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Teacher Gifts

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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I typically tend to overthink these things and am hoping for some opinions.

My daughter in K has quite a few teachers. Two in her class, and then 7 others for various electives. For her two main teachers, each family gave $10 toward a group gift. I'd like to get them each a $10 gift card and chocolates.

For each of the other teachers, I was thinking $5 starbucks cards and some chocolates (like chocolate covered oreos from a chocolate shop, which I still need to find.) DH says that it seems too cheap, and I should just do nothing. I asked him for alternate ideas, and he has none. LOL. I think it's thoughtful. What do you think? Oh, and I was also going to bake cookies, but have already baked a ton for other things, so am feeling kind of spent there.

Thoughts?
 

december-fire

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There can be a very long list of people to shop for at Christmas, and it can quickly become stressful, time-consuming and expensive. No one wants that; not the giver or the recipient.

Teachers (school bus drivers, daycare providers, brownie/scout leaders, piano/guitar/ballet teachers, etc.) like a token that shows you appreciate them, but they're not looking to receive something elaborate or expensive. And I certainly don't think anyone would want to hear that you stressed over what to get them or stayed up until the wee hours baking.

My children are now adults, but I used to give teachers, school bus drivers, etc., a consumable (chocolate or cookies) or a Christmas ornament. Keep in mind that they'll probably receive lots of little gifts given the number of children with whom they deal, and lots of stuff can quickly become lots of clutter.

Just my thoughts, and I'd be interested to hear a teacher's perspective and suggestions.

Now, if Kenny is teaching your child guitar, that's a different story! In that case, get him the biggest Octavia you can find. :D
 

baby monster

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We're participating in group gifts for classroom and electives teachers. Class moms are being kind enough to organize collection and buy gift cards for total amount. $5 to Starbucks doesn't buy much so I agree with your hubby that it's better to go bigger or do nothing.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Thank you for this thread because I am so behind this year, I keep forgetting my son's teacher and bus driver! So in the past we have given a gourmet chocolate covered apple gift basket from a local business. It was pricey though so I'm going to give both gift cards to Dunkin' Donuts, like $20 each.

On a side note my husband went to Toys r Us at 4am this morning to get my son a Nintendo DS LX (I think that's the new one) because they are impossible to find now and he also picked up a Hatchimal that his cousin has been looking for that we will give to her daughter for Christmas. We still aren't done with the kids, I don't know where the time is going!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
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I would recommend an Amazon gift card. That way, they can order whatever they want - supplies for classroom, or even coffee lolol. They come in the mail next day and you can choose what type of container for it - a card, a cute tin for free.
 

daintyG

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I would be so touched by those gifts!!! I teach 7-8th grade English and this year I got a roll of white out from a student. That's the only gift I got. So anytime a student or parent acknowledges me with even a card, I feel appreciated and it means a lot.
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
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When did gifts for teachers become a thing? It wasn't when I went through school. What do families with three or more kids, who then have multiple teachers, do?

Personally, I am uncomfortable getting gifts from parents of students. Now granted, I teach high school so it's not as common for this age group. The gift is supposed to be a way of saying "thank you" I guess. For what? Doing my job? Do I send a thank you note for a gift that is in itself a token of thanks? Does it depend on the cost of a gift? If I write a thank you note for the $30 Whole Foods gift card, should I do the same for the 3 homemade christmas cookies in a plastic sandwich baggie? Speaking of that $30 gift card, is that kind of a bribe to allow junior to make up a test that he didn't study for even though I have a no make ups policy?

I honestly would rather not get any gifts from parents.

On the other hand, I have every single letter, card, note sent to me by students over the years. I treasure them. If I've had a really crappy day at work I come home and take out my box of student letters and read through them. This *always* lifts my spirits!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
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I think my mom gave teacher gifts in elementary school because the teachers spent all day with me. In middle school and high school, no not during the holidays.

