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There is really no way to thank teachers, who are vital and woefully underpaid, for everything they do. But you can start by giving them end-of-year gifts that don’t suck.
This means stepping away from the corny mugs (sorry) and looking for gifts teachers might actually want — whether to give their classrooms a boost or allow themselves some much-needed relaxation.
Here are 15 gift ideas for the phenomenal teacher in your life.
Coffee is the unofficial official beverage of teachers, and there’s a good chance they’ll appreciate more of it. (Be sure to verify that they actually drink coffee, though, lest you commit a beverage faux pas.)
Price: $9.49 at Target
It’s easy to get dehydrated while teaching a roomful of teens about the Louisiana Purchase.
Price: $44.95 at Hydro Flask
If you want to go the end-of-day hot beverage route, try an aesthetically pleasing tin of tea.
Price: $7.48 on Jet
4. Desk honey
Mike’s Hot Honey, which is infused with chilies, is especially good on pizza.
There’s no such thing as too much hot sauce. This one, from Secret Aardvark, is a bold and vinegary option perfect for fans of habanero. (Like Mike’s Hot Honey, it is also extremely good on pizza.)
It might be worth asking the teacher which classroom books he or she needs. Sure, it won’t be a surprise, but it will address a need directly, which is even better.
Price: $23.80 on Amazon
Anyone who’s tried to use a dried-out Expo marker knows that in busy classrooms, new ones are essentially made of gold.
Price: $14.38 for 16 on Amazon
Just be sure they have enough time to enjoy them at their desk before the end of the semester.
Price: $49 at Farmgirl Flowers
9. Fake flowers
There is no shame in fake flowers. Plus, they’ll never wilt — a forever desk decoration!
Price: $9 at West Elm
It is against the rules of gift-giving to give a gift that necessitates more spending. Thus, if you give flowers meant for displaying you must give a vase. Them’s the rules. And be sure to grab the right size for the amount of flowers you’re giving.
Price: $14.99 on Amazon
They can fit all their devices on this bad boy.
Price: $39.99 on Amazon
A (very small, admittedly) thing to get excited about when everyone trudges back in from the holiday break.
Price: $9.71 at Paper Source
It’s pretty much a guarantee that a classroom will use pencils. For a fun twist, these pencils come from “overruns and misprints” from other orders, which means they’ll probably have some super weird stuff on them. A smorgasbord!
Price: $26.50 at U.S. School Supply
You generally can’t go wrong with a lavender-scented bath product. Just be sure the ingredient list is relatively short.
15. Honestly, a gift card
If you’re stuck on a gift, a gift card — perhaps to Amazon, Target, Starbucks, or a local business if you can swing it — is the way to go. Especially during the money-gobbling holiday season, sometimes the best present is a little extra spending power inside a heartfelt note.
Please don’t forget the note.