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Monday, December 05, 2011

Teacher Gift Ideas, 2011

Augusta, GA. - I have a lot of teachers and teachers-to-be in my extended family. And every year they get a treasure trove of sweet little gifts from their students. Teachers REALLY appreciate the gesture, and while it doesn't change the way they treat your child, I believe it indicates to a teacher what kind of values we teach our children at home. So, if you can, please do something thoughtful for your child's teachers.

That being said, there's only so much coffee a teacher can drink, and only so many places to put apple-themed accessories. So this year, consider the following ideas for your child's teacher(s):

1. Thank You Notes - a sincere handwritten note from your child is worth its weight in coffee mugs. If you're one of the many struggling in this economy, consider this. I know teachers who have framed or scrapbooked the best notes they have received.

2. DIY Coupons - Offer to share your talents/expertise with the class! Teachers are always looking for ways to work with parents and use your collective skills to educate their classes. If you work in communications, consider doing a storytelling project with the children. If you work in accounting, put together a module on applied mathematics. If you work in construction, why not an intro to geometry or physics? If you work in the sciences - dude, you are golden. Get in that classroom!

3. Donations in a Teacher's Name - If your child's teacher has had a challenge (i.e., a death in the family) or supports a special cause (i.e., animal rescue) this year, make a donation in that teacher's name to an appropriate organization (American Cancer Society, Humane Society). They won't forget it.

4. Subject-specific memberships or donations - Say your child's teacher specializes in English. Make a donation to a literacy program. Or pay for a quality book-of-the-month club or a Kindle gift card. Or pay their union dues. Anything that makes sense for them, and that makes that teacher's life a little easier, will be appreciated.

5. Gift Certificates - Teachers spend so much of their person money on classroom supplies. How about a gift certificate to an office-supply store?

6. Gift Certificates, part deux - Pamper your child's 10-hour-a-day on-their-feet teachers with gift certificates for pedicures, for dinner, or for groceries. After all, they didn't get into the profession for the money.

7. Teacher Supply Box - Fill a festive box with any age-appropriate combination of anti-bacterial soap, tissues, pens, pencils, markers, glue, tape, scissors, air fresheners, fans, notepads, construction paper, folders, lined writing paper, binders, paper towels, chalk, dry erase markers, graphing paper, burnable CDs, flash or thumb drives, software, memory sticks, a backup mouse or keyboard, disposable cameras ... whatever is age-appropriate or discipline-specific.

8. Jar of Treats - nothing like a snacky-snack! Make sure it keeps for a while. He or she will likely be sharing those munchies with his or her little munchkins.

9. Elementary/Middle School - Board Games - Again, look for age-appropriate and discipline-specific games. Economics? Choose monopoly. Language Arts? That's Scrabble or Yahtzee. Sciences? For younger kids, there's Totally Gross. Art? Perhaps Pictionary.

10. Donate Your Used Equipment - Look around the house. Do you have an old boom box, computer, television, computer peripherals, camera, clothing, art supplies, board games, DVDs, books, or other items that are still in usable condition? I'll bet your child's teacher can make use of it in her classroom. Consider donating to your child's school before you send your things to the trash heap.


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