Gift giving around the holidays can be a major stressor, especially when it comes to the folks you aren't even sure you should give to. Holiday gifts for teachers are commonplace, but some laws have cracked down on accepting valuable gifts from students. We rounded up the best gifts to give teachers that don't involve shelling out a huge amount of cash or buying five types of scented lotion in a holiday-shopping induced panic.
What teachers really want
Just say thanks. Most teachers agree a heartfelt thank you note is the best gift they can receive, says Scholastic. Teachers told Edutopia, these letters can be a great pick-me-up after a rough day. Another way to say thanks? Parents can give the gift of time by volunteering in the classroom or on class field trips.
Classroom necessities. Teachers admit they frequently buy for the classroom out of their own pockets, and many teachers agree supplies (which they can enjoy with students, rather than alone) are the most useful gifts. A gift of crayons and colored pencils from a budding artist or paperback books from the class bookworm feel especially personal.
Get tech-y. In its Guide to Holiday Gifts for Teachers, Edutopia revealed that more than ever, teachers want devices like iPads and Kindles this year. But don't worry, no teacher is expecting one parent to shell out the cash for a big-ticket item. Edutopia recommends pooling money from the class or giving gift cards to Amazon or a big box store, which the teacher can combine to put toward their big purchase. If you know which devices a teacher already uses, give a gift card they can use to load it (i.e. iTunes or Amazon).
What about handmade gifts?
While many teachers appreciate handmade gifts from students, we found several tales of inevitable flops. Here are a few tricks to make your gift a beloved keepsake for years:
Give as a group. It's easiest to appreciate and display one thoughtful, handmade gift from the whole class. Team up with other parents to plan a class scrapbook or cookbook (with a favorite recipe from each family), says Disney Family Fun. Looking for more ideas? How about a video of the holiday performance the teacher planned or a CD slideshow of classroom events?
Gift food.Baked goods that can easily be shared (like cookies or brownies, as opposed to cake or pie) with the class, other teachers or the teacher's family may feel less like a bribe to more conservative teachers. Just be careful of dietary restrictions.
Get your child involved. However thoughtful, a homemade gift from you will never mean as much as a gift from your child. Even toddlers can help by mixing batter or sprinkling glitter. Add a note to the gift explaining how much your kiddo enjoyed getting their hands dirty making it.
Take note of what the teacher keeps. A teacher's desk just might be the window to their soul. Next time you're in the classroom, take note of whether the teacher displays former students' photos, drawings and handmade knick-knacks. If they hold on to those gifts, get crafting!
Final guidelines for teacher gift-giving:
Skip anything too personal. The scented candle or body products you love are not necessarily the teacher's favorite. Opt for universally appealing gifts, like gift cards, which are the most wanted gift of the holiday season.
Don't feel pressured.Disney Family Fun reminds parents, "Gifts are always appreciated, but never expected." Teachers are sensitive to families' financial situations; you should never feel you have to give your child's teacher a gift.
Stay within the limits. Many schools and school districts have limitations on what teachers may accept from students.
Know your teacher. The one guideline all our sources agreed on: the better you know your child's teacher, the better the gift usually is. For starters, be conscientious about religious differences around the holidays. Furthermore, a gift card to a coffee shop is less-than-ideal for the instructor who doesn't touch the stuff. The same goes for dietary restrictions, like sugar and gluten, or allergies. Chat with your child about the teacher's preferences--you might be surprised by how much they've picked up.
This ConsumerSearch.com page has been optimized for print. To view this page in it's original form,
please visit: http://www.consumersearch.com/blog/pop-quiz-what-kind-of-holiday-gift-is-appropriate-for-teacher
Sponsored Links are keyword-targeted advertisements provided through the Google AdWords™ program.
These listings are administered, sorted and maintained by Google. For
information about these Google ads, go to adwords.google.com.
Google may place or recognize a unique "cookie" on your Web browser.
Information from this cookie may be used by Google to help provide
advertisers with more targeted advertising opportunities. For more
By clicking on Sponsored Links you will leave ConsumerSearch.com. The web site you will go to is not endorsed by ConsumerSearch.