30 Best Teacher Retirement Gifts They’ll Truly Cherish for 2024

Commemorate their years of service with something truly special.

Collage of retirement gifts, including an autograph quilt and card keeper
We Are Teachers; Etsy

Celebrating a long, well-spent teaching career calls for something special. These teacher retirement gifts recognize teachers’ contributions and help them plan for the best years yet to come! There are options here to fit any budget and interest, so you’ll find something for any teacher who’s leaving the classroom behind.

We asked more than 100 real teachers what they’d give (or want to receive) for a teacher retirement gift, and they had plenty of tips to offer:

  • “One of the best I’ve seen is a welcome sign signed on the back with all the faculty and their favorite memory listed.” -Tracy B.
  • “A plaque with several phrases the teacher was known for along with candid pictures of the teacher from old yearbooks, etc.” -Brande C.
  • “A book of advice from students about what to do when retired (I teach elementary so it’s pretty funny) and also their best memories with that teacher.” -Caitlin Veise

See more of their tips and check out all our favorite teacher retirement gift ideas below!

Best Teacher Retirement Gifts To Celebrate Their Career

Preschool teacher Alicia Worthy (along with many other teachers) recommends giving “something that captures their years of service; maybe a video of testimonials from current and former coworkers and students.” Here are personal and thoughtful ways to celebrate their lifetime of achievements.

Teacher retirement gift sign with personalized details

Teacher Retirement Sign

Want something simple that really sums up their accomplishments? Have this sign personalized for your retiring teacher, then print it and present it in a beautiful frame.

Buy it: Printable Teacher Retirement Sign

Gray-bordered quilt with autographs and messages on each square. Center square reads "My wish for you is..." (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

Autograph Quilt

Next year when retired teachers are snuggling under their quilt while everyone else is trudging off to school on a cold snowy morning, they can look at all these well-wishes and feel warm inside and out!

Buy it: Autograph Quilt

Sketched portrait of a building framed in white (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

School Portrait

If your teacher honoree has spent most or all of their career at a single school, consider having a special portrait made of the building. Minted takes a photograph of any building and turns it into something truly unique.

Buy it: Custom House Portrait

Instructions for making a Tribute video montage

Tribute Video Montage

No teacher retirement party would be complete without a video montage of their years of service. You can assemble your own or use a service like Tribute. Their easy-to-use tools allow you to assemble the montage yourself, or you can pay a little more and have a professional put together something spectacular. (Memento is another great option.)

Buy it: Video Montage

Photo book showing an older couple surrounded by hand-written messages
Artifact Uprising

Personalized Photo Book

Photo books are classic teacher retirement gifts. Scour the archives for photos, documents, and more worth preserving. Then assemble them in a high-quality book they can keep forever. We like the guest book option, which leaves room on every page for handwritten messages (just like a school yearbook!).

Buy it: Photo Guest Book

Certificate indicating a tree has been planted in honor of a retirement

Plant a Tree

If your school grounds have space, consider creating a Retired Teachers Grove, where you plant a tree for each educator whose work is done. No room at school? TreeGivers will plant a tree in their honor on public lands in the state of your choice.

Buy it: Personalize a Memorial Tree

Teacher Retirement Gifts for Travel Lovers

Presley Bryant recommends “a journal and a passport case!” Lots of retirees use their new free time to travel the country—or the world. These gifts can help them on their journeys.

Desktop globe in antique coloring

World Globe

For years, they’ve been giving kids the world. Now you can give them their own in return! Have their name and retirement date engraved on the base for a personalized touch.

Buy it: Replogle 12-inch Hastings Globe

Collage of travel guide covers

Travel Guides

If you already know they plan to hit the road, travel guides make terrific teacher retirement gifts. Here are a few of our favorites at Amazon.

Framed map of the world with push pins inserted in various locations (Best Teacher Retirement Gifts)
Push Pin Travel Maps

Push Pin Travel Map

A personalized map lets retired teachers track their travels across the globe. These maps are mounted on corkboard and come with pushpins to mark their trips.

Buy it: Push Pin Travel Maps

Solgaard Carry On Closet suitcase (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

Carry-On Closet

Now that they’re ready to retire their teacher bag, your retiree deserves a terrific travel bag to take its place. Solgaard’s carry-on is a top-notch choice. It’s small enough to fit in an overhead bin, but roomy and easy to keep organized on the road.

Buy it: Carry-On Closet

America the Beautiful National Parks Senior Lifetime Pass
National Park Service

National Parks Lifetime Pass

If your retiring teacher is 62 or older, they’re eligible for a National Parks Lifetime Pass. For one up-front cost, they can visit a National Parks site anytime they like for the rest of their lives! (Not 62 yet? Buy a regular annual pass instead.)

Buy it: National Parks Senior Lifetime Pass

Best Teacher Retirement Gifts for Hobbies and Relaxation

“I would give them a themed basket of stuff they love to do so they can use it when they retire,” says one Ohio 4th grade teacher. “For example, one of my retiring colleagues loved to garden so we got her a bunch of gardening stuff.” Here are some more ways to help retired teachers enjoy their hobbies in the years to come.

Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope

Celestron Telescope

Retired teachers can finally stay up late enough to do some stargazing! Celestron makes incredible telescopes, and this model is terrific for beginners. Looking to give them a more advanced model? The NexStar 8SE is perfect for advanced home astronomers.

Buy it: Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope

Sibley Birding Diary and Celestron Nature binoculars (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

Birding Gear

Retirement is the time to explore new hobbies or spend plenty of time on old ones. Bird-loving teachers will appreciate a field diary and quality set of binoculars to carry on their adventures.

