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38 thoughtful gifts for the teachers in your life (that aren't an apple)

Show your favorite educator how much you appreciate everything they do.
Teacher interacting with her students in the classroom
Getty Images

Being a teacher often means long days that begin before the school day starts and ends long after it's technically over. From lesson planning to grading papers late into the night and generally having the patience of a saint, being an educator is an incredibly important — and difficult! — job that deserves all the accolades and tokens of appreciation (read: gifts).

That's why you should show the teachers in your life just how much you appreciate everything they do and how important they are to their students with one of these thoughtful gifts. Whether it's from an entire class or a parent thanking them for all of their hard work, any gift on this list is sure to bring a smile to their face (and they're all way better than an apple).

Best teacher appreciation gifts to shop

Pencil Bath Bomb

Help your teacher erase the stress of her day away with this cute #2 pencil bath bomb. Made with stress-relieving Epsom salts and sunflower oil, each bomb is hand-painted and fragranced delicately with a bright citrusy aroma for a nourishing bath that smells delicious.

Dowling Adhesive Magnet Tape

If they have a magnetic whiteboard in their classroom, they'll probably get a kick out of using this adhesive magnetic tape for posters, charts and other laminated learning materials.

StampedGold Personalized Name Pencils

These bestselling personalized pencils pair perfectly (say that 10 times fast) with the personalized note cube above. You can get five pencils for less than $10 in your choice of nine different colors, or you can opt to really stock them up for the year with up to 100 personalized pencils and a few additional erasers.

See's Candies Teachers Rule Box

You can never go wrong with some celebratory bites to toast to the end of a successful school year. See's Candies has got them covered with a tasty assortment of some of their signature sweets covered in rich chocolate. For an extra special treat, pair it with a gift card!

Personalized Teacher Desk Name Plate

They may already have a name plate sitting on their desk, but we doubt it has as much personality as this version! This Etsy seller can illustrate this acrylic plate with their name, position and a touch of whimsy.

Expo Dry-Erase Markers

Where have all of their markers gone?! If they're running low on them by year's end, hook them up with a fresh pack featuring a variety of fun colors.

Betsey Johnson Pencil Earrings

If their teacher is no stranger to fun accessories, these mismatched Betsey Johnson studs are the perfect addition to their jewelry collection.

Bentgo Classic Stackable Lunch Box

A favorite amongst Shop TODAY staffers, this stackable food storage container features several compartments and utensils so they don't have to bring their nice flatware with them to work.

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

They probably already have countless paperback planners to keep track of their lessons and assignments, but they may want to reconsider when they get their hands on this reusable notebook. Earning 52,000+ verified five-star ratings on Amazon (including dozens from teachers alone!), the Rocketbook has ample smart features like easy transferring to the cloud service of your choice and search capabilities for better organization.

Teacher's Pencil Personalized Paper Note Cube

Sticky notes are one thing teachers can never have too much of. Instead of giving them the same type that everyone has, make them feel special with a personalized cube like this one.

PILOT FriXion ColorSticks Erasable Gel Ink Stick Pens

There's just something innately satisfying about a new set of multicolored pens, and the teacher in your life will love these for grading. Plus, they're erasable, so no White Out is required!

Minted Abstract Flora Snap Tote

This tote is the perfect size for carrying a laptop, notebooks and books in style. Make it a little more personal by embossing their name on the leather tag.

Tile Sticker

Tile’s smallest Bluetooth tracker is waterproof with adhesive backing that can stick to anything, making it ideal for lunchboxes, toys, computers and classroom materials.

Erin Condren Personalized Stationery

Upgrade the stationery that adorns their desk with this personalized stationery set from Erin Condren. Each set comes with 20 flat or folded cards, 20 envelopes and 20 gold seals stored in a designer box donned with either mid-century circles or pinstripes. You can also choose between 13 different colors for the envelopes.

Bonne Maman Brighten Your Day Trio

Summer break means a less rushed breakfast every morning. Treat your favorite teacher to a trio of fruit spreads from Bonne Maman that are as bright as they are.

Thoughtfully Gifts, The Good Hurt Fuego

Show your teacher they are dynamite with this hot sauce gift set. With seven different flavors ranging from the pleasant (garlic herb, smoky bourbon) to the downright head-exploding (whiskey habanero, ghost pepper), this sampler pack will satisfy any culinary explorer.

Homesick Thanks Candle

Not only does this candle cast a soothing scent of cucumber, lemon and patchouli, it comes in customizable box where you can include a handwritten note to show a little extra gratitude.

