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Gifts for Teachers

10 Ways to Appreciate Your Teacher

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Looking for a gift for your teacher?  Check out this gift guide of nature-related items that would make great gifts for teachers. Many can be purchased online or at the last minute.

1. Gift Cards

Especially for the last-minute shopper, a gift card might be an obvious choice, and might allow a teacher to purchase something extra for the classroom, or nice for themselves. There are lots of great stores, musems and catalogs which have items for educators. If you're looking for nature and science-related items, a gift card to a place like Acorn Naturalists, or your local bookstore, science center, nature center or museum would do the trick!

2. "Adopt" a Marine Animal

Humpback whale diving
© Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation

A virtual adoption of a marine animal such as a whale, seal, shark or seabird is like buying a membership to an organization, in that you're making a donation to support the organization's mission, but the result is a little more tangible. Your teacher would get an adoption kit with an adoption certificate and a detailed life history of the animal you've adopted - and it's perfect for sharing with her classroom.

3. Honorary Donation to a Charity

You can make a donation to a charity in your teacher's name. This is an especially good idea if your teacher has a favorite cause. If you need suggestion or help finding a charity, feel free to e-mail me for ideas or ask readers in the Marine Life Forum.

4. Gift a Gift Membership

Along the lines of donating to a charity, you could purchase an individual or family membership to a local aquarium or science center. Your teacher will remember your kind gesture every time they visit!

5. Give An Interaction or Wildlife Viewing Experience

Humpback Whales Lunge-Feeding / Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation
© Jennifer Kennedy, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Consevation

If your teacher is adventurous, you could give them a gift certificate for a trip to view marine life - such as a whale, dolphin or seal watching trip, snorkeling or Scuba diving tour, or swim-with-dolphins program. Try to support responsible, eco-friendly operators when making your purchase. You could accompany your gift with a field guide or a short report of the species they might see on their trip.

6. Music and Videos

Your teacher might appreciate a CD of marine life sounds, such as a CD featuring whale songs, or a DVD about marine life (the Discovery Channel Store has a bunch) or another nature CD or video, perhaps accompanied by a book about marine life.

7. Marine Life Books

There are a variety of books about marine life, ranging from fictional stories to non-fiction, science-based books and coffee table books. Some of my favorites are World Ocean Census, which features beautiful images and accounts of exciting, innovative research, Voyage of the Turtle, with great information on leatherback turtles, and the Secret Life of Lobsters, an extremely fun read about lobster biology and research.

8. Binoculars

If your teacher is outdoorsy, they might appreciate a pair of binoculars, perhaps combined with an informative field guide. Here's a helpful guide to buying binoculars, and a field guide on birds.

9. Tickets to Science/Nature Center or Museum

Green Sea Urchin Test / Jennifer Kennedy
© Jennifer Kennedy

Tickets to a local science/nature center or museum might be a great gift for your teacher. So many of us don't explore the attractions in our own towns - you can give them an excuse to do that!

10. Magazine Subscription

Your teacher may appreciate a subscription to a magazine that deals with the outdoors and/or science - one with broad coverage such as National Geographic, Outdoors or Outside, or one that covers more specific areas like the oceans, birds, surfing, scuba diving or gardening.

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