It’s that time of the year when parents want to acknowledge everything you’ve done for their child while they were in your care. Gift giving is tricky, but there are ways for them to get it right – by making it memorable…and that doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. We’ve asked around and put together a list for you to share with parents. Did we get it right?
What NOT to buy teachers
1. Coffee Mugs – of any kind
Always found at the back of a staff room cupboard, never taken home, never used – except by visiting parents. Plus some teachers (incredibly) don’t drink coffee!
No Santa chocolate or candy canes
2. Massive boxes of overwrapped candy or chocolate
Some teachers will definitely disagree here and say there is not enough chocolate in the world. But then, the sugar crash happens.
Before you give chocolates, ask around – find out if the teacher has a special favorite and treat them to 1 or 2 – but not 10 (and definitely not a whole bowl of home-made super strength rum balls). Remember others may be making the same thing.
3. World’s Greatest Teacher – anything
Not pencil holders, not magnets, not ties, not plaques – none of them!
4. Chemist shop perfume/soap/hand cream/body lotion/shower gel
It’s for grandmas and cousins you don’t really like. Plus these days it’s not even cheap – don’t waste your hard earned money on something that probably won’t be used.
Stuffed toy – more for children than for teachers
5. Stuffed animals or Christmas ornaments with your child’s name on.
Unless they are in the “home-made” or “gift chosen by your child” category – and even then think twice.
So what gifts DO teachers treasure?
There really aren’t any golden rules about what to buy. But whatever it is – give from the heart. It doesn’t have to be expensive – meaningful presents often come in the strangest shapes and sizes. It might surprise you to hear which gifts teachers treasure most. For teachers (and support staff) being acknowledged by you is a gift.
But from experience, these three are guaranteed to make a teacher feel extra special.
A hand-written note from a child is always appreciated
A card or note
A hand-written message from all the family members (not just a name), including the children. A card or note takes time and thought to write. Heartfelt words show how much your family appreciates a year spent supporting their child more than money does.
A gift chosen by your child
Give a child a budget, it doesn’t have to be much…take them to a shop, any shop and let them choose a present. Their choice might seem strange to parents but letting them explain why, then writing it in a card – it will be a gift from the heart and received as such. Children will often get so excited by giving their own gift that they’ll unwrap it themselves!
Gift Cards/Restaurant Voucher
Even $5 or $10 from a local cafe/shop, supermarket (because again – not everyone drinks coffee) or bookshop is a priceless find for a teacher to have in their desk drawer for one of “those” days.
Or you could go with a bouquet…of fruit
This fruit bouquet is a novel idea which might bring a smile to a tired teacher’s face.
Advice from you – the teachers…
In the spirit of helping parents know what to buy, we’d love you to share in the comments your most memorable gifts. So here’s a question
What is the best gift you have received and what made it meaningful for you?