Papier Rainbow Paper Holder

Give their desk a chic upgrade — while giving their students a proper place to hand in their tests and homework assignments — with this brassy paper holder from Papier.

Owala FreeSip Water Bottle

Teachers are always on the go and usually don't have time to continuously refill their water bottles with ice-cold water. This 40-ounce Owala bottle is perfect for keeping their drinks cold (or hot, if they want to fill it with their daily caffeine dose) throughout the day.

Brain Food Academic Year Planner

If they're the type to plan out their schedule way ahead of them, give them a head start with a fun new academic planner. Featured inside are pages dedicated to scheduling, deadlines, meal prepping and more.

Scotch Thermal Laminator

Sometimes the most effective gift isn't the most glamorous, but instead the one they'll use for a long time coming. This bestselling laminator has won over countless educators for how seamless it is to use and preserve lesson plans and classroom materials.

Ideal Bookshelf Print

Perfect for your literary-loving teacher, this print by artist Jane Mount features works from some of the greatest novelists of the 19th century like Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy and Jane Austen. If they're more of a contemporary fiction fan, there's also bookshelves dedicated to banned books, modern classics and women's rights.

Kikkerland Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker

Not only does this mini device deliver a beautiful rainbow burst in the classroom (or their home, whatever they choose), it also makes for a good educational conversation starter if they're teaching a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum!

Lula's Garden Thank You Ray Garden

Nothing says gratitude like a low-maintenance succulent, and this one can be delivered right to the teacher you want to thank, pot and all. It's sure to perk up their desk or coffee table!

Teas of the Boston Tea Party

History teachers will get a kick out of this colonial-inspired collection featuring all the teas thrown into the Boston Harbor in 1773.

Australian Shearling Scuff Slippers

These supremely cozy slippers (trust us — one Shop TODAY editor has tried them out and she says "they're like walking clouds") will give your teacher some much-needed foot relief when they're back home after a long day.

Staples Gift Card

Sometimes the perfect present comes in the smallest package. Available in amounts ranging from $5 to $100, your favorite teacher could stock up on classroom essentials, supplies or anything else they need to get through the rest of the school year.

Ottlite Recharge LED Desk Lamp

This rechargeable lamp is meant to reduce eyestrain by up to 51 percent, according to the brand. It's also rechargeable and can go anywhere!

Bokksu Snack Box: Seasons of Japan

Cravings can hit anytime throughout the day, so make sure your teacher is prepared with an artisanal nibble. This curated collection from Bokksu features over 20 Japanese snacks and inspired tea pairings to go with each bite — perfect for the geography or history educator who moonlights as a gourmand.

Book of the Month Subscription

Whether they enjoy reading thrillers, sci-fi or romance novels during their off-hours, Book of the Month ensures they'll have the perfect read ready for them to savor every month.

Little Bar Nap Earrings by Maison Miru

Being around children all day usually means no-nonsense jewelry that can be worn every day. Enter the nap earrings — these cleverly designed studs can be worn during a workout, swimming or in the shower and they won't turn green. Plus, the back side of them is flat so that they can be slept in comfortably.

Cooluli Vibe Retro Mini Fridge

This little fridge with a dry-erase front is here to keep drinks and snacks cool and close at hand.

Ipevo V4K Ultra High Definition USB Document Camera

Your teacher will no longer need to worry about how to give presentations at home. This 4K camera offers a lag-free live streaming experience with ultra high-definition live images and a fast focusing speed. It can also scan textbooks, worksheets and other documents their students need to succeed.

AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Garden

Your teacher will love growing their own garden at home or in the classroom! This giftable Herb Garden includes six gourmet herb seeds like curly parsley and two types of basil, Miracle-Gro plant food and energy-efficient LED grow lights overhead.

Courant Catch:3 Classics

This stylish charging station/catchall will make any teacher's life easier and provides a place to stash keys and other essentials either at home or at school.

The Container Store Arts & Crafts Storage Cart & Accessories

Keeping their classroom streamlined can be quite a feat, especially if you don't have the cabinet space to manage it. The Container Store, fortunately, specializes in the art of organization and has them plenty covered with this crafty storage cart (which includes various trays to separate different essentials).

Personalized Hand-Written Letter Blanket

Show your teacher how much your class cares (along with how much they've improved on their letter-writing skills!) with a blanket designed with a thoughtful message of appreciation.

Modern Picnic The Large Luncher

Say goodbye to the standard lunchbox and hello to this updated version from Modern Picnic. The bag is made with vegan leather and comes in faux crocodile prints that make it look like a purse. It features an interior pocket and slots for a knife, fork and spoon. According to its description, the bag can fit breakfast, lunch, dinner and more.