As a former teacher, I have stories to tell. Not just about my experiences, but the gifts. Don’t get me wrong, anything that shows you appreciate all the hard work teachers put into your child’s education is appreciated. However, I can’t say all make their way home.
My oldest just entered kindergarten, so here I am, the parent trying to come up with good gift ideas for his teacher. I don’t want to send her the same thing as everyone else. Nor do I want to put THAT much effort into it. I mean, we love her, but I have a million other people depending on me to make their Christmas “bright” … SO I asked my teacher friends for their advice, insight, and the do’s and the don’ts. I hope you find some good ideas, get a chuckle out of the not so great gifts, and check one more thing off that huge holiday to do list.
The Bad (and Sometimes Ugly)
I just had to start here. There are some funny stories to tell! I have my own hilarious memories, but I only taught for a small time period. My friends who have been at it for awhile have many more! You can wrap some of these things into the bad and the ugly, or what NOT to get!
Mugs, Mugs, and More Mugs
I once received a mug that said “World’s Best Mom” from a student. Some students really think you are their mom because of the close, loving relationship. This wasn’t one of those situations.
While we are on this mug kick, “Queen of the Universe” was another. Very smart student right here. Do you already notice a trend though? I remember bringing a box to carry home all of my mugs. While an easy idea, most people are on your same wavelength. I can promise you a mug is not at the top of your teacher’s wish list.
Anything TOO Personal
Personal gifts are always the bomb diggity. However, too personal is a whole other issue. Sending a “Honeymoon Survival kit” is so thoughtful. Just leave out the condoms. True story!!
Anything Christmas or Holiday Related
By the time we receive the gift, it’s almost Christmas or Hanukkah. It is a kind gesture, but it will most likely not be utilized until next year!
I can’t tell you the amount of candy I remember receiving. It’s just like Halloween all over again. It may not be bad or ugly, but my body disagrees.
Candles and Other Dollar Store Items
We have a stock pile, trust me.
This one may be part of the ugly category (sometimes). As always, the thought counts. I appreciate you. But please don’t buy me clothing. My husband can’t even get this one right, and we’ve been together a long time.
Something Related to Your Teacher’s Interests
If you know your teacher loves to run, get her a gift card to a sports store. If she likes tea, a wooden tea box hand painted. Does she love to travel? Maybe a monogrammed toiletries bag. If she goes from school to home where she is now on mom duty, get her a gift card to a place where she can relax. Make sure to include a card and explain WHY you thought of this! Not sure what to get that would be personal? Think for a few minutes, what do you see around his or her desk? That should give you a clue.
Favorite Food Gift Basket
Send your kid in on a reconnaissance mission. Make a gift basket with all of the ingredients and maybe a few home items to help! Who doesn’t love pancakes or brownies??!! I mean seriously, you don’t love brownies? What’s wrong with you???
Shop Local & Support Your Entrepreneur Friends
Have a multi-level marketing friend who has been bugging you about stocking stuffers? You can buy a few things the teacher could use. An organizer for her desk. Essential oils to relax. Kitchen stuff that’s been personalized. Not only are you giving to your teacher, but you are helping a friend out as well!
I mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. When you open that gift and it’s something you can use to SHOP? Well, you just got promoted to Best Classroom Mom. We spend so much on our classroom and supplies we don’t have much leftover for ourselves, or to personalize our classroom. I mean, I am not sure if you heard but teachers need to be paid more. TRUST ME. Giving us the opportunity and freedom to choose something ourselves is just so amazing. You can personalize with a witty saying. Something like “Thanks for keeping me on Target” (Target) or “Thanks a Latte” (Starbucks). I bet if you go to Pinterest you will find some amazing ideas!
Yes the live kind. After spending a small fortune on our classroom, we don’t have much leftover for our desk. Buying a small plant that can withstand some torture is a great idea. Adding a gift tag that says “Thanks for letting me grow” is a nice touch.
If you are a room mom with access to all of the other parents emails, this one is great. Email everyone and have them contribute for a large gift card. Think of something the teacher could use. Or make a large themed basket, just leave out the condoms (see above).
Something as Simple as a Handmade Card
Please understand you never have to spend money on us. Some of the best gifts are simple ones that come from the heart. I still have ALL of the handmade cards I received. I keep them in a book. When I look down my Facebook timeline, all of my teacher friends share these the most.