The chairs have been stacked. The blackboard has been erased. It’s time for your favorite teacher to retire.
Here are just a few suggestions for sending them off with a big, Viking-style farewell that will fully express your appreciation for all of their hard work and sacrifice!
38 Retirement Gift Ideas for Teachers
For the Teacher With a Sense of Humor: Every Child Left Behind T-Shirt
Hilariously inappropriate, this t-shirt will make them cackle like a fiend. It says “Retired Teacher: Every Child Left Behind” in a fun, colorful print atop a row of cheerful little apples. You can order it in multiple fits, including both men’s and women’s, and its sizes range from S – 3XL.
Long story short, it’ll be perfect for any retiree who doesn’t mind scandalizing soccer moms at the grocery store.
Create Your Own Keepsake: Scrapbook Photo Album DIY Kit
Scrapbooks are a time-honored way of preserving memories, and with this kit, they’ll have everything that they need to remember names, dates, faces and more. A blank album has room for more than 300 photos and captions, and included supplies range from stencils and stickers to markers and cutting tools.
Not only can they create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind scrapbook, but they’ll have a blast walking down memory lane as they put everything together. Never forget the day that little Timmy spilled an entire bottle of glitter on the carpet!
To Step Into the Next Chapter of Their Life: Teacher Apple Tree Indoor and Outdoor Stepping Stone
“Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge that grow forever.” If this is the kind of quote that will resonate with your teacher friend, you’ve found the perfect gift for them. It’s inscribed on a stepping stone made of resin and calcium carbonate, so it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and it depicts a beautiful apple tree to bear the fruit of their many years of labor.
They can put it in their garden; they can hang it on their wall. It’s a keepsake that will constantly remind them of the good that they’ve done for the world.
For a Constant Reminder: You Have Made a Difference in My Life Teacher Tassel Bookmark
Every teacher likes to hear that they’ve made a difference, and this bookmark will remind them of their legacy whenever they crack open Hamlet or even Fifty Shades of Grey. A stainless steel panel slips between the pages to hold their place, and a purple tassel dangles outside of the cover.
This particular bookmark is inscribed with a quote about how the other person has helped you grow, but there are several variations available, including ones that talk about life lessons, teaching from the heart and never forgetting an instructor that you adore.
To Give Them a Little Shine: Ceramic Gold Apple Teacher Appreciation Gift
Try a bite of this apple! Made with a dazzlingly gold ceramic that will catch every light in the room, it can serve as a paperweight, bookend or desk decoration for a teacher who really gave it their all.
There’s even a “Certificate of Appreciation” that you can customize with your own words of recognition and gratitude. If you want a favorite teacher to know exactly what they’ve meant to you, get them a memento that they can treasure for years to come.
A Very Punny Gift: Metal Bucket List Bucket
Lots of people have a bucket list, but how many have an actual bucket to go along with it? This metallic container can hold all of their dreams, goals, ambitions and tropical fantasies now that they’re retired.
Have they always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride? Are they thinking of picking up a new hobby or learning a new language? Tell them to write it all down and secure it inside of the bucket.
When They’ve Left an Imprint on You Forever: One Hundred Years Wood Plaque
A good teacher can create ripples that change the entire world. To celebrate their positive influence, give them this commemorative plaque. It has a touching quote about the true value of a person’s life being measured in the difference that they made and not the house that they owned or the clothes that they wore, and it’s printed on a gorgeous reclaimed wood with an easy-hang easel backing.
They can hang it in their home and take comfort from it forever.
The Last Yearbook: Retirement Wall Art Poster
Perfect for retiring professionals of all types, this poster says “Retired” in a fun, creative print, and it’s surrounded by blank white space that can be filled with signatures, stickers, stencils, hand prints and anything else that your heart desires.
Get the entire class to say farewell with finger paint; pass it around the teacher’s lounges for jokes and well-wishes. If there’s a big group of people who will miss them, this is a way for everyone to say goodbye all at once.
To Fill Their Days With New Activities: Pine Wooden Recipe Box Organizer
Have they mentioned taking up new hobbies in their retirement? They might like this wooden recipe box. Not only can it hold dozens of clippings, but its lid has card slots and smartphone slots, so they can prop up a recipe board or watch a tutorial video even as they slice and dice.
As the gift giver, you can also choose from multiple types of finishes for the box itself, including bamboo, espresso, dark pine and white-painted pine. It’ll be a unique, customizable gift for someone who is about to have a lot of time on their hands.
A Different Kind of Growth Spurt: Teacher Thank You Red Succulent Planter Pot
Planters come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is special. It has a rustic, barnyard-style coating of red paint over natural stone, and it bears the words, “Teacher, Thank You for Helping Me Grow.
