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Old 11-01-2004, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default Calling all teachers......

I know there have been many posts on what to give or not to give teachers for Christmas (atleast I heard NO apple stuff) I'm looking for anything that any teacher would appreciate that is not a stamped item. Can someone give me some ideas!!! Thanks Pam
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:02 AM   #2
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I LOVE gift certificates!...to anywhere for anything A book store gift certificate is great; the teacher can either get something on his/her wishlist OR get something for the classroom. And teachers love to eat, get our nails done, get massages, etc. after a long day. I've had all kinds of certificates (even to the gourmet meat market!) and love them. One thing that PTO did that went over well one year was to give us all one of the microwave popcorn buckets with tissue paper, a large candy bar, and a $5 gift card to Blockbuster. (The gal that arranged that for us said that she uses that idea a lot for emergency birthday gifts for kids!)

One cute thing I received a couple years ago (from a parent who was a teacher...) was a basket full of cans of my favorite soda and microwave popcorn. It was wrapped up in netting and was for me to snack on in the late afternoon/early evening when I worked overtime and got the munchies.

The same parent also got me a leather zippered money bag that was embroidered on the front with my name. I love it...great for all the money I collect for field trips, etc.

I always love getting school supplies. When I switched schools a couple years ago, one of the parents got a beautiful zippered tote bag and STUFFED it full of office/school supplies...so thoughtful and I use the tote all the time.

Hope this helps.....Actually, a positive word goes a long way with us. Most parents contact me just to complain....I love it when the kind ones thank me for all that I do! That's the BEST gift.
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:19 AM   #3
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Hmmm-I love handmade items (and you are right, apples are a no go!LOL) and like getting sets of Thank you cards already done. I love gift certificates. One parent mademe a card with a note that said "Have dinner on us" and inside was a grocery store gift card for $50-very appreciated!!!
I have also gotten a personalized handpainted door slate that was soo cute-she had my name, my husband's name, and Camden's name with snowpeople for our front door which I thought was so sweet.

I also love "kit" ideas (like a bottle of nail polish with a gc for a manicure). The snack idea is a great one-just find out what kind of soda or drink he/she likes best (this would also be good for a male teacher since they are trickier to buy for).

I have made sets of cards for Cam's daycare providers with a gift card attached. I have done a little bag with popcorn and candy and gc to the movies around here (big hit!).

I think if YOU would like to get it, then THEY would love it to. It is nice to be appreciated!

Things not to get:
Lingerie (happened to my friend! LOL)
perfume
very perfume-y soap
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:24 AM   #4
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another idea is plants for the garden!!!! I had a parent/student give me a rose bush for Teacher Appreciation Day. I think of that student every time I am cutting roses. It's the gift that keeps giving!
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:05 AM   #5
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When I taught school, the best gifts were gift certificates. I think anything you give a teacher is well recieved. Because afterall we know that for the most part it is the parent that is giving the gift.

I loved the above mentioned idea about the GC for the manicure. That would have been great! Candles to burn in the room are great. I had one family for whom money was very tight. For Christmas the Mom made me a Coupon book with coupons good for help in the classroom. It didn't cost anything but her time, but it was VERY thoughtful. I'll admit I used the coupons and her extra time in the classroom was a huge help to me and also was good for her son. Even it an idea like that was added on to another gift, it would be great. Sometimes all you need as a teacher is someone to make copies for you and a diet coke!
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:10 AM   #6
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I taught for seven years before becoming a stay-at-home mom, and my favorite gifts were Christmas ornaments. Each year when I decorate my Christmas tree I can remember the child who gave it to me. I still remember the kids for my first year and that was 10 years ago.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:16 AM   #7
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Gift certificates to a movie theater. Everyone loves movies usually and this encourages the teacher to go. Fill a gift bag with the certificates and movie candy.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:26 AM   #8
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Last year I had 3 teachers to buy for (our regular teacher had to go on bed rest) either way I bought colorful bowls from walmart for 88 cents in them I put their fav. drink in a two liter, microwave popcorn, fav candy (or m&m's if I did not know which are good for the kids too!) and a GC to blockbuster for 2 movie rentals. And made a card of course. They loved it....
I was going to do an album for the teacher and aide but when the new teacher came into the pic things got too complicated so I did not get to do that - I still plan to get one done for the teacher as soon as I can get to it!
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:57 AM   #9
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I used to be a teacher and I did appreciate anything the kids gave me. I like the idea of gift certificates. Also things like stationery, gourmet coffee, candles, a tote bag, things I'd use in the class.

