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teacher gifts

Posted by Stephanie_in_TN (My Page) on
Tue, May 28, 02 at 11:45

Do you do them at the end of the year? At holidays, too? How often during the year do you give the teacher a gift? Every year? Every teacher? What do you give?

I've been giving DS's teacher books for the classroom at holidays (Christmas) and the end of the year. When he split his time equally between two teachers, I gave to both. When he's with one daily teacher, just her, not all the fine arts/PE teachers. But lately I'm beginning to feel it's too much. I wonder if the teacher even cares. Mabye just a card would be fine. Some teachers have been very appreciative, others seem almost bothered.

I'm gonna have to make a decision today, only two days of school left. I'll do what ever the mood strikes of me today. Just wondering what is going on with other parents. This year, I just have one child in school. But eventually this is going to get out of hand.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: teacher gifts

It is your decision. I would suggest do it out of appreciation and love, not out of obligation.


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RE: teacher gifts

I don't think it is important. They don't expect one. My fiancee was given a brand new laptop by some parents of one of his students one year! So that was nice. That was a private school though. He has also gotten matted and framed pictures drawn by the students, which we like for our house, but I don't think that every teacher would necessarily like that. He got a polariod camera once. Those are fun to have in the classroom. You could talk to some other parents about going in on something if you think that you are spending too much or just that you would like to pool your resources for something better. I think a magazine subscription would be nice - National Geographic World is a good magazine if they are still making that.

The point of my long rambling answer is I don't think you should give teachers gifts unless you are suddenly inspired with a great idea for something they would definitely want. Don't just give one automatically because of the date, and don't feel like just because you appreciate them you need to give something material - a note can express appreciation.


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RE: teacher gifts

Growing up I always stuck to the holiday gift, not one at the end of the year. Now that I'm a parent, it still seems appropriate to do it that way.


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RE: teacher gifts

My PTA (PTO, reallly) puts together a cash gift at the holidays; I like it be3cause then I know the PE teacher gets something, the art teacher, the teacher's aid.

And I only have to chip in my $20 (or whatever; some people give less, some give more).

Sometimes it seems odd because one lady who gave $100 has a kid in the Resource Room and that teacher didn't get the majority of that cash present. But it's also sort of fair, because the other teachers make it possible for that teacher to do her job well--it's a team.

I have given an end-of-year present (this will only be my third year) each year. I don't remember what I did the first year. The second year, I gave an electric pencil sharpener for the classroom and a battery-powered sharpener for her. Then, this year I realized how poor the electricity is, and realized that the electric pencil sharpener is probably a bad idea--there are so few outets that if I were the teacher I wouldn't waste one on a pencil sharpener--it's not that hard to do it by hand (and you get a better point, frankly)

Lots of kids and parents in my school bring flowers on the last day. You can get a bouquet of roses around here at corner delis for about $8. So it's not a lot of money, but it creates a nice feeling. And they go away, unlike little apple knick-knacks, etc.

(my aunt's a grade school teacher, and she has a house full of those little kitschy things; in my new anti-clutter personality I can't possibly consider them. At least w/ the batter pencil sharpener (Panasonic only), if she's already got one, this one can be given away and will be useful. Not so w/ teacher knicknacks.

I'm always torn between the idea of something for the teacher and something for the classroom.


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RE: teacher gifts

I gave gift cards to a rest. Of course, I had to resort to my investigative skills to find out what rest. they like.


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RE: teacher gifts

Here's my view as a teacher. Gifts are never necessary, this is our job. Notes and cards are wonderful and I love things made by the kids. I always laugh when the student says, 'what did I get you?' Gift cards to book stores, teacher stores, and resturants are wonderful. This time of year I always appreciate flowers and potted plants.

Gifts for the room are good if you know they want them. The best gift is to be supportive and open with your child's teachers.


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RE: teacher gifts

My 2 sons made saftey pin & bead pins for their teachers. There are tons of patterns and supplies at chatsco.com. They made one for every teacher they have - P.E., art, library, etc, along with their classroom teachers. They LOVED making them (pre-K and 1st grade ages) and loved being able to give one to ever teacher. My pre-K one even made one for the lunch lady! It was inexpensive to buy the supplies and they had so much fun making them. They also made construction paper cards for each teacher and then pinned the pin to the card. We mostly made American flag pins buy my pre-K son likes to be creative so he made some novelty ones, too.

