Teachers go through a lot during any given school year. Between lesson planning, marking and making sure that young minds are developing and happy, teachers have a lot on their plates. This past school year, however, has been particularly rough. With the ongoing pandemic, online learning and incessant pivoting, educators have had to adapt over and over again. And no matter how sweet your home office setup is, that’s tough on anyone.
Can you blame teachers for feeling burnt out, fatigued and more anxious than ever? Of course not. But at least you can show the teacher in your life some love and support. Now that the end of the school year is finally here and teachers can enjoy some much-deserved time off, celebrate the amazing job they’ve done with your kids during this unprecedented year.
Celebrating teachers without breaking the bank, however, can be tough. That’s why we’ve put together a few affordable back-to-school gift ideas for teachers, as we all look for that light at the end of the tunnel heading into the summer.
1. Desert Love Succulents For Their Desk
Teachers have worn their hearts on their sleeves this year, so what better way to show them you care than with a Hoya heart (or two?). Hoyas are succulents, a plant that makes for a sweet desk or windowsill adornment. They don’t need a lot of water so they’re low-maintenance, which means busy teachers won’t feel extra pressure to take care of something else. This set from The Bouqs co. comes in small cement planters with pink rocks, making them a sweet but universal back-to-school gift for teachers.
2. Plantable Wish Cards
A gift that teachers can keep to themselves or share with kids, these cards are a unique way to put well wishes out into the world. And what better time to do that than the end of a school year? Each card is packed with annual and perennial wildflower seeds, so educators can spread and sow the good vibes from these wish cards all summer long.
3. Renshaw Modern Perforated Design Round Pencil Cup
What teacher doesn’t want to keep their stuff organized in style? Fill a swanky pencil organizer with markers, pens, or pencils or stuff a gift card in there instead. If he or she doesn’t want to use the canister to hold actual pencils, these cups can also be taken home over the summer to store kitchen utensils, toiletries or used as a cover for potted plants instead.
4. Calming Lavender Heat Pillow
Help teachers unwind at the end of the day (or even on their lunch break) with a lavender-scented heat pad. They can zap it in the microwave for two minutes for an instant hit of tension relief when draped on their shoulders or neck. Or, they can also cool the pillow in the fridge to help with sore muscles or bruises, which let’s face it: may come in handy during the upcoming school year for teachers who are teaching accident-prone kids.
5. HoMedics Marbelous Mini Massager
This year’s school stresses have probably got Teach’s shoulders up to his or her ears. Help them remove those knots with this practical mini massager. It comes with batteries so it’s ready to use right away, and it easily fits in the palm of your hand to target stressed-out shoulders and necks. Teachers can pop it in a bag or tuck it away in their desk for instant relief when they can’t get to the spa.Buy: HoMedics Marbelous Mini Massager $11.92
6. Inspirational Coffee Mug By Heaven Creations
Teachers need plenty of two things: caffeine and inspiration. Give them both with an inspirational coffee mug designed to pick up their morale when they need a boost. This design in particular may just remind them that their ability to roll with all of the challenges as of late is why they’re such a great teacher in the first place.Buy: Inspirational Coffee Mug By Heaven Creations $12.99
7. Collapsible Coffee Press
If you know for a fact that the teacher in your life is a fan of good coffee, there’s always the gift of good coffee on the go. Teachers can brew their own cups just the way they like them with this portable and lightweight press, which they can toss in a bag. The contraption will satisfy that caffeine fix in about five minutes flat, and the best part is that the unique design means teachers can wait until they get home to clean it with the rest of their lunch gear.
8. Cute Magnet Gift Sets for Teacher
Teachers can brighten up a fridge, whiteboard, locker or any other magnetic surface with this inspiring and colorful nine-piece set. There are a variety of sizes to fit most spaces, or if you have a few teachers you want to buy for in your life you could break this set up and make the magnets a part of a larger back-to-school gift parcel instead.Buy: Cute Magnet Gift Sets for Teacher $42
9. The Box of Emotions
Classrooms can be full of big feelings, and teachers and students can sometimes feel like they’re in a glass cage of emotions. Luckily this box of emotions can help. It’s a cute set to keep at desks but it can also be a handy tool when it comes to teaching kids how to express themselves. Plus, with 80 cards in the pack, creative teachers can always pull a card the next time they need some inspiration for a lesson plan or theme.
