be more thoughtful to gift something for the teacher and not for their classroom. Keep the gift personable and not too practical.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more. Additional reporting was done by Patrice Williams, an NYC-based writer specializing in lifestyle hacks, home decor, and product recommendations. She writes about the latest and greatest products for The Spruce.

Updated by
Megan McCarty
Megan McCarty
Megan is a writer, editor, etc.-er, with over 13 years of experience in both print and digital media. She regularly contributes to design-focused outlets such as MyDomaine, Architectural Digest, Domino, House & Home, and Hunker.
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