Why I Give My Kids’ Teacher’s a Holiday Gift

“Absolutely not, no way and stay out”! These are just a sampling of the lovable phrases I hear from my kidlet at the mere inference of me stepping onto the high school property. Forget about bringing classroom supplies or dare I say it–“a gift.” As our students get older, it becomes less acceptable to give teacher gifts; not because we don’t want to, but because it calls attention to our student.

I will admit for that reason, I’ve had a quick thought to go along with my kid’s plan and stay clear of the high school during the holidays. Hey, we are all looking to save money so this would be a good start. Right? Wrong!

All special education teachers are deserving of some form of appreciation this time of year. Frustration builds and tempers fly while parents tend to get anxious and rush the education process. Recently, I wrote an article for Piedmont Parent magazine explaining some of the reasons why parents might become frustrated this time of year.

The big pay off

If parents are looking to make educational or academic changes with their child’s accommodations, or even classroom interactions, they would benefit by buying a gift or two or three. Now, I am not suggesting by any means that you bribe the teacher, but I am suggesting you offer a token of appreciation or maybe even a gift card to make the situation easier. If not easier, then more manageable. You can do that with a gift, and let’s face it, everyone loves to get a gift.

While we don’t always agree with their ideas or lesson plans, we agree that we want the best for our children.

Holiday spirit

I have always thought that giving a small token of appreciation never hurts in the long run. Consider setting the feelings aside. Hard to do? Maybe, but remember, your student is at school with these people day after day, working very hard, so it is always kind to recognize the teacher for their commitment to your child. Anything that acknowledges the teachers’ efforts will most likely be well received.

The nice list

Generic winter gifts such as candy bags can go a long way. If money is tight (whose isn’t?), perhaps surprising the special education department with a couple dozen donuts one morning? Teachers love to get food and candy.

A gift card to a favorite restaurant or even movie vouchers to the local theater work well for quick gifts. For a man teacher, I once gave a couple car wash gift cards. He commented on what a great idea it was because he had not really ever been given a gift he could actually use. Score!

Steer clear of the coffee mugs and “apple” themed items. I mean, seriously, how many “World’s Greatest Teacher” mugs can one use or apple jewelry can one person wear?

Not sure what to get for a teacher or possibly one who does not celebrate Christmas?

You won’t need to get creative, but parents should understand that school budget cuts have forced some teachers to spend their own money to teach our students. Classroom supplies such as tissues, hand wipes, sanitizer, pencils, lined and copy paper, or dry erase markers are a welcomed sight; the choices are endless. Put it all together in a nice bag with a “Thank-you” card and there, voila!—a nice holiday package.

Any little gesture will support positive communication and assistance for the remainder of the year.

Go ahead, buy your kids’ teacher a gift—you know you want to.


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