But the exception was if a teacher in middle school or high school went above and beyond - wrote me recommendations, found me special programs to attend and went out of their way to lift me up, I remember my mom giving them a thank you gift at the end of the year, or my senior year, because those teachers usually still stayed involved in my "academic career" even after they weren't my teachers.
 

kipari

Ideal_Rock
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Great topic, I had about 38 gifts (multiple kids between daycare, kindergarten and different classes at schools, music /dance/sports teachers) to give this year and opted for very nicely packaged home made cookies with a thank you note (written by me and the kids or a drawing /"signature"by the smaller kids). I have a pretty close contact to most of the caregivers and I know that they really appreciated the personal touch.
Last year I found nice small sized scented hand cream / travel size gifts (think le couvent des minimes, l'occitane..) and they (all young women) loved it. They were about 10-12€, I think.
Back then I had fewer people on the list and still felt that these little sums really add up pretty quickly.
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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I taught for 12 years total. All grades---band, jazz band, some classroom music, and English As A Second Language.

When students gave me homemade food, I had to throw it out. Safety issue. (One year I gave a student whose family I knew well a ride home on a very rainy afternoon. Her mom beckoned me in to the house. She was baking cookies for the teachers. She went to get a card to put with my cookies and I watched little brother home with a cold lick each cookie on the cooling racks and put it back:lol: )

I threw out the coffee mugs, the candles, scented soaps and lotions (can't use them).

I loved gift cards for a lunch or dinner out; I'm tired after work just like everyone else.

I wrote and mailed thank you notes to every.single.student on my good stationary.

I didn't like getting gifts, honestly. I loved the districts where I worked that had strict no-gifts policies. Its terrible for children whose parents can't or won't give gifts, they feel embarrassed the day other students and parents bring gifts in. I'd rather work in a district where I'm paid and benefited fairly.
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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I taught for 12 years total. All grades---band, jazz band, some classroom music, and English As A Second Language.

When students gave me homemade food, I had to throw it out. Safety issue. (One year I gave a student whose family I knew well a ride home on a very rainy afternoon. Her mom beckoned me in to the house. She was baking cookies for the teachers. She went to get a card to put with my cookies and I watched little brother home with a cold lick each cookie on the cooling racks and put it back:lol: )

I threw out the coffee mugs, the candles, scented soaps and lotions (can't use them).

I loved gift cards for a lunch or dinner out; I'm tired after work just like everyone else.

I wrote and mailed thank you notes to every.single.student on my good stationary.

I didn't like getting gifts, honestly. I loved the districts where I worked that had strict no-gifts policies. Its terrible for children whose parents can't or won't give gifts, they feel embarrassed the day other students and parents bring gifts in. I'd rather work in a district where I'm paid and benefited fairly.
 

distracts

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Loves Vintage|1482074300|4108149 said:
I typically tend to overthink these things and am hoping for some opinions.

My daughter in K has quite a few teachers. Two in her class, and then 7 others for various electives. For her two main teachers, each family gave $10 toward a group gift. I'd like to get them each a $10 gift card and chocolates.

For each of the other teachers, I was thinking $5 starbucks cards and some chocolates (like chocolate covered oreos from a chocolate shop, which I still need to find.) DH says that it seems too cheap, and I should just do nothing. I asked him for alternate ideas, and he has none. LOL. I think it's thoughtful. What do you think? Oh, and I was also going to bake cookies, but have already baked a ton for other things, so am feeling kind of spent there.

Thoughts?
I think that sounds great. It's basically like you're taking them out to coffee to thank them. When I was a kid I always baked cookies and gave my teachers a few cookies in a little pretty bag, so I'd say this is about on par with what I think of as a teacher gift.
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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I realized I didn't say what I *did* appreciate from parents:

I appreciated being respected by the parents.

I appreciated parents who required their child be respectful to me and the other students while in my class.

I so appreciated a parent who would send my supervisor (the principal) a letter stating that they felt I was giving their child a quality education in a happy and safe environment. Principals/administrators feel that parents are 'clients' and as such, I'm expected to 'manage' the clients. When you let my administrator know that you're happy with my work, it gives me a better working relationship with my administrator and the district in general.
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
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One of my closest friends is a teacher, and one year I asked her what teachers like to get.

She said no food. They get so much, and it's usually sweet, high-calorie, high-fat treats. And then it comes with the guilt of throwing it away (especially baked goods, which she never consumed unless she knew the family and their hygiene/baking habits well).

She also said every year they get many mugs and ornaments. These pile up over the years; they can't possibly keep or use them all. But again, this poses a guilt problem because whose do you keep and whose do you throw away?

