Guide to Best Teacher GiftsAt Christmas time, there is never a rule that you must give your teacher a present, but sometimes it's nice to acknowledge all the hard work they have done for your child.
I have absolutely no expectations of receiving a gift from a student but I do have to admit there is something about it that really touches me and validates what I do each day.I took a poll on my Facebook page, asking parents and teachers what they give, or what they like to receive. Here are some of the responses.
Donations to Charity
I always liked when students made a donation to their favourite charity in my name.As one teacher said, who needs more stuff, especially more mugs? Consider a donation to charity in the teacher's name. There are many possibilities, but some of the favourites include:
- Your child's school breakfast program
- The local food bank
- Acadia SMILE program
- Plan Canada (school supplies for a girl to attend school)
- School music program
- Buy something for the classroom if the teacher needs anything
The best gift ever was when a group of my students got together before Christmas and donated their time at the local food bank. I get teary just remembering those awesome young people!
I am always blown away just getting a gift.Here are some of the favourite options. For many, it was important that this gift card be for one of our local merchants:
- Coles, Chapters, Amazon, Books Galore in Coldbrook or other book stores
- We found out what salon the teacher went to and bought gift certificates
- Tim Hortons gift card
- A gift card to one of our downtown restaurants or cafes. "That way I'm appreciating the teacher and our local merchants."
- "My neighbour has great success with a gift card tree for her child’s teacher. She organized it with all of the parents - each donating $10-20, and then used the money to buy gift cards the teacher would like ... $240-$480 goes a long way in a class of 24 kids"
- The Wolfville Farmers' Market has market money and can be used at any vendor.
When I was a teacher I loved getting gift cards to places I wouldn’t normally treat myself to.
Shop LocallyWhen they can, parents like to shop locally in the Valey to buy that perfect gift. Here are some of the favourite places mentioned.
- Wood’n’Hive in Port Williams - Honey of all sizes, gift packs, pottery of honey, beeswax food wrap in fun patterns, beeswax candles and tree ornaments. Add a box of tea, and you are set!
- Wallet-sized first aid kits from Braveheart First Aid. These are actually very thoughtful and practical at the same time
- Bath bombs, wine, cider, candles, body washes, chocolates, specialty coffee, picture frames, and plants from local merchants
- Capre has a shop right on site in New Minas, with items made by adults with challenges. Anything from dryer balls to chocolates. You'll find a wide array and help support a local cause.
- Applewicks - L'Arche Homefires
Something I've heard that teachers appreciate is a card signed by the student instead of the parents. So whatever you give, make the kids sign or even make the card.
Bake or Make SomethingIf you are creative or like to cook or bake, try making something for your teacher. Here are some suggestions:
- Homemade jams, jellies and pickles - Jam is always a hit and done and dusted long before the busy holiday season.
- Gift baskets with home made goods, tea or coffee etc.
- Homemade anything from cards, ornaments, baking, photos of kids
- Love cards made by my kids
- My mom used to get 2 boxes of strawberries from one family at end of year. They were her favourite gift! I give a box with homemade biscuits, strawberries and whipped cream for shortcake!
- Baked goods are appreciated because often teachers don't have time to bake headed into the holiday season - that being said, you need to know the teacher (allergies, etc).
Gift cards for general places (e.g. Amazon, Walmart, Dollarama) are great because they are so flexible and can be used for classroom stuff if needed
Get CreativeThere are lots of great ideas on Pinterest for things you can make, or clever gift ideas. Here are few that were mentioned:
- I have seen families make crayon wreaths or other unique crafts with crayons that teacher could use at home or hang in their classrooms.
- I gave NSLC cards last year with a note apologizing if my kid was the reason she drank
- I have made scrapbooks when he was in the early grades
- I gave wrapping paper and tape with a cool saying I found on Pinterest!
- Homemade crafts
Don't forget the othersDon’t forget about your bus driver and other support staff workers at the school! Then there are the piano teachers, hockey coaches and other leaders.
Our morning run driver is fantastic and she puts up with a lot!
- We try to do little tins of homemade treats for bus drivers too.
- We sometimes do a tray of baked goods for the office staff/staff room too.
Yes! It can be expensive, but remember, you are not obligated to get anyone a present! Even a card can go a long way!
Just being acknowledged was special.I will end this with my favourite story that was submitted to me. A little can go a long way.
The most treasured gifts I have received over the last several years are the ones that are least expected. They are the gifts received from the "trouble maker" at the back of the room that you have spent the past few months trying to reach. It is the smallest piece of fudge that a student has prepared and presents to you with pride. It truly doesn't matter what it is, the gift uplifts me and tells me that I am helping these children.