The 40 Best Gifts for Teachers (aka the True Heroes of This Past Year)
Teachers rank high among the heroes of the past pandemic year. They adapted their entire approach to educating on the fly, showing infinite grace and patience in the process; they also managed to impart knowledge to armies of tiny, restless people using an unfamiliar platform while rescuing parents from the scary prospect of homeschooling. With that in mind, it’s hard to express our gratitude with a token gift...but that won’t stop us from trying. Here are some of the best gifts for teachers…’cause they deserve all the nice things.
1. Unwind Lavender Gift Set
This care package includes seeds and a bamboo pot for growing a low-maintenance lavender plant, along with some other pretty sweet accessories (think: aromatic soy candle, linen spray and a luxurious, no-slip cotton eye mask). The whole bundle is sure to provide any overworked educator with a little pampering and a good night’s sleep.
2. Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub
A little vino at the end of a long day (or interminable pandemic school year) can be a real treat. That said, if you feel funny gifting a bottle of booze to your kid’s teacher, we found a runner-up: Caudalie’s cult favorite body scrub—a cocktail of crushed cabernet grapes, brown sugar and nourishing grapeseed oil—promises silky smooth and gloriously toned skin. Also, it does pair well with any wine.
3. Rainbow String Art Personalized Door Sign
This rainbow-colored piece of decor is rustic, cheerful, and basically looks like a million bucks hung on any wall or door. Plus, the string art technique used to craft this handmade number has plenty of tactile appeal, so it’s particularly classroom-friendly. Obviously, the personal touch doesn’t hurt, either.
4. Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden
These colorful, frosted glass jars are especially eye-catching vessels for aromatics, but the real selling point is that these upcycled planters actually do right by the herbs (i.e., so a human doesn’t have to). Yep, these puppies are outfitted with a hydroponic system that guarantees an herb garden will grow on any sunny windowsill, be it in a classroom or a beloved educator’s kitchen.
5. Black and White Fish Pattern Ceramic Cups
These striking ceramic containers feature an intricate and stylish hand painted design and they score points for versatility, too—they can be used as drinking cups for hot and cold beverages, but they also make stylish desktop storage containers for snacks, candies and even office supplies.
6. Gourmet Peanut Butter Cups
For a gift that tastes as good as it looks, you can’t go wrong with a box of these small-batch, handmade Belgian chocolate peanut butter cups. The chocolates come in a variety of swoon-worthy flavors (think: dark sea salt and hazelnut) and they are all ridiculously delicious.
7. Yeti Rambler 30-ounce Tumbler
It takes a lot of water (or caffeine) to get a teacher through the workday. Enter: the Yeti Rambler. This generously-sized, stainless steel tumbler with a vacuum insulated design will keep both cold and hot beverages at the ideal temperature. These puppies are also dishwasher-safe and practically indestructible. Gift one and it will get a lot of use.
8. Petite Purple Orchid
This tropical plant boasts gorgeous colorful blossoms for three months of the year and, unlike most orchids, it’s easy to grow indoors. In other words, the teacher in your life doesn’t need to have a green thumb to enjoy its beauty at home or in the classroom for years to come.
9. Tea Forte Tea Tasting Assortment
The gourmet and luxurious teas from Tea Forte are truly an indulgence. This tasting assortment, which includes 20 of their signature, gold-wrapped pyramid infusers, will treat a teacher to a sampling of their ten most delicious blends. Both the flavor and the presentation here are hard to beat.
10. Fjällräven Kånken Tote Backpack
Teachers have to carry around a lot of stuff, so why not treat one to a tote bag that’s both fashionable and highly functional? This stylish number boasts a durable, water-resistant construction and plenty of pockets to help keep things organized. Plus, it can be worn as an over-the-shoulder tote or as a backpack. (And who doesn’t like to have options?)
11. Self-watering Dino Planter
These adorable dinosaur planters are perfect for pre-K and grade-school teachers to keep in the classroom, where they’ll look great on a desk or windowsill. Plus, the ingenious self-watering design of these dinos provides a fuss-free way for teachers to reap the mood-enhancing rewards of having a live plant around.