You said a non stamped item, but last year I made memo cubes for them all, they loved them.

I don't always follow this rule when I give to my kids teachers, but one word that is a good guide is "consumable"

Just my thought.
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:08 AM   #10
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I'm not a teacher, but I thought I'd put my 2 cents in anyway. I've always given my kids teachers Tupperware filled with homemade cookies or store bought chocolate, depending on how much free time I have. Now, I sold Tupp for a long time and have tons that I earned for free, but I have to tell you that my kids past teachers still stop me in the hall and say they're still using the stuff I gave them. I tried to always give things they could bring their lunches to school in for reheating.

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Old 11-01-2004, 09:08 AM   #11
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My favorites were always gift certificates too--restaurant, Dillards, Barnes and Noble, movie theatre, etc.!! Of course, my VERY favorite was a gift card to our local scrapbooking store!!
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #12
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One of my good friends is a teacher and the main thing she encourages is that the item be "Consumable". You have to think about the fact that some teachers will get lots of gifts over lots of years and that stuff adds up. Teachers don't make a lot of money so anything that would be a treat that they wouldn't usually splurge on for themselves.
Just my thoughts.
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:22 AM   #13
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Teachers love gift certificates!

I taught for 11 years and I received dozens of coffee mugs and candles. While I appreciated the gesture, there was only so much that I could display at a time. Also, our school districted implemented a new policy a few years ago that banned candle use in the schools. If you are interested in sending candles, you may want to check on the school's policy.

Christmas ornaments are always nice. I hang mine on the tree each year, and think about the kids who gave them to me.

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Old 11-01-2004, 10:28 AM   #14
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I would always have the kids sign the ornaments in a Sharpie if possible, or on a little tag so it has their name and the date.
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:56 AM   #15
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Default Get together with the other families in your class.

My second year of teaching the parents in my class banding together for an end of the year gift. They collected money and they were able to purchase a great digital camera that I keep at school (I take LOTS of pictures in Kindergarten). That was my favorite gift and it was probably cheaper and easier for most families than it would have been to do individual items. I think they each chipped in $10 (or more if they choose) and with a class of 20 kids they were able to spend $200 for a big ticket item.
The next year I got a large rug for my classroom with different colored squares.
Most recently I got a 6x6 scrapbook with a page made by each child. A treasure to keep forever!! Two parents organized this and sent home (secretly) a page for the children to write a sentence (kindergarten remember) about me. They took pictures before, during and after my class play so they would have each child. The resulting scrapbook has a double page spread for all the kids in my class. The last page has a group photo. Knowing I am an SU demo and I love stamps, they stamped each child's name using products they had purchased (from me) over the past year.
Here are some ideas you may want to consider depending on the grade level. Regardless of the gift I think it is always good to get together with other famililes!

Digital camera
Spa package (facial, massage, manicure, Etc.)
A piece of furniture (ask your teacher what they need)
A scrapbook
Gift certificates
Ask the teacher if there is something expensive they would like to have in the classroom. Sometimes they have wishes and you just need to ask.

I hope this helps! AND I hope I will be lucky enough to have parents that band together in the future.
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:48 PM   #16
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Ditto on the gift certificates---book stores, restaurants, Starbucks, etc.
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:59 PM   #17
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I'm not a teacher, but all my friends and SIL are! What I have done in the past is make bookmark looking ornaments, candy and mix in a bag where all you have to do is add the liquid and eggs and you make cookies or bread. This year, I am going to use my kid cards stamp set and make 3 cards of each stamp. This will give them a variety and I will also let them know that I used a stamp set that helped the Ronald McDonald charity. My problem is, is that in each of my DD's classes, they have teacher aids. So my feeling is, is that they deserve something special too. After all, they know my kids, they help my kids, and the teachers. Some moms say they can't justify buying for the helpers, but their people too!
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:59 PM   #18
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Default teachers gifts

A nice hadwritten note acknowledging something about the teacher is the BEST gift ever!! Consumable things are great, can use them and don't have to dust them. Puzzles for late bus kids are great, books for the class library....jump ropes for outside time. I had one crafty mom make me a christmas pillow and the little boy helped, I LOVE it and still bring it out every year. He is now a senior and I had him in second grade!
I taught in the UK for two years and one mom (or mum!) gave me a bottle of wine (her kid was DIFFICULT) that was awesome but would NEVER happen here in NC!
It does not have to be fancy or expensive just recognize her efforts for your child.
hope this helps
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:02 PM   #19
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Default Teacher gifts

