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15 Really Thoughtful (& Practical) Gifts For Teachers

With just a couple weeks until Christmas, it's time to make sure you have gifts for all the special people in your life, including your kid's amazing, hard-working teacher. But, it can be hard to find a worthy gift for such a worthy person. So, if you're looking for meaningful gifts for teachers, you'll find some inspiration here. If you give a thoughtful gift, chances are, your kid won't be the only one getting good marks from their teacher this year!

But before jumping right to gift ideas for the teacher's personal use, let's first talk about a gift idea for the entire classroom — which may just be the best gift you could give the teacher. That's because a whopping "94 percent of teachers pay for classroom supplies, spending an average of $479 a year," according to The Chicago Tribune, reporting on data from the National Center for Education Statistics. What's more, elementary school teachers spend an average of $526, according to the same report.

When I read that figure, I did a double take. That's why this Christmas, I'll be giving the gift of construction paper and crayons to my daughter's wonderful teachers, so they can spend their own money on things they want and need just for themselves.

Below you'll find 15 more considerate teacher gift ideas that really show you value and appreciate the work they're doing.


Artisanal Coffee or Tea

Chances are, the teacher you're shopping for already has way too many mugs crowding their kitchen. But, the stuff that goes into the mug — that's a good idea. If you know the teacher drinks coffee, consider giving them a Bean Box coffee sampler ($28, Amazon). If they're more of a tea enthusiast, spring for a lovely tea sampler ($15, Amazon). Don't know what they drink? A Starbucks gift card is always a smart idea.



I love giving plants as holiday gifts because they last well beyond the holiday season. If you give your kid's teacher a cool succulent terrarium or bonsai tree ($24, Amazon), they'll be reminded of your sweet scholar for years to come.


Class Supplies

The next time you drop your kiddo off for school, ask the teacher what the classroom could really use. That could be everything from pencils to shoes, according to The Chicago Tribune article mentioned above.

You can also use cool sites like,, to find out if your child's school needs any particular item.


Cute Socks

A quirky pair of socks is a fun gift for a teacher because they'll think of your kid every time they wear them. There are some seriously funny socks ($11, The Joy of Socks) out there too, if you're shopping for a teacher with a sense of humor.


Something From Your Kitchen

Whether you make killer chocolate chip cookies, awesome sourdough bread, or tasty spicy pickles, your kid's teacher will appreciate something that you made yourself. Bonus points if you have your little one make a personal label for it.


Picture + Frame

Find an original picture frame ($18, Etsy), and include a holiday picture of your tot or a holiday card of your whole family. The teacher will be able to use the frame for whatever they want afterward, whether that's a picture of the class, their own kids, or their dog.


Hand-Made Cards

There's nothing sweeter than a heartfelt note from your kid, expressing everything they love and appreciate about their teacher. These are the kind of notes that a teacher will save for a lifetime.


Volunteer In The Classroom

This is one gift that you can give without spending a dime. Donate your time! Whether that's making photocopies, cleaning cubbies, or organizing a fundraiser, chances are, there's something that your kiddo's teacher desperately needs done, but is too nice to ask for!



When in doubt, go with chocolate. You'd be hard pressed to find a living human who doesn't appreciate some fine chocolate once and awhile. I love giving Vosges truffles ($12, because they are too-die-for and the packaging feels special too.


iTunes Gift Card

Sometimes gift cards can feel like a cop out, but giving your kid's teacher an iTunes gift card is actually a gift they'll use and appreciate. Plus, there are cute printable cards that really tie the gift together, like this one from AlphaMom: "iThink you are an awesome teacher."


Stress Ball

Teaching wily and unruly students can be downright stressful. You can acknowledge this in a cheeky way by buying your kiddo's teacher a funky stress ball ($16, Amazon).


Give to Charity

Consider donating to an educational-focused charity in the teacher's honor. Pick a cause you feel passionately about, like anti-bullying or worldwide literacy.


Apple Cider

No, your kiddo's teacher doesn't need any more apple-themed teacher gifts. But they might appreciate some classy hard apple cider ($8, ).


Personalized Ugly Sweater

Every teacher needs a good ugly sweater to wear during the holiday season. Customize one for your kid's favorite teacher (order one online or just let your kid go to down on a red or green sweater and a box of puffy paints), and they're sure to wear it every year!


Special Ornament

Giving an ornament might seem a little basic, but not if you find the right one that really fits your teacher's personality. Maybe your child has told you how much Mrs. P loves her avocado toast or how much Mr. D loves his bowties. Whatever their passion is, there's an adorable ornament out there waiting for them.


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