The 20 Best Teacher Appreciation Gifts, Because They’re Actual Heroes

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Kindergarten schoolgirl giving a gift to her female teacher in a classroom, side view, close up

It’s no secret that most teachers don’t get enough credit, or pay, and while there’s a lot of work to be done to fix that problem, showering them with the best teacher appreciation gifts possible is a great way to show you care! So, whether it’s teacher appreciation week, the end of the school year, or a birthday, this list of thoughtful gifts is sure to have something for that special teacher in your child’s life.

When parents send their kids off to school each morning, it probably comes as a welcome relief. When there are no little ones at home, the school day means the freedom to work, run errands, or walk around Target blowing budgets. But for teachers, the school day means being responsible for our kids, on average, about 23 more of them.

The fact that teachers are literally in charge of making sure our children learn, are safe, and feel seen and cared for is a huge job that deserves a lot of recognition. Many teachers love getting handmade cards and treats from their students, but it’s likely that useful gifts, cash, and gift cards are what they really want. Minus the cash, this list has got you covered!


This Portable Essential Oil Diffuser For Adding Zen To Any Work Space

These adorable palm-sized portable oil diffusers will add a little zen to any teacher’s day. They feature seven LED light colors that range from bright to dim, and the USB power cord plugs right into a laptop. One Amazon reviewer raved, “It is the perfect size to put on my desk while I'm working on my laptop, or the end table when I'm relaxing and reading a book. Perfect travel size, too!”


The Perfect Ceramic Coffee Mug

It can take a lot of caffeine to get through the day, and perhaps even more for teachers with an average of over two dozen students in their classroom. This ceramic travel mug by Ello is perfect for holding a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The best-selling mug is microwavable and the silicone bottom is sturdy and grippy to prevent spills.


These Stunning Geode Bookends

These unique geode bookends are sure to prop up any teacher’s book collection in style. They’re available in several different weights and four stone colors with mesmerizing organic patterns. Plus, theycome with clean rubber bumpers to keep them in place.


A Thoughtfully Designed Gel Pen Set

From correcting tests to lesson planning, teachers are always in need of pens! And this long-lasting set of 20 pens comes with all the colors of the rainbow, plus the basics like black and navy. Made with nontoxic ink and an ergonomic soft-touch design, this thoughtful set promises a comfortable and “smooth” writing experience.


Some French Hand Cream For Healing Dry (Hand-Sanitized) Hands

There’s a lot more hand washing and sanitizing happening these days, and that equals a lot more dry hands, too. Show your child’s teacher’s hands some love with this luxurious French hand cream made with 97% naturally-derived ingredients, including olive and almond oils. These creams are reminiscent of a popular French toiletry brand at a fraction of the cost. Choose from seven botanical scents.


A Decorative Canvas Tote Bag That Will Get Used Daily

Teachers have a lot to schlep around, so why not gift them something to help them add a little style to their day, like these decorative canvas tote bags? With over 15 prints and styles to choose from and features like zipper closures, and 100% cotton construction, they’re an eco-conscious gift that’s made to last. One shopper raved, “Design is super cute and there is plenty of room to stuff all my work crap in without looking huge and bulky. I will be purchasing in other colors!”


A Lined Journal Because You Can Never Have Enough Notebooks

In this digital age, things like notebooks and journals may seem obsolete but never underestimate just how meaningful these classic gifts can be. With premium lined paper, perforated sheets, and over a dozen colors to choose from, this notebook is an elegant choice. It has an impressive 4.7-star rating on Amazon after a thousand reviews.


An Organic Herbal Tea Sampler

Herbal teas make a great gift any time of year. Beautifully packaged and ready for gift-giving, this organic herbal tea sampler by Pukka comes with 45 tea bags in 9 different varieties, including Ginger & Manuka Honey and Peppermint & Licorice. The recyclable box and the tray are made from eco-friendly sources to boot.


Some Self-Inking Teacher Stamps

Anything to make a teacher’s life easier is sure to be appreciated. This set of self-inking “teacher” stamps with messages like “Your Work is Magical” and “Way To Go!” is sure to delight students as well, and everyone knows how much teachers love to see their students smile.


