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margie
06-07-2006, 10:38 AM
I usually try to be very thoughtful when it comes to buying end of year gifts for my son's teachers- I so appreciate all that they do, and know that there is no way I could have the patience that one must have to be a teacher! I usually try to get gifts that will "go away"- realizing that there are only so many "#1 Teacher" mugs, etc that someone can use! Food items, gift cards, notepaper and candles are some things that I've bought in the past.

This year, I am deeply grateful to the guidance counselor and gifted resource teacher at my son's school. My older son had a very difficult year emotionally, and they were both incredibly helpful to him and I. I want to do something for them that is more than the "standard"- I plan on writing a very heartfelt letter to each, expressing my feelings. Does anyone have suggestions for what might be a good gift?

projectgal
06-07-2006, 10:54 AM
Guidance counselors and resource teachers don't always get the thanks they deserve. The letter will mean the world to them. You may even want your son to include a note as well.

This year for my sons' teachers, I gave them each an acrylic pitcher (IKEA has a neat one that has a tube that you can freeze), plastic tumblers, and a lemonade mix. Made a cute card that said "Have a refreshing summer" with a die cut from the scrapbook store. Between teachers and aides, I had five gifts to give, and the cost was very reasonable.

I've also given pedicure sets (nail polish, pumice stones, toe thingys, flip flops).

Also, when I was teaching, I loved receiving bookstore gift cards or maybe Starbucks or an ice cream store. Also, if you know of any specific hobbies or interests, you could get a gift card to a related store.

gardenmommy
06-07-2006, 04:02 PM
In the past I've given teachers a hardy shrub rosebush (since we have a garden & landscape business). This year I gave my DD's first grade teachers (since they already had my older son and maybe didn't want another bush! LOL) gift certificates to the local mall so they could select something for themselves from whichever store they wanted.

Ingrid
06-07-2006, 04:12 PM
I think the notes of appreciation will mean more to them than any gift. You're so right to give gifts that will be used up! That was the one thing the teachers I worked with always said.

CarmenIbanez
06-07-2006, 04:54 PM
I am one of those weirdo teachers that doesn't believe in giving gifts to teachers! I know it sounds weird, but imagine giving a gift to policeman who patrols your neighborhood, or the firemen at the station?

Gift giving is very thoughtful, but it highlights the difference between the families, those that can afford to give and those that can't. Many districts and private schools have taken to actually banning gift giving, or putting a monetary limit on how much is given.

I have a very good friend who receives so many expensive gifts each year I can count on her to GIVE me a $300 Hermes scarf at christmas. I now have two of those AND the $800 Hermes Shawl. I know that sounds rediculous to those of you who are giving a $10 or $20 gift, but its all relative.

I especially don't like how at our school the parents (I am both a teacher AND a parent) are made to feel it is mandatory to give gifts. Room mothers run around in groups "collecting" for class gifts and what not. It's like being cornered by Carmella Soprano. ;)

samm
06-07-2006, 04:59 PM
I still have a little collection of notes written to me by parents and students over the years. They are the best! A gift that I've received and appreciated a lot was a collection of gift wraps and bows! A go-away gift, as someone termed it, but very useful. I liked best the letters written to me, and the hugs from my kidlets. samm

MaggieL
06-07-2006, 05:55 PM
As a first grade teacher, I received many gifts over the years. I still have a few, but I do have all the letters and cards. My favorite gift (that I still have) was a handmade potholder made by one of my first grade students.

feministmama
06-07-2006, 06:16 PM
At my son's school there's a group of parents that ask teachers point blank what kind of gifts they like to recieve. Most say gift certificate to starbucks or Powells or handmade gifts. I never really thought about gifts as controversial. THis has opened my eyes to a new way of seeing.

CarmenIbanez
06-07-2006, 06:26 PM
Well in our school, 90% of the staff have their kids in the school. This means that probably 10-20% of the students who go to our school are middle class kids of teachers, and the rest of the students come from families where paying $14k a year for school is nothing. (and compared to LA, that is cheap!) So when parents get together and think it is nothing to ask each other to chip in, $30 or $50 a piece to give gifts, its hard to say no. Even though that can sometimes be a burden for us as new teachers.

Cristy
06-07-2006, 06:39 PM
I am also and educator and I love a picture or note from my students--even a note from their families is thoughtful. I have one family who gives me lots of nice gifts each year but in the end--I don't know what I spend the gift certificate on, but I keep every little note that's ever written to me on a bulletin board in my office for everyone to see. I stopped teaching and work in administration now so I don't have a "class" per se (much like counselors) so I appreciate any time someone remembers me.

knitaddict
06-07-2006, 06:55 PM
As a former high school teacher, I loved to receive personal things from my students rather than store bought ones. The letter "S" wrote to me after graduation means more to me, by far, than the "# 1 Teacher" tote. Not that the tote wasn't sweet to receive, but... well, you know. ;)

Now that my ds is in school (Pre-K), I try to make or buy something for his teacher that she can utilize in her classroom. For Christmas I adapted a felt-work advent calendar to be a countdown to Christmas break. Rather than tying candy to it, I tied little ornaments since I know she puts up a mini tree every year. For teacher appreciation week, I paid close attention to her desk setup and made her a felt-craft organizer to hang beside it.

