Gifts for the Teacher: Are You Just Spending Money on Clutter?

Simple ideas for thoughtful teacher gifts this holiday season

There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just come straight out with it. 

Many teacher gifts that I've received during past holidays have gone straight into my clutter-busting "To Donate" box My kitchen cabinet only has enough room for so many mugs.  I've got more scarves than any one person needs.  And my husband doesn't like the smell of most candles.  So I pass them all along to someone else who I'm sure will use them and enjoy them.

I appreciate the thoughts and feelings behind the gifts.  I really do.  But I feel sad that people have spent money on something that I won't be using.

So, in that spirit, I'd like to give you some other ideas, in case you want them.  Here are some gifts that I, as a teacher, have used and enjoyed over the years:

New supplies for the classroom.  One year, a mom gave our classroom a much-needed white board.  Doesn't sound very festive, I know, but that white board helped me so much to teach lessons for the rest of the year.  It helped me do my job better and I loved using it.  Many classes have wish lists created by the teachers.  Anything on there would be well-received, I'm sure.  You may think, "But I want to give something to the teacher, not to the classroom."  Fair enough. 

Gift cards.  Even a $5 gift card to a coffee shop will bring warmth to a teacher's heart, especially on the way to work on a cold, dreary morning after the holdidays.  Other gift card ideas: book stores, day spas, restaurants, and movie theaters.

Handmade cards from the kids.  Sometimes the best gifts are handwritten, or at least hand-drawn.  I cherish the children's drawings and their dictated messages inside.  I've kept every single one of those.  Likewise, a sincere and encouraging note from a parent is a huge gift in and of itself (and fits in any budget).  Your support as a parent is truly priceless.

Amanda is a preschool teacher at Gordon-Conwell Nursery School and a professional organizer with Living Peace LLC.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michelle Bailey December 06, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Donations to the Hamilton Wenham Ed Fund, the school friends organization, the Friends of the Arts Take a Seat program or charity near to the teachers heart like an animal shelter and Acord Food Pantry also make great clutter free choices.


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