I don’t think any gift that I received for Christmas was more memorable than the homemade Bailey’s I received from a mother of one of my seventh graders. The logistics of getting alcohol to me on school grounds were certainly part of the fun. Even though I teach secondary and gifts are in short supply, I still get the occasional engraved pencil or plate of cookies.
But I’ve also received gifts from family members and friends that are just the type of gifts that English teachers love. Most of them involve book or authors in some way. So if you have an English teacher on your gift list, I’ve provided some suggestions below that are WAY better than gift cards. Or if you ARE an English teacher, here’s a list you can conveniently leave open on your laptop for your significant other to find. Or treat yo’self! No judgment.
Out of Print
Not only does Out of Print have shirts with classic book covers on them, but they also have lots of cool mugs and totes and other things teachers tend to have around their classroom. There was a time when I had at least four Out of Print shirts because they were high quality, comfortable. I could also wear them on dress down days and still feel like a teacher. Tons of good stuff here.
Literary Candles from Uncommon Goods
These are candles that are crafted after famous novels, like Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes. While I’m not completely convinced that Darcy’s estate smells like the Pemberley candle which we received one year, I find it hard to believe that any Pride and Prejudice fan wouldn’t want one.
Never Flirt With Puppy Killers and Other Better Book Titles by Dan Wilbur
I got Never Flirt With Puppy Killers from another teacher. I left it in the workroom by the microwave for people to enjoy while they were heating up their lunch and it’s been a hit. It’s a collection of book covers with hilarious alternate titles for classic novels, like My Dad is Cooler Than Your Dad for To Kill A Mockingbird. Inspired and irreverent.
A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them by Greg Clarke
A Sidecar Named Desire is another book I received as a gift. It’s a short, illustrated history of how various types of alcohol inspired writers. Of course, many of them required a drink to get the words flowing. Others struggled with alcoholism. You’ll learn a lot of about the history of various adult beverages while reading interesting anecdotes about the writers you know and love.
Book of the Month Club
I did the Book of the Month Club for about a year and read some great books like The Woman in the Window and Calypso. The premise is simple — you get to choose one book from among five titles each month with the option to skip a month or buy an extra copy if you can’t decide on one. Eventually, I couldn’t keep up with it, but I loved getting the email every month to see what the titles were. It was fun to do for a few months.
Book Cover Posters
One of the things I dislike about being a teacher is decorating my classroom. I really appreciate designers who come up with cool, affordable designs that are way better than the cheap posters you can buy at educational supply stores. Etsy is a good place to find interesting posters like this one.
A podium is a little pricey and perhaps a boring gift, like getting a drill for Christmas. But this podium is one of the best purchases I ever made for my classroom. It’s lightweight, rolls around on the floor easily, and has an adjustable top for notes or laptops. I love having a place to put stuff in the front of the classroom that isn’t too clunky, and it’s easy enough to roll around the room if you have flexible seating. A practical gift, for sure, but one I use every day.
Fold a Book Into A Word
Have you seen these? I will admit that I’ve never done one, but they are totally cool. I do know that you will have to find instructions to do it (there are plenty of tutorials available) and it seems like it requires some time to complete. But if you’ve seen one, you know how cool they are. Pick the right book (I think the word you choose determines the length) and start folding. I like this gift because the effort involved — it’s way more than a gift card.
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I know you’re the kind of teacher that makes their classroom a fun, engaging learning environment. I have a series of lessons done as comics that address various ELA topics like grammar, poetry, editing, and Shakespeare, all of which will make your students glad they came to class that day. All the fun is there for you, and your kids will love studying any of these topics because they’ll get a new comic every day! Please check out my resources and let the learning begin!