For both items, I gave ds a stick of glue and some felt and child-safe scissors. After I'd done my fancy stitching on them, I had him cut out shapes and glue them on to decorate it with his own touch. We talked about how it was for his teacher and we wanted to let her know she was special to him.

Oh! I also cross-stitched paper snowflake ornaments for the assistants. :)

Ellen Edwards
06-07-2006, 08:15 PM
GEE !! We sent both our kids to an Academy very near us. It was VERY sacrificial for us believe me!! I never even thought of giving the teachers anything more than something the children made for them, or a special THANK YOU note when they had gone the "extra mile". Maybe some of the teachers did expect expensive gifts, but I was clueless, I guess!! The enormous amount to send them both from kindergarten through 12th grades was enough to keep me awake at night! I think the teachers knew which kids had parents who were sacrificing to get their kids a good education!.

I'm NOT a teacher, but I'd have loved to be one!

I remember I helped with Forensics for a couple of years, and the English teacher gave me a book of American poetry and prose, and wrote a note of appreciation in it. I still have that book and treasure it today!! I didn't do anything but sit and listen and give them encouragement---I LOVED doing it! I think public speaking classes should be required!

I have never even SEEN an Hermes scarf!! :shock: :shock:

margie
06-07-2006, 09:14 PM
The homeroom moms do collect for teacher gifts at our school- but they collect $5 per person, if you want to contribute. That is for the regular classroom teachers, however. My son's guidance counselor has really worked with us closely throughout the school year, and in my opinion, gone above and beyond for us. The same for his gifted resource teacher, who stayed in such close contact with me, and was constant in her "cheerleading" for both my son and I when things were rough. I think I will work on my letters, and try to express how thankful I am for the hard work that they do and the kindness they have shown to my son and I. If I come across a gift that seems right, I'll go with it, otherwise I'll just stick with the letters. :D

Ingrid
06-07-2006, 09:21 PM
It wouldn't hurt to let the administrators know how much these folks have done for you, too.

mks22300
06-07-2006, 09:23 PM
I always love the handmade gifts that are made by my students, they are the ones that I treasure the most.

callmesusan
06-07-2006, 09:45 PM
A heartfelt letter will be lovely and enuf!!

(My husband is a Rescource/SDC teacher and that is what he appreciates receiving more than anything.)

callmesusan
06-07-2006, 09:53 PM
A heartfelt letter will be lovely and enuf!!

(My husband is a Rescource/SDC teacher and that is what he appreciates receiving more than anything.)

glomper
06-08-2006, 03:34 AM
What about knitting them a scarf? Or homemade fudge wrapped in pretty
cellophane with a bright bow and a handmade card (made by the student)?

projectgal
06-08-2006, 09:08 AM
If you have a few parents that feel the same way about the teachers and counselor you could do this...

Another thing that I've done the last few years for my older son (4 years) is buy an inexpensive 4x6 photo album/brag book. I give each child and parent in the class a few blank 4 x6 index cards and tell them to go to town! They can draw a picture, write a letter, use stickers whatever to decorate. I ask the parents to write a thank you note if they would like and the kids complete the sentence "I like Mrs. X because..." or "Mrs. X is a good teacher because..." Sometimes the kids will also paste on a photograph of themselves.

I put all of the cards in a book and we're done! Much more meaningful than an apple mug! And eaiser than begging for money one more time!

PM me if you want a copy of the letter/e-mail I send home.

CarmenIbanez
06-08-2006, 10:52 AM
I wish you were all parents at my school! :heart:

Now that my son is older and has six teachers, I shudder to think about knitting them all something. :-)

I also agree about the little sentiments. Notes, letters, etc. I have all those as well.

christieb
06-08-2006, 03:44 PM
I usually give coffee or bookstore gift cards but last year found a cute craft online so the kids could also give something. Bought wooden rulers (18" ones because the kids were in grade 1 and couldn't write small) the kids then wrote "Mrs L Rules" and decorated with gems, pearl beads, buttons etc. They were really cute and it made the kids feel good to be included in the gift giving.

MaggieL
06-09-2006, 06:22 AM
Ingrid,

I love the idea of letting administrators know.

One year one of our teachers sent a letter home to parents requesting no personal gifts with a list of things that the students could use in the classroom - glitter, glue, paper. I live in a rural area and many of the parents are very poor and basic supplies are at premium. The parents loved!!!!! it!!!!!

I also have several friends who are counselors. When they receive anything that can be used for children, it's like Christmas. Once someone gave our counselor boxes of crayons and soap. Joy oh joy.

margie
06-09-2006, 08:56 AM
Last year, DS had a wonderful teacher for 2nd grade. She was very tough, and handed out tons of homework, but I didn't have a problem with that. She seemed to understand DS very well, and was really good about things in general. Unfortunately, I seemed to be the only parent who liked her. All I ever heard were bad comments about her- she had the worst reputation!! At the end of the school year, I sent the principal a letter, telling her that I was well aware of the general opinion of this teacher, and especially because of that, I wanted to tell the principal what a wonderful year this teacher had given my son. I wanted to make sure that SOMEBODY spoke up and said something positive about her, since that is what I saw throughout the school year.