All of us moms (or dads) have been there. It’s the week before Christmas Break or Summer Break–and we have no gift for our little darling’s teacher! Not a card, not a coffee cup, not even a piece of chocolate to give! We have been running all week to sports activities, church activities, parties, you name it! We are out of money…and time! The thought has probably crossed your mind that you could just run out later that night or early in the morning to the big box store and grab something simple. But, wait! We don’t want to look like I am don’t have one creative bone our my bodies! That is when the battle that wages inside of us non-creatives can get really intense! Should I go for the traditional Bath & Body lotion set? Or the should I look up a super cute Pinterest craft to make? AAAAGGGHHH! What is a mom to do?!
Ladies (or gents), I am here to help you out! Let me make this as easy as can be, from an actual teacher, what type of gifts Teachers REALLY want (if you feel so inclined).
1. Teacher Professional Books
Teachers love to read–and we often use our breaks to catch up on things we don’t have time to do during the week. One of the things we love to read is about how are profession can be made better, how we can serve children better, or how we can better take care of ourselves. If you want to give a helpful and useful gift, do an internet search to see what is new on the teaching horizon…because there is ALWAYS something new! Here are a few suggestions (all newly published) that I have read, used, and loved!
2. Cute–But USEFUL–Office Supplies
I have recently discovered a feature on Amazon that I have fallen head-over-heels with! It is the Interesting Finds section. This section comes up on the top of my page when I am on a desk top (that is where I first noticed it). I’m sure it is on a mobile device as well, I just didn’t notice. If you want quirky, fun, and useful products–this is YOUR section! I have put several of these small items in my Wish List for my own children to buy for me. There are several cute desk items that a teacher would love. Here are a few of my faves:
- *Good Vibes Only Coffee Mug (aka…pencil holder)
- *Scotch Brand Globe Tape Dispenser
- *Magnetic Paper Clip Dispenser
- *Pencil Holder
3. Massage anyone?
We all know that teaching is a stressful job–and if you don’t know that, please come and sit in my class for a week, even a day will do it! A massage is one way to help offset that stress–and who doesn’t love a massage?! Depending on where you live, massages can be expensive though. I would suggest to go in with another parent or two to purchase a gift like this. It can be a full body massage, or even a foot massage at the Nail Salon. Trust me, your child’s teacher will LOVE it!
4. Subscription to an Educational App
I’m sure you have heard before that teacher’s have a very tight instructional budget. We usually don’t have money left over to buy educational apps. Most of these apps have some free options, but to get to the real heart of the app, you have to purchase it in full. My favorite educational app is called Flipgrid. It is an app that uses video to have kids respond to me and to each other. Flipgrid is very cool and opens up a whole new world for some students who are too shy to talk in front of a classroom, but will talk to their phone. I could use this app for free, but to use some of the more in-depth monitoring options, I had to purchase it–which I did. This is another gift that could be split between 2 or 3 parents and is as easy as pulling it up online and ordering it! Other apps that I like are NearPod and PearDeck.
5. Gift Cards
Gift cards are always a wonderful gift! It’s like opening up your wallet and finding money you didn’t know you had! Some of my favorite to receive are to a favorite restaurant, a great coffee shop, a book store, or ANY kind of craft store. Gift cards never expire and whenever I pull them out of my purse, I always think of that student. What a gift that is in itself!
6. School Supplies
Teachers ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS need school supplies! Construction paper, glue sticks, good quality pencils–you name it–we need it! One item I always find myself running short of is Kleenex! Right behind that one–Lysol wipes. Germs are going to spread and I want to make sure that the kids don’t get sick and neither do I. This is something you can throw in a gift bag–easy peasy! Or, if you are a creative person, I know that Pinterest probably has an arrangement that would meet your standards! Lol. My favorite pencils are Ticonderoga because they sharpen well and erase well. A favorite place of mine to shop for school supplies and unique classroom items is Really Good Stuff.
Did you know that Teachers CRAVE new pens?! Well, let me say female teachers crave pens. Usually, teachers are semi-creative by nature and when it comes to keeping ourselves organized, we like to pull out the color! Even though there are apps to help us with grading and grade books, I still have my own method of keeping grades on paper…and I like it color-coded! I also take notes this way–different colors for different sections, or even to highlight a certain topic. If you were to look in my desk, you would see a menagerie of colors of pens. I buy sets and sets of pens! My absolute favorite pens for this month are the Ink Joy pens that come in sets. I have found a set that has only the blues–which are my favorite–but they have sets with all different colors. Other favorites include the PaperMate Flair Pens, the TUL fine point pens, and the Staedtler fineliner pens (these have ultra fine points at 0.3 mm).