She said if parents really want to give a gift, the best thing is gift cards. I was worried they are to impersonal, but she insisted that's what she, and all the teachers she knew, like best. Especially to stores like Target or Michaels, where they have a choice to buy something for themselves or something for the classroom.

But she said teachers are like everyone else, trying to balance their budgets at the holidays, so they understand. A card acknowledging their hard work is really, truly appreciated. And it doesn't come with guilt or make them gain weight. :saint:
 

Elania

Rough_Rock
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This definitely can get overwhelming. I like to give gift cards, teacher friends tell me they are always appreciated.

I also give a book of stamps and note cards (these can cost as much or as little as you like.)
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
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As long as my D was in elementary school, at Christmas I would send in homemade fudge, and in June I would bring in a bouquet of roses from our garden. Both seemed to be appreciated.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I suspect most teachers throw out homemade baked goods due to hygiene concerns. They don't know if people wash their hands, clean their counters, let their dog lick the bowl, etc. I will only eat homemade stuff from family. For teacher gifts, I usually just give a modest gift card to Dunkin' Donuts or similar. I have heard that candles and lotions don't get used.
 

purplesparklies

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I was a teacher and am a parent. We do give small gifts to teachers, including high school teachers. My older son is a freshman and I asked if he wanted to give and he does. Why not? Teachers go well above and beyond and have earned far beyond what they are paid. My boys attend private school and the gifting is more common than I experienced when I taught in a public school. We are giving Amazon gift cards, only $10 ea. It is easy and teachers are always happy to receive a gift card. They will not eat treats you have made. Teacher's lounge trash can is full of those baked goods when teachers leave for the holidays. Too much risk. I do Amazon because not everyone drinks coffee and you never know dietary restrictions/preferences so restaurant gift cards often go unused or are regifted.


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Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
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I'm a public school teacher. Every gift card is appreciated! Even a $5 gift card will buy a latte or two cups of coffee, that's always a good thing. We do not want home made goodies, junk food, or any type of desk things including mugs. If not a coffee gift Amazon always works. We will more than likely use it on something for the class anyway.
 

baby monster

Ideal_Rock
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Handwriting a card is a great idea. I'm going to make DS do it this year even though his handwriting sucks.

Posts saying gifts are unnecessary are just silly. On any workday during school year, my child spends more time with his teachers than with me. If they create a happy learning environment for him, a small gift to thank them for their hard work is very necessary. :saint: Even though my tax dollars pay their salaries as someone pointed out.
 

purplesparklies

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Handwritten notes are always treasured. I have my boys write notes at the end of every school year. I have them complete specific prompts and then they can add anything else they would like.

Prompts examples:

My favorite part of your class was:

I will never forget when:

I really appreciated when you:




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Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for your replies everyone.

I was checking my phone while I was out shopping today. I went ahead and got chocolate treats for the elective teachers. Because I hem and haw so much, at one point, I was thinking of baking muffins for these teachers and then getting a starbuck's card for a coffee or two (like taking them out for a coffee, like distracts said.) To me, that's thoughtful, but I am also taking a break from baking because honestly I stress out about that too! So that's why I was thinking chocolates and a coffee, but then got the cheap vibe, so dropped the card. And, I'm glad I did! The more I thought about it, I realized that my daughter sees some of these teachers for only 1/2 hour 1X per week. I am going to guess that most people don't even give gifts to the electives. :confused:

Her main teachers will get notebooks (like the fun kind in the stationary section) and colorful gel pens and a handmade card with note and the group gift.

Next year, gift cards it is! My husband thought it was too impersonal, but at some point, I think I've got to eliminate some of my own gift-buying drama! And, it's not just teachers -- it's sometimes kid birthday gifts (for other kids, not my own, but I have gotten better about this. But, even if i am buying gifts for an adopt-a-family situation, where I don't know the person at all, I still stress about finding the right thing.

december-fire - Thank you for your thoughtful post and also thank you for mentioning the BUS DRIVER. It hadn't occurred to me, so thank you for mentioning.

Maria - I don't know when things changed, but they did. I am sure that not everyone buys gifts, and I think that's ok. When I went to school, I do recall my mom getting ornaments for some of my teachers. Not sure if that was every year. Another thing that seems to have changed is parents directly funding supplies for the classroom. I do not know whether my daughter's teacher spends her own money on supplies, but I'd be really surprised and disappointed if that were the case. For sure, my mom never bought crayons or tissues for me to use at school. I doubly do not get why teachers would be buying supplies directly themselves. But, perhaps this is a topic for another day.

pearlsngems - The bouquets of roses sound perfect!

kipari - Yikes to 38! Good for you for keeping it all together!

