The holidays can be a busy and rushed time for all of us, and one person, in particular, is someone you shouldn’t forget to acknowledge – your kids’ teachers. Now, I’m not telling you to go out and buy them something amazingly expensive to show your appreciation. But this person is with your child frequently enough that there should be some way to show your thanks.
If you’re keeping tabs on me, you know that in the last 10 years I have taught preschool to 6th grade. I hope this offers some insight into the knowledge I have to impart to you.
Today, I present to you, 4 gifts your child’s teacher actually wants, and 1 they definitely don’t:
1. Special treats
The holidays are full of cookies and cakes- and in general, elementary classrooms always seem to be full of cupcakes. I love sugar but I really try to keep self-control for all the delicious things I’ll be eating later. It can be fun to make a teacher a special treat but remember that they’re adults and it doesn’t always need to be candy. I’ve had students bring culturally thoughtful gifts like fry bread and tamales.
I’ve also had a mom come and ask me what my favorite hot beverage was. This is my favorite teacher appreciation gift story. I don’t drink coffee and I’m not a fan of major chains. So moms who have the foresight to not assume and to ask first are the best! This mom one day, randomly brought me a chai from a local cafe. It was incredibly thoughtful and a great pick me up. Homemade sweets are great, but keep in mind it will either be shared or it will be eaten as much as you could probably stand to eat so many sweets.
2. Plants or flowers
There’s something I enjoy about getting a live plant as a gift. Plants brighten rooms and help children understand how to take care of them. I could honestly tell you about every plant I’ve received from a student – I have also killed all of them (I’m not a great plant person). Flowers are also great, you get to enjoy them and appreciate them and then they die. They’re quick and simple. They work in a classroom or at home.
3. Gift Cards
If you really want to go all out, go for gift cards. I’ve received movie tickets, bookstores, and coffee shop gift cards. Look for clues as to what the teacher is interested in and go from there. Gift cards are great because people can get what they truly want. And it’s not like teaching is a high paying gig!
4. Personal messages
You don’t need to spend money to thank a teacher. There is nothing compared to a genuine and sincere thank you card from your family. Teachers love things that are from the heart and show actual appreciation. Teaching is exhausting and frequently can feel pretty thankless. Let your child’s teacher know that not only are they doing a great job but that you are so thankful that your child spends time with them day in and day out.
Finally, what do teachers not want this season?
Definitely, knick knacks. It’s so sweet to get things like mugs that say “Best Teacher Ever” but what are you supposed to do with say, 8 similar items? I’m not a fan of clutter, and classrooms are busy enough as it is without adding a figurine. While you’re preparing for teacher, asking yourself, “what if every student brought this?”
I would never be opposed to 28 gift cards or tamales.