Five Gifts You Should NEVER Buy A Teacher (And Five Gifts You Should)

Five gifts you should never buy a teacher (and five gifts you should)

Any teacher loves to get a gift—any gift—from a student.  It makes them feel appreciated and respected (an increasingly rare feeling for today’s public school teachers!).  That being said, every teacher has had a few “memorable” gifts slide across their desk.  The following post, all in good fun, hopefully will help parents give their teacher a gift that lands well.

NEVER give a teacher:

1. School supplies.  Would you give your Doctor a stethoscope or your mechanic a set of wrenches? Probably not.  Similarly, a box of dry erase markers, stickers, or masking tape isn’t going to bring a sense of warm holiday cheer to your child’s teacher.  Sure they need school supplies, and it would be a great idea to send an email anytime during the year that says something like:  “I’d love to help.  What supplies can I buy for your classroom?”  However, a set of spiral notebooks and markers as a gift for a teacher will go over about as well as that time you bought your spouse a vacuum cleaner.

2.  Coffee mug.  Trust us, your child’s teachers had their caffeine addiction charted out long before your son or daughter was placed on their roster.  Yet, without fail, teachers get several new coffee mugs every holiday season.  Put the Santa mug down and walk away.

3.  A family photo.  On occasions, parents include a family photo with their teacher’s holiday card. Don’t get us wrong.  We love having Johnny and Suzy in our class, but that doesn’t mean we want their face hanging on our fridge at home. What if you attended a parent conference and your child’s teacher had a photo of you and your family hanging on the wall, or better yet, framed on their desk?  Be pretty weird wouldn’t it?  So what are we supposed to do with that picture exactly?

4. One size does not fit all. A flower covered Thirty-one lunch tote would be a great gift for a twenty-five year old female kindergarten teacher, but probably would not work for a gym teaching High School football coach.  What about a king size Reese’s Cup to your peanut-butter allergic teacher?  Know your teachers’ personalities (or at least, their gender!) well enough to give something suitable to them.

5. Nothing. Unless your child’s teacher is the Grinch, they deserve some token of appreciation.  Heck, even if they are the Grinch, your gift might make their heart GROW THREE SIZES ON THAT DAY!  Regardless, we guarantee that your child’s teachers have put up with a lot of stress throughout the year, and maybe, just maybe some of that stress is because of your little Cindy Lou. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts and make sure they receive something from your child besides that stomach bug you thought wasn’t contagious!

Five great gift ideas for teachers

1.  The greatest gift you can give teachers is sincere gratitude.  A handwritten note or letter from your son or daughter will lift a teacher up more than you can imagine.  Education is a hard profession, and teachers are used to hearing a lot more negative than positive.  It would be a tremendous gift to reverse that trend.  While younger kids tend to love doing things like this, we know:  Gratitude comes as natural to teenagers as breathing underwater.  Push through.  Strive to squeeze some positive feedback out to give to their teachers.  Best of all…this gift is free.

2.  Homemade anything.  Teachers, like anyone, love to put on a few holiday pounds that we have to new year’s resolution away come January.  Got an old family recipe? Some holiday treats are a fun way to send your teacher a sugary, chocolatey “Thank You.”

3.  Gift cards.  It’s no secret that teachers aren’t exactly bringing home the bacon.  A simple, but thoughtful way to thank your teachers is to buy them a gift card for a nice meal out or a couple movie tickets, etc.  A date night with their spouse, or a fun evening on the town with their family will be a well received surprise this holiday season.

4.  Did we say gift cards?  Just to be sure, re-read item #3.

5.  The Ultimate Survival Guide For Teachers.  You knew this was coming!  We couldn’t help ourselves. Seriously though, many parents have given our book as a gift to teachers.  It will give them a much needed laugh this holiday season, and help re-ignite their passion in the classroom.