As a teacher, I've gotten gifts over the years and I thought I'd share a bit of wisdom about what exactly to give teachers. I was inspired to write about this topic after reading this post over on one of my favorite deals blogs, Living Rich With Coupons. I actually cringed while reading their list of suggested gifts and I knew I had to say something.
First of all, please don't feel obligated to buy anything. I don't expect gifts. The thought is nice, but it's certainly not mandatory. And honestly, a homemade card from your child is one of the best gifts I could get.
Now, let's take a look at that list of suggested gifts.
- Coffee - Please, no. I don't drink coffee, so buying me a bag of ground coffee would be a waste. I'd probably just put in the lounge. A gift card to Starbucks would be OK though since they have other drinks. I personally love their Vanilla Bean Fraps, so I'd use it.
- Magazine Subscription - I'm not a big magazine reader and how do you know if already have a subscription?
- Inspirational Items - I assume this means "teacher" items and the like. Again, please, no. Teachers get a lot of this stuff and most of it is just useless decorations. My own mother is guilty of buying me this kind of stuff. It's not my style and I hate feeling like I have to display it because a student gave it to me.
- Chocolate - Only if you know for sure that the teacher likes it. For me, this would be great, but one of my teacher friends is actually allergic to chocolate, so this would not be good for her.
- Books - Yes, teachers do love books. However, I would encourage you to buy a gift certificate to a bookstore instead of a specific book. Teachers often have vast libraries and buying a book they don't already have may be tough. And don't expect your child to know if their teacher has a certain book or not. I do my read alouds thematically, so by Christmas, my students have only seen a small portion of the books I own. And please do not buy a teacher "Chicken Soup of the Teacher's Soul." We all have this book already. I'm pretty sure I got mine as a college graduation present.
- Gift certificates - Yes please! Especially from a local teacher supply store or bookstore. Teachers use a lot of their own money to purchase items for their classrooms and this would be a great way for them to pick up some new items. Stores such as Target or Walmart are also good ideas, as well as, Amazon or even just a Visa gift card.