The Best Gifts for the Selfless Teacher In Your Life

From plants and luxurious weighted blankets to specialized massages, we’ve got you covered on gifts to get your favorite educator
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The holidays are almost here—and, thankfully, almost over—and you remembered to purchase Amazon and Starbucks gift cards for the co-workers you barely know and the mail delivery person you definitely don’t know, but what about the teachers in your life? Did you remember them? Have you considered how difficult the previous 22 months have been for those who have been Zoom teaching and/or the teachers who have had to lecture through masks? If you’re like the rest of the world, you’ve probably forgotten about teachers and how one of the world’s most difficult professions has been even more difficult since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, this list is here to help any Los Angeles -area teacher enjoy the holidays and beyond. Also—if you can’t get give these gifts before the holidays, Teacher Appreciation Week is in May.


Plants and Prints

(Photo courtesy of k-apostrophe)

A Green Maranta or a Calathea Medallion from West Hollywood’s The Sill are great gifts for Zoom teachers who want their students to see more than Metallica posters and sleeping cats in their on-screen backgrounds. Pair that plant with a k-apostrophe print and that adjunct totally won’t look like they live with their parents.

Weed

(Photo courtesy of Island)

You know what other plants are great for teachers? Weed. Redondo Beach’s Island offers an indica called “Donut Shack” that, based on the name, has to be good while Rove’s diamonds are “extracted from fresh frozen flowers” and “use a gradual separation process where the THC solidifies, creating large faceted diamond-like crystals while also forming a liquid-like high terpene extract.” What does that mean? Who knows, but it will get your teacher fucking high.

Amoeba Music gift certificate

(Photo by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gift certificates are impersonal, but do you know your teacher’s favorite Liz Phair record? Do you know if they have The Oblivians’ …Play Nine Songs with Mr. Quintron? No, you don’t, so give a gift certificate and let them decide.

Beyond Baroque wood journal

(Photo Courtesy of Beyond Baroque)

This 5.5 X 8.5 journal comes with the Beyond Baroque label on the cover and one tree is planted for every journal sold, which is like two gifts in one if your teacher is a hippie.

Weighted Blanket

(Photo courtesy of UnHide)

Standing in front of students and lecturing is pretty great. Going home to grade papers is not. To remedy this weekend waster, consider the Marshmallow blanket from UnHide because there’s no better way to remind students to submit before a deadline than under nine-and-a-half pounds of vegan fur. Yes, this blanket costs $195, but that price is almost nothing compared to how much celebrities have to pay to get their kids into college.

Sweats

(Photo courtesy of Samii Ryan)

You might not have thought about this before, but every Zoom teacher is wearing sweats that you can’t see. And, since the pandemic has been a thing for approximately two years, it’s time for a new pair of lounge pants. The Innocent Brushed Fleece Sweatpants from LA-based By Samii Ryan comes with a nursery animal embroidered on the left hip and the letters “BSR” on the right that will make online instruction as comfortable as talking to a blank Zoom screen can be.

Floating therapy

(Photo courtesy of Pause)

According to Pause’s website, floating therapy “organically releases endorphins, which in turn reduce stress, eliminate headaches, and foster deep, restful sleep,” which is, like, everything a teacher needs every day.

Massage

(Photo courtesy of The NOW)

With five locations in the Los Angeles area, a gift certificate to The NOW means your teacher can enjoy a deep tissue massage even if they don’t live near the school where they work.

Candle

(Photo courtesy of Common Soul Collective)

Being around a bunch of middle schoolers can be, well, smelly. To counter the funk, consider the handmade, soy wax French Lavender or Laundry Day candles from San Pedro’s Common Soul Collective.

EverDrive

(Photo courtesy of EverDrive)

Teachers will love EverDrive cartridges because they can store every game made for a particular system. For instance, Krikzz’s Nintendo cartridge allows users to download Contra, Castlevania, Dr. Mario, Tecmo Bowl and Tetris and play them without having to blow into decades’-old games to get them to work, which is incredibly helpful when you’re out of breath from talking all day.

Sleep mask

(Photo courtesy of PandaLifeBamboo)

It’s easy to forget, but teachers are people — and people need sleep. PandaLifeBamboo’s 100 percent bamboo eye mask gives teachers’ peepers a rest, which is much needed when you’ve been grading papers and/or staring at a screen all day. Note: Giving a sleep mask without ear plugs is like giving a toy without batteries. Don’t be that person.

Running shoes

(Photo courtesy of Nike)

If you’ve talked to a teacher since the beginning of the COVID shutdown, you’ve heard how instructors have been working 24/7. This nonstop schedule means it’s easy to forget the importance of exercise, but a pair of Nike Flyknit running shoes are a subtle reminder to get outside.

MasterClass

Every English teacher has a novel in them and, thanks to MasterClass, writers such as David Sedaris and Judy Blume can help transform that rough draft about left-handed space monsters with six eyeballs into New York Times best sellers. Even better? MasterClass is currently offering a two-for-one deal, so use the other for yourself and let bartender/mixologist Lynnette Marrero teach you how to make a cocktail.

Coffee

(Photo courtesy of MistoBox)

Teachers always have to be “on,” which is why coffee was invented and why a MistoBox subscription is a great gift. Users personalize their java from a selection of more than 600 coffees that are delivered in 12-ounce bags to customers’ doors. Coffee delivery — it’s a great time to be alive.