Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gifts To Give To Teachers

Now that you've read my 'Gifts Not To Give To Teachers and Why' series (which might be added to later!)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
and left me some lovely comments, I'm going to start on 'Gifts To Give Teachers and Why'. Like the What Not To Gives there will be exceptions to my comments (for example, the teacher might be very prepared, or a brand new teacher who needs a lot of stuff), and I truly believe the best thing you can do is get to know the teacher a little, or ask your child if you are the parent. Like before, feel free to argue.
This list is also not in any particular order.

Magnets by magnolyadesigns, $5.50

Bippityboppityglue, $3.50

I Heart Grammar Magnet $3.50 Vozamer does some AWESOME ones that I certainly wouldn't turn down as a geeky teacher!

1. Good, Strong, Non Tacky Magnets, or awesome pretty/cool pins.

I've seen some LOVELY strong magnets that are little and tasteful, and often could be themed to the teacher's interests, and can be very masculine or very feminine or very themed (I love Victoriana stuff!). I know we'd appreciate them at school *or* at home on the fridge. From my experience it's only when teachers get ones with apples on them or 'world's best teacher' or an owl, or they're really flimsy, or really huge, that it's not wanted. There are some wonderfully crafty people out there, and also kids can make some really professional looking things, using strong magnets you can get from craft shops and some really pretty big buttons. And if the hand made ones break after a year, at least they were used.
Try to keep them small and strong. If the teacher is using them to put a note on the fridge or the magnetic whiteboard, he doesn't want them covering up whatever they're attaching.

Really awesome pins: I've seen some hilarious or awesome ones in shops and online. Ones that *I* would like involve little animals, flowers, etc. By 'pins' I mean ones for noticeboards. Thumbtacks with pretty things on them. You can make your own!

2. Really attractive split pins, paper clips, useable but pretty erasers, pens, etc.

Like the pretty thumbtacks, have you seen those little paper clips that look like feet, or flowers? *wants*. Useable though attractive erasers could be cool, as would pens- they always go missing in class! For male or female teachers.

3. Notepaper
I know I'm always writing down notes, and I can't imagine I'll be any different as a teacher. There're some really pretty/appropriate funny post its out there too. I *always* use post its.
Along with this goes really pretty/attractive printer paper. (note, I've made an exception about apples in the above case! See, I *told* you there were exceptions!)

4. Something from your travels, or your culture

Are you an ESL student? Do you travel a lot? Find something from that culture to give. Particularly if it's *from* or *of* that *culture* rather than being a tourist item. (Unless the teacher has always wanted to go to that particular place and would get a kick out of a snowglobe from [town]!)
For example, some chopsticks and a chopstick rest, a recipe book, a tourism dvd, a small traditional piece of artwork, or even something that could be used in a unit of work in class!

5. A book

A book that you particularly like and want to recommend, a book for the classroom, a non fiction book, a book that you feel the teacher will enjoy, a book of crossword puzzles, a book that would be a good resource for the class, a teaching type book, a book on one of the teacher's interests, a joke book to make her laugh, anything. If it's not to his or her exact taste, I can almost guarantee that it will go to good use somewhere! This might be one of those 'ooo, not sure about that one, Chiara!' things, but I personally would even love a second hand book.

Message in a Bottle

6. A letter.
This has often been quoted as the best present ever from a student or parent. A letter or note or card expressing gratitude, revealing that the teacher has helped, or whatever you'd like to write. Teachers treasure this sort of sentiment, they almost never get closure from students. This is particularly poignant if the student is a 'troublemaker' or 'difficult', or the teacher has spent a lot of extra time on that student, or if the student just sits quietly and doesn't ever cause a fuss or attract attention.
It could be written hastily on a piece of computer paper, or on a gorgeous hand made card, or typed up, or even emailed. Better yet, it's practically free!
I've seen some examples of this being done as a 'note in a bottle'.

You will warm the cockles of the teacher's heart. Once I made one of my male high school teachers cry by giving him a Christmas card and a (shame) christmas pudding. He was the art teacher and many people found him very difficult to deal with as a student.
Imagine working day after day, doing your best, and being unappreciated by hundreds of teenagers, or dozens of pre teens. This is why I gave gifts to mine, even in High School.

To Be Continued...


  1. YAY! The official list :) LOVE IT! Those colorful clothes pins are fabulous! And I love the paper apple & pear :)

  2. Thanks so much for including my clothespin magnets! Love this list--especially the apple and pear paper!


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