Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Gifts for Teachers

"What can I get my child's teacher for a gift this year?"

People ask me this every year. So here are some suggestions for Teacher Appreciation Week or end-of-the-year gifts for teachers.

1. Gift Certificates - teachers love gift cards to restaurants, bookstores, office supply stores, movie theaters, coffee shops, and even day spas. Sometimes it's the only way we get to do anything special.

2. Live Plants - many of us love to watch things grow, so a plant (instead of a bouquet of flowers)is a good choice. Something we can replant in our yard is especially fun as a reminder of the child who gave it to us.

3. Personalized Tools - like a 3 hole punch, stapler, desk organizer, even an apron for when things get a little messy in the classroom make great gifts. Personalize it with their name and you've got a winner.

4. Delectables - okay, I admit we're in desperate need of pampering, so chocolate (know which kind your teacher likes), specialty coffee (even a Starbucks card), chocolate covered strawberries (or anything from Harry & David), or something from the Cheesecake Factory is a good choice.

5. Technology - many teachers have iPads these days and there are cool apps out there (that cost) you might offer. Or even an iTunes gift card, and downloadable books for Kindle or Nook.

6. Words - you or your child's words of appreciation are especially precious. I keep a manila envelope that's filled with notes from parents and students over the years who said, "Thank You." Whenever I get frustrated, I dip into that well of encouragement to remind myself why I do what I do.

Try to avoid the coffee mugs, Christmas tree ornaments, plaques, and statues about teaching..we have more than enough of those. Apple memorabilia can get a little tiresome..unless of course, you get them my book APPLES & CHALKDUST: Inspirational Stories and Encouragement for Teachers or WHEN TEACHERS PRAY or RECESS FOR TEACHERS or BEFORE THE BELL RINGS.

A simple "thank you" actually goes a long way. Let them know today.