Another mother in my 1st grade son's room took up a collection to get the teacher a gift certificate to a discount office supply store - so she could buy her supplies there. I gave $10 to that, too.

Good luck!


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RE: teacher gifts

Stephanie,
I really don't think you need to feel "obligated" to give a gift. I think that the best gifts are your time in the classroom. Helping with all the children in the class is not only rewarding for you, but for the children! Two of my youngest daughters just finished Pre-K this year. They loved it when we would come to their classroom. So did all the other children! On the last day of school my husband and I went to the classroom,with posterboard in hand. We told the teacher and the two helper teachers that we wanted the childrens handprints on poster for the girls(because it was their 1st yr in school). So the teachers painted all 28 kiddos hands with hand paint and placed them on the posterboard. When I got home,I put the special "Teachers poem" in the middle of the poster. Returned to school within a few hours and presented it to the teacher. She loved it! The element of surprise!! People love that! Teacher's too! The "helper" teachers received a poem also. Their poem was encased in a glass and wooden frame. All teachers are special! Just think about your child's specific teacher. If an idea pops into your head..go for it!


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RE: teacher gifts

Yes, I give gifts at Christmas time and end of year gifts. I have been a volunteer in my daughters classrooms for six years and can't thank the teachers enough for all that they do. They are warm, loving, and try and bring out the best of our children. They work very hard and I want to show how much I appreciate them. Working with the teachers every week I get to know them pretty well. One of my daughters teacher collects penquins and loves ice cream. A gift we put together for him was a penquin shaped bowl along with a penquin ice cream scoop. Inside the bowl we put different ice cream toppings. Another loves watching old movies. We got a popcorn bowl, filled it with different flavors of microwave popcorn and put in certificates for movie rental store. We give out lots of cert. to book stores or get something for the class off of the teacher wish list. Our kids also make their teachers crafts. They do so much for our kids that I want them to know how much we appreciate them. NancyLouise


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RE: teacher gifts

If obligation is what you are feeling than there's no point in giving gifts, give the gifts because you WANT to, not because everyone else is. I think that if your children made cards or something special for the teachers that would be sincerely appreciated!:) Thank you notes are always great to, just to show how they are appreciated throughout the year.


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RE: teacher gifts

I give gifts to the teachers. However, since there are 4 preschool teachers, and 4 ES teachers/assistants I usually give modest gifts.

At the holidays I gave holidy themed (I knew who was Jewish and who was Christian) kitchen towels and potholder sets which were very reasonably priced.

At the end of the year I will probably give plants. I wish I could spend a fortune on each of them as they have all been special to my kids. However, I do try to give them each a little token of our affection. But with 8 to buy for I have to keep it reasonable.

However-I agree with the others. Give what makes you comfortable. You are not "obligated" to give anything.

Mommabear


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RE: teacher gifts

I just sent Thank-You's to my son's preschool teachers today in the mail. I think that by my expressing my appreication that is a gift as well, because teachers NEED to hear that parents are happy and satisfied!! :)


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RE: teacher gifts

Another Janet-another teacher-

I would rather not get a gift but instead a drawing made by the child or a photograph of the child. My most treasured gifts are photos of me and the student. I keep them all. Recently I needed a temporary frame so I removed an older picture from its frame. I was so suprised and touched that the back was inscribed, "To Mrs. Hill, my favorite teacher."

I have been known to re-gift some things. I don't drink coffee and I already have a zillion coffee cups holding all kinds of markers, pencils, etc. I have enough apple jewelry to open a small boutique. I do like little note pads. I write a lot of notes home and those come in very handy. But seriously, I'm not that fond of apples. I like other motifs, too!


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A teacher who doesn't like apples?? And you are saying that they actually allow you to teach?!!

My sixth grade teacher gave us each a christmas gift of one of those apple christmas ornaments painted with our name in gold glitter. Just thought I would share in case any teachers or anyone wanted the idea. Though I am not in favor of any christmas-themed anything going on in public schools, you can't really escape it, especially in small towns.


