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Whether you’re a parent, you have friends in the education field, or you’re just recalling your student days, you know how how life-changing great teachers can be. We probably all agree that they’re worth their weight in gold.
These wonderful humans show our kids how to become their best selves—and they deserve big thanks this time of year. That’s why we wanted to bring you fabulous ideas for gifts. To come up with our top ten list, we spoke to actual teachers and asked them what they wanted. Without exception, they said they’re grateful for any gift—because again, wonderful humans—but when we nudged a bit, they shared their wishlist. Here’s what we learned. Take good notes!
Brighten the morning of your favorite English teacher with a whimsical stoneware mug. She’ll love her daily coffee appointment with any icon like Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, or Edgar Allen Poe. The printed quotes and phrases offer a quick-and-charming literary fix.
The boxed lunch gets an upgrade. Linen on the outside and water resistant on the inside, this sophisticated carrier looks great, keeps lunches fresh, and is large enough for a healthy midday meal. A long strap (included) makes it easy to carry cross-body on those multi-tasking mornings.
Caitlyn, a seventh-grade teacher says, “I’m really starting to get into aromatherapy, and I love great-smelling body wash.” This clever body-wash sampler is a gift any hardworking teacher would love. She or he can choose their own adventure, based on mood. With ginger, cedar, jojoba, coconut and many more yummy ingredients, each of these plant based-washes is pure pleasure. Bottles are small enough to pack in a carry-on, so your recipient can bring her favorites on her next (well-deserved) vacation.
Shop it: Plant Apothecary Body Wash, $35, sephora.com
Fifth-grade teacher Kyisha says, “I really want a fuzzy robe. As soon as I get home, clothes come off and robe goes on.” Have we got a gift for Kyisha—and anyone one else who works super-hard and goes straight for the comfy-clothes upon entering the home-zone. Plush and cozy with an oversized hood, this beauty is like a gentle embrace from a huge teddy bear. In 20 other color options, including animal prints.
“Since I’m constantly lugging things back and forth, I always need a new tote,” says Chris, a high school science teacher. Cute and spacious (18 x 13 x 5), this durable striped canvas bag can handle stacks of weekday homework or piles of weekend fun. The initial monogram makes it extra-special.
Yasmine, a kindergarten teacher, says, “I have snack time with the kids. A nice water bottle would be a good gift.” Stainless steel and vacuum sealed, this architectural carafe elevates a quick break on the circle-time rug or in the teacher’s lounge. It keeps water icy cold—and works just as well to keep coffee or tea toasty.
Shop it: Color Block Water Bottle, $35, uncommongoods.com
Fourth-grade teacher Leigh says she’s obsessed with candles: “I can never have too many.” We love this double-wick option, for any gender. Scented with noble fir, balsam, and juniper, it’s wintry and warm—in a graphic glass that suits any decor. Four inches tall.
Shop it: Archipelago Hope Gift Box Candle, $34, amazon.com
“My hands get really dry from touching papers all day,” says Barbara, a sixth-grade teacher. “I always love a nice-smelling lotion for my desk drawer.” Hydrating, earthy and small enough to tuck away, this mineral hand cream delivers a spa moment anytime it’s called for.
Middle-school math teacher Sara says, “We’re always writing notes. I know that my teacher friends and I love to receive paper goods and personalized stationery.” The modern floral print peeking up from the bottom is subtle and sophisticated, and elevates any message. Customize the font color, or go with classic black.
Shop it: Personalized Floral Stationery Set, $22, amazon.com
High school Spanish teacher, David says, “ I love to get bottles of wine or something caffeine-related.” Not sure wine is approved at your school as a teacher gift? These coffee beans, aged in oak wine barrels for just a suggestion of wine-flavor, offer are a great unique (and alcohol-free) option.
Shop it: Merlot Infused Coffee, $20, uncommongoods.com
“I think it’s important to have hobbies outside of work, so I can turn off and turn back on at hundred percent,” says Coca, who’s a Montessori teacher. “My favorite thing to do is cook, so I like gourmet gifts.” Even if you don’t know how your teacher-recipient likes to cook, a gourmet hot sauce is a winning gift—it works on takeout just as well as homemade! This one is infused with truffle and coriander. And the packaging is so elegant, there’s no need for gift wrap.
“Fluffy socks are always on my list because I spend most of my time standing up,” says Gardner, a fourth-grade teacher. Here are some downtime slipper-socks (“slockers,” as they should be called going forward) to soothe hardworking tootsies after hours. A total treat for feet.
Shop it: Ugg Pom Pom Fleece Lined Socks, $49.50, shop.nordstrom.com
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