What to Give Teachers for Christmas

I was recently approached by a friend (who’s got lots of kids in school and her husband is currently deployed, so she’s flying solo right now) who asked me what teachers really want from their students for Christmas. As we talked, we identified what resources people might or might not have (time, energy, money, creativity) that would factor into what gift they would give a teacher for Christmas. Our discussion seemed to end on the idea that teachers are people too so they don’t necessarily need a huge “Teachers Are the Best” T-shirt or a giant package of stickers.

I then asked my Facebook readership (mostly teachers) about this and they confirmed what I had discussed with my friend.  This main theme emerged from teachers: Treat us like regular people rather than teachers! (So, skip the “world’s best teacher” mug. She’s probably got a few of them already.)

I’ve combined those two ideas (varying resources from gift-givers and teachers being treated like regular people) and I’ve come up with some gift-giving advice for you:

 

If the resource you have is MONEY…

Give gift cards! Teachers love going out to eat, seeing a movie, adding to their personal music/media collection or splurging on something fun at the store. If you still want to give something teaching-related, my readers suggested a gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers. Unfortunately, gift cards don’t come on sale very often, so you probably won’t get a deal on them. But you will probably check it off your list the fastest by grabbing a gift card while you’re at the grocery store.

 

If the resource you have is TIME…

Spend time in your teacher’s classroom! I think I would die of joy if parents in my class had “gifted” me 2 hours of help in my classroom. Before, during, after school, it wouldn’t matter. I would ask them to help me grade/record papers, redo a bulletin board, sort supplies or books, or about a million other things. I think this could also apply to school things the teacher would otherwise have to bring home. For example, you could volunteer to take home some laminated things, cut them out for the teacher and then send them back to school with your student. Heck, one teacher friend of mine had a parent take home her electric pencil sharpener and the parent sharpened a hundred pencils for her at home! Unconventional gift, I know, but it saved my teacher friend so much time and sanity! This kind of gift might not cost much (maybe the cost of a babysitter?), but it will speak volumes about your appreciation!

 

If you want to save your teacher some time…

Give the teacher a prepaid car wash. You probably know how good it feels to have a clean car. And you probably also know the nagging feeling that you should just wash and vacuum out your dang car yourself, but you don’t have time (or energy)! Well, be the teacher’s hero and grab him a certificate for a car wash. It’s probably something they’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Practical, simple and something they can actually use!!

 

If you’ve got a bunch of teachers on your list…

Give baked goods! Do I really need to say more? I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like a delicious goodie! Homemade or store-bought, it’ll be delicious. Just make sure you know if the teacher has any food allergies! (And don’t worry about making your presentation “Pinterest-worthy”. Most teachers don’t have time to make everything super fancy, so they don’t expect others to either.)

 

If you’re low on time and money…

Write a heartfelt note. Yes, you the parent. Kids give teacher notes all the time, but parents rarely do. Write down a note of appreciation telling them what you admire and appreciate about them as an individual and as a teacher. Consider telling them how your child has grown since they’ve been in the teacher’s classroom. Have your child draw a picture or make their own card to go with it.

 

Merry Christmas and happy gifting!!

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