16 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Online Teachers in Your Life

Woman hand with laptop, cup of hot cocoa and marshmallow on book on wooden table near christmas tree and fireplace.
A list of 16 gift ideas to make the online teaching experience easier, better, and, yes, more fun!

Have an online educator on your holiday shopping list this year? Not only do I work with a team of talented remote educators, but I’m also fortunate to have several educator friends and family members in my circle.

I know firsthand how tough it’s been for many teachers to make the shift from in-person to remote instruction, so this holiday season, I wanted to show them some extra love.

That’s why I rounded up this list of 16 gift ideas to make the online teaching experience easier, better, and, yes, more fun.

#1 Dual-screen laptop monitor for a more efficient workplace

Managing multiple screen tabs while teaching is tough. I know a few teachers who have started using a second monitor to stay organized and efficient. This DUEX Pro dual screen laptop monitor would make remote teaching less stressful for the teachers in your life.

#2 Tripod for recording videos

Educators often rely on their phones to make quick videos and virtual demos. This UBeesize Tripod with Bluetooth remote for cell phones means teachers can film hands-free anywhere, anytime.

#3 Removable green screen for setting fun backgrounds

Speaking of video, we all know the hippest online teachers have the most interesting Zoom backgrounds. Help a teacher friend up their digital background game with this removable green screen that easily slides on and off the back of a chair.

#4 USB document camera for annotating texts

Online teaching isn’t only slide decks and videos. Teachers often need to model hands-on concepts in real time. This Thustand USB Document Camera could be extremely helpful for annotating a text or demonstrating a scientific principle.

#5 Self-heating mug for keeping the coffee warm

Drinking coffee from a mug is an underrated luxury, but many coffee drinking educators have to opt for insulated thermoses to ensure hot coffee while they’re constantly on the go. Why not have the best of both worlds with this Ember self-heating mug? Whether in-person or online, teachers will love the option to sit and sip at their leisure. 

#6 Gourmet desk snacks for a well-deserved workday treat

Just like when they’re teaching in person, online teachers work non-stop with little time to eat. When they can’t get to the fridge, they need portable snacks to keep hunger at bay. Educators deserve the good stuff like these gourmet desk snacks from Mouth.

#7 Sit-to-stand laptop holder for boosting physical activity

For many teachers and administrators, the sudden shift to remote learning meant a sudden shift to a more sedentary lifestyle.  This sit-to-stand laptop holder helps educators move between sitting and standing positions for more physical movement and variety during the day.

#8 Comfortable desk chair for long periods of sitting

When educators do have to spend long periods of time sitting, a comfortable desk chair is a must. This Ergoal chair is certainly a splurge item, but if back and neck pain are serious problems, it is a worthwhile investment.

#9 Blue light glasses for reducing eye strain

Increased screen time is also taking its toll on the eyes. Consider buying your favorite educator a pair of on-trend blue light glasses from Warby Parker. After all, teachers shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for vision health.

#10 USB headset for minimizing background noise

More practical than posh, this USB Computer Headset minimizes background noise with a noise-cancelling mic. Enhanced digital audio means enhanced communication between teachers and students.

#11 Tabletop fountain for ambient background noise

Sometimes ambient noise can be a good thing. Bring the soothing sounds of nature inside with a tabletop fountain and help the online teacher in your life unplug and unwind.

#12 Fragrant candles for a soothing workplace

Candles may be cliche, but really, who doesn’t love a luxury scent? A softly flickering candle on the desk is a small perk of teaching from home. Educators won’t mind getting one of these upscale Byredo candles or one of these intoxicating fragrances from The Black Home by Neffi Walker. 

#13 Erasable wall calendar decal for staying organized

Online teaching schedules are complex and often fluid. An erasable wall calendar decal is a must-have home office addition for teachers who need to stay organized, yet flexible.

#14 Furry slippers for ultimate comfiness

We know that remote teaching is likely to continue throughout the winter. Make working at home cozier (and more fashionable) with these furry slippers from The Confetti Boutique. Or for next-level comfort, try these Tempur-Pedic slippers.

#15 Electric blanket for keeping warm

For the ultimate in home office hygge this winter, consider gifting your favorite online educator a Microplush electric throw blanket so they can stay toasty while teaching.

#16 – Gift cards for multipurpose benefits

Finally, as both my wise sister who is a math teacher, and my gifted sister-in-law who teaches special education reminded me, whether in-person or online, we are all still the same educators and willfully accept gift cards to Teachers Pay Teachers, Amazon, Starbucks, and Target. 

But let’s not forget what teachers really need.

I had fun assembling this list for my fellow educators, but in the end, I have not forgotten that the best gifts we can give teachers — the ones they truly deserve — are livable wages, affordable health care plans, and professional respect.

If you plan to show your love with one of these gift ideas, consider, too, how you will support and advocate for teachers through civic engagement in the new year.

Picture of Sarah Pazur

Sarah Pazur

Dr. Sarah Pazur is a guest contributor to the Digital Backpack blog. Her relationship with Michigan Virtual began as a result of her work serving on the Michigan Virtual Learning Continuity Workgroup during the COVID-19 pandemic and helping steward the creation of Dr. Pazur has served in the capacity of teacher, curriculum director, and principal in three different project-based schools in Metro Detroit and principal of a statewide virtual high school.

The Digital Backpack

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