Teachers play such an important role in a student’s education. They inspire learning, creativity, and can make the classroom feel like a community. That is why it’s important to show our appreciation for teachers, and giving them a thoughtful gift is a great way to do so. Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift or an end-of-the-school-year gift, we’ve come up with a list of 10 unique gifts to give a teacher. In generating this list we’ve consulted numerous teaching blogs and teachers themselves, and learned which gifts they enjoy receiving, and which gifts not to bother buying this year.

1. Gift Card from the Entire Class

By coordinating the giving of a gift card or other present from the entire class, it allows you to give the teacher something more substantial. If there’s a store or restaurant you know your teacher likes, you can pool the class’s money together and get your teacher a gift card of a much larger amount than you could if you bought them a gift alone. Not only does this minimize the amount of gift cards your teacher has to hold in their wallet, but with a larger amount of money, your teacher can treat her family and friends! VolunteerSpot is a great app you can use to coordinate a class gift.

2. Donation to a Children’s Charity

Many teachers have said that they receive so many gifts during the school year, and as appreciative as they are, they simply receive a lot of things they don’t need. One common solution to this problem is donating to a children’s charity on the teacher’s or the class’s behalf. This is a great way to let the teacher know you appreciate all they have done, while also giving back to the community.

3. Chalkboard Mug

With so many mugs in the teacher’s lounge, this chalkboard mug will ensure your teacher gets their favourite mug every time! Chalkboard mugs also come in a travel mug form, perfect if your teacher prefers to bring their coffee right from home.

4. Relaxation Kit

After a long (and let’s face it, stressful) day at school, teachers need to relax. Just like students, it’s essential to unwind at the end of a hectic day. Make your teacher a relaxation kit. This could include things like various types of tea, a head massager, some bubble bath, perhaps even a spa gift certificate. In other words, pamper them!

5. Funny Grammar T-Shirt

Perfect for an English teacher! These t-shirts demonstrate the importance of grammar in a funny and informative way. Just remind your teacher not to wear the shirt on test days as it may give away one of the answers!

6. Scratch Map

Great for a history or geography teacher, or any teacher that loves traveling. Your teacher can hang up this scratch map in their own home, or in the classroom. Simply scratch off all of the countries you’ve visited using a coin, and perhaps your teacher will tell the class some interesting tales from their travels.

7. Class Pet

If your class doesn’t already have a class pet, this could be a great gift. Particularly for younger grades, class pets teach responsibility. Stick to something small - such as a fish, and maybe consult the teacher before buying it. This doubles as a gift for the teacher and for the students.

8. School Supplies

I know this isn’t a particularly unique gift, but you can never go wrong buying school supplies. You might think that teachers have tons of them, but you’d be surprised how quickly pens and highlighters can disappear. There are a few ways you can go with this - 1. Stick to the basics, 2. Buy some fancy school supplies like this Bookshelf-inspired Planner or these "Handy" Sticky Notes, or 3. Organize the school supplies into a tower or tiered cake!  

9. Books for the Classroom

Books are another great gift to give a teacher. It can be difficult to know which authors or genres your teacher likes, so what you could do is give your teacher books for the classroom. Whether you’re donating some of your own used books or buying them new, they will be appreciated just the same. You could even try and organize a book drive for your entire class, and who knows? You may have a whole new library by the end of it.

10. Clip-on Cup Holder

This is a fantastic stand-alone gift or the perfect companion to the chalkboard mug above. It clips on to your teacher’s desk, so they don’t have to worry about spilling coffee on anything important.