I still remember the feeling of joy I experienced as a child when presenting my teacher with a Christmas gift. Years later, after becoming a teacher myself and being on the receiving end, I realized how important it is to show teachers appreciation during the holidays.
The teacher is one of the most important adults in your child’s life. This person not only teaches your child valuable educational skills, but also helps in your child’s development of social skills and attitudes about the world around them. A thoughtful gift, as small as it might be, is a way to show how appreciative you are of the work they do. It also sends a message to your child on the value of a teacher in their life. Involving your child in the selection, purchase, gift-wrapping, and presentation of the gift is an important part of the message.
In selecting a gift for a teacher, consider an item that is most likely to be used and enjoyed. I’ve surveyed teachers, new and seasoned, male and female, and at various grade levels to put together this helpful list for you and your child to use as a guide.
Teachers absolutely love gift cards. This was the always the first item on the list from each teacher polled. Gift cards are a versatile, one-size-fits-all gift and a welcome treat to an underpaid teacher with a pinched budget. Some gift cards teachers appreciate most are –
• Teaching supply stores
• Craft shops
• Clothing Stores
Teachers frequently purchase supplies out of their own pocket. Put together a small basket of teacher supplies topped off with a bright ribbon for a gift the teacher is sure to use. Some items to include are –
• A good quality ballpoint pen
• Multi-color white board pens
• Felt stamp pad and stamps
• Sticky notes
• Personalized stationery – Everyone loves to see their name on pretty paper.
• Calendar – A new year is coming in soon and a new calendar will come in handy.
• Potted plant – An easy-to-care-for potted plant will brighten up the classroom.
• Homemade crafts – If you have a special skill, create something unique for that special teacher.
• Designer chocolate – Who doesn’t crave rich, fancy chocolates like Godiva! (Just make certain the teacher doesn’t have a chocolate allergy.)
Hobbies, Collections and Interests
Students usually know of a teacher’s special interests, hobbies and collections. A gift with the theme focused on the teacher’s special interest really shows you’re paying attention and care. For example, if the teacher is a car buff, select notepaper or a calendar with photographs of cars. You might even consider tossing a Match Box car or two into the basket of teacher supplies. The extra little bit of thoughtfulness will, surely, bring a smile to the teachers face.
Items to NOT consider
Teachers have a ton of these things, especially if they’ve been teaching for many years.
• Coffee mugs
• Christmas ornaments
• Perfumes / colognes
• Items that say “Best Teacher”
Home baked items are also not good gifts since food allergies might mean the item could end up in the trash.
Most important of all!
Yes. Working together with your child to select a gift is important; however, don’t forget the most important part of all – the note. Help your child compose a special message to be handwritten inside the greeting card accompanying the gift. The content of the message should include the qualities your child most appreciates in the teacher. Writing this note will help your child reflect upon the value of that teacher in their life. It’s also the part of the gift the teacher will appreciate most.
Making a list and checking it twice
When writing down the important people on your Christmas gift list this holiday season, be sure the teacher is at the top of the list. It only takes a little bit of extra time to select the perfect gift for the perfect teacher.