10 Best Christmas Gifts for Teachers, According to Teachers
Christmas is a busy time of year. There's so much to organize, make and buy, including gifts for your child's teacher. Teaching is often a thankless task so the holidays offer an opportunity to show your kids educators just how much you appreciate them. But buying gifts for teachers can be tricky. What can you give that the other twenty sets of parents didn't already and that won't break the bank?
I was a teacher for over a decade. During that time I amassed more "Best Teacher" mugs, scented candles, and body wash than any one person can ever hope to use! The presents I remember having the most impact, however, were the ones that were a little out of the ordinary. And my teacher friends agree:
Homemade gifts from the heart really get teachers teary-eyed, as Veronica, a teacher in Connecticut explained. "When I can see little smudgy fingerprints embossed in a clay tree decoration it just melts my heart that they put in so much effort for me," she says.
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"In my opinion, the greatest gift you can give someone is from the heart. Bonus points when it's homemade," says Samantha Barnes a former teacher and the founder of Raddish, a cooking club for kids.
She also says that parents shouldn't worry about gifting a perfect Pinterest worthy present and reminds us that teachers know when a child has made something themselves. "A 5-year-old's phonetically spelled gift tag for his piano teacher might be more charming than your perfectly penned label."
As high school teacher Dawn Casey-Rowe says, "Nobody teaches for the gifts." She does have some advice on what not to buy though, "Try to avoid food, there are many medical diets out there these days, and you'd hate to see waste."
Overwhelming, teachers, when pressed, said that if they had to receive a present they would like it to be either something they could use practically in the classroom or something special that the whole class had clubbed together to buy.
The least appealing gifts for teachers were small novelty items or tchotchke that just add to the jumble of classroom debris, as Casey-Rowe agrees, "Teachers have a tough time decluttering, so avoid trinkets and unnecessary things."
With that in mind, we have created the following shopping list of gifts for teachers, that they will be sure to love. But one thing to remember? Whatever gift you decide to give to the teacher in your life, here's betting a sincere thank you for everything they do every day for the children in their care will be the most precious one they receive.
1. The Gift of Language
Teachers often travel over the summer and Pocketalk's two-way translation device will enable them to speak with anyone in over 70 different languages. It's a gift that can also help your child back in class in the new year, as an educational aide during language learning classes.
A whole class of parents can buy this gift together. Rather than the teacher receiving 30 small unsuitable things, the parents can collaborate to organize a useful present that can also be enjoyed by their kids in school. Available on Amazon from $299
2. The Gift of Time
Every teacher needs a good timer. They are indispensable in class to promote efficient work, separate class into different periods, and challenge kids with tests and quizzes. Time Timers come with magnets on the back or a desktop version so that they can be moved around with the teacher from class to class. These are also popular with teachers as they have a quiet tick that doesn't bother more sensitive learners. Available on Amazon from $32.50
3. A Handmade Christmas Ornament
Take a look at this customized Christmas tree ornament tutorial from Sunshine and Hurricanes that you can make with your child for a totally bespoke teacher gift!
4. All the Coffee
It's a long-running joke that teachers just want a bottle of wine at the end of the term but overwhelming the drink most teachers crave to get them through busy school days is coffee. Obviously, you'll want to make sure that your child's teacher actually does enjoy a cup of Joe before basing her gift around the beverage. Start a teacher fund with other parents and buy an Illy iperEspresso machine for the staff room and you'll quickly become the teacher's pet!
For more of a stocking stuffer gift for the coffee lover, make up a basket of coffee treats from Alpine Start, makers of premium instant coffee that can be taken on the go. The Illy iperEspresso machine is available on Amazon from $114.99
5. Tea Time
Treat tea drinkers to a Soma Brew bottle which makes the perfect cup of tea or coffee and keeps it warm for the inevitable interruptions to a teacher's break time. Soma also makes a 10-cup water pitcher with a sleek bamboo handle (pictured above) for hydration all day long. Available on Amazon from 39.99
6. Plan, Schedule and Journal
Paper products are a common theme for teacher gifts but one that most teachers just can't get enough of. Educators love to plan and organize for the year ahead, and smart planners, journals and notepads make their job easier every day. Pick up a Fitlosophy fitbook, and and she'll be able to plot out her healthy living goals for the new year. Available on Amazon from $21.26
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7. Wooden Speakers
Woodulisten wireless wooden speakers, made from carved beech wood, come in an adorable and whimsical design that any educator would be proud to display on their desk. They fit in the palm of the hand but deliver a quality sound experience using Bluetooth, so she can play music for the class without having to hunt for a wire. Available on Amazon from $39.00
8. Whimsical Socks
For a fun and economical gift pick up a pair of Happypop Socks which come in adorable designs including some with cheeky slogans on the soles like "If you can read this, bring me a glass of wine!" Available on Amazon from $8.99
9. Luxury Body Products
Teachers often complain that if they do receive body care products they are from the bargain bin and irritate their skin. So if you want to treat your child's teacher to some spa-like bath products make sure they are luxurious and made from premium ingredients like those from Way of Will. Their Himalayan salt muscle soak is a natural product made with essential oils and a 100% organic formula. Available on Amazon from $21.99
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10. Flavored Salts
Samantha Barnes of Raddish has an excellent idea for a fun, economical foodie gift kids can make for their teacher, which avoids many common allergens and food intolerance: flavored salt! Here's how to make it:
- Bake kosher salt with your favorite fresh herbs and seasonings, like lemon peel, garlic and thyme.
- Spoon into tiny glass jars and decorate with stamped labels and bakers' twine.