Welcome to the Quilting Board!
Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!
Many thanks to those of you who value teachers and want to give us something, We really don't expect anything but we appreciate all parents do to make our job esier.
I also don't make anywhere near a 6-figure salary. I teach in a state that is ranked between 48th and 49th in the nation in teacher pay. My husband just retired from teaching this year and is substituting. We both love what we do, although it gets more difficult every year. Kids just aren't the same as they were when we started, and teachers aren't valued like they once were.
As for your question, I think a gift certificate would be very much appreciated. The public doesn't realize just how much teachers spend out of their own pockets. So far, since August, I have spent over $300 school supplies for those children who were unable to bring in any, as well as simple decorations for the classroom and a few books for implementing new content standards. And we didn't ask for much-our list for my grade level included pencils, notebook paper, a spiral notebook, a composition book, and some kind of binder to keep their papers and materials organized. I'm always surprised, and disappointed, at the number of parents who could afford to purchase these supplies, but choose not to because "the school" can buy them.
But what I've valued the most over the years are the kind notes from both parents, students, and administrators. I've held on to every one of them, and when I've had a bad day, I often pull them out and read a few to remind me of why I walk into that classroom every day.
Sewing: Cheaper than therapy!
YES! Definitely go with a gift card. Cash cannot be accepted by public school teachers, at least in any of the 5 states I taught in. Gift cards are always acceptable and appreciated for the freedom of choosing something one needs or wants rather than something one has or doesn't need/want. And a vase filled with flowers is always wonderful!
"A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt
When my kids where young, I was a school volunteer and got to know quite a few teachers, personally. My daughter now teaches Kindergarten. Gift cards are wonderful but like others have said, choose WalMart or Target.
Other ideas -
A book for the classroom (appropriate reading level)
Small note cards (for teacher to thank kids/parents for gifts)
Post-it notes (large enough for teacher to write a note, to stick to a paper or folder)
Some schools have Teacher Wish Lists, so you might also want to see if your school has one.
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
my youngest daughter has taught for 6 yrs in N.C. and she doesn't make $40,000 a yr. in fact i think she said this last yr was actually the lst yr that she recieved a cash increase in her salary. AND she spends about $500 out of her pocket or my pocket every yr on supplies. walmart gift cards would be greatly appreciated. that's usually where she catches her sales for school supplies.
I taught for 32 years and never made above 55,000 a year. I also was not paid extra for either of the master's degrees that I earned. I had extra duty, stayed until 5 PM most days and got to school early. I also bought most of my supplies. Many a time I ate lunch at my desk while I helped a struggling student. I showed up 2 weeks before school started in August to get my room ready and stayed a week later after school to close it down, and don't forget the extra in-service I went to (at my expense) in the summer. I LOVED IT!
As a teacher gift, school supplies are great---pencils, notebook paper, gift cards. One year I got a zip lock bag of pecans. I know the kids loved making cookies, but I saw what they did with their hands, ugh! Please, no more mugs.
The schools in our area have a list of supplies to bring. It's just not pencil and paper anymore. It's baby wipes, kleenex, sanitizers, glue sticks, etc. and they even list the brands of the items you are to bring. I'm sure many students in some areas are unable to provide all they are to have but some parents just don't want to spend their money on those things. Guess they never should of had children then. I bought all the supplies that my grandchildren needed this year for their parents. They were to bring 3 boxes of kleenex and I bought the huge boxes 280 in a box and sent 2 boxes. The teacher told my daughter they needed three boxes not 2. I thought I was really helping out by buying great tissues in huge boxes, rather than 70 count of cheap stuff. Honestly, your damned if you do and damned if you don't. I love to give a helping hand but don't want to give a hand out to everyyone who has their hand out. I just try to do what I can. My husband and I have never gone to a movie or had a vacation and have lived very simple so I can help others. Sometimes people getting in trouble buying what they "want" and not what they "need." Quilting is my downfall but it's an innocent vice.
I am in Ohio. We don't have a lot of supplies in our room either. I purchase all of the sale school supplies from the back to school sales and try to get enough for the school year. The schools around here have cut and cut the school budgets. They keep cutting teachers and aides. We have more and more kids in our rooms with no air conditioning. The people in the board office sit in their offices with sweaters on but they can't afford to air condition the classrooms. All of the teachers and aides are stressed out because the state keeps coming down with more and mandates of things we need to do with no more money.