My husband is a 6th grade teacher, I think the gifts he likes most are the ones he can use in his classroom. Gift certificates to office supply stores, or bookstores, etc. Teachers usually have a small classroom budget and end up spending their own money to meet needs for art projects, etc. Last year one of his students bought him Chicken Soup for the Teachers Soul. He enjoyed that alot.
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Old 04-18-2005, 08:08 PM   #20
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Not to sound ungrateful, but don't make anything for the teacher to wear! I had a very sweet mother (the child was angelic) make me a vest to wear. It was denim and it had my name monogramed on it. It had some apples cut out and sewn on, etc. I could tell she worked VERY hard on it. It simply wasn't my style but I felt I should wear it because the child would notice. Thankfully there were only a few weeks left and I wore it once a week for the rest of the year. The other teachers picked on me (it was all in good fun) b/c they knew it wasn't my style and I was wearing it to be nice.
I agree with consumable products or gift certificates. If there is a local teacher supply store a GC from there would be very nice.
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Old 04-18-2005, 08:32 PM   #21
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I loved getting gift certificates! One year the class chipped in together and got me a huge potted plant. It also had gift certificates attached with the plastic card holder things (yeah, real descriptive ). I got movie tickets, two gift cards to restaurants, a gift cert. to get my nails done, and a gift card to a book store.

I would also think about writing a nice letter to the teacher from you. Tell her what you appreciated about her and what your child enjoyed. These are the type of letters that she'll keep forever!! It will be the one she'll grab when she's had a very bad day at school. Also, have your child write a special note, too!

I had two parents write a fantastic letter to the principal about me at the end of the year. I can't tell you how touched I was when I read the letters.
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Old 04-18-2005, 08:34 PM   #22
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I am not a teacher but my sister is and this is her first year. She is a second grade teacher at a very small and poor school district. She has to drive an hour one way to work every day. Since the district is poor that means most of her students come from very limited income families. I was really amazed when I learned how much of her own money (and she makes over $10,000 a year less than my SIL who works in Kingwood, right out of Houston) she was spending on items for her classroom. Things such as paper towels, tissues, and hand santizer, not to mention art supplies and such for the kids. My point being, even a gift card from Walmart or Target would go a long way for her. I would think the same would be true for most teachers.

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Old 04-18-2005, 08:53 PM   #23
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I have been a teacher in various settings for 26 years. I do NOT need another teacher mug, Christmas tree ornament, or box of chocolates. I do love books and gift certificates to my favorite restaurant. I once got a book of coupons for a weekly car wash for a year. One year my MS students took turns mowing my lawn ALL summer long. It was heaven!
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Old 04-18-2005, 08:58 PM   #24
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I agree with Noddy. When I taught, one of the nicest gifts I received was a handwritten letter from a parent letting me know how much my teaching meant to her and her son. It was very personal and meaningful to me. I certainly don't disagree with the gift certificates, those are great too!

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Old 04-18-2005, 09:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camsmom
Things not to get:
Lingerie (happened to my friend! LOL)

Shut. Up! Really!?!? OMG, I am literally LOL at that one!

Three of my favorite things to give to teachers:
- go to www.scholastic.com and buy them a gift certificate. They can either buy supplies or books for themselves or their classroom.
- Starbucks makes a fabulous insulated travel coffee cup that has an insert that you can take out and stamp or decorate. I made color copies of the class picture and stamped "Mrs. So-and-So's" class 2004-2005 on it. My kids told me their teachers used those cups every day for the whole year.
- Starbucks GC's. If they don't use them, there's always someone to re-gift it to!

And btw, my DH is a teacher, and he is the ONLY teacher I know that loves to get coffee cups! He said every time he uses them he thinks of the student that gave him each one Sweet!
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:52 PM   #26
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Being a teacher....I agree....no apple things or Bath and body products(I get way too many...while I appreciate them, it's hard to use them all up!)

I don't mean to be rude here....but I don't take any homemade edible items home to my family.....I don't even eat them myself. (mostly because i am anal about where and how they were prepared) We had an outbreak of foodpoisoning at a school potluck, and I have been very careful since. So, if kids or parents make me edible stuff, I say thank you and write a nice note back to them about how fantastic it was. But I don't eat the stuff....not worth that risk. I don't even allow homemade items in my classroom...everything has to be pre-packaged. At my in-law's school a teacher died from cookies that were laced with drugs. Again...to me, it's just not worth it!

My favorite gift was a basket of hair goodies...like clips, a brush, rubber bands, headbands, ponytail trinkets(cute adult ones) etc. I said "WOW, thanks Christopher. This is great!" and he said
"Yeah, now your hair won't looks so wild all the time!"

his mom was in the back....she just about died!

