What do you consider a thoughtful teacher gift?
I really do not want another teacher mug, hand lotion, or note pad, but I would love to hear you say “thank you” in your own way. Some of the best teacher gifts I have received have not been costly ones, but thoughtful ones. One mom hand wrote me a poem and even though she told me she had authored it previously and reused it for her kids teachers, she took the time to hand write it on pretty paper. Another time a client brought me a bag of avocados for my birthday and they ripened more perfectly than any other avocados I have ever had. It upped my healthy eating month and made me grin just to think of how thoughtful this gift was. A very thoughtful and unexpected gift card to my local craft store came in a thank you note from a mom of a sick student that I took care of while waiting for the mom to get off work. My best friend’s husband once gave me a pencil sharpener. THE BEST ONE EVER. A student chose a book for me from the book fair because I had talked about students being open to new book genres and he knew that I would like his favorite book if I just gave it a chance. Surprisingly I love The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and have read it aloud many times.
No matter if you choose a gift or gift card, please write a thoughtful thank you note. Tell me something you appreciate about me or my teaching. Have your child write a thank you note or sign the card.
Consumable gifts: paper products for the home, food treats in individual packages for snacks or those “forgot my lunch” days, a wreath of clementines, pretty doormat, a new set of pool towels, local honey, ingredients for a delicious dinner, classroom consumable item that you know I use often (think Sharpie markers, fun colored dry erase markers, or colored paper), travel first aid kit, pretty package of napkins, local food tour
Useful gifts: bookstore gift card for my classroom library or personal book for vacation, a gift card to a coffee shop or local place you are 100% certain I love because I talk about it often, some pretty plant for my room that I won’t have to water, a day pass to a local gym or museum, create or teach me something that you know (I like to make and give art as gifts but maybe you can take my family photos or teach me how to make a pottery bowl), lunch box or waterbottle that does not contain my name so I can regift it if it’s not to my liking, this Classroom Friendly pencil sharpener (one for home and one for school!) and a new pack of the good pencils, and online review of my teaching or course
Splurge gifts: generous gift card to a variety store or grocery store along with a thoughtful card, gift card to the local garden shop or a local small business (win win), a weekend at your vacation home, a seasonal pass to something you know I would enjoy, a gift card tree
Words can hurt and words can heal. They can also be an incredibly thoughtful gift. Whether or not you open your pocketbook, open a pen and card and tell someone how thankful you are for them, especially those hard working teachers/administrators/tutors/bus drivers/course instructors. And teach your children to do the same. That is a gift that keeps on giving. That is the most thoughtful teacher gift you can give.
Table Talk: What is the worst teacher gift you can think of? Who would you like to receive a thank you card from? Who was your best teacher?