Being a professor in undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs can be challenging. On top of long class schedules, they may not be in charge of scheduling; professors have to prepare advanced level material to teach and grade long assignments, papers, and exams. It is an exhausting and sometimes thankless job, but it doesn’t have to be. Get some inspiration and ideas about what are the best gifts for professors.
Whether it is big or small, a nice gift would most definitely be appreciated by any professor. Students showing their professors how much gratitude they have for their efforts and taking a personal interest in their education is why professors stay in their careers. Read on to get some inspiration and ideas about what gifts are best to a professor in your life!
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All-Time Best Gifts For Professors
When it comes to giving thanks to your professors for all of their hard work, you have a wide variety of options. Many professors enjoy the same things that you do, like fun clothes, a warm caffeinated drink, quirky decorations, and anything that adds some organization to a wild and chaotic life. This list has a few ideas for some fantastic gifts for your professors.
To get through long days of lectures, labs, and grading, most professors need a great deal of caffeine to keep them staying sharp. Keurig Coffee Makers are a great fit to give a professor since its high tech design can make delicious beverages in seconds. Your professor can grab a cup of joe without missing a beat in the class.
K-Cup pods are also available in a wide variety, including beverages such as teas, coffee blends, and hot cocoa. Whether the professor in your life is a coffee lover or a tea lover, they are sure to make great use out of this gift.
Yeti makes great portable to-go cups for anyone who likes to keep a beverage perfectly hot or cold throughout the day. Available on Amazon, with tons of colors and sizes to choose from, so you can be sure that your professor will love the mug you give them.
Their tumblers are double-walled with stainless steel. So not only will these tumblers keep caffeinated drinks hot all day long, they are super durable. Therefore they are guaranteed to last anytime a super long time after being gifted it!
A coffee mug warmer is exactly what it sounds like. Simply plug these devices in an outlet and place your mug on top. Within minutes you will have a perfectly warmed coffee or tea to drink.
It also is a great way to save beverages. Instead of throwing out forgotten undrunk liquids, anyone can simply reheat it and enjoy it once again.
Another great gift that anyone with a sense of humor would enjoy is a lovely mug with a funny quote on being a professor. It is a great way to spruce up anyone’s daily morning coffee. Plus, every time your professor drinks from it, not only will they laugh, but they will also think of your kindness in giving them such a present.
Many mugs are available on Amazon and Etsy in a multitude of different subjects. Thus you are bound to find a perfect mug for any academic subject. However, many students will find that their professors would love this cup that reads, “Tears of My Students.”
Household Gifts For Professors
Another great gift to give a professor is an essential oil diffuser. Many essential oil kits are available on Amazon, and they come with essential oils and a container to diffuse them throughout a room.
These remarkable devices offer anyone the ability to spruce up a room with excellent natural scents. It is perfect for any professor’s office at school, home office, bedroom, and anywhere else.
Professors use pens frequently throughout their day. If gifted their very own personalized pen with their name on it, they will take extra pride in it whenever they use it.
Etsy has tons of artists and shops to choose from who make lovely personalized and custom pens for all occasions. Take a look at all the different customization options, including various sizes, shapes, colors, and hues of ink.
Another great gift to consider getting a teacher in your life is a jar of treats to thank them for all their help and guidance they give to their students. This is the perfect gift to give a professor after a long semester to show how much you appreciate them and their class.
Thank you treat baskets and jars are easily made at home by simply baking some sweets like brownies or cookies. You can place them in a nice jar or container and then attach a short and sweet thank-you note.
If you are not a baker or do not have time to do all this, Etsy has tons of bakers to commission to make you some custom thank you treats.
Just like their students, teachers often spend a lot of time reading new material from books and textbooks. After craning over books on a flat desk for hours on end, professors can suffer from aches and pains in their neck, upper and lower back.
A bookstand for books, textbooks, journals, and any other material is an excellent solution to preventing aches and pains. They allow readers to sit up straight while reading in a much more comfortable and natural position.
Bookends from Amazon are not only super cute and decorative to suit any space, but they are also a great way to keep books and textbooks organized. Professors and teachers of any subject are bound to have tons of books lying around that need tidying.
Bookends are a gift that can be beautiful and useful in their home, office, or anywhere else. They also come in a variety of different forms, meaning you can some that suit a specific professor.
Long hours of reading over class material and student’s assignments can get pretty uncomfortable, even if your professor already has a bookstand. Another excellent gift for extra comfort while professors work is a laptop or book tray they can use anywhere.