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I think that glitter apple is an adorable idea, not necessarily for schools but for families with young kids that have teachers in them!! THANKS Anita! My boys will be making their glitter apples this Christmas for my dad and sister!:)


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RE: teacher gifts

My PTA asked each teacher for a "wish list" of supplies, big and small. One of the teahcers put down that she wanted a desk-drawer organizer, so last night at the PTA meeting I pointed this out to one of her moms, saying, "an organizer like this is the sort of thng that can travel around w/a teacher from desk to desk and job to job--group gift idea!"

I wonder how teachers feel about things like that, that are sort of WORK presents, in that they make it easier to do theirjobs, but a just slightlya luxury. And how you find what that is for each teacher, I'm not sure--those parents have the advantage that they KNOW the teacher asked for it, and now it can becom eher property and not the school's.

Wanna splurge? Get a few parents to go in with you, and get the teacher a P-touch labeler!


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RE: teacher gifts

Talley Sue,
You sound like a great teacher encourager. Yes, I'd love things that would be a help in the classroom. On average teachers spend about $423 a year out of their own pocket. Most teachers I know spend money on things that will directly affect the students and skimp on the things that will make our work easier. A P-touch sounds like an incredible gift!


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RE: teacher gifts

As a teacher avoid the "teacher gifts" sold by Hallmark. We enjoy books for our class library, new or used. My parents get together at the end of school (usually my room mom) and collet a donated a dollar or two from kids and get a gift certificate to use for our class. This is greatly appreciated since we spend so much of our own money on the class. I know it's a little late but it may be helpful information for next year.


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RE: teacher gifts

As a teacher, I most appreciate the kind words. Somedays, I wonder, especially in high school, if I am even getting through to the kids, yet alone doing a good job. So when I do read a nice note, it revitalizes my energy and lifts my spirits when I need it most.


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RE: teacher gifts

What a wonderful parent you are!!! All teachers appreciate gifts but do not expect them. Books are a wonderful idea. I too appreciate a nice card or note from the parents. It is always nice to know that one is appreciated!!


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RE: teacher gifts

i always gave gifts at the end of the yr for that one special teacher who made a difference in the boys yr. when they got older and each had about 5 or 6 teachers, it got too expensive. then one day some friends were chatting (3 of them are teachers) told me they dreaded the end of the yr for just that reason, they each said they would rather get a hard written note from the kid than some present the parent picked out and they knew nothing about. they all said they could open a gift shop with all the things they had colleted over the yrs. if you multiply the number of kids each yr by the number of yr they teach, thats way too many apples for one human being...lol seriously just yesterday my brother in law who teaches was saying ut oh another yr another 25 brass apples or something to that nature. I say just be there during the yr when you can, stay in touch with th teacher, offer to make things help out at the dances, believe me it is much more appreciated than another gift from all I have heard anyway. just my 2 cents.


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I've given baskets & gift cards to Starbucks & just a plain ole American Express gift card so they can use as they wish.

Michie


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Last year we gave gift cards for a movie theater - four tickets worth. We also gave one to the bus driver, who I suspect is somewhat under-appreciated.


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Our bus stop always pitches in to give our bus driver gifts for Christmas and the end of the year. We do gift cards to the local Mall and to restaurants. We give $10/family to purcahse the cards so we usually are able to get a gift card for about $70. Then each family also gives individual gifts as well. I gave tickets to a local dinner theater to the teachers this year and have also given gift cards to the mall. When I know the teachers are interested in music, I give tickets to the Symphony. I try to support local cultural events as much as possible.


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RE: teacher gifts

Teachers are salaried employees of towns. They receive adequate compensation. Therefore, NO "gift" for whatever holiday/end of year is required.

Frankly, I think such a thing is inappropriate. Would you send your State Representative, Congressman, Senator a "gift"? Your mayor, your board of selectmen? the planning board? PLEASE!


