Dear Future Teachers,
The holiday season is upon us, so many of you may be looking for gift ideas for loved ones. Shopping for gifts can be stressful, especially if you're looking for the perfect gift for a family member or friend. After such a draining year, you might want to show your loved ones that you're really thinking about them! If you have a loved one that is also a teacher, and you want to get them a special gift for the holidays, I have compiled a list of gift ideas to give that special teacher in your life!
Don't get me wrong, what teachers really need is for systemic issues to be resolved. Teachers need higher pay, realistic and lighter work loads, a caring and supportive administration, classroom resources and supplies for students, and safe working conditions throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. While those issues need to be addressed and fixed, you may still want to give a little token of appreciation to a teacher to acknowledge the incredible feat they've tackled this semester.
Gifts for the Virtual Teacher
Blue light glasses. Virtual teachers are spending a lot more time staring at screens, so blue light glasses might help alleviate any strain on their eyes! Link here.
E-cards/handwritten letters. Virtual teachers are missing the in-person interactions of their classroom! Sending a nice, personalized letter is a heartwarming way to wish them a happy holiday!
Document Camera. Make remote teaching just a little bit easier to navigate with a document camera! Link here.
Desk decor. Help virtual teachers make their at-home desk feel more personalized. Desk decor can include small figurines, potted succulents, photos, inspirational quotes, and more!
A comfy desk chair. Teachers are used to spending the day standing in front of the classroom; make their virtual teaching a little more comfortable with a new desk chair! Link here.
Noise cancelling headphones. If your teacher friend has other family members at home during the day, or just need a more focused environment, noise cancelling headphones would be a great gift for those Zoom calls! Link here.
Ring light. Ring lights can help with lighting during Zoom calls, especially for rainy or dark days! Link here.
Gifts for the In-Person Teacher
PPE gift basket. We want to keep our teachers safe and healthy while they teach, so a basket with reusable masks, hand sanitizers, and some cleaning supplies is always appreciated.
Motivational desk calendar. Positive affirmations can go a long way; let your teacher-friend know you're supporting them 365 days a year with a calendar of inspirational quotes for their desk. Link here.
Daily planner, sticky notes, or other organizational tools. Organization is such an important part of teaching. Daily planners, calendars, filing folders, or other organizational tools can help teachers develop systems to help them stay organized.
A zippered tote bag. Teachers carry a lot of supplies back and forth, from laptops, to writing supplies, to papers that need grading. A personalized zippered tote bag offers a place to keep all that important work for travel between school and home! Link here.
A travel mug. Coffee is almost essential to teaching, and a travel mug is the perfect way to make sure your teacher can get that much needed caffeine on the way to school!
Gifts for the Classroom
New books for their classroom library. Literacy is so important; help your teacher-friend stock their classroom library with engaging reading material! Ideas for all K-12 age groups can be found in my previous blog posts: 9 Books I'm Using In My Future Elementary School Classroom, 6 Books to Read to Talk About Race: For Middle and High School, and Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month.
Classroom supplies. It's not a secret that many teachers have to stock their classrooms using their own funds. Classroom supplies is always needed and much appreciated by your teachers! Talk to your teacher-friends to see what they may need most!
Teacher stamps. Teacher stamps can create a cute and personal touch when teachers use them on student work! Stamps can be a great gift for teachers who like to add a little fun to the grading process. Link here.
Gifts for Self-Care
Sweet treats. After a long semester, teachers might enjoy a sweet treat to indulge in and relax for winter break. Chocolates, pastries, or other candies might make their day!
Gift cards. You can never go wrong with gift cards to your teachers favorite store! Gift cards to coffee shops, book stores, or clothing stores can be a great way to show some teacher appreciation.
Coffee or tea. As I mentioned earlier, many teachers love some nice coffee or tea to keep their energy up. Teaching can be draining, send a teacher a pick-me-up!
Teacher life: A Snarky Chalkboard Coloring Book. Coloring can offer stress relief, and what better way to color than with this funny coloring book designed specifically for teachers after a long semester! Link here.
2020 has been a long and difficult year. Even if you aren't able to buy gifts, sending a sweet message is the perfect way to let the teachers in your life know that they are seen, heard, and appreciated by their loved ones. I hope these gift ideas are helpful and that you all have a very happy holiday season!