Show your teacher some appreciation this holiday season with a gift they'll actually enjoy and use.
Aaron Pruner is an actor and writer in Los Angeles. His words have appeared bylines at places like The Hollywood Reporter, Playboy, Rotten Tomatoes, The Washington Post, and Rotten Tomatoes. Fun fact: Aaron once played Charlize Theron's nerdy boyfriend in a Japanese Honda commercial.
For teachers, just one week a year is devoted to showing our undying appreciation for the tireless work they do day in and day out. It goes without saying they deserve way more than that. After all, educators spend more time with our children than we do. Simply put, their devotion to their work -- from lesson planning and grading homework, to arranging extra-curricular activities and stocking classroom necessities -- is heroic. It takes a lot of energy to shape the hearts and minds of students. Showing gratitude for a teacher's services can go a long way, especially during the holidays. We put together a list of useful teacher gifts that will make their lives a bit easier, while putting a smile on their face.
Our comprehensive gift guide appeals to all budgets -- whether you're spending $10 or $100 -- and ticks all the boxes of what a teacher could want and need. The $25 range is common when budgeting for teacher gifts, but many classes organize to go in on one present together. Could that classroom gift be a single serve coffee brewer? Or maybe an air purifier, Amazon card, or aromatherapy set would fit the bill. If you're on your own, a personalized gift for the classroom, like a stamp or note pad, may be the best course of action. We've got other practical picks, including a filtered water bottle, a sturdy tote bag, and a durable insulated lunch bag. Whatever you choose, we're certain the teachers in your life will absolutely love being remembered. And remember, when all else fails, a personal thank-you note can go a long way too.
Planter's Choice window herb garden will add some welcome greenery to the classroom. This collection of living herbs -- oregano, basil, parsley, chives, mustard, cilantro, sage, dill and thyme are all included -- will teach students about growing plants, sustainability and cooking. Hands-on learning is the best learning.
Phone, keys, wallet, pencils... check! Keep them close in this versatile belt bag that helps you get out the door and on to your next adventure. The dual zippered compartments keep possessions secure, and the bag is available in three colors, for maximum fashion versatility.
The Keurig K-Mini single serve coffee maker brings a consistently tasty cup of coffee into the home or teacher's lounge. It's a quick little machine that offers up bold brews for the coffee-loving educator. The era of mediocre tasting coffee in schools is now over.
The Tea Forte assorted gift set offers a lovely collection of gourmet options for the tea-loving teacher in your life. Earl Grey, Jasmine Green, White Ginger Pear, Ginger Lemongrass, Black Currant, Green Mango Peach, White Ambrosia and Chamomile Citron are the varietals featured in this box. They're sure to delight the most discerning teacher in your life.
You'd be surprised how much laminating can be done in an elementary school classroom. Why not give your child's teacher something really useful -- a personal laminator? Scotch's thermal laminator laminates items up to 9 inches wide and is safe to use on photos. Two starter pouches are included.
A Levoit air purifier will no doubt be appreciated during the winter season when the classroom is full of sniffles. It rids the room of airborne germs and particles: 99.97% of dust, mold, smoke and pollen to be exact. Though on the pricey side, an air purifier would make a great gift for parents to go in on together.
The power of essential oils can go a long way. Pure Daily Care's aromatherapy diffuser and essential oil set is the perfect gift for the teacher in your life who is looking to relax after a long day. The diffuser would look nice anywhere in the home and could easily spruce up their desk in the classroom. And with a collection of different scented oils, all with different uses in mind, this aromatherapy kit could easily make a classroom smell good, benefit the health of students and get them in gear to focus on homework.
Pamper your child's teacher with a gift box of natural bath products. Inside you'll find three handmade natural and vegan body wash bars (Orange & Hibiscus, Cleansing Charcoal and Radiant Rose) plus a lavender sugar scrub, natural loofah, and a soap dish made from reclaimed wood. Bonus: The whole set comes packaged and ready for gifting.
Sometimes it's best to ditch the vending machines and curate your own drawer of snacks. Crave Box knows this. The company offers a variety of snack care packages -- but our focus here is this healthy snack pack. It's quite easy to go for a quick sugary fix to boost your energy, but that can become a tough habit to break. Veggie straws, popcorn, granola bars and fruit snacks can all be found in this package. And for those schools that allow teachers to offer snacks for students, this gift set would be an outstanding option.
A teacher's life is a busy life. Long hours of teaching, grading homework and creating curriculums can leave a person exhausted at the day's end. Hello Fresh is a great alternative to fast food delivery and expensive takeout. The company offers up a variety of easy-to-make meal kits with fresh ingredients that are delivered straight to your door. Yes, there is a little cooking involved here. But honestly, is there a better way to ring in the evening than with a healthy home-cooked meal? We don't think so. Read our Hello Fresh review here.
Sitting at one's desk for long periods of time can be a real pain. Ask any teacher in your life, and they'll probably have at least one complaint about the sub-par seating options at school. The Cushion Lab pressure relief seat cushion, which is made with the company's proprietary ergonomic Hyperfoam material, helps release muscle tension and take the pressure off the back and hips to make those long hours of sitting at work a more pleasurable experience.
A personalized stamp is perfect for praising student work. Your child's teacher will marvel at this adorable custom stamp, and you can be sure it'll get used! Choose from a male or female character, customize the look, choose an ink color, then add the teacher's name. What a cool classroom tool!
Who doesn't love See's candies? Twenty-four individually wrapped pieces of the good stuff are tucked away behind this Advent calendar's doors. See's classic milk chocolates, dark chocolates, lollypops and seasonal pieces are among the sweet treats your teacher will enjoy.
