As a teacher I know that I am never expecting a gift, but I do love to receive something from my students…something that they put thought into. Some of my most treasured gifts have been made from paper, crayons, stickers and kindness. I think most teachers feel the same way.
I know as a parent I look at teacher gifts from a totally different perspective. I want to make sure I find something personal, budget friendly and useful. I also encourage my mini me to take an active role in the shopping process. I want my child’s teachers to know we see and value their hard work and commitment.
One thing I do in September is look around the teachers room during open house. My mini keeps her eyes and ears open too throughout the first few months. This way we can even make a gift card more personal. Knowing something as simple as a favorite color can be so helpful.
This leads me to the ideas.
So I know most people love a gift card, but I have a love/awkward feeling about them. They are quick, easy, and practical…so people love to give and get.
They are quick, easy and practical…so that’s why I don’t always love to give. I feel like it says I don’t know you or had no time to shop for you, so I picked up a gift card.
This is where, for a teacher gift, I have to calm down and just do it…most people love them. I try to add something cute to the gift card that is personal and I try to select a gift card that is not just Starbucks-unless the teacher is seen with a cup daily.
Here are some of my past selections:
- Favorite Restaurant
- Favorite Store
- TJ Maxx
Depending on a teachers situation sometimes they need things for the room that they can’t or shouldn’t pay for. Teachers spend a lot out of pocket to make their room a great place for their students. Picking up their favorite pens is the least I can do.
- Flair Pens
- Dry Erase Markers
- Electric Pencil Sharpener
- Inspirational Stationary
- Personalized Stationary
Mugs and Water Bottles
- Personalized cups and mugs
- Themed cups and mugs
- Inspirational messages on cups. mugs and water bottles
I think these are useful and can be refreshed. I personally enjoy a new water bottle or cup, especially because I forget about them(which means they get gross) or loose them in my travels.
- Lotion and hand cream
- Lip balms/gloss
- Nail polish and cozy socks
- Massage certificate
I try to keep these unscented or neutral. Scent can be very personal and powerful. I choose neutral or classic colors as well.
- Edible arrangements
- Favorite snacks
- Hot chocolate
One observation I have made over my many years of teaching is teachers love a treat, but not ones from a home kitchen. You may make the best fudge ever, but during cold and flu season most teachers will pass. We are looking forward to a happy and healthy holiday break, not one filled with chicken soup and tissues. So, I always purchase a yummy treat.
With all of these ideas my ultimate goal is to get something useful, personal and something that isn’t cluttering up a shelf or desk. No teacher needs a dozen Best Teacher mugs! And no teacher wants to feel guilty not using the multiple mugs.
Whatever you a purchasing this holiday season I hope you enjoy the process. If you can’t think of anything unique…get the gift card. I know I am taking the pressure off of myself this year.
And if you don’t have the budget for a gift consider:
- A hand written note or card
- A kind email
- Have your child write or draw something
- Have your child create something
- A heartfelt “Merry Christmas” at pick up or drop off
I think the key is expressing appreciation. Who doesn’t like to feel respected and appreciated?!
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