Teachers love their jobs. I know, because I am one. What we love most about our jobs is the ability to impact students in the long term. We want our students to, at the end of the year, despite the ups and downs, and highs and lows to say, “At least, I learned something.” The best gift you can give a teacher is the knowledge that he or she is doing a good job. A handwritten note can accomplish this, rather than a scented candle wrapped in your best Christmas wrapping paper. A note is personal, thoughtful, and meaningful. If you especially feel the need to get your teacher a gift, let’s first go over what not to give your teacher:
- Hand lotions or anything scented (including candles)
- Mugs with apples on them
- Pretty much anything with apples on them
- School supplies (or gift cards to school supply stores)
- Candy or chocolates (they end up in the faculty room anyway).
- Knick knacks…even expensive knick knacks are knick knacks. Is that crystal paperweight shaped like an apple really that useful? Is it REALLY?
Instead, try these gifts, which show that she or he is more than a teacher (but also an actual human being).
- A framed picture of the two of you (if you had the opportunity to take one)
- A handwritten note referring to specific instances or areas of growth
- A Starbucks gift card or one of those very cool coffee warmers!
- A specific thing he or she obviously needs for the classroom that has been identified as a need. Did something break? Did the lav pass always go missing?
- An inside joke. It’s okay to be prankster and give your teacher a good laugh if it makes sense for you and reflects your personality. Your teacher will remember it and remember you.
- Flowers–this is so simple, but there is something special about presenting a teacher with flowers. It creates a moment.
- An handmade or thoughtful ornament. Your teacher will think of you every year.
- A favorite book or something that reminds of your teacher.