Teachers are probably the closest things to superheroes many of us will encounter, but for whatever reason, finding the right birthday gifts to express appreciation for them can be a huge challenge. 

We found out what teachers want from students and parents. These 15 teacher-approved birthday presents have the personal and practical elements teachers of all grade levels love. The best part? It's really easy to make your teacher's birthday, no matter your budget.

Save the apples for your lunch and surprise your teacher with one of these thoughtful birthday gifts instead.

Everyone loves a good book

Perhaps your teacher introduced you to an author who just released a new book, or maybe you read a story that reminded you of something your teacher said in class. Books can be great gifts for teachers because there are tons of opportunities to make them personal.

Personalized pencils

Nothing is worse than having your pencils stolen. Help your teacher keep track of their supplies with personalized school supplies, like customized pencils with their names written on them.

Gift cards

When asked what their favourite gifts are, teachers commonly place gift cards near the top, especially for places nearby so they can enjoy some quality off-campus time. Think coffee shops, restaurants or movie vouchers.

Their go-to grading tool, but better

Teachers spend a huge amount of their time grading assignments, so giving them something to help with that process can be a great gift.

A new lanyard

A thoughtful gift to help your teacher keep their ID, classroom key and other necessities in one spot.

School supplies

Teachers usually pay out of pocket for the supplies in their classrooms, which can add up quickly. Pencils, pens, dry-erase markers, colouring supplies, disinfecting wipes and tissues are used daily, so whenever teachers get a new stock of classroom supplies, it's a big help.

A movie night

Treat your teacher to a night at the movies. A gift certificate or a couple of tickets and concession vouchers is a fun gift that gives teachers an easy way to spend some time with a friend or loved one.

Sponsorship or donation to a cause close to their hearts

Teachers tend to work within limited space and may feel guilty when a gift must be given away because they simply don't have room to keep it. Donating in their name to a cause they support is a thoughtful gift that doesn't take up any space.

A sturdy, personalized tote bag

Teachers have a lot to haul to and from school. This gift is a simple gesture that shows you pay attention and care for your teacher, and it won't go unappreciated. . We are ready to serve you differently with our Group card online

A well-thought gift basket

When done well, gift baskets can be a huge hit and a lot of fun for students and parents who are more DIY-oriented. The key is to make the basket useful and geared toward the teacher's interests. Teachers are pragmatic folks, and if the basket is more style than substance, its contents will probably still be appreciated, but not necessarily used.

Something fun to add to their collection

Does your math teacher always work Star Wars characters into word problems? Or maybe your teacher is a Volkswagen enthusiast and has a row of toy cars on their desk. Teachers are people, too, with lives and interests that extend beyond the classroom.

A keepsake or memory book

Whether it's a scrapbook-style binder filled with quotes, pictures, memories and notes or a blank book that the teacher can keep all the doodles and letters they receive from students over the years, teachers will cherish something like this forever.

 A handmade plaque or decoration for the classroom

This is another fun idea for the DIY-minded. As with many of the other gifts on this list, the key to this is personalization.

Your time

This gift doesn't cost anything, but it's highly valued by teachers. An excellent way to express appreciation is to hang out after class or at the end of the school year to help organize or clean the classroom.

Something that reflects a class memory

This kind of gift can take many forms, like a note, a doodle or some sort of knick-knack. If it is meaningful and will remind your teacher of a specific, positive moment in class, it will be valued. Try a class picture with each student's signature.

A letter or card

By far, this is the best gift a student can give a teacher. Teachers live to see their student's progress and growth, and the thing they treasure the most is a birthday ecardfrom students thanking them and letting them know that they made a difference. 

While snacks get eaten, candles burn down, and mugs get donated, the gratification and affirmation that comes from knowing they've made a difference in the lives of their students stay with teachers forever. 

Pair this with the keepsake book and get the whole class in on writing a birthday ecard for a gift that will most definitely be cherished by your teacher forever.

Cards bolster relationships by representing the sender's feelings; as a result, the virtual birthday cards become emotionally charged.