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RE: teacher gifts

Steph.-Yes, it does get out of hand. I'm a stay at home mom, but was a teacher prior to having children. When I had 1 child I would give not only to his teacher, but a little something to the princ., the office staff, the kitch. staff, the janitors, the librarian, etc. We have a very small elementary school( or I should say, we did, it has grown substantially). When my 2nd child made it to school, I continued to do as before but it became stressful rather than pleasurable. With the birth of my third child, gave it all up except a gift to the teacher.
I feel lucky if I get my family shopping done now!
I think books are an excellent gift for teachers. I gave my 5th graders teacher a book related to Colonial America as this was what they studied this year. My oldest is in HS now and of course I don't don't give them gifts. There are too many and he would be so embarrassed if I did. I gave my little one's pre-school teachers each a hanging plant.
One thing I would say as a teacher is that we don't need any more mugs, desk items that say 'teacher,' Christmas ornaments, etc. Not to sound ungrateful, but one can only have so much of that stuff.
A gift for the school or the classroom is always great and appreciated every bit as much as a personal gift.
I think a nice note of appreciation is worth more than any gift that you can spend money on.
I agree with the above post in that no gift is certainly required, but I'll have to strongly disagree about the adequate compensation part. Most of the teachers I know put in way more time than is required with no compensation. There is simply not enough time in the school day to get it all done. They also put in alot of their own money into buying things for the classroom due to not enough funds. The good teachers don't do these things because they expect to be compensated, but because they care so deeply about what they do.
Our local, state, and national representatives pass laws, so it would be entirely innappropriate to accept gifts (though, Lord knows many of them have accepted some very generous ones!).
Our children spend a very large portion of their day with their teacher, so I feel a great deal of personal gratitude for their teachers.
As I said, a note of appreciation is every bit appreciated, it not more than a gift by teachers.


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As a teacher I appreciate anything that any parent/child decides to send. However I agree with others that the best payment of our job is helping children at home as much as is possible.


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At the schools (elementary) that my kids attend, everyone in the class pitches in and gets a gift certificate for the local mall. they add up to around $200 ($10 per student or more) X 22 students. Sometimes I will send in an additional gift from my child, something extra, sometimes not.

My mom taught for years, and back then, kids always seemed to buy the AVON christmas ornaments (an apple, or a mouse with and apple, or a chalkboard with a mouse etc) and please don't do that to your kids teacher! who needs or wants so many teacher ornaments?!


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RE: teacher gifts

As a parent, I've given teacher gifts for (can it be!) 17 years now. I'm one of those people who feels that it's cheating to give a gift certificate to ANYONE- I feel that I should take the time to pick out a meaningful gift for each person. Difficult at best when you don't know someone well - near impossible when you have 3 kids with 6 teachers apiece! I blush now to think about some of the gifts I've given over the years...

Two years ago, my husband "retired" from his job as a television director, got his teaching credential, and began teaching in our local elementary school. My view on teacher gifts has done a 180. This year, I gave home-baked goods and gift certificates to the children's teachers at Christmas, and will probably do the same at the end of the year. It's true that teachers don't expect gifts from their students, and it's also true that a heartfelt "thank you" is the best gift of all. Hubby's not in it for the money (obviously) - he loves what he does, and no gift you're going to give him will match the lavish Christmas gifts he used to get from his previous employers. But especially since our income has dropped precipitously, those gift certificates he received for Christmas came in really handy...both to buy classroom supplies (which he often does out of his own pocket) and at home.

As far as teachers being adequately compensated for the jobs they do...don't get me started.


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RE: teacher gifts

'As far as teachers being adequately compensated for the jobs they do...don't get me started'

I am interested to know your views behind this Posey


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RE: teacher gifts

My husband goes to work at 7 in the morning and comes home at 5 or 6 at night, after grading papers and working on his lesson plans for the next day. Even though he holds a teaching credential, he is required by his district to spend time taking classes after school one day a week (for which he is not paid), and to spend his off hours researching and writing papers for those courses. He spends most of his (unpaid) summer "vacation" in the classroom, planning for the next year, or taking other courses to make him a more effective teacher. By most any measure, he's a good teacher - his students love him, parents are already jockeying to get their kids in his class next year, the school administrators and his colleagues respect him, and his students' test scores are going up. But his salary for ten months of work-even with his masters degree, his multi-subject credential, and his additional postgraduate work - is approximately what he would have made in his previous career working for three weeks directing a single episode of a mindless television series.

