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BEST Teacher Retirement Gifts From the Mouths of Teachers!

Are you looking for teacher retirement gifts? Check out this list of what teachers say they actually want as a retirement gift!

At the end of any career, it’s so nice to show someone how much you appreciated the work they did throughout their life and years of service. I think teaching is one of the hardest jobs to have.

Working with kids for 30 years and thousands of school days is not my idea of fun, but for teachers it is.

I bet that any one of us can think back and remember a few teachers who had a big impact on our lives or that one favorite teacher that might have changed the trajectory of your life.

Since teachers give their hearts to a lot of our children, and frankly have to put up with them on a daily basis, sometimes you want to give a special teacher something extra special when they retire.

teacher retirement gift ideas pinterest

Or maybe you have friends or a family member that are teachers and you are wondering what a perfect retirement gift would be, either funny or sincere!

I surveyed a bunch of teachers and one of the questions I asked them was what they would like as a retirement gift. So, let’s dive into the answers and learn what the best gift for a retiring teacher is!

Best Retirement Gifts for Teachers

I asked this as an open-ended question so survey respondents typed in their answers for the perfect gift. For other questions, I gave them a drop-down menu, but I really didn’t know what they would say, so I was surprised by some of the great ideas they thought of!

Here is how they responded:

  • Gift Cards – Amazon, Visa, Spa Day, books, BevMo, nice dinner, Joann craft store
  • Travel vouchers, all-expense-paid trip, a night away in a fancy hotel
  • Something to remember their students by – pictures, handwritten notes, class gift, handmade gifts, a scrapbook of time at that school, unique gifts, photo book
  • Visits from their past students or inviting all of their students to a teacher retirement party
  • Jewelry
  • Plants or shrubs for the gardeners for those teachers with a green thumb is a great idea!
  • Fun gifts like t-shirts, signs, rocking chair, iPad, a nice bottle of wine for wine lovers
  • Favorite or sentimental books for the book lovers or a High School English teacher signed by the class or student or coworker
  • CASH, lol!

Unique DIY Teacher Retirement Gifts From Class

If the teacher retiring is an elementary school teacher then one thoughtful gift from the entire class goes a long way (along with individual gifts if desired!)

We always give our elementary school teachers a favorite things questionnaire at the beginning of the year so we have plenty of ideas on what gifts to give them throughout the year.

My kids were fortunate to get two amazing teachers the last year they were teaching. At the end of the year, the class pitched in and we got them a special gift card plus made them a class gift.

And about 50% of the teachers I asked, said they would love a personalized gift or unique retirement gift from the class or something to remember their students by. A scrapbook of the year or from the entire time the teacher was at a school would be cherished. Shutterfly, Costco, and Snapfish make designing photo books pretty easy for teacher gifts.

One year I had every student fill out a few questions about our teacher and then typed them up and made a paper binder with pictures from the class in it.

Some of the questions asked were: what was your most memorable moment in the class, what was your favorite thing about teacher X, what was something you will always remember teacher X saying, what was the funniest thing teacher X ever said, etc.

It was so fun and sweet to see all the answers from 6th-grade students. They had an ex-military male teacher that year and I was almost in tears when the students wrote about how they would remember his encouraging words and big hugs.

teacher retirement gifts

Handwritten cards by past students and parents expressing gratitude or similar sentimental gift were high on the list too. You can use my free Thank You printables to get started on expressing gratitude for their hard work or browse through my roundup of teacher appreciation cards. has a cute list of gifts from the class for younger grades.

Travel Gift Cards for Retirement

Many of the teachers on the survey said they would love to receive travel gift cards or vouchers since they will have a lot more time! Such a fun gift that I wouldn’t have thought of.

So what kind of travel gift cards are the best option that you can you get for a great retirement gift?

teacher retirement gifts pinterest

A prepaid vacation would probably be amazing but hard to pull off unless you can know the spouse. It’s much easier just to pool some money from other families and present them with a travel gift card they can use on their own terms.

If you know the person well, you probably know if there is a specific airline they like or hotel chain. If not, asking a friend or spouse is a great option if you know them or work it into a general conversation. See if they prefer flying or maybe cruising!

Here are a few great vacation gift cards that you can get off Amazon that they can use and have a great time!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Cricut, Awin, CreativeFabrica, and I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Best Travel Gift Cards for Retirement Gifts on Amazon

These gift cards would not only be great for teacher retirement, but for anyone. Travel is so expensive and if someone can help with the costs in any way, they would love it!

Don’t just hand them a gift card and say Happy Retirement! Make it cute with these free gift card printables.

Free Printable Retirement Gift Card Holders

Make the teacher retirement gift card a bit more special with a cute printable and a handwritten note on the other side.

Download the printable below, there are two to choose from. Print it out on cardstock.

teacher retirement printables

Then cut around the outer edge of the rectangle with scissors or a paper trimmer.

travel gift card printable card
teacher retirement card diy
retirement gifts for teachers

Use removable double-sided tape and attach a travel or Visa gift card.

gift card holder free printable

Write a quick note on the bottom or flip the printable card over and write a longer personal message on the back.

teacher retirement card printable

Put the card in an envelope, a bag, or simply hand it to them at the retirement party or on their last day of work.

If you prefer to give them other gift cards, I have an Amazon gift card printable and a coffee cup PDF printable too.

Grab the Free Downloads Here!

As with all my free printables, these are for personal use only! Please no selling or redistributing of PDF files or digital downloads. Thank you!

teacher retirement gifts

Click Here to download the Teacher retirement printable that you can add any gift card too!

teacher retirement gifts pinterest

Click here to download the Adventure Awaits travel gift cardholder.

I hope you got some useful gift ideas for a retiring teacher from this list! I’m sure they’ll appreciate and love anything from past students and parents when sending them Best Wishes.

If you’d like to save these retirement gift ideas for teachers for later, simply hover over the top left of the image below and PIN It now!

teacher retirement gifts pinterest

If you are a retired teacher, I’d love to know what your favorite or most memorable gift was! Comment below.

Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!

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