Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teacher Gifts

It's that time of year again. Time for gifts for everyone, including your child's teacher. Most teachers seriously do not expect a holiday gift from their students, but it is a nice gesture. Your child's teacher spends the majority of the week with your child. What are some good ways to thank them for this?
One: Thank them! Yes, especially if money is tight this year, write a sincere thank you note to your child's teacher. Mention specific things on how he/she helped your child or lessons you or your child enjoyed. Your child can also make his/her own thank you or holiday card as well.

Two: Gift Card. Let them splurge a little or be practical. I know from experience that most teachers use their own money for some supplies in the classroom. They can spend the gift card on themselves or use it towards the classroom. Better yet, have a parent collect $5-10 from each student to buy one gift card or certificate from the class. If a class of 20 each gives $5, that's a nice $100 gift certificate for the teacher and a small price to pay for the students' families as well.

Three: You and your child can create something for your teacher. Every year when my children and I hang ornaments on our tree, I put up homemade ones from former students and tell my children about that student who made me the ornament. A parent also once made me a beautiful ceramic Christmas tree that adorns my house each year.

Four: Supplies for the classroom. Ask ahead of time if the teacher needs anything specific from extra pencils or paper to manipulatives or books (most likely he/she will have needs these days).

I'm a former teacher who now buys gifts for my children's teachers. In the past, I have given a Target gift card with sometimes a book to the teachers. This year money is tighter, so I bought Frango chocolate mints on sale and a book for the teacher to use in the classroom. For my preschooler's teacher, I bought a book on games from all around the world (they study a different country each week). For my second grader's teacher, I bought Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian. I looked on the website to see the second grade curriculum and insects and poetry were both on the list so I knew this would be a good fit. For my fifth grader's teacher, I bought Operation Yes! by Sara Lewis Holmes. I just read this book and it's a great, inspirational story that fifth grade boys and girls will enjoy.

What gifts did I enjoy when I was a teacher? Ones that stick out in my mind are the homemade ornaments mentioned above. One student gave me a Christopher Radko angel ornament that was lovely, but what stands out in the gift was the sentiment along with it. The parent told me I was an angel to her daughter which I really warmed my heart. I only received a gift card once or twice and that seriously was like a little bonus, too. Not everyone enjoys extra food at the holidays, but I've never said no to a box of chocolates either!

So if you do decide to give a gift for your child's teacher, give it some thought, write a sincere sentiment to go along with it, and your child's teacher will appreciate it! Do you have any other good ideas for teacher gifts?

Here's a holiday tune from the Smashing Pumpkins. I just heard that lead singer Billy Corgan was dating Jessica Simpson! That is a unique match. I hope some good new Smashing Pumpkins tunes comes out of it at least!
Enjoy "Christmastime." I love this song!


21 comments:

Rena said...

Great ideas, Kelly. I know a lot of people start asking about gifts for their kid's teachers this time of year, as well as at the end of the school year. Nice to see a teacher's view on this.

Kelly H-Y said...

What a heartwarming post, Kelly. And, thanks so much for the reminder to include a personal note ... I need to add that to our teacher gifts! That is a spectacular idea. Thanks for sharing from your experiences!

Sara said...

I'm honored that you're giving Operation Yes to your child's fifth-grade teacher. That makes me smile all over. And tell her/him that I will communicate with the class, if they want to, or send pencils or postcards or something.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Nice post. You should try to sell it as an article somewhere. I love getting the gift cards, especially to bookstores. I've already gotten two gifts from my students this year: one of those insulated mugs and a homemade ornament. But you're right, there's not much better than a sincere thank you.

Nora MacFarlane said...

Great ideas! I always do a gift card and a thank you note, too. Stores I've given in the past are the local teacher supply, Borders, Target and Walmart.

One of my favorite gifts (I'm a teacher too!) was a parking pass to the county park system where I live. Homemade Christmas ornaments are fun too. I always put the student's name and year on the ornament. That way I remember them for years to come.

Lilfix said...

I never knew what to get Son's teachers throughout the years...these ideas would have been great to have...My Sis still has children in school, so I will pass these ideas along...Hugs...

Kelly said...

Thanks, Rena!
Kelly- If I forget to write a note at Christmas, I try to remember to at the end of the year.
Sara- Thank you so much for stopping by and for the offer for the class!!
Nora and Murph- Thank you, I appreciate the input from teachers!!
Brenda- Thanks for passing the info along!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Billy Corgan and Jessica Simpson? Seriously? That's an odd pairing!

My daughter made her teacher a ladybug bracelet and bought a ladybug candle to go with it. They are studying insects in 2nd grade and her teacher claims to be afraid of ladybugs. J wants to help her get over the phobia :)

Kelly said...

Sherrie-That's a cute idea, and the kids will love it when she wears it during the insect unit!

Christina Farley said...

Great ideas. We made Christmas cookies and filled giant coffee mugs with them and coffee from Starbucks and a candy cane.

Anita said...

I'm getting together with other parents to give gift cards. It's so easy and who wouldn't like a $100?!

And my kids and I are reading OPERATION YES out loud, after your recommendation...I'll let you know what we think. It will make for some fun vacation reading and we're taking it with us for one of my daughter's treatments...her siblings want to go see what the treatment facility is like, and I'm sure the book will keep them from getting bored once the first facility look-see is done.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Wonderful ideas there to get the teachers. I believe it's important to remember them, and so easy to make a gift! One year I taught my stepdaugher to knit (she kept watching me and wanted to try) and she made an easy knitted square that could be used as a pot holder. I think teachers appreciate the time.

PJ Hoover said...

Great ideas! I buy the teachers books normally. And I just got Operation Yes today. Can't wait to read it!

todd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary Rand Hess said...

Great ideeas for the teachers in our lives. Thank you!

And now I have a gift for you, Kelly (you won the hardback copy of The Day I Met The Nuts), so send me your mail addy by e-mailing me at maryrandhess@yahoo.com when you get the chance.

Many Christmas Cheers!
Mary

Keri Mikulski said...

Great son. :)

Definitely gift cards. :)

I agree with selling it as an article too. :)

MG Higgins said...

Giving gifts to teachers is so incredibly thoughtful.

Speaking of thoughtful gifts, I've tagged you! You can get the details at my blog.

wordwranglernc said...

Great post! I homeschool, but these sound like great ideas for Sunday School teachers and other homeschooling moms, too. I think giving chocolates and books is the greatest idea ever. How can you go wrong with either of those? :)

peace,
Donna

wordwranglernc said...

and Billy Corgan dating Jessica Simpson? Perhaps they will be good for each other. Oddly, I think this pairing might work!

nikki said...

I have to agree on the sincere thank you note. I once wrote a heartfelt thank you to a teacher, (which was FREE) and it is the gift I received the most feedback from - she loved it!!!

Angela said...

I always make something, never buy. For me, it's a gift of time in return for the time and attention a teacher puts into one of my children.