These trays allow anyone to work comfortably away from their desk or table. You can work out on your laptop with a desk tray and read a book in bed or on your sofa. Some even come with enough space to hold a mouse and pads for wrists to lie comfortably.
Sitting and grading papers for several hours can create a lot of back and rear pain. Even some of the desk chairs available do not have the best lumbar support. So a Lumbar support pillow from Amazon is another great gift to consider getting a professor in your life.
Many of these special pillows are made with memory foam technology and are scientifically proven to improve aches and pains. A lot of these pillows are also pretty compact and easy to transport so that they can be used at desk chairs, in the car, at the kitchen table, or even in a Starbucks booth!
After a long stressful day at work, a great way to unwind is to take a nice hot bath. Bath salts are a great addition to any tub because they upgrade any bathroom into a personal spa.
Bath salts are often made with Epsom salt and have distinctive aromatherapy scents. These products are usually pretty affordable and readily available for purchase on sites like Amazon. You can find scents like eucalyptus, milk, and honey, or lavender, depending on your professor’s preferences.
Another great way to express your appreciation and gratitude for a professor in your life is through food. Food is an especially great gift for the professor you do not know what to get. After all, who does not love fresh and yummy fruit?
Edible Arrangements is a great company that makes and delivers delicious arrangements of fruits in all different shapes and sizes. They also have gift options that have chocolate-covered fruit and pretzels, so even a professor with a sweet tooth will love it.
Clothing Gifts For Professors
Anyone, not just teachers, would love something handmade from someone. Handmade gifts are super thoughtful and often way more sentimental than any essential gift. Plus, if the professor in your life teaches at a school located in an area with a colder climate like the Northeast, a warm scarf will come in handy during the fall and winter months.
Yarn and knitting needles are pretty inexpensive if you do not have them already lying around your house. Learning to knit is also a super easy process nowadays, with tons of helpful Youtube videos available.
If you do not have any knitting skills or do not have the time or patience to learn, consider giving the professor a handmade scarf from Etsy. Even if they know your own two hands do not explicitly make it, they are sure to cherish it as a one of a kind accessory.
Printed clothing can also make for great gifts for teachers and professors you are grateful for in your life. Many come with funny and thought-provoking quotes and are suitable for educators of any subject.
For example, anyone who has taken a college class knows how much a teacher hates getting questions that are clearly answered in their syllabus. Thus a shirt from Amazon that says, “It is on the syllabus!“ is another great gift to receive and laugh at.
Most colleges and universities have on-campus shops where they sell apparel and other gear with their logos on them. Many school gear is also available for purchase on Amazon. Consider giving your professor some college apparel so they can demonstrate how much they take pride in their position as an educator at that school.
College apparel is also a great gift for professors that are new to their positions and the school. Be the first person to give them their very own college gear for their new job! Some examples of good college apparel gifts for a professor are sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens, or t-shirts.
Gifts For The Classroom
Teachers who frequently use blackboards during their classes will know the difficulty of constantly working with messy chalk. Magnetic Chalk Holders are a great solution for avoiding the mess and clean up of chalk debris.
These tools are super simple to use and are compact enough to travel in anyone’s pocket as they move from classroom to classroom. Get one of these for your teacher to give them a gift that is sure to appreciate because of its practicality without breaking your bank account.
Any teacher or professor would be delighted to receive a present that bestows them with the title of “World’s Best Teacher.” Many customizable teacher trophies are available to suit any subject. This gift would make for a great desk ornament. It is a perfect decoration to put right next to their other achievements, like their college degree!
Many professors nowadays teach their classes using a large overhead projector. However, it can be tedious and cumbersome to go back to their computer every time they wish to change a slideshow page or point to something on the screen.
A wireless remote clicker with a laser pointer is a great tool to have for any professor who likes to wander about their classroom while teaching. With a laser pointer, they can also help their students focus on a particular text, diagrams, or pictures.
If the professor in your life is more old fashioned and less high-tech, they may really appreciate a handheld pointer to extend and present things in their classes. These pointers nowadays come with felt tips, so they can be used on even the most fragile of presenting surfaces, like SmartBoards.
Handheld Pointers are also often collapsible and easy to travel with. Once fully extended, their metal frames are also super solid and bound to last any professor a long time.
