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112: A 2020 Gift Guide for Creative English Teachers

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I’ve been walking in the mornings, before my kids get up, and listening to podcasts. I like seeing the sun streak the sky as I tune into a whole range of shows, learning about what’s happening the world, getting ideas for travel when my family and I depart for our three year expedition to Bratislava next summer, listening to interviews with great educators, and more. Aren’t podcasts the best? 

Anyway, on vacation last week not one but TWO of my chosen podcasts aired gift guide episodes, and I was unexpectedly delighted. It was so much fun to hear the advice of people with really similar interests to my own about what to gift. Now to be honest, I got a lot of gift ideas for other people, but I also found out about a lot of things I wanted to get myself! So I’m hoping this gift guide will do the same for you. Make you smile, give you ideas for your friends and colleagues, and also share a few fun things with you that you might want to ask Santa for. 

You can listen in on Apple Podcasts, Sticher, Blubrry, or Spotify. Or just read on for all the photos and links! 


#1 Hilarious Teacher Wine Labels from the Big Dot of Happiness Etsy Shop



I’m seeing a lot of customized wine labels lately, and I think it’s a fantastic idea. It’s got me wanting to make my own, but for now, I recommend these fun holiday-themed ones from Big Dot of Happiness! You get a set of four, which you can add to bottles of wine for your colleagues or your children’s teachers. 

#2 Tapestries by Bookworm Boutique

While I really love everything from Bookworm Boutique (my dream sponsor for the podcast), the tapestries feel perfect for 2020. They’ll be lovely in a home office or as a Zoom background for now, and then they can go into the classroom to hover beautifully over a classroom library when the time is right. They’d also be beautiful in a child’s bedroom, if you’re shopping for a young one in your life. I love the “I read past my bedtime” tapestry for gifting to kids. 

#3 The Erin Condren Planner 


I’ve had a lot of planners, but for the last three years I customized my own at Erin Condren, and I’ve loved it. My mom bought me my first fancy schmancy planner for Christmas, and I realized after that that there was no going back. It makes a significant difference to every week of the year to have room to spread out your ideas, goals, appointments, and dreams inside a beautiful planner. 

#4 Bakeoff Cookbook (preorder): Love to Bake


If your friends are into Bakeoff, you can preorder this cookbook – coming out just before Christmas – for them.  Whether they actually want to make all the beautiful baked goods they watch on T.V. or just admire them on the coffee table during the cold days of winter, you’ll be bringing them joy either way. 

#5 Libro FM Subscription

The cool thing about Libro FM is that they split the profits with the independent bookstore of your choice. So instead of supporting Amazon with book purchases on Audible (no offense, Amazon) you can support a bookshop in your community or a favorite one you’ve found on vacation.  Check out their gift subscription options here. 

#6 Noveltea Tins


OK, so I can’t really see anything not to love about Noveltea tins. If you know someone who loves books and warm comforting beverages, you can go in and choose a tea flavor + book combination to suit. As several of my best friends from college and I used to watch the five hour long version of Pride and Prejudice when we got stressed, the “Pride and Peppermint” tin jumped out at me, but there are many more to peruse! 

#7 A Stitchfix Subscription  

Stitchfix makes it easy to get the clothes you want without leaving home. You take a style quiz and let a pro stylist shop for you, sending you five items in a lovely little box as often as you want. You keep what you want and send back the rest. As long as you keep one item, you don’t pay any fees for the service. Personally, I usually want to keep three or four! Gift a friend a gift card for their first box or gift it to yourself so you don’t have to worry about going to the mall this year. 

#8 Little Justice Leaders Subscription


If you’re looking for a lovely gift for a family with young kids, this subscription box will give them neat activities to do together and help them talk about anti-racism. For me, this box was really helpful in starting conversations with my children that I wanted to have anyway, and I appreciated the expert help of Little Justice Leaders in giving me engaging activities and materials I could easily use with my five and eight year old. 

#9 Hand-Lettering Book by Chalk Full of Love


I bought this book in the fall and I’ve really been enjoying the activities inside. It’s perfect for quiet winter evenings, or time around the table when your kids are doing an art project and you want to participate in the time together but not necessarily the same project. 

#10 Stickers by Miss Fairchild Creates 



I love so many of the stickers in this talented teacher’s Etsy shop! I’ve got one on my computer and one on my wall, and could easily and happily buy a dozen more. If you’d like to give a friend a smile in the form of laptop, planner, or water bottle decor, check out Miss Fairchild Creates! 

#11 See’s Chocolates Holiday Trees Keepsake Tin


In one of my first years teaching, the junior class (basically all of whom I taught) did a fundraiser to sell See’s chocolates for the holidays. A LOT of their parents kindly bought boxes of chocolates for all their kids’ teachers which meant that I ate (and shared) a whole lot of See’s that year. Now I love it. So I’d totally recommend it as an easy gift for anyone you know with a sweet tooth. Personally, all my teeth are sweet. 

#12 Out of Print



I like most everything in this bookish online store, but the Fight Evil, Read Books Collection has a special place in my heart. You just can’t go wrong gifting something with such wise words on it! 

#13 Diverse Spines


This is a great place to go book shopping for your friends, as the shop highlights authors who are women of color and helps support local independent bookstores. They’ve got wonderful curated collections to help make it easier for you to find winners for the readers in your life. 

#14 The Ed Deck


If you’re looking for an easy gift for your colleagues or student teacher, the Ed Deck fits the bill. Buy it once, and you can print it and gift it as many times as you want. Plus, you can print a copy for yourself too! It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The Ed Deck makes it easy for the teachers in your life to stay creative, even in stressful times. 

#15 Missy Lulu’s Teacher Tees 



One of the teachers in my Facebook group recommended this shop to me and it’s got so many great tees! The Books Are My Favorite tees that come in many different colors are probably MY favorite, but take a peek around, maybe you’ll find another style you love even more for your next gift. 

#16 East Nash Teacher

This “Support your Response with Textual Evidence” sweatshirt really cracks me up. You can preorder it for a hilarious gift right here. 


That’s all, folks! But I’d love to hear from you – what would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the comments below if you’re in the mood. 

Do you find your inspiration in VISUALS? I love ‘em too. Let’s hang out on Instagram! Click here to get a steady stream of colorful ideas all week long.



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I'm Betsy

I’ll help you find the creative ELA strategies that will light up your classroom. Get ready for joyful teaching!







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