With Christmas quickly approaching, parents everywhere are frantically searching for the perfect gift for their child's teacher. As both parent and teacher, I think I may have a few suggestions that can help you out. A big thank you to all my fellow teachers and Facebook friends who helped me compile this gift giving guide.
Great Gifts to Give
Handmade cards or letters
Some of our most treasured gifts are those with sincere notes written by our students. Hearing that we made a difference in someone's life is like gold on those tough days when we're contemplating a career change. It's nice to pull out a box of letters that can help remind us why we got into this field in the first place. Anything that brings a smile to our face is a good gift to give.
What restaurant does your child's teacher like? Starbucks cards are a popular gift, but consider a gift card for a massage or pedicure, to a bowling alley, or to the local movie theater. Even gift cards to a grocery store, Walmart, Target, Amazon, or an office supply store will be welcomed.
Nearly every teacher uses their own money to purchase some of their classroom supplies. Find out what supplies your child's teacher uses on a daily basis. When all else fails, a ream of copy paper, a box of tissues, or a pack of dry erase markers can help.
Most teachers, at least at the elementary level, have classroom libraries. Buy a new book that everyone in the class can enjoy! Or visit a second-hand bookstore and pick up a bagful of children's books for a reasonable price.
Create A Survival Kit
Lip balm, hand sanitizer, lotion, Advil, Tide-To-Go pen, mints, gum, and Airborne tablets are lifesavers during the winter months when the weather is cold and the kids are sniffling.
Dinner & Dessert Kit
Of of my favorite gifts didn't come from a student, but from a colleague during a union meeting. She'd tossed together all the stuff I'd need to make a fast dinner. Pasta, sauce, and bread completed the kit. It really came in handy one night when the cabinets were nearly bare and we were short on time. Another friend gave me a S'mores kit. Loved them both.
Feed a Hobby Habit
Does your child's teacher have a hobby? Consider their life outside of work when selecting a gift.
Pinterest is chock-full of adorable ideas for the crafty souls out there. As an added bonus, many of the DIY projects take minimal time and money but look fabulous.
Beware of . . .
Everyone has their favorite scents they prefer, so purchasing scented candles, lotions, and body washes is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of gift. Personally, I like it.
As a teacher, I get a lot of cute ornaments. Some of them make it onto my tree at home, but some don't. My favorite ones have been signed by the student and include the date. Knowing who gave it to you makes all the difference.
Homemade Food Items
Too many people have allergies and may not be able to eat the cookies your child helped make.
Avoid . . .
Mugs can be a tricky gift. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love mugs but have run out of space in my home, to the point where my husband groans and complains every time he opens the cabinet. I do appreciate though, large ceramic cups that can go in the microwave and have silicone lids.
Unless you know your teacher has a collection of stuffed animals they actually use in the classroom, it's best to stay away from any plush creature.
Large amounts of candy
Teachers greatly appreciate being fed, but too many sweets are never good for anyone. By the time the kids go home on that last day before Christmas break, the staff lounge tables are buckling under the weight of all the junk food from class parties and well-meaning kids. It becomes a dump and go. Some of us, like me, have no willpower at all and will spend the day grazing from the smorgasbord of treats. Others will avoid the staff room at all costs. What doesn't get eaten by the end of the day Friday will be pitched in the trash.
Kids, especially the young ones, like to buy their teachers a cute necklace or pair of earrings. Unfortunately, many people are sensitive to anything with nickel in it. I love the look of costume jewelry, but my earlobes immediately swell up, turn red, and get hot. Often, it won't get worn and will find its way to Goodwill or into the trash when no one is looking.
Final Thoughts . . .
Teachers aren't the only ones at school who touch your child's life on a daily basis. Many others go unnoticed and unappreciated during the holiday season. Custodians, crossing guards, teacher's aides, speech teachers, RSP teachers, band teachers, and principals deserve some love, too. Even middle school and high school teachers get forgotten. Regardless of what you choose to gift to your teacher(s), please know teachers (and all the other school folks) are thrilled that you took the time to think of them.
If you have a nifty idea to share, please leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you! Come back Tuesday when the authors of the Romance Weekly Blog Hop chat about their favorite Christmas story.