Sunday, November 25, 2012

To Gift or Not To Gift? A Guide to Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Giving a gift isn't about spending lots of money; it's about doing a little something special to make the receiver smile, to show you care or to make their job a little easier. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, teachers included.

Teacher Gift Ideas

Great gift ideas:

- Gift certificate to a bookstore - Teachers love books.
- A festive mug with teacher's favourite coffee. - Considerate and useful.
- Fun file folders - Practical and fun.
- Movie tickets - A very affordable way to help your teacher relax.
- Teacher's Lesson Planner and Record Book - Great for organizing
- Picture frame (with your child's picture or a class photo) - Very thoughtful.
- Flowers - Something lovely that they wouldn't buy themselves.

What not to give:

-Scented lotions, cosmetics, perfumes or aftershave. Many people are sensitive to fragrances, and this kind of gift is very personal, anyway. Save it for your close friends.

-"World's Best Teacher"-emblazoned knicknacks. It's been done.

-Mugs. Also done.

Of course there are exceptions to these rules. If you know for a fact that your child's teacher loves lavender-scented products, that would make a lovely gift. If the mug is handmade and one of a kind, or filled with goodies, it goes from thoughtless to thoughtful.

The best gifts I've ever gotten:

-Olive Oil. This family had recently moved to Canada from Israel and gifted me a beautiful, handwritten note and a bottle of olive oil she and her family (including my student) had made from scratch.

-Dollarama Gift Card. While gift cards are often impersonal, these parents noticed that I often buy items for my classroom from the dollar store, so they got me a gift card to show their appreciation.

-Handmade cards. It means a lot to me when a parent takes the time to help their child write me a thank you card. I cherish these, and have saved cards from as far back as the first year I started teaching.

Teachers: What's the best gift you've ever received? And parents: What are you going to give your child's teacher this year?

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