20 Smart Gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week

Treat a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Treat a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week. / krisanapong detraphiphat, Moment Collection, Getty Images
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Whether it’s a friend with a teaching job, your child’s teacher, or your own professor, you probably know at least one person who spends their days at a blackboard. National Teacher Appreciation Week 2023 is happening Monday, May 8 through Friday, May 12, so celebrate by getting the perfect gift to thank your favorite educator for all their hard work.

1. Rocketbook Everlast Smart Reusable Notebook; $20

Rocketbook Everlast Smart Reusable Notebook with pen and rag on a white background
Rocketbook Everlast Smart Reusable Notebook / Rocketbook/Amazon

Teachers go through a lot of paper each day, but taking notes doesn’t have to add to their carbon footprint. The Rocketbook Everlast notebook works with any Pilot FriXion pen (from $16) or highlighter and can be used to beam notes to cloud services like Google Drive and Evernote. Once the pages are filled up, the notebook can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and used again.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Simple Houseware Mesh Desk Organizer with Sliding Drawer, Double Tray and 5 Upright Sections; $26

Best teacher gifts: Simple Houseware Mesh Desk Organizer with Sliding Drawer, Double Tray and 5 Upright Sections
Simple Houseware Mesh Desk Organizer with Sliding Drawer, Double Tray and 5 Upright Sections / Simple Houseware / Amazon

Even if a teacher is trying to conserve resources by using a smart reusable notebook, their students are still likely to be passing in tests, homework, and essays, all written on paper. Those stacks can get pretty high before long, so a desktop organizer like this could really come in handy. It includes two side-load letter trays, a sliding drawer, and five upright storage compartments, the latter of which could be ideal for folders, school mail, and other important files.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Stanley Adventure Quencher 30-Ounce Tumbler; $30

Best teacher gifts: Stanley Adventure Quencher 30-Ounce Tumbler
Stanley Adventure Quencher 30-Ounce Tumbler / Stanley / Amazon

Teachers spend most of their work day on their feet; they also do a lot of lecturing. A new tumbler like the Stanley Adventure Quencher could help them stay hydrated in between all that talking and moving around. This popular, 30-ounce tumbler is made from stainless steel and offers double-wall vacuum insulation, so drinks stay cold for up to nine hours at a time (or hot for up to five hours, if that's what they’re using it for). It also comes with a reusable straw, to help reduce plastic waste.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 release); $30

Best teacher gifts: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 release)
Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 release) / Amazon

You probably already know that you can use Alexa to listen to music and order products off Amazon, but did you know that everyone’s favorite voice assistant can also be useful for classroom activities? From math-based prompts to kid-friendly news digests and more, Alexa-based programs and games can be a fun resource for educators. With this 5th Generation Echo Dot, a teacher can bring smart learning to their students in more ways than one, or just use it for themselves right at home.

Buy it: Amazon

5. AstroAI Mini Fridge; $50

AstroAI Mini Fridge on a white background
AstroAI Mini Fridge / AstroAI/Amazon

Whether the teacher’s lounge is on the other side of the school or someone needs a snack within reach, a mini-fridge is a great gift for educators. This one can hold 4 liters, equivalent to six cans of soda. It can keep items cold at 32°F to 45°F, or keep food and drinks warm up to 150°F. It’s also portable, so teachers can take it home over the summer break.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2; $120

Best teacher gifts: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 / Ember/Amazon

Teachers who need a caffeine dose in the morning before the kids arrive in the classroom know how disappointing it can be to return to a cold cup of coffee or tea. The Ember mug keeps the contents inside at a temperature between 120°F and 145°F for up to 80 minutes, hopefully eliminating the need to use the microwave in the teacher’s lounge.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Kikkerland Retro Pens, Set of 5; $9

Best teacher gifts: Kikkerland Retro Pens, Set of 5
Kikkerland Retro Pens, Set of 5 / Kikkerland / Amazon

From hall passes to report cards, teachers have to do a lot of writing—so help them do it in style. This set of five vintage-looking ballpoint pens comes in fun retro colors and they all write in black ink.

Buy it: Amazon

8. BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils With Erasers, Pack of 40; $13

Best teacher gifts: BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils With Erasers, Pack of 40
BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils With Erasers, Pack of 40 / BIC / Amazon

If your teacher prefers pencils to pens, don’t worry—there are plenty of writing utensils to go around. These mechanical pencils from BIC are a great alternative, and are ideal for everything from writing notes to completing a crossword puzzle in the teacher’s lounge. (For equally great writing utensils with a little less flair, check out our guide to bullet journal supplies.)

Buy it: Amazon

9. Novel Teas, Set of 25; $13

Novel Teas tabs and tabs next to a stack of books and a teapot
Novel Teas / Bag Ladies Tea/Amazon

Bibliophiles and English teachers alike will definitely get a kick out of these novel tea bags. As the punny name suggests, each tea bag comes with a famous quote from classic literature. The English Breakfast tea will taste even better when enjoyed with the likes of Jane Austen.

