Here in Connecticut, it has become pretty much standard procedure for the room moms of elementary school classes to ask the parents of each student in the class for a contribution toward a class gift at Christmas time and also at the end of the year.
Sometimes the money goes toward a gift card.
But more often than not, the money collected goes to something or a bunch of things that the teacher will never actually use.
I know because I used to teach elementary school myself.
I don’t have a lot of extra money.
In fact, I don’t have any extra money, and if I’m going to put cash that I really don’t have toward a class gift (and it is not mandatory, but who wants to be that parent), I want it to be something I know the teacher will really appreciate.
So when a room mom asked for money toward a class gift which was going to be something I didn’t really think the teachers would find useful or appreciate as much as the room mom thought they would, I conducted a little survey.
Because a lot of teachers read the blog.
I had a feeling I knew what they would say, but I wanted to be sure.
And now I am, because there was a huge response to the survey.
And it was unanimous.
So, if you are struggling with what to do for your kids’ teachers for the holidays or the end of the year, struggle no more.
I’m going to make it easy for you.
Before I get to what the best gift is that you can give to your kids’ teachers, first, let’s be clear that your kids’ teachers do not expect gifts.
But if you would like to show them how much you appreciate what they are doing for your child, keep reading.
If you have no money to spend:
What to do: Use your time to write a note to your child’s teacher. Let her know what you appreciate. Let him know how he has affected the life of your child. Let her know specifically what she does that has improved the quality of your child’s life. And say thank you.
Your kids’ teachers will save those notes.
I know, because I did.
What not to do: Do not spend time baking stuff. Imagine what you would do if twenty people dropped off Christmas cookies at your house the week before Christmas. It’s hard enough as it is not to pack on ten or fifteen pounds during the holidays. Plus, as one reader said, “Skip the homemade goodies – they will go in the trash (i see how often your kid picks his nose & i’ve heard stories about all of your pets).”
If you have $5 or more to spend:
What to spend your money on: A GIFT CARD.
Teachers really appreciate gift cards. It can be a generic Visa Gift Card. Or it can be more specific:
“Most definitely gift cards!!! For Target, Michaels, spa, or local favorite coffee spot. Nobody wants wasted gifts. Gift cards today are very useful!!!”
“Gift cards to locally owned businesses are a double win.”
“Gift cards. Last year i received a gift card to a local garden center & loved it.”
“The best gift I have been given in 10 years as a teacher was a class gift of a Visa gift card.”
“A gift that I really liked and appreciated (I am a middle school music teacher) was an iTunes gift card.”
“Amazon gift card. I can buy anything there. Barnes and Noble second choice. Actually, I’d love booze…but that’s probably frowned upon.” (GIFT CARD TO THE LIQUOR STORE!!!)
“Gift cards are definitely best… Teacher store, amazon, target, Walmart are all places where we can purchase things for our class (instead of spending our own money!)”
“Since we spend a lot of money on the students, amazon or oriental trading would help to get the kiddies prizes for the prize box or new books for the classroom library.”
What not to spend your money on: Anything else, really.
So there you have it.
A simple note.
And if you want to do something more than that, tuck a gift card inside the supportive words you write, and you will have given your kids’ teachers the perfect holiday or end-of-the-year gift.
Thank you for making me Number 1!
I NEED YOUR VOTES TO STAY THERE!
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