Still trying to decide what to get your kids’ teachers for the holidays? A veteran teacher is breaking down what teachers would like to receive and the presents they’d rather not unwrap. In her 15 years of teaching, Lucinda Chambers has seen the good, the bad, and the downright weird when it comes to holiday gifts from students. As for the most memorable gift she’s received from a student, that’s a tie between a half-eaten candy bar and an engagement ring - which she quickly returned to a panicked mom.
These are the do’s and don’ts of buying gifts for teachers, according to a veteran teacher:
- Do DIY all the way - Some cookies, a card or a Christmas ornament are much appreciated, as is a simple “thank you.”
- Do feel great and donate - Chambers says making a donation to a charity on behalf of your child’s teacher will “have them reaching for the Kleenex” on their desk. And if you make it more personal by asking the teacher what their favorite charity is? Even better.
- Do keep it cheap and cheerful - A gift doesn’t have to break the budget to make it meaningful. Some of Chambers’ favorite presents she’s received include a framed photo of the class on an excursion during the year, a handmade necklace, a framed painted picture and hand-picked garden flowers.
- Do make it personal - Teachers would love a personalized notepad, personalized stickers or stamps.
- Do gift cards are gold - If you really want to spoil a teacher but don’t know what to get them, you can’t go wrong with a gift card.
As for the don’ts, these are the teacher gifts you want to steer clear of:
- No more mugs - Most teachers don’t need another mug, but Chambers says a reusable water bottle would be a good alternative.
- Leave out the lotions - What “smells good” is highly personal, so skip the scented bath products.
- Skip the sweets - A box of chocolates may not be the best gift, unless you know the teacher has a sweet tooth.