Top Picks for Teacher Retirement Gifts

We all remember the teachers that made a difference, which is why it’s a pleasure to pick teacher retirement gifts in theory. Who wouldn’t want to put a smile on someone’s face? The only problem is, gifts for a retiring teacher need to be as epic as their legacy, but what do you choose? And yikes, what if it’s a headteacher retirement gift you need? Flashbacks to being called to stand outside their room strike! 

Whether you are part of the school teaching and support team or if you’re a grateful parent or student, we’ve got you covered with some decent ideas that will work, whatever they’re into. 

We want you to have lots of choices for a significant, meaningful and thoughtful gift that will leave them thrilled (or maybe a little damp-eyed with all the emotion). Don’t feel you have to go it alone, a group collection could be the answer to steering away from the cheaper and more forgettable gifts and getting something more substantial. 

Hand drawn greeting card with the caption 'Thank you for being such an important part of my story'.

Choosing Meaningful Retirement Gifts

Before we get a credit card out, it’s time to consider some general best practice when it comes to teacher retirement gifts.

Think memorable

At the end of a long career, a teacher is likely to have seen it all before! Every term they will have had a variety of token gifts and treats. That means you should try and think outside of the box for this big and important moment. 

Team up

As mentioned, it might make more financial sense to club together with other colleagues, parents or well wishers to get a great gift.

Start your investigation now

What are they planning on doing with their free time? What hobbies will they be enjoying? It can be helpful to know if they have family nearby, if they enjoy travelling, music, theatre, what sort of food and drink they like and more. Start a fact finding mission now! 

Folded up maps, coffee and a notebook sitting on top of an open map of Colorado.

Thoughtful Retirement Gift Ideas

Personalised blue plaque 

Have they made a huge mark on the school? They deserve a bit of fame! This great personalised blue plaque is under £35 and can be customised with their name and not only is it fun, it’s also quite a sentimental teacher retirement gift. Blue plaques are used to celebrate the links between notable figures of the past and their homes or places of work. While you might not get it actually up on the wall of the school, they can enjoy the memento at home. 

A trophy 

Not all of us have the pleasure of getting a trophy, and it would be a sad day to leave the workforce without one! Why not take a look at some simple and thoughtful trophies from glass that can be a stylish ornament with a twist? 

Engraved wood

We will touch on food and drink as a category in a bit as gifts for a retiring teacher, but any engraved wood is a special gift! Consider a biscuit and tea holder, ideal for those new leisurely mornings. An engraved cheese board can then be there for the late nights, carving off chunks of cheddar and bites of brie, making it a more luxe experience! This glasses stand is another great option if they are a specs wearer. 

Make the teacher artwork 

They’ve seen many drawings, clay treasures and crafts through the years as students hone their artistic talents, but how can that translate to an amazing gift for them? Perhaps the students would like to draw the teacher, or work together on one large image, or for older children, perhaps a mosaic would be an ambitious yet achievable craft project? Savvy parents can source the extras to make it impactful, whether thats a nice set of tiles, frames clays and paints or the right fabric for a blanket printing or a canvas. 

Fine Dining and Food 

Dinner at the Ritz 

Tea at The Ritz. Table with scones, tea and champagne on.

Treat them to a delectable three course lunch for two between Monday to Friday in the magnificent Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant. At £189.00 it’s a significant teacher retirement gift, but one they will remember forever! 

Lunch on the British Pullman 

This restored 1920’s train has sheltered royalty and been a star of the silver screen. Why not treat them to a meal. Whether a 3 course affair with pork and heritage apple terrine and loin of venison or a champagne afternoon tea, this train ride from London Victoria is one to remember! £350 will cover one bottle of Veuve Clicquot for two and a a festive afternoon tea as well as round-trip travel. 

Cheese and Wine Hamper 

This hamper is £100 but features an epic amount of cheese and wine for a great send off. A great range of all cheeses from Stiltons to Blackmount for sharing (or eating in secret now they have time in the day!)

Decadent cheese board with cheeses, figs, chutneys and cheese biscuits.

Bakerdays Retirement Cake 

A great cake is a send off that will allow them to make a speech. Today is not the day for a Colin cake! This beautiful customisable version from Bakerdays allows you to add their name to a choice of flavoured spongers, from chocolate and lemon to victoria sponge. Choose from small right through to enough cake for 100! 

Hotel Chocolat Cabinet 

A cabinet of chocolates? Name a better gift for a sweet lover! This cabinet has 61 filled and solid chocolates in milk, white and dark and might last them a year, if they go steady and don’t leave it in the staff room!  

Special items for their retirement 

Wooden watch 

Wood is a lovely tactile material that feels premium but can be appreciated by everyone. Unlike picking between gold or silver or a brand, a watch such as this one feels expensive but also thoughtful. Perfect for a teacher who implemented a first school or nurtured a love of the outdoors!

Home essentials 

If they are going to be at home a bit more, how can you make it even more fun? Whether they’d love a night watch camera to capture wildlife, a bird box linked to Bluetooth or perhaps a telescope, microscope or a globe, think about the items they’d get the most pleasure from. 

Historic newspaper

Can you find out when they started at the school? A newspaper from that year can be a really nice touch, and a school admin could likely help you find the precise date! 

River cruise 

Retirement means all the time in the world to bob along and appreciate the little things. A river cruise is a great choice, and they can be done in or outside of London at their leisure. This could even be booked for somewhere abroad if you know about an upcoming holiday!

Venice waterways at dusk.

Premium luggage

They might be taking more trips now! Spoil them with a case for carry on or as checked baggage, depending on what their plans are likely to be. Samsonite make some great cases. 

Headteacher retirement gifts

You’ve had us scratching our heads for headteacher retirement gifts, but we think we have found some great ideas they will love.

My life in a book is a great way to record memories for them to treasure. You can send out a request to previous teachers, students and members of the community to talk about the impact of the headteacher. 

As a headteacher, they are likely to get a lot of cards, but to also have so many trinkets and mementos from their time heading up a school. A treasured leather memory box is a fantastic heartfelt treat that they can use and appreciate. 

Sunset behind signpost pointing in different directions.

We love an experience and with the flexibility of many experience gift cards nowadays, it’s a safe bet too! Treat your headteacher to a gift intended for a countryside stay in a hotel if they’ve spent a career in the busy city, this will be an ideal respite, or if they’ve spent time in a small village school, consider a city break or even a trip to the EU on the Eurostar! 

Choose the ultimate gift: A heartfelt send off 

Still not sure on the retirement gifts for a teacher that will really blow them away? Consider allowing them to choose with a Teacher Collection Pot.

Let them know how special they are in a short video or written message that they can cherish sent from all the mums, dads and colleagues in their lives. You can choose your own images (perhaps snaps from that 1980s mullet!) and decide whether to make the total raised public. 

Select the Pot’s closing date and time to ensure they find out at the perfect moment, and then it’s up to them. They can redeem as a gift card, or cash out into their bank account. You can still give a token gift, or you can use the Collection Pot to kickstart your group fund collection.

The best part is it’s free to get started! Click here to set up a free Pot today. 

Elaine Keep

Elaine Keep is an accomplished content writer with over 15 years of experience in the field of marketing and content creation for many leading brands, where she shares her passion for research and helping others through her articles. You can also find her in 'mum mode', walking in the countryside or enjoying the dreamy combo of a new non-fiction book with a tea and chocolate bar to hand.

Like what you read? Share with a friend