Buy it: The Sibley Birder’s Life List & Field Diary and Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

Gardener's Diary and set of orange-handled gardening hand tools

Gardening Supplies

Does your retiring teacher have (or want to have) a green thumb? Give them a set of quality gardening tools and a log book to plan for the future and make notes of their successes and challenges.

Buy it: Gardener’s Log Book and A.M. Leonard 5-Tool Gardening Set

Fishing rod holder and box of hand-tied flies (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

Fishing Tackle

For teachers who spend their classroom days dreaming of being on the water, fishing gifts are the way to go! Get them a rod rack to display and store their gear or a box of hand-tied flies for days on the river.

Buy it: Rush Creek Creations Rod Rack and Ventures Fly Co. Hand-Tied Flies

Collage of food and drink subscription boxes

Foodie Subscription Boxes

Eat to live or live to eat? No need to decide with these subscription boxes, which make awesome teacher retirement gifts. Cratejoy has hundreds of boxes to choose from. These highly rated options are some of our top picks:

1.000 Places to See, Recordings to Hear, Foods to Eat Before You Die

Bucket List Inspiration

Every retiree looks forward to the days when they can do as much or as little as their heart desires. Help them make some fun plans for the future with these popular books at Amazon, ideal for creating bucket lists.

Scratch off posters of top movies, ballparks, and books (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

Scratch-Off Bucket List Posters

Scratch-off posters are such cool teacher retirement gifts. As they complete each item, they scratch it off, revealing a colorful image beneath. They’re available for lots of bucket list topics. Here are a few cool ones at Amazon that teachers will really appreciate:

Collage of audiobooks with headline Give the gift of Audible (Teacher Appreciation Gifts)

Audible Membership

Give a lit-loving teacher plenty of audiobooks to enjoy during their much-deserved downtime. Audible gift memberships are available from one month to a year, so there are options in all price ranges.

Buy it: Audible Gift Membership

Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire

Kindle Paperwhite or Fire

Amazon’s e-readers and tablets offer great value for the money. If your retiring teacher already has one, consider a Kindle Unlimited membership.

Buy it: Kindle Paperwhite and Fire HD 8 Tablet

Teacher Retirement Cards and Gift Cards

Personalized letters and handmade cards are always appreciated. “We made a really cute card for a retiring teacher with the ABCs of retirement, and we said something they could do for each letter,” shared a 1st grade teacher from Texas. Lots of other teachers recommended giving them gift cards so they can choose their own new adventures.

Engraved wood card keeper with text reading A Good Life is a Collection of Happy Memories

Retirement Card Keeper

Your retiring teacher is bound to build up a huge collection of cards, handwritten notes, and other keepsakes. Give them a personalized card keeper to store them all for a sweet way to help sum up an amazing career.

Buy it: Personalized Card Keeper

Pop up retirement card saying To Your Next Adventure, Goodbye and Good Luck (Teacher Retirement Gifts)

Lovepop Retirement Card

Need a unique card that makes an awesome keepsake? This is it! A pull-out insert provides a place for a longer message or personalized tribute.

Buy it: Goodbye & Good Luck Card

Retirement card with picture of a chalkboard and text reading Class is Dimissed

Class Is Dismissed Card

This one’s especially perfect for a retiring teacher who actually remembers the days of blackboards and chalk. Have it personalized to make it truly special.

Buy it: Class Is Dismissed Retirement Card

Teacher retirement card made to look like a vintage library book due date card

Next Chapter Retirement Card

English teachers, librarians, and other avid readers will get a kick out of this clever retirement card. Personalize it with important dates on the pull-out card for a bit of extra fun.

Buy it: Next Chapter Retirement Card

Set of three elongated cards with space to fill in suggestions for things a retired teacher can do after they retire

Retirement Suggestions Cards

Pass these out at the retirement party for folks to complete, offering ideas for ways for a retired teacher to fill their days. This is even more fun if you let students participate too!

Buy it: Retirement Suggestions Cards

Spafinder Gift Card

Spa Gift Card

Time to kick up their feet and relax! With this gift card, retired teachers can choose the services they are interested in and can use it at spas found nationally. (Check to make sure you have a location near you that accepts the gift card.)

Buy it: Spafinder Gift Card at Amazon 

Ticketmaster gift card

Ticketmaster Gift Card

Whether they love concerts, theater performances, or sports, a Ticketmaster gift card lets them choose the best day and time for something they’ll enjoy.

Buy it: Ticketmaster Gift Card

Flightgift gift card for travel credit

Flightgift Gift Cards

Help out their travel plans with a gift card good toward travel on more than 400 airlines around the world. All they need to do is decide where they want to go!

Buy it: Flightgift Gift Card

Airbnb Gift Card

Airbnb Gift Cards

Once they get there, they’ll need someplace to stay. An Airbnb gift card lets them put money toward any kind of stay they like, from luxury tree houses to someplace with amazing city views.

Buy it: Airbnb Gift Card

Regal Movie Meal gift card set

Dinner and a Movie Gift Cards

Treat your teacher to a fun night out with this all-in-one set, which gives them gift cards for movie tickets and a meal at one of several participating restaurants.

Buy it: Dinner and a Movie Gift Cards

Know of other great teacher retirement gifts, or want to see what others have done? Drop by the We Are Teachers Facebook group to exchange ideas and ask for advice.

Plus, check out Teacher Appreciation Week Celebration Ideas.

The best teacher retirement gifts come from the heart and speak to their passions. Plant a tree, sign a quilt, or give them the world!