Most teachers do love to read. Ideas matter for us, as does thinking, and words. Sometimes nothing can be more inspiring than hearing the stories of others who have faced similar challenges and managed to break through to really make a difference in children’s lives. Here are a few of those stories:
To make the gift of a book more personal, consider including a handwritten note letting the teacher know why you thought they might like the book. Maybe you found them inspirational in the way the kids in the story do. Maybe you appreciated the books he or she introduced your child to. Personal notes are often the most cherished gifts of all, and are a great idea to include whenever possible!
“The exception to [not giving large gifts] though, is for new teachers. These young pups make crap for money and the PTA (bless their hearts) can’t possibly provide a big enough classroom budget for them to buy all the supplies and ”extras” (that’s sarcasm) they need. So if you want to give your teacher a valuable gift, ask her/him what s/he really needs for the classroom and spring for it. I’m talking heavy duty pencil sharpeners, gift certificate to STAR Teacher’s supply on San Pablo Ave., art supplies from East Bay Depot or gift card to an art store, a local book store (Pegasus and Black Oak being my favorites). Things like this become theirs, not the school’s, and they can bring them from grade to grade, school to school, as they will have to do until they have enough seniority to stay somewhere for a while.” ~Teacher in California
So that’s the upshot — be as generous as you can to the new teachers!!! An Old Teacher Who Once Was New
New teachers might appreciate a different kind of gift than experienced veterans. Of course this varies from teacher to teacher, but at risk of over-generalizing, new teachers tend to be more interested in developing their careers, and may be more likely to keep homemade gifts than more experienced teachers.
Of course new teachers are also generally younger, and that will affect their interests. For example, a younger teacher might prefer a trip to the spa, a unique experience, and anything that will help them in their professional development (books, supplies, etc.). On the other hand, those home-baked brownies might be less welcome for the young teacher on a diet, and that “#1 Teacher” broach — well, she probably won’t even know how to wear it.
Most importantly, keep in mind the advice I gave on choosing a gift for teachers — the best gifts combine something personal and thoughtful, like a handmade card, a heartfelt note, a craft made by your child, etc. with something practical and useful, like gift cards, school supplies, or other consumables. Whether a gift for new teachers or old, following this recipe will ensure your gift is appreciated and cherished.
If you are a new teacher, please take this opportunity to tell us what gifts you would like to receive. You can leave a comment in the box below, and I’ll make sure to add your comments to the site, where it can benefit new teachers everywhere. Thank you!