* Gifts for a teacher

Christmas gifts 2Should kids give gifts to teachers?  As we approach the holiday season, it’s a time when some school districts remind teachers and families that gifts are off limits.  Despite this type of board policy, many kids (and staff) exchange gifts informally.   Some teacher’s desks are laden with goodies.  Parents may drop off presents personally or give them to their kids to distribute.  As someone who loves to give and receive gifts in other settings, I have been concerned about issues of gift-giving equity in a school environment.  Not all families celebrate Christmas, can afford to give gifts, or even thinks it’s appropriate.  Overall, I know teachers are increasingly aware of the diversity of the communities they teach.  I do remember years past when teachers carefully opened every present in front of the class, hugging those who brought gifts.  Even a casual observer could tell that by the quantity of gifts that not everyone in the room was getting a hug.  I am REALLY opposed to that sort of nonsense.

On the other hand, for people who do celebrate Christmas and love gift giving, I think that there are inexpensive or personal ways of sharing their affection for teachers and staff.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep it private.  Place the gift in the teacher’s mailbox if you can’t share the gift privately.
  • Keep it personal.  Consider photos of students, handmade cards, or something that reminds the teacher of that wonderful student.  One special family gave me a hand-painted wooden box with words and phrases (written by the student) of the many fun things we had done at school.  I’ll always treasure that!  I regularly use a bookmark made from a student photo.
  • Keep it inexpensive.  I know from personal experience that even homemade baked goods can be costly (but a part of the expense and value for me is taking the time to make that gift).
  • Consider a donation to a favorite charity in the teacher’s name.

Bottom line:  Follow your heart and be sensitive of others.

4 thoughts on “* Gifts for a teacher

  1. Your suggestions are excellent. People who choose to give a gift of appreciation should feel free to do so, while people would choose not to/ cannot afford to should not be made to feel the less for it. I can tell you that I still have an inexpensive gold-plated angel with my name engraved on it that was a gift from Ms. Hansen, my fourth grade teacher. It has hung on my tree for over thirty years, and it brings me the same fond memories each year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think if I taught young students, I may have a day of thanks where we all made small gifts/cards for people who were meaningful in our lives. That way, students could feel free to choose anyone, including faculty, it did not represent a particular holiday per se, and no expense would be involved.

    Liked by 1 person

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