10. Rinse-Free Hand Wash
If anyone has cause to be concerned about lingering germs, it’s probably teachers. Save chapped hands and give the practical gift of peace of mind with a bottle or two of rinse-free hand wash. It’s infused with essential oils and aloe to keep hands smelling fresh and feeling moisturized, and it easily tucks away into a bag or a desk drawer.
11. Craft Gin Tea
While giving the gift of booze to a teacher may not be a bad idea, a good bottle can run up your gift-giving bill. Enter this gin-inspired cold-brew tea, which is infused with flavors like juniper, coriander and other essences found in gin. It’s like giving the promise of a future cocktail hour, which some tired educators may appreciate at the end of a long day.
12. Teacher Wine Glass
It’s the end of one the hardest school years on record, and now that it’s over, why not celebrate in style with a cheeky wine tumbler? Pair it with a bottle of red, white or sparkly, or let it stand as a cute little back-to-school gift item on its own. Because now that the students are out for summer, teachers can fill this baby up with anything they want.Buy: Teacher Wine Glass $20.99
13. Invigorate Shower Steamers Gift Set
It’s no secret that teachers don’t exactly have time for self-care, what with lesson planning, marking and the regular school day to boot. So a bath may be out of the question, but an aromatherapy shower isn’t. This five-piece set includes scents like cedar orange and pine and could be just the thing the teacher in your life needs to recharge.
14. Kimoli Teacher Appreciation Cosmetics Pouch
Everyone needs to keep organized, and what better way than with a minimalist pencil case that doubles as a makeup pouch or carry-all case? Teachers can keep pens, earbuds, chapstick and even toiletries tucked neatly away with this pouch, which is spot-on for book-loving teachers thanks to those Dr. Seuss reds and blues.Buy: Kimoli Teacher Appreciation Cosmetics Pouch $8.99
15. Sweet Water Decor Spa Day Candle
If handing out spa days isn’t exactly your idea of a practical and on-budget back-to-school gift, consider a spa-inspired soy candle. The minimalist design and tones of sea salt, jasmine and wood make this candle a unisex gift, plus the message is totally on-brand: Take some time for you, Teach. You deserve it.Buy: Sweet Water Decor Spa Day Candle $24.00
16. Customizable Candy from Sugarwish
Everyone needs a little 3 p.m. work fuel, but unless you specifically know the type of candy or treats the teacher in your life prefers, choosing for them can be a little dicey. That’s why Sugarwish makes candy-filled wishes come true. You send the wish, and your recipient can fill their boxes with whichever offerings they want. Classic candy, popcorn, cookies … there are tons of options that make this one sweet idea.
17. Seal of Approval – ExcelMark Custom Round Self-Inking Teacher Stamp
Make marking just a little more fun with a cute but practical personalized stamp featuring your teacher’s name. It’s on the smaller side, which means teachers can still add notes to marked papers and assignments. As some helpful Amazon reviewers have noted, however, you need to be very specific with customization on this one —don’t forget any apostrophes.Buy: Seal of Approval - ExcelMark Custom Round Self-Inking Teacher Stamp $9.99
18. This Teacher Is Off Duty Teacher Coloring Book For Adults
With the summer coming up that means teachers will soon be officially off-duty and free to do some of the relaxing hobbies they might not have had time for during the rest of the year. Help them unleash their own creativity while relaxing with this coloring book, which will help remind them that they finally have time to just sit and be for a while.Buy: This Teacher Is Off Duty Teacher Coloring Book For Adults $7.95
19. An Amazon Gift Card
The school life can be expensive, but especially for the teachers out there. School supplies, classroom decorations and a slew of other out-of-pocket expenses tend to pop up every school year. Help your teacher recoup some of those costs with an Amazon gift card, which should help cover an array of potential items he or she might need heading into next year. Or you never know: perhaps there’s something special that he or she has been secretly saving up for.Buy: An Amazon Gift Card $15.00
20. Silver Lining Collection Notebooks
There’s a contingent of people out there who love getting new school supplies, and fresh notebooks tend to be high up on that list of coveted items. There’s a good chance that the teacher on your list is one of those people, so new notebooks are usually appreciated. Not only are they practical, but they can also be motivating when it comes to making lists of all the things he or she is going to achieve over their student-free summer.Buy: Silver Lining Collection Notebooks $16.99