It is the time of year to show gratitude and appreciation for the important people in your life. Friends and family are always at the top of the list but, don't forget those unsung heroes who have the selfless job of helping shape our children...teachers.
It is customary to send junior to school with a gift for his or her teacher but, do you think they really want another ornament, holiday earrings or apple themed anything? I will answer that for you...NO. So, what do you get a teacher that he or she will actually enjoy?
We have put together a list of 20 holiday gift items for teachers to help you answer that very question!
1. School supplies.
This is the #1 response teachers give when asked what they would most like for the holidays from their students. With two teachers in my family I happen to know first hand that they provide the majority of supplies used in the classroom not to mention essentials that they need to stay organized, grade papers, etc. Include items such as sharpies, highliters, post its, paper clips, colored pens, paper clips, tape and clipboards.
Yes, of course we would include this but, with good reason. Click here to read several reasons why Keurig Kcup coffee brewers are becoming a must have in many classrooms. Any teacher would be absolutely thrilled to have their very own Keurig right in their own room. A Keurig would be a perfect gift from the entire class or PTO.
3. Books for the classroom.
Most teachers keep a small library in their rooms consisting of books that they have purchased or have been donated by parents. I have seen the dismal selection first hand in my daughters 5th grade classroom. Why not gift the class several new, current books that the children will actually want to read? The kids will be happy to have decent literature to choose from and happy students= a happy teacher.
Just a little heads up if you happen to be buying for a 4th, 5th or 6th grade classroom, the James Patterson series of books are all the rage right now!
Teachers can often be found in their classrooms before school begins, long after it ends and are notorious for bringing work home with them. There is nothing that a teacher will appreciate more than your time. Volunteer to read to the class while he or she grades papers or help organize events, perhaps pitch in with cleaning the classroom or chaperone field trips. Anything you can do to help them free up just a little bit of time will be a very welcomed holiday gift.
5. Hand soap, hand sanitizer and/ or lotion.
Teachers are exposed to so many illness's and dirty little hands that they have no choice but to wash and sanitize constantly. This can become costly for them and leave their hands rough and dry. Invest on a good quality unscented care package to help keep their hands healthy. Burts Bees is one of my favorite companies for these sorts of products.
6. A thank you note.
Make a teachers day by sending them a simple but heartfelt thank you note for all that they do. You are bound to make their day with this notion of gratitude recognizing their hard work. Take it up a notch by including a copy to the principal singing their praises. Such a seemingly small notion is guaranteed to have a huge impact.
7. A hot cocoa party for the classroom.
Teachers can only come up with so many fun and creative ideas to keep their students interested and entertained. Help them out buy furnishing everything they need to throw a hot cocoa party including Swiss Miss Keurig Kcup Hot Cocoa, cups and lids, marshmallows, milk or ice (you will need to cool the hot cocoa a bit the ensure that no one gets burned) and your time (the children will need supervision brewing their Kcup hot cooca). This is another small gesture that will have a high impact on not only the grateful teacher but, the entire classroom.
8. An embroidered canvas bag.
Teachers are constantly transporting papers and books from home to the classroom and vice versa. I have seen teachers using very sad looking bags to do so (I even saw one teacher using plastic grocery bags!). A high quality bag that can hold a good amount of papers and books would be much appreciated. I would recommend a heavy duty canvas tote that can stand up to alot of abuse.
9. A Tervis water bottle.
I specifically chose Tervis because I am familiar with their product and quailty. In other words... I love my Tervis! This is a cup that will last forever, holds a great amount of water and keeps it cold for hours. I have dropped mine several times and it has never leaked or broken. Since teachers are talking constantly in often dry classrooms and seldom have the freedom to leave to quench their thirst, a water bottle is a great gift idea!
10. A wellness package.
Most teachers spend their lives fighting colds and avoiding germs. Help them win the battle with a wellness package filled with items such as Airborne, African Rooibos Keurig Kcup tea, Echinacea, fresh fruit, Cold Eeze lozenges and vitamin c supplements.
Teachers are constantly writing notes to students and parents using paper products that comes out of their own budget. Supply them with nice stationery to use and they will be greatful, make it post it type stationery and they will be even more pleased!
12. Kcup coffee.
With the growing trend of Keurig brewers in classrooms, chances are juniors teacher already has one. In that case, gift buying is a cinch- Kcup coffee! It can even just be a few cups in a cute mug or basket with a personalized gift tag.
P.S. You can print a free copy of that gift tag and another adorable one here.
13. A magazine subscription for the classroom.
Help teachers keep students interested by providing a relevant magazine subscription for their classroom. The best part is that this is a gift that can be enjoyed not only for the entire school year but, for many years to come by furture students and teachers.
14. A scrapbook made by the students.
What teacher would not enjoy looking back on a great school year through a scrapbook prepared by his or her students. Give each student a page to write about things that happend through out the year, include pictures and write a personal note. This is a gift that any teacher would treasure.
15. Create a movie night.
I have always been a fan of gifting experiences rather than things. Create a fun movie night for the teacher and his/ her family by purchasing movie tickets and a gift cerificate to the theater so that they can enjoy some over priced snacks! Perhaps you can even take it a step further and include a gift card to a nearby restaurant for dinner before or after the movie.
16. A learning tool for the classroom.
Make it something unique like an ant farm or butterfly garden. This is another gift for the entire classroom keeping the students happy and thriving which in turn makes a teachers job just a little bit easier.
17. A lunch bag.
Teachers almost always eat in. There simply is not time for them to run out for a bite and very rarely do they choose to partake in school lunches. Teachers are packers, bottom line. Gift them a lovely new lunch box and they will be thrilled!
18. A stainless steel travel mug.
Just as teachers can not step out of their classrooms for a drink of water, they can not step out to heat up their coffee or tea either. You can solve this issue by supplying him or her with a stainless steel travel mug. If you have ever had the pleasure of using a stainless steel mug, you know that they will keep coffee or tea hot for hours! I always recommend Contigo or Stanley- both are incredibly high quality products.
19. A spa treatment.
I cant imagine that there is anyone on the planet that would not enjoy receiving a great massage, facial or pedicure. Teachers work hard, long hours. Let's face it, they are overworked and underpaid. Seldom would they treat themselves to such a luxury. Give them a bit of relaxation with a gift card to a local spa.
20. Board games for the classroom.
Two words...indoor recess. When the weather is crummy most teachers lose their 30 minute repreave and are forced to keep their student entertained in the classroom. Help make this job just a bit easier with a supply of board games for the classroom but, keep them simple- the last thing a teacher needs is a bunch of small pieces to keep track of!