And to be honest...my hair wasn't wild...it was that cute flip out at the bottom "Rachel" hair-do from Friends.

Just wanted to share!

Kelly

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Old 04-19-2005, 02:44 AM   #27
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Once again, no on the apple items (YUCK!). I love getting gift certificates too! Candles are a big hit with me. I am always burning a candle to make the room smell good and inviting. I go through Thank you cards, so premade thank you cards ready to write on and send are good too.
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:47 AM   #28
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I have been a teacher for 5 years now. I have gotten a wide variety of items, all of which I have loved.

I would have loved to have gotten a digital camera like someone else stated.

Teachers really like a variety of things, it just depends on their personality. Here are some ideas of things I have either received or my co-teachers.
  • gift certificate to a bookstore
  • GC to Staples/OfficeDepot (for school supplies)
  • If it is an elementary school, Target has some really cute beanbag chairs by David Kirk (author of Miss Spider books) in their sporting goods section.
  • I love gardening, and one year a student gave me a hanging flower basket. I loved it!!!
  • totebags
  • outdoor/indoor recess game stuff: jumpropes, balls, sidewalk chalk, puzzles, dominoes, math games
  • GC to local teacher store
  • cute notepads/stickers from teachers store (I have even seen these kind of things at Staples)
I ditto on the home baked goods. Unless I know the family really well, I usually don't eat them. I don't want to seem impolite, but you never know how clean people are (or their kitchens).
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Old 04-19-2005, 07:52 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camsmom
Things not to get:
Lingerie (happened to my friend! LOL)




PrairieStamper wrote:
Shut. Up! Really!?!? OMG, I am literally LOL at that one!

__________________________________________________ _____________

Yes my frined got a really revealing teddy. When she opened it she was shocked of course, and the kid told her that the dad had bought it for their mom but she didn't like it so they gave it to her.
AND a package of days of the week undewear-there were 6 pairs and they had every day of the week except Saturday. Apprently that is the commando day of choice for elementary school teachers! LOL
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:02 AM   #30
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Add me to the list who don't want home-baked items.

But I love things with apples.

Gift certificates are really best. Grocery and stores like Target are great. Book stores are the best for me -- I add to my classroom library that way.

Last year for Valentine's Day one of my girls (5th grade) gave me a pair of fuzzy handcuffs. No kidding.
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:25 AM   #31
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I love all these ideas! But, how much is appropriate to spend? I have one son with a teacher and an aide, and 2 therapists. Then, my two daughters have two teachers each, with an aide each. That is a total of 10!!!

Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:26 AM   #32
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Not to hijack the thread (of course it was originally posted 6 months ago...) BUT, What would all of you teachers think about a 6x6 scrapbook of the kids in the class? I was thinking of asking all the parents for 2 pics of their child, and to have their kids fill out a small page with a note for the teacher. The scrapbook would be 12 double-sided pages (for 12 kids) so each page would have a note from the child on one side, and then the other side would be a small scrap page with their pics. Does this sound like a good end of year gift? Thanks for all the great advice.
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Old 04-19-2005, 03:01 PM   #33
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JeanneMarie I think it would depend on the class and the kids in it. Where I worked, often the kids did not have two extra pics of themselves b/c the parents did not have a camera (I know it sounds shocking, but even when I asked for 1 current pic for a project, I would get baby pics sometimes )

If that were the issue maybe a letter from each kid/parent and then a summer fun brag book for the teacher for them to fill of pics with their own families enjoying the summer (like beach pages, or gardening, etc.)
That way they still have a class gift and something to acknowledge them as people as well as being great teachers.
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Old 04-19-2005, 03:48 PM   #34
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Okay ladies this has been really eye opening in some cases! I could just about die - undies and teddies! My children go to christian school! I wonder how that would go down? It probably doesn't meet the uniform code???!!! It has been really funny reading this. I am in charge of the teacher appreciation gifts this year (my choice) and this has been a very big help. This is a Middle School and we have 28 teachers to give items to. I was wondering if you all have more male teacher ideas - like PE teacher. Do music and band teachers use office type supplies too? Sorry to be so dumb - no one in my house can carry a tune in a bucket! I'll keep watching for more ideas!

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Old 04-19-2005, 03:58 PM   #35
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my husband is a 3rd grade teacher, and he would *LOVE* any type of gift card or snack basket! he has a mom who occasionally brings in subway for his plan period and he talks about it for DAYS afterwards when she does it.