” It can be a sweet little way to express your appreciation for someone who has guided you like a flower to the sun. Since the pot is empty, however, you don’t have to use it for succulents; you could also fill it with chocolates, gummy bears or anything else that your teacher might enjoy.
If They’re Going to Miss Their Little Ones: Thanks From the Very Hungry Caterpillar Hardcover
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a beloved book in elementary schools around the world, and this spinoff from the same author and illustrator puts a grateful spin on an old classic. It’s titled Thanks From the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and it depicts the titular character counting all of the ways that he adores the reader.
It’ll be perfect for a teacher who has read the original to her class a thousand times. It could also make a great gift “from” a child who wants to say goodbye to a favorite teacher.
For Chemistry and Biology Professors: Periodic Table Science Teacher Coffee Mug
Coffee is the nectar of life to many teachers, and even if they’re retiring, it might be hard for them to leave the habit at school. Mugs like this can feed their addiction in a funny, tongue-in-cheek way.
It has several colorful blocks from the periodic table that spell out “TeAcHEr” with tellurium, actinium, hydrogen and erbium, so it’ll be perfect for science instructors of all types, and its extra-large size is capable of holding up to 15 ounces at once.
They’ll definitely get a buzz from this mug.
To Upgrade His Wardrobe: Teacher Black Microfiber Tie
Add a little personality to his formalwear with this fun, colorful tie. Its high-quality material will pair nicely with suits and blazers, but its jazzy design will keep it from looking stuffy. Anyone who sees it will instantly know that he was in education.
He might be retiring, but he’ll always be a teacher at heart, and this tie will serve as a lively reflection of his life’s calling.
When Summer Vacation is Permanent: Women’s School Is Out Forever T-Shirt
Available in multiple colors, this t-shirt will be a cheeky novelty for teachers who are ready to say sayonara to the constant demands of the classroom. It declares “School Is Out Forever” with smaller text that explains, “Retired And Loving It.
” It’s fun and good-natured, but it doesn’t try to hide the fact that teachers love being free from school, too!
To Unleash Their Inner Child: The Retirement Coloring Book
As a teacher, they’re probably quite familiar with coloring books, but this one isn’t for sticky fingers clutching crayons. It’s called The Retirement Coloring Book: Life Is Good, and it’s for adults who are ready to enjoy their twilight years! Each page has a peaceful illustration of birds, flowers, gardens and beaches, and there are many positive affirmations about the power of relaxation.
Any time that they want to soothe away some stress, they just have to channel their students for awhile and color.
Beware of Grumpy Old Man: Retired Person on Premise Tin Metal Sign
While not strictly a gift for teachers, this sign can be given to anyone who is about to leave the workforce forever. It warns of the retired person on the premises with a rustic, metallic print that’s reminiscent of electrocutions and aggressive dogs.
At 8 x 12 inches, it’s the perfect size for everything from porches to garage doors, and it even comes with pre-drilled mounting holes for ease of hanging. This is a funny product for a funny guy, so if he’s got a sense of humor, lay it on him.
For the Contemporary Living Room: The Influence of a Good Teacher Wooden Box Sign
Cute and quaint, this wooden box sign can serve as trendy home decor for both active and retired teachers. Though it’s made out of timber, it’s painted white with red stripes to resemble notebook paper, and it says, “The Influence of a Good Teacher Can Never Be Erased.
” It’ll make a nice little gift for a teacher that you want to support without getting overly familiar or saccharine.
When They’ve Been Dreaming of White Sand: Beach Glass and Driftwood Wind Chime
You might not have the funds to send them to Hawaii, but you can bring a little bit of the beach back to them. This wind chime is made with genuine, sand-blasted glass and wood drift pieces; it’s so authentic that they’ll need to treat it regularly with a sealing agent to keep it fresh.
It’s handmade, too, so each one will be as unique as the person who receives it. They can hang the chime from doors, windows, patios, garden posts and more. To start their retirement with a gentle song, let them hear the music of the tropics!
To Touch Her Heart: Celebration of Retirement Angel Figurine
If she gets misty-eyed at the thought of leaving “her kids” behind, this is a gift that will remind her of the influence that she’s had over countless generations. It’s a delicate angel figurine with white-and-gold embossed details over a polyresin material, and its front message reads, “In Celebration of Your Achievements and the Journey That Awaits You: Happy Retirement.
” It’ll be a reminder of all of the lives that she’s touched as a real-life guardian angel for her students.
For the Life of the Party: The Legend Has Retired Party Decoration Kit
With a banner, a sash and a dozen hanging placards, this kit has everything that you’ll need to turn a teacher’s lounge into a party room. The banner can go above the door or across the window; the placards can swirl with ribbons that twist and curl as they hang from the ceiling.
The sash is wearable by the man or woman of honor! Throw them a retirement bash to remember with the help of these fun “The Legend Has Retired” party favors.