Buy it: Amazon

10. National Parks Explorer Map; From $28

National Parks Explorer Map on a tan background
National Parks Explorer Map / Seth and Maddy Lucas/Uncommon Goods

Maps aren’t just important teaching tools—they also make for excellent home decor. But instead of focusing on history or geography, this map shows all of the national parks in the United States and includes a handy key that identifies each one. The owner can use included tree stickers to mark off which parks they’ve visited.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

11. Amazon Kindle (2022 Release); $80

Best teacher gifts: Amazon Kindle (2022 Release)
Amazon Kindle (2022 Release) / Amazon

Heavy books can weigh down bags and backpacks, but you can take some of that weight away from your favorite teacher by gifting them a Kindle. Educators can access thousands of titles in a single device and will get three free months of Kindle Unlimited (a $30 value). Some of the best features of this gadget include its 16 gigabytes (GB) of storage space and glare-free, high-resolution display screen. Amazon also claims a single charge can make it run for up to six weeks at a time.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Out of Print Library Card Tote; From $22

Best teacher gifts: Out of Print Library Card Tote
Out of Print Library Card Tote / Out of Print / Amazon

Teachers have to haul around a lot of stuff, so give them a fun bag to use when they do it. This tote bag from Out of Print is perfect for teachers who still have nostalgia for old-fashioned library cards. (There’s also a banned books version.) If you’re not crazy about the tote, they also have a ton of literary-inspired pouches (from $14).

Buy it: Amazon

13. Chair Socks, Set of 20; $9

Best teacher gifts: Chair Socks on the end of stools
Chair Socks, Set of 20 / Xsorter/Amazon

Noise-sensitive teachers sometimes put tennis balls on the bottom of chair legs to keep them from making loud scraping noises. If the educator you know is also aggravated by screeching chairs (or maybe just concerned about the floor getting scratched up), give them these chair socks. The set comes with four adorable cat paws that can fit on the legs of most chairs and desks. (If your favorite educator isn’t into cutesy animals, there are also other more subtle designs available.)

Buy it: Amazon

14. Custom Self-Inking Teacher Stamp; From $21

Best teacher gifts: Custom Self-Inking Teacher Stamp
Custom Self-Inking Teacher Stamp / 904 Custom / Amazon

Personalized stamps can be a fun gift idea for teachers, and this one in particular is great for educators who have a habit of loaning out books. Available in seven shades (including black, blue, purple, and orange), this library-themed stamp is self-inking and good for about a thousand usages, according to the brand. You can also choose from 19 other styles, in case your teacher wouldn’t dream of putting stamp marks inside a book.

Buy it: Amazon

15. Cork Globe; $45

Best teacher gifts: Cork Globe
Cork Globe / Suck UK / Amazon

Lots of teachers have regular globes in their room, but they could probably use something a little more creative. This special globe is made from cork and comes with its own special set of red markers that can be used to show where they have traveled or what country their students are currently learning about.

Buy it: Amazon

16. Bernhard Products Colorful Kids Wall Clock; $25

Bernhard Products Colorful Kids Wall Clock on a white background
Bernhard Products Colorful Kids Wall Clock / Bernhard Products/Amazon

Teaching children how to tell time can feel almost archaic with modern technology. However, this wall clock makes it a fun, educational process. The bright green, red, blue, and yellow colors correspond with the minutes in each quarter to represent different parts of an hour. Even the hands of the clocks are labeled so kids can refer to it whenever they can’t remember which one is which.

Buy it: Amazon

17. English Usage Chart; $30

Best teacher gifts: English Usage Chart
English Usage Chart / Ben Gibson and Patrick Mulligan / Uncommon Goods

For the English teacher who is always catching grammar mistakes, this English language usage chart could be a thoughtful surprise. Printed by designers Ben Gibson and Patrick Mulligan for Uncommon Goods, it covers common lingual mix-ups like when to use that vs. which, affect vs. effect, and even the Oxford comma. The chart also goes over what a dangling modifier is and other aspects of good grammar, which is sure to please even the most exacting teacher. As an added bonus, it could be a great resource to the students in the classroom.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

18. Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Cleaner Spray, Pack of 3; $9

Three bottles of Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface cleaner spray on a white background
Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Cleaner Spray, Pack of 3 / Mrs. Meyers Clean Day/Amazon

From juice box spills to dirt smudges, classrooms are a hotbed for messes. Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface cleaner spray is a plant-based product that doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients and can help make classrooms sparkle. This spray can be used on countertops, walls, hardwood floors, and tiled surfaces and leaves a pleasant scent after cleaning up.

Buy it: Amazon

19. Amazon Prime; From $45

Amazon Prime delivery Box held by a person.
Amazon Prime Delivery Box / iStock.com/AdrianHancu

Yes, Amazon offers gift memberships to Amazon Prime. Give your favorite teacher access to free shipping, thousands of music playlists, a ton of free e-books, and other Prime perks that would be useful both inside and outside the classroom. All you have to do is enter your favorite teacher’s email address. If the recipient already has a Prime membership, your gift doesn’t go to waste, either—it converts to a regular Amazon gift card. You can gift a three-month membership for $45 or a full year for $139.

Buy it: Amazon

20. Scratch-Off Book Poster; $22

Best Teacher gifts: Person using a coin to rub off the foil on a Scratch-Off Book Poster
Scratch-Off Book Poster / Amy and Umy/Amazon

Perfect for literature lovers, Amy and Umy’s scratch-off poster of the top 100 must-read books of all time includes staples of classroom reading, like Pride & Prejudice, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Catch 22. Your favorite teacher could use it to track their own reading list or incorporate it into their English curriculum—after the class finishes a book, they can scratch away the silver foil to reveal a design inspired by the book.

Buy it: Amazon

A version of this story ran in 2016; it has been updated for 2023.