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Teacher-themed Thank You Gifts: Ideas & Inspiration

"A good teacher deserves an apple,
but you deserve the whole tree!"
Author unknown
From apples to school supplies, it's hard to go wrong with teaching-themed teacher appreciation gifts.
Look for items that will both make your teacher smile and be useful in his or her teaching life, or that can be used in the classroom or benefit the whole school – and personalize them with teaching quotes and sayings. While an item bearing the words 'World's Best Teacher' maybe a clichι, it says it all!

Here are 10 great ideas for teacher-themed thank you gifts

1. Apples

Apples have been an emblem of teaching and learning for as long as anyone can remember, and the traditional teacher gift is, of course, a lovely shiny red apple (see Apples and Teachers: Why the Association? for more information on this). This gives lots of scope for fun 'apple with a twist' teacher appreciation gifts. Most teachers will already have a stash of apple-themed mugs, mouse mats and totes, so make your gift something consumable – how about a crate of luscious red apples (assuming it's fall), an apple cake or pie, or apple cookies?

Apple-shaped fridge magnets. Photo: flickr.com/photos/onthedotcreationsApple-shaped fridge magnets
Alternatively, look out for an apple shaped or fresh apple scented candle, or an apple notebook or jotter. Finally, if you want to take the apple theme to extremes, then an Apple iPod or iPad is sure to make any teacher very happy indeed!

2. Certificate

Rather than a plaque or award (which your teacher may have no place to display), why not present your teacher with a personalized 'Best Teacher' or 'World's #1 Teacher' certificate. Printed or drawn on heavy quality paper, this will give your teacher the option of framing it, or filing it safely in their teaching memories box.

3. Bumper sticker

Another fun but space saving 'best teacher' option is a teacher-themed bumper sticker. They come with quotes, funny sayings, and cute graphics... Or create your own!

Apple-themed earrings. Photo: flickr.com/photos/littledebbie11Apple-themed earrings

4. Jewelry

Apples could also be the star of some beautiful teacher-themed jewelry, such as these apple necklaces and apple earrings from Etsy (remember to check out Folksy too). Or help your teacher to channel the Magic School Bus's Ms. Frizzle with earrings for all teaching topics and occasions, such as these musical earrings and science-inspired jewelry.

5. T-shirts and sweatshirts

T-shirts and sweatshirts are fairly easy to get right sizing-wise, and are likely to be appreciated by almost every teacher. Again, your imagination is your only limit in choosing the color, motif and/or wording. Zazzle has a great selection to get your started, and will also accept custom orders.

6. Bag

All teachers have masses of books, papers and supplies to schlep around, so a great bag is always appreciated. Customize a tote or messenger bag specially for your teacher using your artwork, a photo you've taken, your teacher's name, or a favorite saying or quote. That way you can be sure they'll be the proud owner of a true original!

7. Classroom supplies

Classroom supplies - a teacher gift you can be sure will be used!Classroom supplies - a teacher gift you can be sure will be used!
Teachers get through enormous quantities of pens, pencils, glue sticks and other classroom supplies (often largely paid for with their own money), so a tub of practical items for the classroom makes a fabulous gift. As well as the obvious items look for cute, colorful rewards stickers, tape, post-it notes, paper towels and hand sanitizer. Alternatively, ask your teacher what he or she needs – many teachers have a 'wish list' – or give them a gift voucher for an office or educational supplies store.

9. Something for the whole school

Rather than supplies for the classroom, why not consider presenting your teacher with something that will benefit the whole school? Examples might include sports equipment, a CD or DVD player, or books for the school library.

8. Books donated to the school library

Books donated to the library in the name of your teacher
A special book, or set of books, donated to the school library in your teacher's name (and perhaps with a bookplate or inscription on the flyleaf) makes a fine gift that benefits the whole school, and ensures that your affection for your teacher will be remembered long into the future.

10. Donation for school supplies

Teachers, more than anyone, must know how difficult it is to run a school in a deprived area or developing country, so your teacher may truly appreciate a donation of funds, in his or her name, to buy school supplies for those less fortunate. Good Gifts (in the UK) have a great selection of options, and Develop Africa is one of many US charities and foundations working in this area.

More about Thanking Teachers:

100 Teacher Thank You Gift Ideas:

Writing Teacher Thank You Letters, Notes & Cards: