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Retirement Gifts for Educators

Choosing the best teacher retirement gifts is so much fun but not always easy!  

When it’s time to send someone on to Happy Trails, it can be tough to find the perfect gift to thank them, acknowledge them, and honor their next chapter in their life.  If you’re like me, you want to wish them well and show them they’ll be missed with a special gift from you or the team; to help them prepare for their next chapter, whether it’s to start those bucket-list travels or spend more time with the family.

Here you’ll find a list of some of the best teacher retirement gifts – perfect for educators, bosses, colleagues, co-workers, family, friends and acquaintances.  They are sentimental, meaningful, and some are even “splurges” (meaning people wouldn’t necessarily buy them for themselves but would sure like to have them!).  These splurge gifts are a great idea for a group that wants to pool funds together for a memorable gift. 

For the Sentimental at Heart

Sentimental colleagues are some of my favorite people for whom to shop!  There are so many sweet, precious, thoughtful gifts for the sentimental person in your life. Whether you communicate through office humor or through heart-felt talks in the parking lot, there’s something out there to show your gratitude.

Of all the retirees I’ve watched hand in their keys on that final day, retirement has been bittersweet for all of them.  Show them you care with these sentimental retirement gifts for educators to help them keep in touch and remember the great times you spent together.  

Funny Retirement Gifts

Here are some great ideas for funny retirement gifts for your colleagues! Have some fun sending them off onto their next adventure.  

For the Traveler

It can be really hard to find retirement gifts for educators who are planning to spend the next chapter of their life traveling!  They don’t necessarily need more “stuff” but instead, the right stuff – travel stuff. But even traveling gifts can be sentimental.

One of my favorite gifts for the traveler is subscriptions – things they can use anywhere!  Every time they download a new audio book from Audible, or a book from their new Kindle Unlimited subscription, it will remind them of you.  They will think to themselves, “That was a great gift.”  It’s one that keeps giving, long after the highs and lows of new retirement settle.   


Whether they’ll spend hours on the road between National Parks or RV destinations, or waiting in airports while jet-setting between continents, these gifts are a great way to say “bon voyage” and happy trails!  Help them make their travels smooth, safe and enjoyable.  

For the Nature Lover

For some of our friends and colleagues, doing a whole bunch of relaxing in nature is their next chapter!  Send them into nature paradise with some sentimental inspiration, bird and nature-watching tools and inspiration to do more, see more and experience more adventures.  

If you have friends who are gardeners (like me), then their wildest dream has finally come true!  Mine is to be able to garden from sun up to sun down, tucking flowers, creeping veggies and herbs in every nook and cranny of my yard.  (I’ve finally mastered how to grow plants from seed so I’m extra excited!)  For the gardener, there are countless amazing gifts to get them started toward their green-thumb bliss.  

Retirement can mean putting miles on hiking boots, digging in the dirt, or birdwatching in the backyard.  These retirement gifts for educators are a perfect way to remind them of your well-wishes for the future.  

For the Boss

I have had some awesome bosses and even better colleagues in my life!  I have been very blessed in my career as an educator to work with and work for some of the most compassionate, innovative and inspiring educators one could ever hope to meet.  As leaders, they have each taught me some of the most valuable lessons about my role as an educator and about my evolving leadership style. 


As Rosalynn Carter said, “A leader takes people where they want to go.  A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”  It has been my great fortune to know several bosses and leaders for whom this was their leadership style.

Thank your boss for their service and never let them forget “the team” with these sentimental gifts.

Blank Greeting Cards

At my school, we *always* give cards to our secretaries and the teammates with whom we work closest.  Birthdays, losses, last days on the job – cards are a sweet touch to receive from a team. 

Therefore, don’t forget to stock up on greeting cards so that you can easily have one in a pinch.  Here’s my list of favorite card bundles to always have on hand at the office.

Whomever you’re celebrating, let them know you love them and appreciate their service!  

Take care and happy gifting!

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