Another thing would be to find out their favorite drink and bring it some morning to school (like dh loves vanilla coke from sonic and would probably pee his pants if a parent brought him one!)

dh does NOT like the cheesey chocolates he gets... he's much more of a dorito guy!
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:15 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmiller
Okay ladies this has been really eye opening in some cases! I could just about die - undies and teddies! My children go to christian school! I wonder how that would go down? It probably doesn't meet the uniform code???!!! It has been really funny reading this. I am in charge of the teacher appreciation gifts this year (my choice) and this has been a very big help. This is a Middle School and we have 28 teachers to give items to. I was wondering if you all have more male teacher ideas - like PE teacher. Do music and band teachers use office type supplies too? Sorry to be so dumb - no one in my house can carry a tune in a bucket! I'll keep watching for more ideas!

Kim
I think gift cards are always great ideas no matter who they are for, male or female. Even cards to grocery stores are fun. If you have a lot of teachers to make things for, an easy gift idea is "Dinner on Us" and give them fancy pasta and pasta sauce which would be less than $5 each if you got it on sale, and would be cute with a pasta spoon from teh $1 store and the card tied to that. I know it sounds silly, but really it is a meal and would be cute with a bottle of wine as well if your school will allow that.
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:42 PM   #37
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I am a former teacher, and loved gift cards, gift baskets, & I agree no more apples, and they get enough mugs a year to fill up so many cabinets. But I still give them one every year at Christmas. At the end of the year, I always give a Longaberger Basket. Okay, I sell them, but it is a good gift. They love them. This year they are getting the pen pal basket and protector. One year besides the one my daughter gave the teacher the class went in on another one ...and the kids all signed the bottom of it with a sharpie marker. For those who don't know Longaberger. The weavers sign the bottom of the baskets and date it when the weave it. So the kids all signed their names and we wrote..To Ms. Teachers Name...it is a keepsake to remind her of that year forever. Classes have bought the cake basket, spring basket, tissue basket with lid...

By the way...as a former teacher I would have loved STAMPS! Just my opinion!
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:24 PM   #38
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As the Activity Director of a large high school (120+ teachers, 90+ support staff) my leadership class is in charge of Staff Appreciation. Every year we survey the staff as to what they want for gifts. Always tops of the list is food. We have had catered lunches, classroom delivered breakfast and lunch, after school snack sessions, and bags of "on the go" food (small items they can keep in their desk drawer and need no prep). At the beginning of the year we give small bags of office supplies (pens, pencils, erasures, post-its, paper clips, etc.) - things they can use during the year. At the end of the year we send thank you grams - any student on campus can write a note to a teacher and we deliver it with a candy bar. We have also washed cars, (deep) cleaned rooms, worked in their rooms after school, photo copied papers - anythings that would save or give them more time to do things they would like to do outside of being a teacher.

By the way, all the food we serve is professionally prepared.
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:46 PM   #39
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I am a first grade teacher and have been teaching for 13 years.

I agree with..
no apples
no mugs
edible gifts are iffy
consumable gifts are great
gift certificates are great
Longaberger is WONDERFUL

All that being said, I used to be thrilled when I got an "expensive" gift.. i.e. a gift certificate for over $10 or a Longaberger basket. Lately, it has made me uncomfortable.

I would much rather receive a small gift (popcorn and soda, a notepad and pen, a bookmark, etc.) with a heartfelt message. It becomes kind of a contest between parents and even teachers and I would rather avoid it. I actually considered sending a note home at the beginning of the year asking for no gifts, but decided against it. Also, kids who don't bring in a gift often feel bad. Some schools actually have policies on gift giving.

My, I got off on a tangent! Bottom line, simple gifts are best, IMO. Teachers appreciate recognition for a job well done
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Old 04-19-2005, 07:48 PM   #40
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Not that you need more input, but it's nice to have some input into what another teacher gets, at least!

I have enough bath and body stuff to regift for the rest of my life...and I do (I know I shouldn't admit it, but it's a nice last minute bday present.)

I loved baked goods, but got way too many at one time.

Gift certificates are the best! I always appreciated it when a parent wrote inside "Get something for yourself, not the class!" Sometimes you feel obligated to use Gift Certificates on the class if not.

I did get some earrings from Brighton once...I love them to this day.

Oh yes, 2 good tickets to an Angel's game (that was my classroom theme the year they won the world series! Good timing!)

I agree with a previous poster who said to write a note of thanks. Even better, have your child write it. Have them be specific about what they like about their teacher and their favorite parts of being in their class. I had parents who encouraged their son to do this, and I still have those cards to this day.

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