Some cookies for the teacher! Christina Tosi's award-winning pastry shop Milk Bar has been flipping the script on dessert expectations since opening their doors in 2008. The Milk Bar assorted cookie tin is a must-try for any teacher with a sweet tooth. It's a delicious taste of the iconic spot and, thankfully, you don't need to be located in New York to revel in the sugary goodness of it all.
Erin Condren's planners are coveted among teachers; give yours the ultimate lesson planner this year. This 2024 coiled planner features dated weekly, monthly and yearly planning, checklist pages, graph pages, communication logs, a snap-in ruler, stickers and more. Choose from a multitude of great prints and even add personalization if you're so inclined. Not sure about a specific planner? Check out the brand's notebooks and other teacher favorites.
Of all the uses Amazon's Echo Dot has to offer, there's one that teachers may have missed: It can act as an assistant and help streamline tasks at work. From setting timers and reminders to adding must-have school items to a shopping list, building literacy and listening skills, and playing music for some much-needed brain breaks, this smart speaker can be quite useful in the classroom. Plus, it's more than half the price of competitor Apple's HomePod Mini. What's not to love? Read our Echo Dot (5th Gen) review.
Not all teachers have an assigned classroom. For those educators relying on electronics like laptop computers, smart speakers and phones for work, the Anker 737 Power Bank portable charger is an extremely useful gift. Now, the teacher in your life won't need to worry about finding a nearby outlet to charge their work supplies as they move from one class to the next. Read out Anker 737 Power Bank portable charger review.
Not all teaching and tutoring takes place in the classroom. For those teachers who conduct their classes remotely over Zoom, the LapGear home office pro lap desk is a viable option. It's well-placed wrist rest offers functionality and comfort for those long hours of computer use. Whether they're grading homework from the couch or the bed, this lap desk will make them question if a standard work desk is even necessary.
Teachers can be students, too. A MasterClass gift card is the perfect gift for anyone looking to enhance established skills or learn a new one. Masters in their class (see what we did there?) like Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, Michelin star-winning chef Wolfgang Puck, and renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall all have curriculums ready and available. And we're just cracking the surface here. Gift subscriptions range from $10 a month for an individual user to $20 monthly for up to six users in a family.
Not sure what to get? An Amazon gift card lets your kid's teacher choose. It isn't quite as impersonal as cash (and some schools don't allow staff to accept cash), but a gift card functions the same way. Choose your denomination (the minimum is $25) and a festive gift box and you're good to go.
Brita's water bottle ensures that fresh water is always on hand -- a great gift for a teacher who isn't always able to get to a cooler. This 26-ounce BPA-free bottle comes with a Brita filter in the straw, so water tastes great. It's one of CNET's top picks for filtering tap water. Available in a variety of jewel-tone colors, and there's a 36-ounce option as well.
Lysol disinfecting wipes aren't a glamorous gift. But they don't need to be. Ask any teacher in your life and they will surely praise the disinfecting wipe gods. The classroom is a magnet for germs, and wipes like these are a useful weapon in keeping the viral threats at bay. They may be cheap, but Lysol disinfecting wipes offer enduring value to a teacher's life.
A label maker can be an elementary school teacher's best friend. They can help label a student's belongings -- from lunchboxes to books -- and signify assigned seating, cubbies for backpacks and more. The Phomemo D30 label maker comes with Bluetooth capabilities and a variety of templates. It's portable in size and doesn't require ink, toner or ribbons like many of its competitors. It's so easy and fun to use, don't be surprised when the teacher in your life begins placing labels on everything.
L.L. Bean is known for quality goods, and its canvas Boat and Tote is a perennial favorite -- especially among teachers. Starting at $30, it's available in 10 accent colors, two strap lengths and four sizes, so you can order exactly what you want. You can even add a monogram for an additional $8. Your favorite educator will love this thoughtful gift.
The Bentgo Deluxe lunch bag ticks all the necessary boxes when it comes to taking your food on the go. It's durable, stylish and affordable. A zippered outer pocket and inner mesh pocket help to keep items separate and safe. Multiple handle options make it easy to transport, and it's roomy enough to hold a complete meal, drink and utensils. It comes in a variety of color options, fitting any personality, and is protected by a sturdy two-year warranty. Plus, a percentage of each Bentgo purchase supports Feed the Children, which works to end child hunger around the world.
A cube of note paper is always going to come in handy in the classroom; why not personalize it? Each cube includes 700 notes, complete with a sticky strip on the back. Add your teacher's name and an additional line of text under the cute pencil graphic and you have a unique, practical gift.
All that hand sanitizer really does a number on winter skin. Nourish your favorite educator's hands with this Knack set. A lavender hand cream, travel soap, sanitizer and cedar nail brush come nicely gift-packed.
For the teacher who's on their feet all day, the Best Choice foot massager is a godsend. When stress is stored in the feet and ankles, health complications can follow. This foot massager is portable, user-friendly and easy to clean. It even comes with a remote control, making it easier than ever to toggle between massage modes that focus on kneading the stress away. All you need to do is sit there, and this thing does the rest.
A professional massage is the perfect gift for anyone looking to destress. A gift card to Massage Envy will do just that. Redeemable at over 1,000 locations around the country, services covered include massage services, facials, and therapeutic stretch sessions to ease muscle and joint pain. Considering how teachers give most of their time to their work and students, a Massage Envy visit will provide them with some much-needed "me time." And sometimes, that's the best kind of time there is.