A desk organizer is an absolute necessity for any professor. They deal with tons of papers that come across their desks, and it can be hard to keep them all organized. If you have ever visited your professor during their office hours, you most likely noticed how many piles of papers they have in their care.
Most organizers come with compartments for all kinds of things, like papers, folders, calculators, and rulers. One can always use more storage and the ability to organize their space better, and it all starts with a good organizer.
A planner is another great gift to give a busy professor. Teachers and professors have to do all kinds of things, like making their class material and the corresponding syllabus, keeping track of school holidays and exam days and ensuring they have proper office hours and student meetings.
A nice planner can last as long as 18 months, and they also often come with extra pages and sections to take notes. Some are even pocket-sized, which is perfect for professors on the go!
Any professor needs a good briefcase or messenger bag to carry around with them. Professors often have tons of papers and other assignments to grade that they carry around with them to and from school.
A nice messenger bag from Amazon is a great way to travel with papers, books, and laptops or iPads. They also come with tons of smaller compartments to stay organized and keep things like keys or wallets zipped up safely.
Clocks and timers are great things to consider giving a busy professor. They come in all different sizes and styles to suit anyone’s taste.
Anyone who has sat in a classroom knows how professors can lose track of time while lecturing, during a class discussion, or in the lab. A clock or timer is a great way to keep them on target and make sure they are not wasting too much of their precious class time. The students will also enjoy not having to stay longer if the class runs late!
Just as the old tradition goes, teachers and professors love to receive apples. A decorative apple from Etsy is customizable, allowing you to engrave things, such as your professor’s name, the name of your school, or a personal message from you to your teacher.
These decorative apples are almost a staple for any educator. They also make for a super cute decoration on their desk or shelf, even serving as amazing paperweights!
Most professors have a great deal of “worldly” wisdom. Like anthropology or world history, professors in any humanities subject would love a decorative globe to put in their classroom or on their desk. Even science professors in fields like paleontology and geology would love to have a nice globe to rely on.
Globes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors are available on Amazon. Check out this Antique Globe! It is perfect for any professor going for that Indiana Jones aesthetic.
Gift cards are another great gift to get a professor who is tough to pick out a present for. Almost every major store offers gift cards for purchase at a huge range of prices, so no one gift card is going to break your bank.
A Starbucks Gift Card is a great choice for almost any professor who enjoys coffee or tea. They may not typically splurge on a nice Starbuck drink, so this gift is sure to be a special treat for them to cherish! Other gift card ideas that will be well-received are for bookstores, restaurants, or office supply stores.
Although they may seem like an uncommon gift to give or receive, stress balls are super useful for anyone, especially the professor in your life. Extreme stress around midterms and final exam season can get especially hard to manage for educators.
Stress balls are a great way to relieve that tension by squeezing the soft and malleable ball. A professor can even keep it in his or her pocket throughout the day and indiscreetly relieve their stress throughout the day!
Flowers are another universally beloved gift to receive. They are a great way to make a classroom, home, or office way more inviting and beautiful. They can also add some lovely scents to any room. This gift is especially great for female teachers. Some of the best smelling flowers to give as a gift are hyacinths, freesia, peony, and lilies.
Fake plants are also incredible at sprucing up any classroom or office. These academic rooms are often stuffy and filled with dreary books and piles of papers.
Even if it is fake, a plant is a great decoration to have to liven up any room it is placed in. Busy professors will not have to remember to water a fake plant regularly to enjoy their presence year-round with no upkeep necessary.
Writer’s block is a common term for when someone is having trouble coming up with inspiration for their writing. Although this gift will not help with writing inspiration, a physical square block engraved with “Writer’s Block” is a hilarious and punny gift.
This block can be used as a paperweight and a great desk decoration. It is especially personal if you know your professor is an active writer for a school or national academic journal.
Bobblehead figurines of anyone can be customized to look like your professor or people like their favorite celebrity. An Albert Einstein bobblehead from Amazon is the perfect gift for any teacher interested in math or science fields. Historical bobbleheads are also great for history or philosophy teachers.
Final Thoughts on Gift Ideas for your College Professor
Whether you’re shopping for a math professor, a science professor, a geography professor, physics professor, we hope you were able to find a great gift idea. From a coffee mug, to a personalized gift, a meaningful gift, a fun gift, a thoughtful gift, or a inexpensive gift, we are confident you found a great gift idea.
Another idea would be to incorporate a few little gifts into a birthday gift box.