For a teacher’s pet, an apple won’t impress this school year. Between February 2020 and May 2022, nearly 300,000 public-school teachers and other staff have left the field, a nearly 3% drop in that workforce, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Teachers have been grappling with remote learning and everchanging COVID-19 protocols. With a new school year, teachers will also deal with staff shortages, contentious masking-policy debates and political battles over what they can and can’t discuss or teach in the classroom.

Staying in the classroom isn’t an option for some. A National Education Association poll conducted this year found 55% of teachers said they would leave education sooner than planned, up from 37% last August. To get excited for this school year, teachers need support more than ever.

Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS+, CEO of Michigan-based distributor Competitive Edge, says, “Lately, [schools and universities] have been using a lot of tech items, water bottle decals, apparel, writing instruments, stress relievers/fidgets and fanny packs. As long as the product is on-trend, engaging and promotes a school community, I think any product can get a student excited about learning.”

Competitive Edge also created a TikTok featuring four back-to-school kits to give clients ideas for the new school year.


When preparing promotional campaigns for schools, be aware that heightened safety standards will apply, as most products will be considered children’s products. PPAI offers resources to help industry professionals navigate children’s product safety requirements.

Give teachers and students something to look forward to this year with back-to-school promo.

The EcoPack is ideal for both students and teachers. This kit features a sustainably made power bank and eco-cable. Both products have materials made with bio-degradable plastic, recycled housing and each packed with recyclable packaging.

Acehigh Tech Corp / PPAI 161597, S2 /

This 14-ounce water bottle & wireless speaker is essential for a study session or walks in the park. It has a double-wall vacuum insulated stainless steel construction. The insulated screw cap comes with D-ring handle allows for hanging. There’s wireless connection up to 30 feet and a playing time of 2-1/2 hours.

Ariel Premium Supply, Inc. / PPAI 161650 /

The Ellipse Softy Rose Gold is a stylish, premium pen with ultra-trendy rose gold trim, available in black or blue medium ballpoint ink. Express style with a variety of metallic rubberized soft touch product colors with color-match stylus that's perfect for touchscreens. A school’s logo will look amazing in ColorJet, a vibrant, full-color inkjet imprint process.

Goldstar / PPAI 114031, S10 /

The Ontario two-pocket dual use crossbody/waist bag is a compact and convenient hands-free pack for chores around the home, a day out or travel. It has a front zippered pocket and a zippered closure on its main compartment. Adjust the strap to fit most body sizes and secure it with the buckled closure. Gift this convenient bag to teachers, administrators of the new class of students.

Logomark, Inc. / PPAI 110898, S11 /

This elegant and beautiful aroma diffuser and humidifier comes in a light wood grain finish. With seven LED color options, you can always find a perfect color to fit your mood. This smart diffuser works by creating 360° ultra-sonic frequencies that instantly atomize water and oil molecules into the air. The result is a much healthier alternative than older style heat diffusers that can damage essential oils during the heat diffusion process. It’s perfect for any classroom.

Global Promo, LLC / PPAI 288502, S3 /