Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Teacher's Perspective on Teacher Gifts

Passing notes today:  Mrs. Williams

Hey Girls,

Now that my boys are in school (elementary and pre-school), I am finding myself on the other side of teacher gifts.  You see, for years, I was the receiver of teacher gifts during the holidays.  Each year I was so grateful that a family was thoughtful enough to spend a little of their holiday budget on me.  A teacher gift is a sweet token of appreciation and I always appreciated what my students gave me.

These days, I’m the giver of teacher gifts.  And, do you know what I have found?  It’s not easy finding a nice gift for under $10 (that’s usually my budget).  In previous years, I thought like a parent (stick within the budget) when buying a gift, but this year, I’m going to think of another way to spend money on my boys' teachers.
Here’s what I think (AKA the cold-honest-truth), my sons' teachers probably don’t want something with my child’s name/hand print/art on it (that's what I, as their mother, want).  Their teachers probably don’t need any more soap or lotion or candles.  And this year, I'm going to skip anything with the word “teacher” or “#1” on it.  I'm sure they've received a lot of apple ornaments through the years, too.
So, this year, instead of running around and picking up lotions, candles, and candies, I’m actually going to give my sons’ teachers what they probably really want and could use….gift cards.
When buying a teacher a gift card, I could go the practical route (I know they’ll use these):

  • A gas card
  • A grocery store card
  • A Target/Home Depot/ Amazon card

Or I could go the thoughtful route (if I think about their hobbies):

  • For crafty teachers:  Jo Ann Fabrics or Michaels
  • For outdoorsy teachers:  Dick’s Sporting Goods / Bass Pro Shop / LL Bean
  •  For intellectual teachers:  Barnes and Noble

Or I could go the coffee/food route (if only I was certain what he/she likes):

  • Coffee:  Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons
  • Food:  A local or chain restaurant
Let me leave you with two other thoughts:

If you're going the gift-card-route like me, why not choose one store, like Barnes and Noble, for each parent in the classroom planning on purchasing a gift for the teacher to buy a gift card from?  So, during the holidays, the teacher can get a really substantial gift rather than a bunch of appreciated, but smaller gifts.  My husband is a teacher, and one year all the parents bought the same type of gift card to Barnes and Noble.  It was awesome because he was able to buy a Nook that holiday.

And here's the other thing, you actually don’t even need to buy a gift.  Do you know what I have saved the most over my teaching years?  Notes.  So, if your wallets are tight this holiday season, get out a pen and paper.  Have your child write a note to his/her teacher and write one yourself.  Sometimes teachers feel a bit unnoticed and unappreciated, let your child’s teacher know that you notice him/her and the work he/she does with your child.

So there you have it.  I hope the boys' teachers won’t think I “wimped” out by buying them a gift card.  Maybe they’ll just think I'm smart and therefore my boys must be too.  So, I'm expecting all “A’s” on that next report card.
Off to go buy some gift cards,

Mrs. Gosling comment:  You mean, a picture of my child isn't going to grace his teacher's fridge?  I kid, I kid. I am going the gift card route this year too.  I like to add a little note, a little gift card and maybe a sweet treat.  It's affordable, personal and involves the kiddies.  Triple threat. 

Mrs. Kelly comment:  If only I could buy snow days...


Anonymous said...

In 18 years of teaching, I received more mugs than anything else. I appreciatd the sentiment behind the gift, and many of the mugs were nice or cute or pretty, but if I kept them all, every kitchen cupboard in my house would be overflowing with nothing but mugs, so they always got regifted or donated to Goodwill. Gift cards? Now that's one gift that would never get re-gifted!

Naptime Notebook said...

Thanks for the comment! So true!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...