A few years ago, my husband and I spent a couple of hours hanging out with my son’s class at school—twenty 4 and 5-year-olds and their two teachers. We sang songs, read stories, built towers, played in the sand table, and helped them make homemade applesauce. By snack time, we were exhausted. Hubs and I went home and took a break. The teachers still had three hours to go.
I honestly do not know how teachers do what they do. It became clear to me that I needed to do something for these two special people who care for my child each day. I want to give them something super nice before the winter break, but I had no idea what they might like. I mean, an apple for the teacher? We used fifteen apples just to make applesauce, so that seemed kind of silly.
So I did what I do. I went to the source. I asked three teachers I know to tell me what kinds of things they really like to get from their students. Here’s what they said:
Amy, who teaches second grade, says that some of her favorite gifts she’s received from her students are holiday ornaments. “I remember the students who gave them to me every year when I hang them up. They range from hand blown glass to a generic ball written on by the student with a sharpie.” She also suggests “things like cinnamon rolls or pumpkin bread from good bakeries. Also, homemade treats are nice and not expensive to make.” But her “absolute favorites are notes written by both parents and kids that express appreciation. We don’t get a lot of that these days.”
Office Supplies, Hot Chocolate, & Coffee
Niki, a fifth grade teacher, told me that she likes things like “pens, pencils, and paper—because I spend my own money on them for my kiddos.” She also adds that teachers like things they can use outside the classroom as well; because, “for every day we spend in the classroom, we spend two to three hours working on grading papers, analyzing data, etc on our own time.” Her suggestions: gift cards or gift sets of coffee or hot chocolate.
Gift Cards & Little Luxuries
When I asked Jessica, who teaches pre-K, about her favorite gifts from students, she mentioned specifically gift cards for Target, comfy socks, nice water bottles or coffee containers, yummy local chocolate, and flowers. She says, “I’ve always felt grateful with any gift I’ve received from a family. I can understand families may not know what to choose, but they can rest assured that we are truly touched by any gift from our students—truly!”