A Set Of Natural Bath Stones For Some Luxe Destressing

After being surrounded by kids all day, a bath is just the thing to wash away the stress. Made with essential oils, Epsom salt, detoxifying clays, and no dyes or artificial fragrances, these natural bath balls will add a touch of luxury to the bath ritual. One reviewer noted, “Oh, what a treat this will be! Everything from the packaging to the product itself feels (and smells) natural and luxurious.”


A Chic Bento Lunch Box

Teacher breaks are shorter than you might think, making packed lunches a must! This modern bento lunch box comes with two stacking compartments, a snack container, and a cutlery set that includes chopsticks. The dishwasher-safe set keeps foods fresh with leak-proof lids and straps to hold it all together.


A Fuzzy Faux Fur Throw For Adding Some Hygge To The Classroom

From shag carpeting to faux fur coats, pop culture has always had an obsession with furry textures, so it should come as no surprise that faux fur throws are everywhere these days. And for good reason too, these ultra-soft blankets take an evening on the couch to the next level of coziness and make for the perfect gift. This affordable throw would also be right at home in a cold classroom, making grading papers a lot cozier.


This Splurge-Worthy Indoor Herb Garden Kit

This herb garden kit will be a hit with teachers who love to cook or garden. And it makes for a great indoor class garden too that students will love just as much. With everything needed to grow a flourishing herb garden, including 10 different non-GMO seed varieties, this kit is sure to please. “This is such a wonderful and eco-friendly herb kit for the hobby gardener,” one reviewer gushed. “It’s the perfect gift. The instruction cards are definitely helpful with the planting process in order to become a successful gardener.”


A Cool Desk Lamp with USB Charging Port

This multifunctional desk lamp is perfect for any teacher’s desk. It features an adjustable LED light, cell phone holder, USB charging station, and two organizing compartments. The minimalist light has three color modes to choose from, as well as a dimming function.


A Personalized Teacher T-Shirt

Aside from buying clothes for our own children, clothing can be a tough thing to buy for someone else. But almost everyone loves a comfy, classic white T-shirt. And these 90% cotton T-shirts feature a beautiful wildflower print and can be customized to add your favorite teacher’s name.


An Ergonomic Footrest For A Quick Desk Upgrade

If you’ve ever worked at a desk for more than an hour at a time, you’ll know that the right setup is key to comfort. An ergonomic footrest, like this one from Eureka Ergonomic, promotes the proper posture and, in turn, circulation, and the surface texture can even give feet a little massage. One shopper noted, “Wellmade & ergonomic since I mostly work at a desk. Love that you can tilt it various angles, helps with circulation.”


A Live Succulent Garden (For A Gift That Lasts Longer Than A Bouquet)

Succulents are not only eco-friendly and beautiful, but they also require very little attention and absolutely zero green thumb, making them a great gift for teachers who want to add a little green to their class (or home!) without worrying about any maintenance. Plus, a living succulent set will outlast any store-bought bouquet so your thoughtful gift has staying power.


An Inspiring Book That Teachers Love

Being a teacher requires a lot of love and dedication, but also a big dose of inspiration. And this book by innovative educator, George Couros, offers quite a bit of inspiration through a series of heartfelt messages and useful advice. “There may be no better time for a feel-good book of inspirational stories for educators,” one reviewer noted. “Not only do these stories warm your heart, they help educators reconnect to their why and reflect back on the influential educators in their own lives.”


A Turkish Beach Towel To Get Them Ready For Summer Break

Remind your favorite teacher about their favorite time of year! While the first day of school might be high on the list, it’s likely that summer break also ranks pretty high. And for those warm beachy getaways, Turkish towels are a must. There are many to choose from in this listing, but these tropical printed versions are truly unique.


The Ever-Essential Amazon Gift Card

When polled, teachers in one local community overwhelmingly said cash and gift cards were their gift of choice. Who can blame them, right? The ability to shop complement of their student’s generosity (or their parent’s, really) is a dream come true. Amazon offers gift cards ranging from $15 to $2,000 and pretty much any amount in between.