And for all of you home bakers, though I am not a teacher, I would totally eat all of your baked goods. We share baked treats at my office all the time. Yum!
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
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People I know usually spend around 10-15$ on teachers gifts. Usually coffee gift cards, candy baskets/etc.

I recently was requested to make my wire ornaments to say 'teacher' it's the first year I've done so. I forgot to take a picture before mailing them out-but here are some of the other ones I've made. Consider I charge 2 for 10$ it's a pretty cost effective gift as well as unique so next year I"ll make one as a protype and actually advertise I think! As well as buy apple charms for them :) I started out just making wire bridal name hangers for friends/family since bridal gifts can get so costly between all the events you go to-I've sold a few locally since shipping in Canada can get quite expensive and had a gf last year see them on etsy and ask me to make one for her daughter. That year I had $300 in order-my hands hurt. Thankfully not that many this year! I do all my crafting as a hobby-mostly I trade/barter them-but when I made the teacher ones this year I thought it was a really great idea!

I totally think homemade items go a LONG way. If you didn't want to bake them you could easily do mason jar versions for them to do them at home. There are a ton of recipes and they are super cute and affordable too. They also have soup versions! I'm all for homemade gifts.

The lady I did before/after school care gave the bus drivers I think a 5-10$ GC to the local coffee shop in their reusable mug. I think she got a LOT of candy/goodies too from other kids. Saw the line up at the bus stops LOL!

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missy

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baby monster|1482116125|4108273 said:
Handwriting a card is a great idea. I'm going to make DS do it this year even though his handwriting sucks.

Posts saying gifts are unnecessary are just silly. On any workday during school year, my child spends more time with his teachers than with me. If they create a happy learning environment for him, a small gift to thank them for their hard work is very necessary. :saint: Even though my tax dollars pay their salaries as someone pointed out.

I agree with this sentiment. Teachers work so hard and mean so much to the children that any gift matters because it shows you are thinking of them and care enough to go to the trouble even if it is a small gift. The dollar amount doesn't matter not as much as the thought behind the gift IMO. A handmade gift or just a $5 Starbucks gift card. It still shows you are thinking of them and is worth the effort no matter the fiscal amount. IMO.
 

partgypsy

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Most years we have done gift cards or group gift cards, but it has been a very busy distracting year for me, plus I am feeling tight with money. My youngest insisted on giving her teachers Christmas cookies that she helped bake. What me and my oldest also did, was make homemade lavender sachets (nice French lavender buds) and so each teacher will get a sachet as well. I also let my kids know, having a personalized note thanking them and what they felt they thought the teacher helped them most, is often what teachers like and keep. I'm not going to make them to that, but let them know in case they feel moved to write to any of their teachers.
 

Elizabeth35

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I think many teachers get way too many baked goods and/or apple ornaments.
I used to give $10 gift cards to our local brick and mortar book store (it was an excellent store). This was 20 years ago.
I suppose now I would do the same or an Amazon gift card. Teachers, at least back then, were avid booklovers!
Most importantly--I had my kids write personal thank you notes to their teachers. It was illuminating to hear from a child's standpoint what they enjoyed in the classroom--whether it was a special book or the teachers love of penguins--whatever
I also wrote them a note expressing appreciation for their hard work and noted what they had specifically done to help my child.
I hope that positive feedback and sincere appreciation meant something to these extremely influential people.
No baked goods due to hygiene and health concerns. What if teacher is diabetic or does not eat sugar, nuts, corn syrup, etc.
 

chrono

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This is a new concept for me and I am still struggling with this. So many people to give to: refuse collector, postman, all the school and after-school activity teachers, etc.
 

maccers

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She's not in school yet, but her three main daycare workers are getting $100 each. I was hesitant to give cash, it felt a bit tacky but when I thought about how little they made as daycare workers, how much I trust them and how much my daughter loves each of them, it was worth it to me. I almost did gift cards but decided cash was better. Maybe a $100 is over the top but it was important to me that they know I value what they do (I conveyed this sentiment in a card to each one).
 
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