Did I get your attention? As a teacher, you probably think I’ve got the inside scoop as to the best teacher gifts out there. This post isn’t actually about that. I’m not going to suggest how you can get your child’s teacher the cheapest gift out there because in the end, if you do get something, what you get should be meaningful and come from a place of sincerity and appreciation. It’s a reflection of what you think of the teacher.
I’ve meant to say this years ago, but other than conversations with other teachers or friends, I’ve never had a forum to do so. Here it is: I’m NOT crazy about all the “Cheap Teacher Gifts” articles and posts on Facebook. Moms suggesting a million ways on how to give a $5 gift to teachers who work hard all year round. I take it personally. I find it insulting, to be honest.
My personal reasons? If students want to give a Christmas (Valentine, Easter, end of year, etc.) gift because they want to say thank you, it suggests that they recognize and appreciate that teachers work hard for YOUR child then that’s awesome. By no means are gifts expected, however, every year, I do receive a fair amount. We also give to our children’s daycare workers and teachers not by obligation, but because we appreciate the hard work. Do I consider myself a hard worker? Hell yeah. I’m at work an hour before the bell and an hour (at least) after. I do work after the kids go to bed and I do work on the weekends. My husband brings home an enormous knapsack daily full of science labs to mark and textbooks to read and prep. We run clubs and coach teams. I have lunch for 20 minutes daily because the rest of the time (and every recess break) is used for planning, copying, assessing, and tidying up. I have many teacher friends who do the same. Even when I’m on Pinterest, most of the time it’s looking for more ideas for the classroom. We do these things to make school more enriching for YOUR children. Volunteering during lunch times for Craft Clubs and after school practices are not part of our curriculum.
Teachers care for your child when you are not there. We solve problems. We mediate. We comfort. We joke around. We teach life skills. We nurture and care for your child. Some of my students say I’m their school mom. If you feel your child has a great teacher, then perhaps give a thought as to what the teacher actually likes. What would bring a smile to his or her face to show that you truly recognize what they do. For many of us, it’s a calling and not just a job. We work hard. I don’t “like” those Facebook posts for a reason. Now you know and maybe you’ll stop and think before you do next time.