Friday, December 10, 2010

teacher gifts

As a teacher, my students bring a considerable number of gifts to show their appreciation before they leave for Christmas vacation. Now that my children are in preschool, my experience has made it a lot easier to know what to buy for their teachers. Here’s my two cents on the subject.

I always get lots and lots of lotion, mugs, hot cocoa, and notepads for Christmas. If you are going to go this route I would suggest adding a personal touch to the gift such as including a personalization on the notepad (Vistaprint is a very inexpensive source).

I had one student who gave me a paperwhite bulb planted in a cute pot every year. Others have given small poinsettias or bamboo plants.

Dry erase markers, notebook paper, index cards, and boxes of tissue make great gifts for the classroom that any teacher would be happy to not spend their own money on. Especially with the recent NC budget cuts, supply-type gifts are greatly appreciated!

Some of the best handmade gifts are ornaments, scarves, and homemade cookies. Of course, teachers appreciate handwritten notes from their students. These are special treasures on those rough days in April and May.

One of the best *purchased*gifts I ever received from one of my students was a small pottery bowl. It was very practical and useful.

Other practical ideas include kitchen linens, seasonal Pampered Chef cookbooks ($1), stationary and stamps, or a frozen meal like a homemade chicken pie.

Target and Starbucks gift cards are great even in $1 or $5 amounts. They all add up!

Another of my favorite ideas came from a family with multiple children in the same school. The mother checked with the administration and then volunteered to supervise each child’s class at lunch one day. It only took a little over an hour of her time on her own lunch break and the teachers got to enjoy a duty-free lunch. They weren’t required to open anyone else’s milk or to ask anyone to pick up their trash and throw it in the garbage. I’m sure any teacher will agree that’s about the best Christmas present you can ask for.

From the perspective of a middle school teacher who’s students have seven or more teachers each, we know that it can all add up to a lot of money. Therefore you should always remember that no matter what you give to your children’s teachers this year they know that it’s the thought that counts.


merritt said...

It's always interesting to see what kids get you as a teacher. One semester I went to Starbucks almost every Friday on giftcards received.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I always give gift cards - especially after my year as a preschool can only use so much cheap lotion! ;)

Chrissy said...

I suggest you continue in the middle school ... in my experience Christmas gifts for HS teachers are nearly non-existent! Although our staff Secret Santa exchange is fun and all of the items mentioned are great for that too! :)

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