To Actually Bring Algebra Into Everyday Life: Retired Math Teacher T-Shirt
Another great shirt for educators who are hanging up their chalk, this one is devoted to the most misunderstood of them all: math teachers. It says “Retired Math Teacher: Like a Regular Math Teacher But Without Any Problems” in a fun, playful way.
A protractor is there in case the joke flies over anyone’s head. Now, who can solve Y = MX + B?
For the Royal Retire: If You Can Read This Funky Socks
Just as funky as promised, these socks can be a nice little treat to add to a gift basket. One says “If You Can Read This…” while the other finishes “…This Teacher Is Off Duty,” so their message is only readable when both feet are propped up like a sultan.
Your gift recipient can use that as an excuse to relax in front of the TV all day. Hey, they’re retired; no one gets to judge them.
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Retired and Sleeping In Sateen Pillow Cases
Help them get some well-earned rest with these soft, silky pillowcases. Each one is made with a sateen material and complementary color scheme, and they measure 20 x 30 inches to suit a standard queen-sized bed.
One pillowcase says “Retired and Sleeping In” while the other declares “Today’s Good Mood is Sponsored by Retirement and Naps.” They’ll make wonderful retirement gifts for someone who deserves to take it easy after a lifetime of hard work!
For the Avid Fisherman: Official Retirement Survival Hat
If he’s just waiting for that final bell to ring before he retires to the lake forever, use this gift to help him load up before he goes. It’s an “Official Retirement Survival Hat” that comes with various bits and baubles for older gentleman.
For example, there’s a bottle opener on one side and a fishing lure on the other, and they’re both real, functional tools. They aren’t just gag gifts. He can pluck everything off the hat and tuck it away for the many fishing trips ahead.
For Your Favorite Baker: One Smart Cookie Two-Set Red Pot Holders
If they’ve always responded to finals week by filling up their kitchen with pies, fudges and cupcakes, this gift will be a sweet treat for stress baking. It’s a two-piece set of matching pot holders that say “Thanks for Making Me One Smart Cookie!” with a little chocolate chip print to seal the deal.
The material is restaurant-quality cotton, and its size is perfect for holding a bag of cake or brownie mix when you gift it. Help them ease into a more relaxed state of life with cute baking tools that they’ll love!
To Explore a New Beginning: Retirement Sterling Silver Compass Necklace
Retirement is a journey, and with this necklace, they won’t have to worry about forging a new path. It has a delicate little charm shaped like a compass that will always guide them north. It also comes with a quote card that congratulates them on the next stage of their life, so there’s a real spirit of adventure to this gift.
One chapter might be ending, but the next has yet to be written!
Defiantly Done: 12-Ounce Pink Retirement Tumbler
If she’s been working her butt off for decades, she might need something a little stronger than coffee. This wine tumbler will hook her up. Its glittery pink design is fun and feminine, and its text declares, “I don’t want to.
I don’t have to. You can’t make me. I’m retired.” A palm tree completes the look, and a spill-proof lid means that she really could take it to the beach. It’s a durable, multipurpose kind of gift for retirees in any industry.
For Her Softer Side: Never Forget The Difference You’ve Made Floral Notebook
Decorated with swirls and soft watercolors, this floral-themed notebook will be a beautiful sendoff for a teacher. You can use it as a yearbook for everyone in school to sign; you can give it as a diary or day planner if she’s the type who likes to write, doodle, daydream or make lists.
There are many uses for a blank notebook, so don’t be afraid to get creative! With 120 pages, your imagination can really take flight with this one.
YOLO: Retired Teacher Natural Cotton Reusable Tote Bag
Suitable for groceries, books, beach towels and more, this tote bag will be a faithful companion during day trips, and it comes with a funny caption to boot. It says, “This bag contains absolutely no papers to grade or lessons to plan.
” Smaller text reads, “#RetiredTeacherLife.” You can fill it up with everyone’s presents during the retirement party before letting it serve as a final present to take home!
A Room With a View: Personalized Chalkboard Man Cave Metal Room Sign
Every guy deserves a man cave, and now that he’s retiring, he’ll have all of the time in the world to create one. This aluminum sign can get him started. It welcomes visitors with the promise of cold beer and good times, and it has a rugged, chalkboard-like appearance that will pair nicely with a more masculine decor.
You can also customize it with your gift recipient’s name to give it that extra something. He can hang it in his garage, basement, shed, patio, media room and more.
For Bookworms and Bibliophiles: My Retirement Plan Reader Shirt
An educator understands the value of a good book, so while this t-short doesn’t specifically mention teachers, administrators or librarians, they can all relate to it. “My Retirement Plan,” says the text, and an open book with flipping pages is a self-explanatory symbol.
If they can’t wait to kick up their feet and spend all day with Mr. Darcy, this is the t-shirt for them!
