5 Gift ideas for Ed. School Graduates

5 gift ideas for ed. school graduates

Give your School of Education graduate a gift they will really use as they begin their career as an educator.

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I selected each of these products because I use them in my own life as an educator and I wish someone had given them to me when I graduated from Ed. School. I can attest to their quality and usefulness.

1. Balance Ball Chair

You will spend a good majority of your time on your feet, but when you sit down to grade (most of which is done on the computer now) you’ll need a comfortable seat. Many schools don’t provide comfortable chairs for teachers. You can use a student chair, but those things are not comfortable at all. Sometimes whoever was in the classroom before you will leave their chair, but there is no guarantee.

I didn’t get a balance ball chair until this year and I LOVE IT! I ordered the Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair – Exercise Stability Yoga Ball Premium Ergonomic Chair. The only issue I’ve had is the little metal bar in the front came off (probably because I didn’t screw it in tightly enough). I lost the screws so I can’t really get it back on, but it doesn’t impact the functionality of the chair. The ball stays in place just fine without it. It came super quickly and was easy to assemble.

My students love them!

One problem is that the kids love it too! They are constantly asking to use it. I actually got 5 simpler ball chairs (and significantly less expensive) to provide as a seating option for my students.

I went with the Trideer Ball Chair – Exercise Stability Yoga Ball with Base for the kids. The base is key! It keeps the balls from rolling all over the room when no one is sitting on them.

2. Dansko Clogs

Say goodbye to heels (unless you’re a glutton for punishment). You’re going to be on your feel all day. I’ll be honest. I resisted the clog for about three years. I didn’t think they were fashionable (and, let’s be honest, they are not as cute as a ballet flat), but I finally gave in when all my support-less flats were leaving my feet aching at the end of the day.

10 years of use

Danskos are an investment, about $120 bucks, but I bought mine ten years ago and they still wear like new. I don’t just wear them to school either. If I’m going to any kind of event that requires me to dress professionally and be on my feet for an extended period of time, I don my Danskos and I’m good to go.

3. Storage boxes/bins

Storage Bins

There are so many possibilities here and the number of boxes/bins a teacher will need depends on the grade level they teach. The lower the grade, the more storage they’ll need. Clear bins are so important so you and the students can see what is inside.

I ordered the Sterilite Deep Clip Box Clear Plastic Storage Tote Container with Lid, 4 Pack. I picked these for a number of reasons. They have all 5 star reviews and they are reasonably priced. They are stack-able, which is super important to me as a teacher, and they have the handles that click the container shut so the top won’t pop off when a students picks it up. I’ve had crayons all over my room due to a container lid failure (even in 12th grade), so the click shut lids prevent that from happening.

I liked them so much I ordered some for organizing my kid’s toys at home.

4. Native Deodorant

Native Deodorant
I still have Arm & Hammer and Tom’s, but I don’t use them.

I am not an affiliate for Native Deodorant. I recommend them because I searched high and low for a deodorant with no aluminum, parabens, or sulfates that actually works and finally found Native. I tried Tom’s. I tried Arm and Hammer. Nothing works as well as Native.

I previously wore only non-scented deodorants, but Native’s scents are so mild and refreshing that I prefer the scented versions. The scents remind me of essential oils. Lavender has been my favorite so far, but they are constantly offering different scents for different seasons, which I think it fantastic!

5. Yeti Water Bottle

I used to go through a water bottle about every six months. They’d fall, they’d break, they didn’t keep my water cold anymore.

Two years ago I bought myself a Yeti water bottle as a back to school present to myself. It is an investment. $50 for a water bottle seemed absurd to me at first, but I’d heard such great things that I decided to treat myself.

Kathleen Trace holding a YETI water bottle

I’m so glad I did! I’ve had it for two years now. I’m still impressed when it has ice in it at the end of the day. This thing really works and I anticipate it is going to last me for years to come.

I really like the large capacity with the ability for it to fit in my car’s cup holder. I tend to hold it at the bottom where it is narrower also, because I have small hands.

I can totally picture parents getting a Yeti water bottle for their graduates and filling it with pens or pencils or stashing a gift card inside.

Bonus: My book 🙂

In A Teacher’s Guide: Getting Hired, Having Fun, and Staying Sane, I explain how to survive and thrive as a fledgling educator. It’s easy to read, low key, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I consider it an anti-textbook and include all those things that they don’t teach us in college, but we really need to know before we enter a classroom.

Secrets include up to date buzzwords, the differences between inner city and suburban schools, and the disparity between theory and reality in terms of pedagogy and discipline. The pages are filled with lighthearted advice and include: checklists, sample resumes, letters to parents, syllabi, first day plans, and so much more.

Future teachers, share this post as a hint, hint to your family and friends as they are looking to purchase you graduation gifts!

To refresh, my 5 go-to gift ideas for future teachers are:

  1. Balance Ball Chair
  2. Dansko Clogs
  3. Storage boxes/bins
  4. Native Deodorant
  5. Yeti Water Bottle

Already a teacher? Leave a comment sharing something you wish someone had purchased for you as a graduation present.

A Teacher's Guide

I am a National Board Certified educator currently teaching in Virginia. I have taught the following: English 9, 10, 11, and 12 (on academic, collaborative, and honors levels); Dual Enrollment English; Mass Communications, Yearbook, Newspaper, and Communications Technology. I have experience in five different school systems, four in Virginia and one in Maryland. I served as my school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year and was a top five finalist for the Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I am passionate about recruiting and retaining quality educators in our public schools. Let me help you find your path to changing lives through teaching!

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  1. May 18, 2019

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