It seems to me that by educating the next generation of our country's workers, of its leaders, my husband and teachers in general are more actively engaged in creating value in this country than employees in any other industry you could name. After all, someone taught Bill Gates algebra; someone sat at a desk long after her students had gone home grading Stephen King's essays; and someone debated current affairs in class with Ted Koppel. If teachers received residuals for reuse of their work like directors do, they'd all be wealthy! But instead teachers' salaries are closer to those of babysitters than those of other highly-trained professionals with postgraduate degrees. In part, this is because teaching at the elementary and secondary level is still viewed as "women's work", and therefore undervalued: in part, it's because we as a society lack the foresight to see that teaching Billy algebra today might lead to the next Microsoft tomorrow, so it's a pretty important job, maybe even more important than directing "Dancing With The Stars".

I told you not to get me started...


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RE: teacher gifts

I'm leaning towards gift cards/certificates this year. Maybe to the local bookstore. My problem is deciding what an appropriate amount would be. We have three wonderful teachers to thank, so it can add up quickly. $10 doesn't buy much, but $25 x 3 = $75! What do you think?


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I honestly think a $10 gift certificate is appreciated. Sometimes $10 can buy a paperback. I can't imagine a teacher thinking that wasn't enough. Include a note as to how appreciative you are of the teacher's hard work. How about compromising and making them for $15?


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I think giving a year end teacher gift is very appropriate. I always do it and the kids love giving. Lets face it, teachers spend more time each day with our children than the average working parent does. This year one teacher, near retirement, is getting a basket of fine jams and jellies. Another is getting a small bouquet of dark pink roses, which mean Thanks. The third is moving on to principal next year, she getting a small pen desk set engraved with "Principal _______ " No apples on anything! Each is accompanied by a handmade card/note from each child.


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I always give my teachers these 'dipsticks'. Two or three of them wrapped with curling ribbon looks cute at christmas and at $2.00 a pc they won't break the bank, they are good for a male or female teacher,and face it who DOESN'T love chips and dip :)

Here is a link that might be useful: dipstick


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RE: teacher gifts

Another teacher here, one who has taught regular elementary ed and now is a Music specialist. Every gift is appreciated, but after awhile, apple-teacher coffee cups, ornaments, magnets, etc., get old. These days, even candles get old...I only have so much space at home for them and in one school I don't even have a classroom to put anything in.

Our PTA does a "gift tree" at one of my schools. Teachers submit their "wish lists" for things they'd love in their classrooms. Mine included 2-pocket-3-ring paper folders, blank CD-R's for recording, CD-R paper holders, colored paper (specified) for doing programs, etc. I've gotten quite a few things on my list, too, and those are very appreciated! How this works: PTA used the die-cut machine to cut out colored trees. One side had the teachers name, and one had one thing on his/her list. The parent could go up to the tree, look at the different teachers, and take the tree that contained something they would get for that teacher. I know SO many teachers who appreciated this a lot more than the special-for-the-teacher things at Hallmark and the mail-order catalogs!

Food is wonderful, too, but be sure to know whether the teacher or her family might be on a special diet. This year, about 8 of us are on low-fat, low-sugar diets because of threatening high blood sugar/adult-onset diabetes.

DonnaR/CA


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RE: teacher gifts

We (the parents) are being asked to pitch in $10 each for a gift for a teacher.
With over 31 students the gift will exceed $300

I am wondering if gratuity gifts are allowed in high school districts.

ANY THOUGHTS??? PLEASE REPLY


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RE: teacher gifts

Anthony, the teachers I know would all prefer that parents give only what they feel comfortable giving. So if you want to give $10, then do it. If you want to give a smaller amount, or even nothing at all, then do that.

Here where I live it would be very unusual for anyone to ask that a high school teacher receive a gift of $10 per person. For one thing, most kids have at least 6 teachers, so at $10/teacher that would quickly get too expensive. Second, the kids themselves seem to lose interest in giving teacher gifts at that age, unless it's a special teacher. But where we live, a gift of money is not prohibited.

But my kids attend public school, and I am unfamiliar with what happens in private schools as far as teacher gifts are concerned.