To Toast the Days Gone By: Beer Cap Wooden Display Sign
The kids are out of sight. It’s time to get sloshed! This wooden sign is shaped like the letter of your choosing, and it comes with empty, circular holes that can hold dozens of beer bottle caps. Just pop them through the back and show off their colors and ridges as the letter board slowly fills.
Your gift recipient will be able to tally all of their favorite brews and then some, especially if you buy them multiple letters to spell out a word like “home” or “bar” or “beer.” To get them really drunk, spell out “antidisestablishmentarianism.
For the Self-Admitted Slowpoke: Don’t Rush Me I’m Retired License Plate Frame
With no 8AM classes to teach, retired teachers can operate on a different clock than the rest of the world. This license plate frame says “Don’t Rush Me, I’m Retired,” so it’s sure to get a laugh from the grandmas and grandpas of the road.
It measures 12 x 6 inches, so it’ll fit any standard-sized license plate, and it comes with a special finish to protect it from wind, water, humidity and UV damage. With any luck, it’ll last for their entire retirement.
To Encourage New Hobbies and Interests: Indoor Herb Garden Seed Starter Kit
They’ve spent years cultivating classrooms. Why don’t they try cultivating an actual garden? This beginner kit has everything that they’ll need to get started, including seeds, plant markers and burlap bags.
They can grow chamomile for tea; they can grow lavender and lemon balm for aromatherapy. Not only will they keep themselves busy during their retirement, but they’ll be putting their efforts into something that will pay off with real results, so this is an example of a gift that will give back.
Because Coaches Deserve Love, Too: Customizable Coach Wood Sign
Coaches can impact the lives of young people just as much as teachers, so if you’re looking for a way to acknowledge the hard work of a leader on the ball field, consider this wooden sign. It spells out “COACH” in dynamic 3D letters, and it comes with a silver pen for scrawling names and dates on its matte black finish.
You can order it in multiple sizes and with multiple accessories depending on your particular needs. No matter how you customize it, however, it’ll be an awesome gift for coaches, especially if you can get the whole team to sign it!
For the Queen: My Favorite Teacher Bee Charm Key Chain
Cute and simple, this will be a nice, low-key gift for a teacher who deserves a little extra appreciation before they retire. A bumblebee decorates a delicate silver key chain with crystals on his wings and a dangling charm that says “You Will Always Bee My Favorite Teacher.
” You can also order the same design as a brooch, bracelet and necklace. Show them that you’ll miss them with a going-away present that’s as sweet as a honeycomb.
Because Some Kids Just Never Learn: I’m Done Teaching Bad Grammar Coffee Mug
If they’re retiring their red pen, this is a mug that can give them one last laugh before they turn in their answer sheets for good. It has several misspelled and decidedly ungrammatical takes on the phrase “Retired Teacher,” and it finally ends with the scrawl, “I’m Done Teaching.
” Though it’s a funny mug, it’s also quite utilitarian, so they can use it for all of their favorite coffees and cocoas. Let them toast to the last grading that they’ll ever do!
Choosing the Most Awesome Retirement Gifts
While the best gift is not having to deal with students anymore, there are other things that you can give to retiring teachers to send them off with style.
The trick is figuring out which present is best suited for your recipient. Here are just a few ways to narrow down your options and find something good!
Consider Their Feelings on Retirement
Some people can’t wait to retire. Others have more mixed feelings, especially if they enjoy their job and consider it a calling. If you aren’t sure where your particular teacher falls, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and avoid gifts that make light of the situation. You don’t want to buy them something silly when they’re feeling serious or vice versa.
Get Other People Involved
Teaching is never done in a bubble, so don’t be afraid to reach out to students, colleagues, alumni and other people who have crossed their classroom. These folks can sign cards or chip in for luxury goods; they can brainstorm gift ideas or even show up for a surprise party. You can give your teacher a wonderfully thoughtful present by bringing everyone together to say goodbye.
Go Beyond the “Teacher” Theme
While there’s nothing wrong with pencils, apples and blackboards, you don’t want to be obsessed with finding a teacher-related gift. You might stumble across a cool retirement present that doesn’t have anything to do with a specific career, or you might want to express your gratitude with an appreciative gift that’s broad-ranging. Remember: It’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving.
Show Your Love and Support
Teachers are some of the unsung heroes of the world, and this is one of the last chances that you’ll get to show your appreciation for them. Your gift recipient is retiring, so it’s not like you can buy them a cool present next year or next semester. It has to be now. Even if you aren’t normally the “mushy” type, take this opportunity to acknowledge their hard work and make them feel awesome about everything that they’ve done for others.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you shop for retirement gifts for teachers. What do you think of our suggestions? Is there anything that you’re ready to buy right away? How are you going to say farewell to your favorite teach?