Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Teacher Gift Ideas

What's REALLY on your TEACHER's
wish list!!
Because we're in the midst of the season of giving, I thought I would pick the brains of a few of my teacher friends.  I asked them to answer 10 questions.  I asked them to be brutally honest.  I didn't want the generic, "I love every single gift I've ever received from a student" answer.
Yes, it's good to be grateful...
but wouldn't it be nice to know what your teacher's are really thinking?
Their answers may surprise you...
or they may validate you.
This exercise isn't meant for either!
It's meant to
e d u c a t e
you!!  :)
*These questions were answered by teachers and principals who are currently teaching school age children ranging from preschool to high school.
1. What has been your favorite Christmas gift ever given by a student?

The number one answer...drum roll please...GIFT CARDS! 
Some other top contenders:
  • Heartfelt cards
  • Gift basket
  • Handwritten memory book made by the kids
  • Class got together and bought me an ipad mini 
  • Gifts that I can share with my family
2. What is the worst gift you've received from a student?
  • Coffee mugs!!
  • Anything perishable
  • Nick-knacks
  • Anything apple related!
3. What should be on the "what not to give teachers" list?
  • Baked goods (some teachers are trying to eat healthy)
  • Meaningless gifts that have no thought put into them
  • School supplies!
"I am not a big fan of anything that says teacher or has apples on it. For a first or second year teacher maybe, but after that you have so much "teacher" stuff it becomes clutter. The only exception, when it's made by the student."

4. What 3 things should be on the "top 10 teacher gifts" list?
  • Anything that shows you know your teacher!
  • Hand written notes from the student
  • Gift Cards
5. What are some gift ideas for a male teacher?
  • Favorite sports team memorabilia or tickets to a game from the class
  • Movie Tickets
  • Amazon Gift Card
6. Do you like to receive homemade gifts?
This response was 50/50.  Some teachers love the homemade gifts and others do not.  The key is to know your teacher! There was a resounding NO to the homemade sweets. The reason being that they tend to get a lot of it and it will go bad.  Most teachers stated they love getting an ornament with their students name and school year on it.
"We all know many parents are working parents and don't have the time or energy for a homemade gift. A thoughtful card expressing gratitude is the best thing ever. Really."

7. Are you a fan of class gifts?
Almost all teachers agreed that class gifts are wonderful. "I like a class gift if they pool their money and get one large gift. In the past I have gotten gift cards to my favorite stores to buy things that I wouldn't normally buy myself. Also, I have been asked what Item I would really like (for example, I got an office chair for my desk at school) and they collect money and purchase the item. "

 8. Is alcohol an appropriate gift to give a teacher?  This response varied...some teachers were adamant about it being very inappropriate and others stated alcohol is how they keep their sanity!  lol
"No alcohol...not a fan. It can be awkward and not something you want to open with 20 kids staring at you."  
"yes (depends...if they drink. If they don't or you don't know, then better off not to)."
" It is if the parents give it to you in the parking lot! Nothing wrong with that!" :)
9. Have you ever re-gifted a gift given to you by a student?
Almost all said YES...
"Yes, but not because I didn't like it, but I thought it was so good I wanted someone else to have it."
"I know for a fact that many, many gifts have been donated to charity once I get them home because I don't know what to do with the item."
10. Would you rather receive a gift for your classroom or for yourself?
Most teachers stated they would rather receive a gift for themselves than for the classroom!
"Classroom gifts are usually pretty thought and something we can either use in the class or a memory we can cherish to remember that school year. But I'm not going to lie feeling appreciated by a student and parent always makes you feel all warm and fuzzy!"
"Myself (insert wink emoticon) but u know a public school teacher has to buy a lot of their own supplies, so I would probably like a class gift. I did receive a Keurig for my class and LOVE it."

"As a teacher with four kids, I find out my kids teachers favorite places and give them gift cards and a Christmas picture. I always write a nice letter of appreciation and thanks. The letters that I receive are better than anything someone can buy."

I hope you loved reading these as much as I did!  I learned that the key is to get to know your child's teacher and give him/her something heartfelt and meaningful.  I also learned not to neglect teachers in upper grades.  Some of my middle school and high school teacher friends stated it's rare for them to receive gifts.
We need to change that.  These teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world!

Finally, I'd like to thank all of my teacher friends who took the time to answer the questionnaire!  Thank you for your honesty!
Merry Christmas!  Enjoy your break!  The rest of us who are not in the academic field are jealous of your sweet schedule!



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