Friday, August 6, 2010

First Day of School Teacher Gift

So this will be my second year not teaching, staying home with Will.  I probably should have gone back this year.  It would have helped out a lot financially, but I will just have to do my part with quite a bit of subbing.  This time of year was always very exciting to me as a teacher.  The stores are putting the school supplies front and center, parents and kids are walking the aisles with their supply lists, and teachers are getting their rooms ready for another long year.  Of course it's sad too b/c summer is ending, but a fresh start is always good.

Anyway, I've caught wind of a few conversations lately of parents thinking about a teacher gift for the first day of school.  Since I'm not teaching this year, I don't feel like it would be super tacky for me to offer some suggestions... and some "don'ts" for beginning of year teacher gifts.

Here are my thoughts

Great Ideas:
-gift cards:  even just $5 to Sonic or Target is much appreciated
-gift card to a teacher supply!  I got this once & loved it!
-a sonic drink, Starbucks drink, bottled soda- so simple and inexpensive
-cheap flowers
-school supplies: fun pens or notepad
-candy:  again, much needed after a long day
-food:  I've had a mom make me a strudel once and another made me a pie.
-Donuts!  This past year a student brought me a little bag of donut holes & it totally made my week!

Thoughtful, but Please Save Your Money-Items teachers get ALL the time and don't know what to do with
 (This is actually quite a touchy subject, as I could very well end up looking like an unappreciative jerk.  Please know I appreciate all thoughtfulness from my students and parents.)
-Coffee mugs: I know it's super cute to fill it with candy and that it says "World's Best Teacher" on it, but I am being serious here- your teacher probably already has a cabinet full of mugs
-Stuffed animals:  again, it's just not very practical or useful.  Cute and the kids will like though.
-Apples, plaques, signs, calendars,... that say "World's Best Teacher"- We get so many of these

These previous items are sweet gifts, but the problem comes we get so many year after year and don't know what to do with them.  I hate the thought that someone spent money on something that is going to end up in a cabinet somewhere.  I'd really rather you just save your money and write me a note.

Anyway, I hope this will be helpful to at least one parent out there.  I also hope I didn't come across as horrible rude.  I've seen so many families on the back to school aisle discussing what to get the teacher.  Don't stress about it.  We're easy.  We like drinks, snacks, and mostly just smiles.

Good luck this year,


kh123 said...

This is very nice of you to share the teachers standpoint... We do gift cards for pedicures at the end of the year and I always think.

Steven and Kristie Lentz said...

That is an awesome gift! I want your boys in my class!

Jamie said...

So true! My parents were both teachers and now that the are retired I think they could open up there own "teacher appreciation" gift store. :)

I saw your comment on my blog and so far we are loving the 4 year gap. Ansley is old enough to understand why things are having to change so much. She doesn't always like it when we tell her to be quiet or get out of her sisters room but she does understand. I don't know if it would be different with a boy but Ansley loves to hold and talk to her baby sister and she is so proud to show her off to everyone. I'm not sure there is a perfect age gap but 4 years worked for us. I always thought I would have them closer together but God knew what he was doing having us wait until after having a fully potty trained kid before giving us baby #2. :) Hope you guys are well. It was nice to "hear" from you.

kh123 said...

I clearly am a mother of two young kids- I didn't end my sentence!!! "I always think 'its a gift I would love!'"

the end. :)

Meghan DeHart said...

very helpful! reese is starting preschool this year and i was already thinking about what to give the teacher!! thank you for the tips and what not to do's! i like knowing that stuff!

jamie ivey said...

Thanks for this! I was just thinking about possibly getting my kids teachers a gift and this is just great!

Holly Dennis said...

My oldest is entering kindergarden this year ... I look forward to doing this sort of thing for her teacher this year. Is it appropriate to ask the teacher for a list of their favorites? drinks, coffees, candys, etc? thanks for the help!

Steven and Kristie Lentz said...

Yes, you can definitely ask your kids' teachers what their faves are! THey will be so glad you did. If you were the room mom or knew who that was, it would be an awesome idea to get a copy to all the parents so they'd know too. IF you have that kind of supportive parent involvement who wouldn't be offended by that.

kh123 said...

I'm going for it this week and sending a note to JD's teacher requesting a list. I am so worried I'll come across as a suckup (or worse yet be volunteered for room mom!) but I want to know her more so I can surprise her every once in awhile...

CrossFit Chick said...

This is an awesome list and so much appreciated!! Thank you for going out on a limb and being honest!

Anonymous said...

We're sending our son to early preschool in two weeks and I was so worried that I will either be the only mom that brings a gift or I'll be the only one that doesn't. I think I'll play it safe with a gift card to Starbucks. Thanks so much!

Suz said...

I was thinking about the usual, "apple for the teacher" and thought instead to make an apple pie for them. I know they will be tired that first week of school and won't want to cook much. What do you think about that?