Here is a suggestion for an easy homemade gift bound to please any teacher.
Snowman card When your child makes this snowman card, in addition to making a gift for his teacher, he will be practicing cutting, drawing and writing.
Directions: Fold the piece of card stock or construction paper in half. Tear or cut three white circles from the white paper for the snowman's head and body. On the head, use the hole punch to make two tiny black eyes (or draw two eyes), cut out or draw a red mouth and use the orange paper to make a carrot-shaped nose. Glue the circles to form the snowman on the front of the card. Before the glue dries, tuck the pipe cleaner or twist ties under the middle circle to serve as the snowman's arms. Cut out a small, black hat and paste it on the snowman's head. Write your holiday message on the inside of the card.
By GreatSchools Staff
Sure that "World's Best Teacher" coffee mug is cute, but imagine how many of them an experienced teacher already has! Here, teachers share what gifts they'd really like, and it turns out that gifts from the heart are among the most appreciated.
There is a perfect gift for every teacher, as comments from these teachers show:
"I always enjoy getting flowers or a gift card," adds Dr. Ruth Jacoby, an educational consultant in Florida and co-author of the School Talk! Success Series. "Many of my parents usually ask other staff what my likes are. One school at the beginning of the year sent a survey to all staff members on likes and favorites, so many times I get gift baskets with my favorite coffee, snacks and books."
Teachers told us that gift cards they can use to treat themselves to something special or buy supplies for the class are always appreciated. You can even pick up a wide assortment of gift cards at many grocery stores, making this gift even easier!
A teacher in Washington, writes:
"My favorite gifts to receive from my students are those that I can use at school," writes a Mississippi teacher and mother of two. "Because of tight supply budgets, practical items like pens, pencils, cap erasers, paper clips, sticky notes, and lined notebook paper make ideal gifts for teachers. A personal note from the student that the teacher can place in his/her 'memory' file will make the gift special."
Other teachers agreed that gifts to teacher supply stores, bookstores or other places they could buy much-needed things for the classroom were greatly appreciated. One teacher suggested that parents can tap their own skills to make a special contribution to the classroom: "One of the best gifts that I ever received as an educator was the donation of a parent's carpentry skills to put a door on an ugly sink cupboard for my classroom."
Several teachers told us that they love to see students helping others in their honor. Margaret Wallace, a special education teacher in Queensbury, New York, said, "The only gift giving these days which I support is donations to causes which one cares about."
Of course, most teachers care deeply about education, so if your child's school is lucky enough to have most everything it needs, a donation to DonorsChoose may be a great way to honor your teacher. DonorsChoose is a nonprofit that allows teachers to post specific requests for their classrooms and donors to directly fund them. You can fund a project in the name of your child's teacher or give the teacher a gift certificate to use to help the project of her choice. There are classrooms all across the country looking for help paying for field trips, science equipment and more.
One parent shared this practical approach for pooling resources and getting teachers things they need:
You can also:
Mary Beltran, a second-grade teacher in Pacifica, California, says:
Marcie Wollesen, a third-grade teacher in San Francisco, suggests that parents consider purchasing their gifts through scrip organizations. Scrip brokerages, such as eScrip, are groups that coordinate merchants and schools for mutual benefit, with a percentage of the profits going to the school of your choice. "Scrip gives money back on purchases, so that makes so much sense to me," Wollesen notes.
If your school isn't already raising money with scrip, consider starting a scrip program so that parents can buy from participating retailers and see a portion of their money go back to the school. Parent groups can work with merchants directly or through a scrip broker who does the coordinating in return for a portion of the profits.
Be sure to choose your scrip broker carefully by checking credit references and contacting other parent groups. In California, the Central California Better Business Bureau has suspended the Fresno-based Scrip Advantage after getting complaints that scrip orders weren't being delivered and sales reps were unreachable.
Peggy Mannion, an eighth-grade social studies teacher in San Francisco, remembers one especially meaningful gift:
Many teachers told us their favorite gift was as simple as positive or grateful words. As one Oregon teacher noted, don't underestimate the value of praise.
"A supportive, positive letter, with a copy to the teacher's administrator and/or school board would be a wonderful gift," the teacher wrote. "And don't forget those marvelous 'Letters to the Editor' in newspapers."
"Heartfelt letters mean the most," said Washington teacher Sandi George. "I always keep them in my teaching album," she said. "It's important for parents to let us know how much they appreciate all we have done. We work hard at what is often a thankless job."
Florida teacher Cynthia J. Bradford wrote:
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