Whenever a family member asked what I wanted for my birthday or holidays during my first year of teaching, you guessed it – I asked for things for my classroom. My teacher husband still does this even after 10+ years in the classroom!
If there’s a first year teacher in your life, you may be looking for some creative and useful gift ideas other than coffee mugs, Target gift cards, and apple-themed knickknacks.
Here are a few of my favorite classroom gifts for new elementary teachers!
Personalized Items for Teachers
It’s always fun to receive personalized school supplies or classroom decor with your teacher name on it! If you have a Cricut, you can make something yourself, or you can head over to Etsy to let the professionals handle it! Here are a few ideas:
- lanyard or badge holder
- sign for the wall or desk
- tote bag
I love to laminate all the things! A personal laminator (and some laminating pouches) is a super helpful gift, especially for a first-year teacher who’ll be making a lot of materials! There’s no line to wait in and it’s easy to transport between school and home!
Another must-have is a handheld clicker for computers. They even make ones with laser pointers!
A document camera or a second monitor are also amazing gifts!!
It sounds boring, but believe me, teachers love receiving new school supplies! Many of us receive little to none from our schools. A gift basket with an assortment of supplies makes an awesome new teacher gift!
Here are a few tried-and-true favorites teachers can never have enough of:
- flair pens
- gel pens
- Ticonderoga pencils (trust me, these are the best!)
- Mr. Sketch markers
- multicultural crayons or markers
- sticky notes
- laminated sentence strips
- Astrobrights colored paper and cardstock
- printable magnetic paper
- magnets with hooks
- staple remover
- pencil sharpener
- dry-erase pockets
These might not fit in a gift bag, but I LOVE these poster-sized sticky notes!
The summer before my first year, I hit local yard sales to grab some affordable, gently used games and toys for recess.
Board games that can be played in 15-20 minutes (preferably without 1,000 pieces), playing cards, and Legos are great choices for inside recess.
Some schools provide outdoor recess equipment. If not, you can’t go wrong with kickballs, soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, frisbees, or jump ropes.
I don’t know what else to call this category! Here a few other items that I never would have thought to ask for, but came in so handy my first year!
- mini toolkit (hammer, Philips screwdriver, Allen wrenches)
- AA and AAA batteries
- quarter stash for the vending machines
I hope this post helps you get some great new teacher gift ideas!
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