At higher grade levels, gift ideas for teachers may come from the subjects they teach. As always, let the recipient's interests guide you!
Gifts for teachers are less routinely given at higher grade levels, where classes rotate among teachers of specific subjects.
More often, a full class will show their teacher appreciation with a group gift presented in class. Individual students, however, should present their teacher gifts outside of class time.
Here are some gift ideas for teachers, for group or individual giving, that are related to school:
- Desk set/accessories: desk pad, file organizer, in/out box, memo & clip holders, pen/pencil set, leather padfolio, rolling file cart
- Lap desk for planning lessons or grading papers in a comfortable chair
- Briefcase or shoulder tote for notebooks, files and student papers; laptop computer carrying case
But you need not restrict your thinking to the classroom. It's usually safe to assume that a teacher's academic focus is a clue to his or her personal interests. With that in mind, here are some gift ideas for teachers that are related to various academic subjects:
- Art teacher: kaleidoscope; articulated model figures; sand or sand & water art; framed print by a favorite painter or photographer; antique typesetting blocks (choose the teacher's initials or full name).
- Math teacher: fractal geometry art print, 3-D jigsaw puzzle, abacus, "pi" tie tac or poster.
- Coach or Physical Ed teacher: stopwatch; tickets to sporting event; game ball, equipment or jacket autographed by the team; historic or autographed sports memorabilia; monogrammed silver whistle.
- English/Literature teacher: bookends; antique inkwell & pen; first-edition or autographed book; pair of theater tickets; Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words.
- Home Economics teacher: gift certificate to fabric and crafts store; subscription to a food magazine; specialty cookbook; framed set of antique buttons; serving tray. Or, help the students plan, cook and serve a banquet in the teacher's honor.
- Music teacher: antique school bell; pair of concert tickets; biography of a favorite composer; quality music box (treat your ears to this exquisite mechanical music! - click on 'collections' > 'selector' (pick a product) then >>to 'melodies' - click and wait for the music to load!). Fine music boxes are usually priced by the number of notes they play.
- Economics teacher: framed set of coins and/or bills; share of stock; money clip; subscription to The Economist; framed cartoon art.
- Foreign Language teacher: items related to the country where the language is spoken – framed poster of a landmark; gift basket of food, wine or other products; national flag(s); framed set of money or postage stamps; ethnic music CD; hand crafted fair trade gift.
- Computer Science teacher: "antique" abacus or slide rule; flash drive; circuit board clock; binary clock or calendar; gift certificate to a computer store; a website.
- History/Geography teacher: framed map (antique or modern) or timeline; world globe; book or artwork related to historical figure or period; museum membership; national, state/province or historic flag.
- Science teachers: magnifying glass, terrarium or ecosphere, framed DaVinci anatomy drawing (biology); mortar and pestle, balance scale, crystal growing kit (chemistry); geode, weather instruments, framed NASA or Hubbell Telescope photo (earth science); sand-design pendulum, "floating" pen, "persistence of vision" message clock, Galileo thermometer (physics).
- Drama teacher: framed publicity poster, tickets and program from a current year production; comedy/tragedy masks or any mask suitable for wall hanging; lighted pen for taking notes in darkened theater; pair of tickets to a show or play.
- Industrial Arts/Shop teacher: antique tools or a framed illustration of them; gift certificate to hardware or home improvement store; subscription to magazine (automotive, metal/woodworking, e.g.)
- Guidance Counselor (in the spirit of helping students find their direction or plan for their future): compass – a desk model or on a keychain or pendant; crystal ball paperweight.
At lower grade levels, parents can often obtain gift ideas for teachers from room mothers, classroom aides, or PTA/PTO officers. Other teachers who are friends with your teacher may also have just the right suggestion. Older students, your classroom discussions (you're paying attention in class, right?) may provide clues to your teacher's tastes and interests.
For the holidays, during Education Week, or at
school year's end, well-chosen gift ideas for teachers
will make them feel appreciated.
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