12. Personalized Pen Holder
This functional piece of desk decor has holes that are large enough to accommodate everything from a fat Sharpie to a good ol’ No. 2 pencil and its modest size means it won’t take up too much room on a crowded desk. Also, it’s darn cute.
13. Handmade Scented Candle
Handmade by Moroccan artisans, these soy candles feature a cheerful, but understated raffia exterior and an orange blossom fragrance that’s soft, alluring and sure to freshen up any living space.
14. Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag
We love the whimsical, contemporary design of this (hand blown) glass desktop container—a playful and very convincing plastic bag imposter that can be used to hold paper clips, candy and pretty much anything else you can think of.
15. DIY Terrarium Kit
This DIY terrarium has all the materials a teacher needs to create a desert oasis, including six adorable succulents, a glass bowl, lava rocks, cacti mix and sand (of course). Bottom line: The hands-on activity of putting this terrarium together is thoroughly satisfying and the finished product makes a great addition to the home and classroom alike.
16. Hand Heart Desktop Sculpture
Show your love for teachers by gifting this pewter sculpture to one you know. This piece of art depicts two hands joining to make the shape of a heart for an uplifting message that’s hard to miss and will bring good vibes when displayed on a desk. Bonus: It also doubles as a paperweight.
17. L’Occitane Hand Cream Trio
The frequent use of hand sanitizer can take a toll on one’s skin, and nobody knows that better than the teacher who has been working with your (germy) kid. All three of the hand creams in this set from L’Occitane are pleasantly scented, silky-smooth and sure to provides instant (and lasting) relief from dryness.
19. Desktop Sand Window
If you haven’t seen one of these in person, you don’t know what you’re missing: A desktop sand window is an interactive piece of art with a truly mesmerizing visual effect. It’s like watching an abstract natural landscape move in slow-motion, and the reward is an instant feeling of calm that teachers, students and pretty much everyone else will benefit from.
20. Handmade Moroccan Tamegroute Vase
Any teacher would agree that you can’t have too many beautiful vases, right? This stunner is the product of the traditional pottery craft in Tamegroute, a small village in Morocco, and it boasts a signature green color that’s truly enchanting. Gift it as is or fill it with flowers—either way, a teacher will surely appreciate this unique and special item.
21. Pottery Travel Mug with Rubber Lid
As previously mentioned, a beverage container is a no-brainer when it comes to gifts for teachers. This one isn’t quite as practical as a Yeti tumbler, but this handcrafted and hand painted piece of pottery is beautiful and full of character—and thanks to the snug-fitting rubber lid, it’s an excellent way for a teacher to transport her morning coffee from home to school.
22. Skin Renewing Mask Set
This skin care kit comes with five dainty glass vials, each filled with the all-natural ingredients necessary to whip up a different facial mask that will last for three uses. Best of all, the masks smell gorgeous and leave the skin glowing. The takeaway? This gift provides a pampering experience with impressive results.
23. Aesop Rinse-free Hand Wash
A classroom staple gets a major upgrade with this gift—a luxury, aromatic hand sanitizer that’s loaded with rich, moisturizing botanicals to keep hands hydrated while its alcohol base effectively banishes bacteria and germs. (Hint: A teacher will take this over Purell any day.)
24. Art Teacher Palette Earrings
A whimsical, wearable gift that’s oh-so fitting for your child’s art teacher, these handmade earrings are designed with incredible detail and they’re downright adorable, too.
25. Sephora Gift Card
There’s no doubt that every educator deserves a little pampering, but there’s no shame in opting for a gift card to take the guesswork out of giving (and the potential awkwardness of gifting someone a wrinkle cream, for example). Sephora has no shortage of luxurious products to choose from; the teacher gets what the teacher wants, and everybody wins.
27. Hoya Heart Plant
If you’re thinking about giving a plant gift, it doesn't get much sweeter than this—a single heart-shaped leaf from the Hoya kerrii plant that comes nestled in a sleek, upcycled planter. It looks incredibly cute just the way it is, but this little leaf will actually start trailing in time—provided it’s kept in full sun and watered infrequently.
28. Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Sampler
Coffee is a teacher’s best friend. (Seriously, can you handle a kid—let alone 30—before your morning cup?) Here, a carefully curated assortment of gourmet beans, courtesy of Seattle’s top-rated, small-batch roasters—an artisanal treat that will start their day off right and elevate the daily afternoon pick-me-up to boot.
