I still remember when I was a kid, how my teacher’s desk would fill up just before the Holiday break every year with presents from us students. Some gifts would be standard—a tin of holiday themed cookies or a gift certificate to Office Depot, while others stood out as unique, made the teacher smile even bigger—even if not on purpose! While in College, I worked in elementary school classrooms tutoring kids and being a teacher’s aid, and once again I saw those same stacks pilling up around the Holiday Season. It’s culturally appropriate and polite to get your teacher a Holiday gift, not that any good teacher will hold it against you if you don’t, but why skip out on recognizing such an important figure in your child’s life? With any one of these 7 best Christmas gift ideas for teachers 2012, you are sure to give your teacher the proper thanks they deserve.
Get your teacher a gift that not only she will enjoy, but also her students will like looking at for years to come. This bangle will dangle from any wrist and look great, plus it couldn’t be more appropriate with so many teacher related charms!
If your kids attend a private school with a religious emphasis, this plaque couldn’t be more perfect. With a built in easel it allows teachers to decorate their classroom with this warm gift of appreciation all year long. I say it’s perfect for a teacher at a religious school because it does have a Bible verse located at the bottom. “And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”
No teacher will be able to resist their laughter when they see this shirt in their bundle of gifts! The saying, “You Can’t Scare Me I am a Teacher,” will ring so true, working closely with youth on a daily basis gives teachers a very different and rather hip perspective on the younger generations, preparing them for all that life throws their way. This shirt comes in a number of colors so regardless if your child’s teacher is a male or female, into bright colors or basic browns and blacks, there is a shirt that will perfectly fit their specific personality.
Ask your child if their teacher ever comes to class with Starbucks, or some other coffee mug, in hand; they more than likely do! After working in multiple elementary school classrooms last year I am very familiar with how much teachers depend on their Starbucks to get through the day. Yet, let’s face it—teachers are largely underpaid and Starbucks treats quickly add up! Help your teacher be prepared for school everyday with a Starbucks Gift Card; the amount of money on the card is completely up to you and your budget! Although I guarantee amounts as low as $10 will be greatly appreciated.
Another thing I quickly learned working in classrooms is how limited supplies are, the kids were constantly fighting over dry erase markers—half of which hardly worked! Any teacher with a passion for making learning more accessible to their students will greatly appreciate a gift that helps make that goal a reality. With a shortage in school funding, teachers are often stuck buying things like dry erase markers with their own limited incomes. Make sure that you know the number of students in the class so that you can get enough for everyone!
Teachers have so many supplies to keep sorted that added space to put all of this is always necessary! If you walk into your child’s classroom you might notice stacks of books on the floor or old shelves in need of replacement. Everyone likes to be organized, help your teacher do this with this affordable shelving option, made especially for classroom use. At just under $30 you can’t make a teacher’s life easier for less money! This red shelving set is so cute it can even be transported to a teacher’s home if they would rather use it there.
Even fresh flowers can be shipped online now and these Purple Dendrobium Orchids make a great gift. These orchids are long lasting and so soft, their petals like sheets of velvet! The flexibility this flower offers allows you to present them in any way you wish, including a simple arrangement in a lovely vase. Flowers show appreciation and make everyone feel special, if you don’t know that much about your child’s teacher the gift of flowers is sure to delight!
Everyday teachers bring their materials to class in some sort of a bag; I can still recall my own teachers coming to school with their totes stuffed with papers graded at home, pencils, and mystery binders—for things like attendance. You can never have too many bags, they get dirty, worn, and even just boring to look at—every teacher will appreciate this bright and bold bag that perfectly depicts what they do for a living—teach!
Looking for a great Christmas gift for teachers? Choosing the right gift for a teacher can be difficult — first, there is the question of how much to spend. Second, you might not know the teacher very well, which generally makes personal items like clothing or knick-knacks a poor choice. Last but not least, you may have to contend with school regulations and guidelines on gift giving which further limit your options.
Despite the seeming difficulty of choosing a Christmas gift for a teacher, the rewards can be worth it: some of the teachers I surveyed said that receiving gifts and thank you notes from their students (and their parents) was one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching. Some retired teachers I know have kept all of the thank you notes and gifts they’ve ever received over the years, proudly displaying them as evidence of the many lives they’ve touched. Teachers do one of the most important jobs out there, yet they generally don’t receive a lot of prestige (or pay). Giving a thoughtful gift is an opportunity for you to show how much you appreciate the work that they do. A great gift for teachers doesn’t have to cost a lot of money — the most important thing is the thoughtfulness and care you put in to the gift, which shows the teacher that you truly respect them and appreciate what they do — and that is a gift that they will truly always cherish!
“I am a preschool teacher and [...] I deeply treasure every gift I have received from every student and even write their names and the date on each one so when I get them out to display them every year I am reminded of them! These children are so proud of the gifts that they have lovingly picked out, I wouldn’t trade them for anything!” ~Teacher from Indiana
The following list of teacher Christmas gifts is just a starting point. Please make sure to also read my advice on how to choose a Christmas gift for a teacher, and my list of recommended gift ideas for teachers. You can also browse according to gift occasion, recipient, or type, by using the navigation menu on the right hand side of the page.
A majority of teachers are female, so I feel like I would be remiss writing a blog of Christmas gifts for teachers without including a page of gift ideas for female teachers. But the truth is that most of the gifts on this site are appropriate for women — even the ones I included on our page of gifts for male teachers (although the converse is not true, hence the inclusion of a separate page for male teachers).
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a gift for a teacher is to consider their interests. Even if you’ve never met them personally and have only seen their classroom once on Parent-Teacher Night (you did go to Parent Teacher Night, right?), there’s still a lot you can infer to help you in choosing the right gift.
For example, does the teacher display many handmade decorations around her classroom? Does she have prominent bookshelves, and if so, what kinds of books are on display? Ask your child what kinds of personal information the teacher has shared– for example, if she mentions going to the movies, you might get a gift certificate to the local cinema. If she talks about travel to Europe, a picture book for her favorite destination would probably be appreciated.
Whatever you choose as a gift for a female teacher, make sure you don’t forget the most important part: a genuine and heartfelt note of appreciation thanking the teacher for their work. They will treasure this note for years to come, and that’s the greatest gift you could give a teacher!
Last but not least, make sure you’re aware of school guidelines on gift-giving, and the teacher’s perspective on gifts, as discussed on my Advice page.
If you’re looking for some more concrete suggestions, I recommend starting with my list of Recommended Gifts for Teachers. I also have another list specifically for teacher Christmas gifts, and one with suggested gifts for new teachers.
And here a few specific gifts for female teachers, if you’re really looking for something that is particularly good for women (in general, of course!):
Ladies, I apologize in advance if the gifts on this page seem a bit stereotypically feminine. As I mention above, elsewhere on this site you’ll find ideas which will work for all teachers, including woman. So I decided to make this page about gifts that are most likely appropriate only for women.
Are you a woman and a teacher! Well, you’re in luck! In the brief moment that it takes to make a comment on the bottom of this post, you have the opportunity to help your fellow teachers everywhere by informing well-intentioned but clueless parents what it is that you really would like to receive as a gift. I’ll make sure your comments are added to this post!