Ideas for teacher gifts

The school year is wrapping up, and it’s time to buy teacher gifts. Having been a teacher, I know what teachers like and need, so I compiled a quick list of ideas for anyone doing end-of-school shopping this weekend:

Cute office supplies: Fun file folders, gold scissors, a pretty stapler, and a great cup for holding pens are all fun additions to a teacher’s desk.

Supplies for bulletin boards: Raid Target’s dollar section at the front of the store for buntings, pennants, flags, and other holiday/theme-y decorations. Pick versatile things they can use again and again.

Air freshener: Choose a non-offensive smell like “cotton” or “lavender” to chase off stinky kid smells. If it’s in a cute container, all the better.

Hand sanitized and disinfectant wipes: Their function is obvious. Kids are germy.

Gift cards: Panera, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes are good options. If you’re an overachiever like my sister Missy, print the cute gift-card holder here.

Markers: Every teacher can use more dry-erase markers. Opt for colors like black, red, and blue that are easy to see and not too garish. Also, I once received a 20 pack of multicolored Sharpies, and I used them all the time (and still do!).

Drop slots for desk: Remember when you used to “turn in your work” at the teacher’s desk? These drop slots help teachers stay organized, but the plastic ones break easily—and you know they get knocked on the floor by accident. New ones are sure to be used.

A plant for the desk: Choose a variety that thrives in low light since a lot of teachers aren’t blessed with a desk near the window.

Library stamp: A personalized stamp helps a teacher keep track of books and looks cuter than handwriting a name on the inside cover. Search “ex libris” on Etsy for lots of options.

Hand timer: Teachers often use timers to move along activities or assignments. Choose a timer on a lanyard for hands-free use, and make sure it easily tracks seconds AND minutes.

Speaker for a smartphone: More and more teachers are incorporating technology into their lessons, so make it easier for them by gifting a small speaker that plugs into a smartphone.

Okay, all you parents, what do you like to give teachers? And all you teachers out there, what are your favorite end-of-year gifts? •

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