29. Personalized Pen Set
A quality pen is a thing of beauty; they’re also quick to go missing, which is why this flawlessly embossed wooden number is a winner. Yep, the personalized engraving is equal parts thoughtful and practical—and you can be sure an educator will get a lot of use out of this gorgeous gift.
30. ‘Please Mute Your Mic’ Coffee Mug
Give the gift of humor with a coffee mug that perfectly sums up every teacher’s experience over the past year. We’ve all learned that kids and Zoom don’t mix, but no one has had to bear the frustration quite like your child’s classroom teacher. Hey, they say laughter is the best medicine (and caffeine probably comes in second place).
31. Stasher Starter Kit
Eco-friendly and surprisingly attractive, Stasher bags get high marks for form and function. These reusable bags come in pretty colors and a wide variety of sizes to accommodate pretty much any storage need. It’s safe to say a teacher won’t have any trouble putting them to use.
32. Fox & Knife Pasta Dinner Gift Basket
Before you spring for this splurgy basket of deliciousness, you should definitely make sure the teacher in question eats both meat and gluten. Once that’s out of the way, you can rest assured that this gift will go down easy: A selection of fresh, handmade pasta and three mouthwatering sauces (prosciutto amatriciana, wild boar Bolognese and fresh tomato-basil), courtesy of a James Beard Award-winning chef who knows a thing or two about Italian comfort food.
33. Weleda Skin Food
Another excellent hand cream option, Weleda Skin Food is a bit more budget friendly than the L’Occitane gift set listed above and is every bit as effective at soothing and moisturizing dry hands. This cult-favorite is bound to banish any teacher’s hand-washing blues.
34. Clever Fox Planner
This organizer includes sections for vision boards, dot organizers, goal-setting, self-discovery questions, mind maps and more. In other words, this planner clearly goes above and beyond the call of duty—meaning that it will help a teacher stay on schedule and inspired.
35. Swipies Starter Kit
A waste-reducing wonder of a product and definite improvement on a dry erase board, the Swipies system basically provides an alternative to paper. These durable, reusable sheets are flexible like paper (so they aren’t as bulky as a whiteboard) and easy to clean when used to jot down notes, lists and the like with a wet-erase pen. This incredibly useful, eco-friendly gift is a real game-changer in any workspace.
36. Brightland Mini Essentials Gift Set
Give a valued teacher the gift of a well-stocked kitchen with a gourmet care package from Brightland, the folks behind phenomenal (and award-winning) California olive oils and vinegars. This particular gift basket is an ideal introduction that features four best-sellers—champagne vinegar, balsamic, and two distinct blends of olive oil, both handcrafted from heirloom California olives.
37. Osea for Parachute Sleep Time Bath Salt
One can imagine that an educator might benefit from a nice, hot soak at the end of a long day on the job. These sleepy time bath salts from Osea are packed with nourishing plant-based ingredients and pleasantly scented with lavender and other essential oils. In other words, it will quickly become a favorite of any teacher who wants to unwind before bed.
38. Minted Personalized Deconstruct Snap Tote
We covered this already, but a well-made and attractive tote back is an incredibly helpful gift for a teacher. The aesthetic here is less utilitarian than the Swedish-made tote on our list and there aren’t as many helpful pockets. That said, the sleek and durable design has plenty of practical appeal, and the eye-catching patterns, all designed by independent artists, are decidedly stylish, too.
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39. Food52 Gift Card
If you want to let the teacher pick their own gift, but don’t think luxury beauty products fit the bill, we strongly suggest springing for a Food52 gift card. A major player in the food world, you might know Food52 as a vast resource for free gourmet recipes and pro cooking tips...but there’s plenty of shopping potential, too. This gift card can be used to buy a wide selection of premium quality products, including cookware, gourmet foods and even home decor.
40. Glass Candy Ribbon Paper Weight
A little eye candy for the teacher’s desk—these beautiful hand-blown paperweights serve a practical purpose, of course, but we’re mostly suckers for the design, which features eye-catching, colorful ribbons suspended in a glass sphere.