Ah Christmas….a time of togetherness, goodwill, renewal of faith, and panic over what to buy for someone you hardly know.
Yes, I’m referring to teacher gifts.
I recently saw a headline that screamed, “Teachers say no more mugs!” Who can blame them? I mean, how many “World’s Greatest Teacher” mugs does one person need? It’s also my understanding that most teachers have a strong aversion to apple-themed tchotchkes, largely because they’ve received 5 million of them over the course of their teaching careers.
So what do you get for your child’s teacher? You want it to be something thoughtful and useful, but also inexpensive, because let’s face it, with the economy being what it is, none of us have piles of spare cash laying around.
I have a standard teacher gift idea that I use over and over. I gave these to all of Bee’s preschool teachers, and they were very well-received. I made these handmade cards:
Underneath the text, I use adhesive dots to attach a photo of Bee, and a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card. These can be used in the cafe’ for a Starbucks coffee and dessert, or if the teacher doesn’t drink coffee, she can use the money toward a book, calendar, organizer, or other classroom supplies. I think that the handmade card and photo add a personal touch, and show that thought and effort were put into the gift.
I was talking to a first grade teacher at Bee’s school, and she said that teachers love gift cards for stores like Wal-Mart or Target, bookstores, or teacher supply stores like Learning Ladder. The reason is because public school budget cuts force teachers to work on a very limited budget, and they often spend hundreds of dollars each year out of their own pockets to stock their classrooms. Gift cards are especially appreciated because they can be used throughout the year as needs arise.
When giving a gift to someone I don’t know well, I always try to put myself in their shoes. I reason that if I was a teacher, I wouldn’t want more trinkets to clutter up my life, and I would like to be able to choose something for myself that I would really enjoy.