The gifts I've given that teachers seem to like the best are mostly the handwritten notes I've sent thanking them and letting them know specific ways they have helped my child (or me).


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RE: teacher gifts

ANTHONY, the thought that immediately comes to my mind. Is there a plan to buy something nice/needed etc for the classroom? If that is the case the plan seems okay. If it is for a personal teacher gift it is over the top.


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I personally hate group gifts. Every Christmas I am "hit" from someone in every group I am in to pitch in for a group gift. My personal opinion is -- if you want to give someone a gift go for it! Just don't involve everyone else. I am in a church group that meets once a week. Just got an e-mail that we should chip in for a gift for our table leader -- I hardly know the woman!!

As far as the classroom, it is hard enough to get all parents to send in money for class parties -- now you want money for a gift too? Think of that the next time you ask other people for money -- you always have the option of doing it on your own.


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As a parent and a teacher, no one should feel they need to give a gift at Christmas or at the end of the year. But if you must, something in the food product line is the best idea, like jams, teas, candy, etc.


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RE: teacher gifts

During the holidays we send a large edible arrangement to the entire school staff to say thanks for all doing your part in enriching our child's life. At the end of the year we like to do movie gift certificates, which you can get at BJ's or Costco for cheaper. I also think a potted plant in child decorated pot is a warm and lasting thanks. A note of sincere appreciation must go along with the gift if it not being done out of" obligation"


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RE: teacher gifts

I teach music and although I have half the children in the school, most don't think of us a their teacher. I don't expect gifts, but am delighted when kids (or parents) show they care enough to do somthing - even the coffee mug thing. I hate to admit it, but it does make you notice the child more. Occasionally a class will go together to get something (50 cents each) and that is nice too. One sweet mom always remembers me with a clever little hand-written card with a small thing like a tea bag or a bottle of water, or a sharpie attached. The poem will relate to the gift and has a thank you. Love that woman, and always look forward to what clever idea she will come up with! The saddest thing for me is when a parent says, oh, I didn't know my kid had music classes! So my favorite things are short notes from parents - or kids- saying specifically what they loved or appreciated about my class. One little boy told me I taught him so much about music in a soothing way. I'll keep that note forever!!!!


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I am a teacher and love getting gifts no matter how small or silly. It feels so good to be appreciated. I am a music teacher, so I don't get large presents or often, but usually 5 or six kids will bring something and it makes my day. My favorites include a heartfelt note written by the kid or parent, HEALTHY food gifts like a soup mix or fruit, gift cards to half price books (they go further there), cool magnets for my whiteboard, a nice pen or other practical classroom items. One mom embroidered a tote bag with my name and that was really cool. Another bought a bunch of inexpensive plants from Home Depot (think 6-packs) potted them in baby food jars and tied on a pretty ribbon. She had one for the librarian, principal, etc. and they said Thanks for helping me grow. Not very expensive or time consuming, but so special. No, I don't feel badly towards kids who bring nothing, that is really the norm, but a cute little gift will cheer me up and probably make me a better teacher that day. Honestly, though, when a child draws a picture of me holding his hand - well, that is just as special and uplifting.


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I've been teaching for 45 years, and am always happy and grateful to be appreciated by parents. It is difficult for a parent to know our tastes and how we live. I've got all the mugs, musical or otherwise, I will ever need. Don't need anymore child decorated plates. Don't need anything. Therefore, good chocolates, gift cards, a bottle of wine--anything that you know will get used, seems to be the best idea. You are all too busy to be searching for the "perfect" gift. Keep it simple--flowers are also nice.


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RE: teacher gifts

Teachers are professionals, so a gift is not really necessary or always appropriate. A nice note thanking him/her is very tasteful, especially if you copy it to the principal, vice principal or Board of Education. Teacher's job reviews are made of things like this. So much more appreciated than another Hallmark apple ornament.


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RE: teacher gifts

During my school days, I remember my teacher not accepting any sort of gifts from us. The most she did was accept hand-made cards and a flower or two. And as I learnt later, a hand-made 'Thank You' card from the student's end does wonders and is the most precious gift for any teacher (realized this fact when I became a teacher myself!).


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