Listen, I don't mean to alarm you, but the gift-giving season is fast approaching. Like, warp speed fast. Like, scary fast.
If you don't want to be caught shopping at the very last minute, now is the time to get your act together—especially if you have kids in school and you're the type that likes to gift the teacher.
The truth is that school ends before Christmas Day, so you need to get in gear now if you want to thank your kids' teacher for putting up with all of their antics thus far this school year!
Now, I know you have 18 different gift ideas pinned to your School Teacher Gift Ideas board.
- Hand soap with a tag that reads "wishing you a holiday season filled with joy and hope soap."
- A reusable coffee mug that reads, "Warm winter wishes."
They're cute. They are.
But every other parent in your kids' class also has those gift ideas pinned. Your kid's teacher probably doesn't need peppermint-scented soap to last until July... unless she really likes peppermint.
And so I want to encourage you to think out of the Pinterest app box this holiday season and give your kids' teachers what they really need.
Ask Your Kids' Teachers What They Really Need
No, really. Just ask. I know, it kind of removes some of the surprise of gifting, but if your kids' teacher is struggling to get enough supplies for the classroom, a gift of those supplies would be greatly appreciated.
Get All the Teachers and All the Parents Involved with a Gifting Tree
This one involves more than a simple conversation with your child's teacher but could really benefit the entire school.
On a tree in the lobby or entry way of your school, have teachers hang tags with what supplies and books they want or need for their classroom. Parents can then visit the tree, grab a tag and gift the teacher.
This version of helping out the classroom is less direct than asking but involves a little more work and participation by all. This helps ensure that teachers who may not have any parents able to gift in their classroom this year still get some help this holiday season.
Variations on theme include a Book Tree to get books for the classroom and a Volunteer Tree to get more volunteers in for holiday special events.
Wrap Your Teachers' Presents
Teachers are busy this time of year too. Get a few parents together and ask the teacher to bring in a few unwrapped presents (someone suggested six, but it would be up to you) for you to wrap.
Bring all of your prettiest wrapping paper and bows and tags and make those presents really beautiful. Your kids' teacher will be grateful for the time and the effort. (Also, please come wrap my presents. I'm horrible at it.)
Photo Credit: cali4beach.
Check Out the Teacher's Wish List on Scholastic
Does your child bring home Scholastic Book Orders? Does your kids' teacher have an online account where you can submit your order? Chances are the teacher also has a small wishlist set up.
Simply log in to your child's classroom, click on Recommendations & Wishlist, and then click on the button that says Classroom Wish List. Buy a book (or two!) from the list, wrap 'em up, and write on the card that they're for the classroom.
If you want to give your child's teacher a bit more of a "gift" than just stuff for the classroom, go with gift cards. That way the teacher can decide to spend on self or class or both. I love to give Amazon gift cards, but you can also hit up local retailers that would also benefit from your holiday money. Win win for all.
I know your schedule is incredibly busy. So is mine. So is your child's teacher's schedule.
Make time during the slippery slope into the holidays to volunteer at school. Maybe you only have 30 minutes on a random Tuesday. That's fine. Offer.
If your child's teacher is one who isn't keen on volunteers, spread it out to the rest of the school and hit the library or the cafeteria or some place else that could use a little help.
And, let me give you one last idea if you're like many who have to budget the holidays and can't seem to fit in a gift for teacher this year:
Say Thank You.
Say it sincerely, even if it's been a rough first half of the year.
Say thank you for the long hours and the hard work of teaching not only your child, whom I'm sure is an angel, but many other children, all of whom are probably not as angelic, right?
Say thank you for a job that is often thankless. Say thank you for putting up with your incessant emails and questions and notes and general interference. Say thank you. Mean it.
These are just some out-of-the-box teacher gift-giving ideas that could brighten a hard-working teacher's holiday season.
If you've given something that doesn't fit on Pinterest, share it with us in the comments. We're all looking for little ways to thank our kids' teachers this holiday season, so help us out.
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