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Thread: Teacher gifts

  1. #1
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    Teacher gifts

    A comment under another thread made me wonder about the best teacher gifts in today's world. She mentioned she had to buy many of the supplies for her classroom out of her personal money. I am thinking that cash or a gift card would be better appreciated than a home made item. What do you think?

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    Why do we have to buy teachers gifts?

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    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    When my kids were younger and we did teacher gifts, a parent would often ask around to the other parents if anyone wanted to go in on a gift card for the teacher. Any amount was okay, so no pressure on those for whom money was tight. Sometimes the card was to a specific store the teacher would like (REI for a teacher who hiked, a bead store for another) and sometimes generic like Costco or Starbucks. All who gave were listed on the card.

    Any parents who preferred to do something separate and personal were welcome to do that as well. It seemed to work out...

    For really special teachers, I made something. I am working on two lap quilts right now for teachers that have really helped my daughter. These will probably be the last for teachers, though.
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    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I would bet a gift card to Staples or Office Depot would be very appreciated.

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    It has always been the custom in my family to give the children's teachers gifts at special times of the year - Christmas, end of the year, birthday, etc. I still have one grandchild in the 5th grade. So I only give a teacher's gift when my DIL doesn't give one. I have frequently given boxes of school supplies. I have another DIL who teaches 5th grade in another city who spends about $500 a year out of her purse on things she needs in her room that used to be supplied but are no longer, like Kleenex and copy paper.

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    I didn't by teachers gifts when my kids were little but knowing teachers now, I think a gift card would be good. I saw a lot of kids come in with teacher mugs and ornaments. Seriously, how many mugs and ornaments can one person use. Give something they can use and use up. Gift cards for supplies or a night out to dinner or a movie would be nice. I did make pillow cushions for the rocking chairs for each of the kids teachers one year. I had to sit in those rockers also and they were hard and uncomfortable. Both teachers really appreciated them.
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    We used to give gift cards. There used to be a store here that sold items geared towards the classroom. It was open to everyone but teachers got a discount so it was better to give them a gift card to there rather than buying.

    Also, gift card to the theater or a nice restaurant. Make sure it's enough for at least two people.

    The teachers in public school have it rough. Too many students per teacher and budget cuts. They are expected to do more and make do with less. I used to volunteer at the schools. Without volunteers I don't know how the schools could stay in business.

    Even before I retired, I would take a vacation day to help with field trips. If both boys had field trip on the same day, DH and I would both take a vacation day. I don't think we ever missed a field trip.

    I know, I got on my soap box. I just wished more parents found time to volunteer even if its just one time a year for an hour or two. It shows the children that you care about them and gives you a chance to know their teachers.

  8. #8
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deneldacoop View Post
    Why do we have to buy teachers gifts?
    My sister is a teacher. All i hear from her is how much she is underpaid.
    well...she maakes over$100,000.00 a year. This is a public school, she teaches
    At a jr/sr high school.
    She gets extra for lunch, or parking lot duty. Also if she coaches.
    She get$100.00/game for one hr. Of umpiring.
    And...she cant get fired either, she has tenure(more thaan three yrs).

    When my son was in school, i would make a collection and buy a visa gift card.
    Also my son would make the teacher a personalizd pointer.
    a 3/8" dowel he would paint pencil yellow, sharpen on end to a point, paint oter end pink
    And put the name on the pencil. Teachers always asked for that.
    Last edited by lynnie; 09-14-2012 at 07:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    Dang, teachers get paid alot in NY. In Kentucky the wages are no where near that.

    My SIL is a 3rd grade teacher and they spend quite a bit out of pocket for supplies that aren't provided by the districts. If they run out of paper towards the end of the school term she also has to buy that for worksheets.

    Some schools don't allow cash or cash gift cards as it appears to be a "bribe" to the teachers where a personalized gift is an expression of appreciation for the dedication shown by the teachers. Some districts even have placed a dollar limit on what gifts can be accepted.

    No one "has" to give a gift and the teachers don't hold it against the ones that don't give one and don't give special recognition to the ones that do. My SIL would much rather get a homemade card or a letter saying how much the student has learned/enjoyed being in the class than "another mug".

    When my sons were in elementary school, we would give several boxes of kleenex or several reams of paper at various times. Now, germix would be a good thing to provide too.
    Lisa L.
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  10. #10
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    My sister is a teacher. All i hear from her is how much she is underpaid.
    well...she maakes over$100,000.00 a year. This is a public school, she teaches
    At a jr/sr high school.
    She gets extra for lunch, or parking lot duty. Also if she coaches.http://www.quiltingboard.com/newrepl...eply&p=5515131
    She get$100.00/game for one hr. Of umpiring.
    And...she cant get fired either, she has tenure(more thaan three yrs).

    When my son was in school, i would make a collection and buy a visa gift card.
    Also my son would make the teacher a personalizd pointer.
    a 3/8" dowel he would paint pencil yellow, sharpen on end to a point, paint oter end pink
    And put the name on the pencil. Teachers always asked for that.
    Teachers in my area do not make six figures. We also aren't paid overtime like most are in the corporate world either. I could grade papers until midnight at my desk every night and not make a single dime more. By mid-October, my students are out of notebook paper, so I stock up on spiral notebooks by the cases in August because my students will go through them in a school year. The last several years, my students have stopped bringing in tissues, so I have purchased at least $50 in tissues each year. I went through over three grosses (432) of pencils by the 1st of December last year and had to order more. I teach manners, respect, tolerance, appropriate dress, social skills, and vocabulary, along with my core subject, English. Almost monthly, I'm cursed out by students, as well as, parents who aren't doing their job in the first place and wonder why I'm bothering them about their child. And, the government is thinking about basing my salary on their child's test scores.

    I still think what I do is important. I don't expect nor receive many gifts from my students, since I teach middle school and it just isn't cool by then to give teachers gifts, plus many of our students don't get much themselves around the holidays. Money is very tight for many of our families and I would much rather my students come to school with their tummies full, than give me gifts. I do love when my students come back to see me several years down the road to tell me they are finishing up high school or doing well in college. That really makes everything I do worth while.

    Thank you out there for thinking about us teachers.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

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    My daughter is a kindergarten teacher She teaches a class of 28 children 3 of them are special needs. She does not make a lot of money. She does work from 7;30 in morning to AT LEAST 4;30 during parent teacher confrences she works untill 9:00 pm She appre iates anything the parents give her but what she appreciates the most is parents help even 1 hour means a lot. that is the best gift anyone could give her school supplies would be next on her list. Snacks are rezally appreciated as many parents do not provide a snack for there children so she buys out of her pocket so every child can have an afternoon snack so snack so nutretional food not junk food is really appreciated by her.

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    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    My sister is a teacher. All i hear from her is how much she is underpaid.
    well...she maakes over$100,000.00 a year. This is a public school, she teaches
    At a jr/sr high school.
    She gets extra for lunch, or parking lot duty. Also if she coaches.
    She get$100.00/game for one hr. Of umpiring.
    And...she cant get fired either, she has tenure(more thaan three yrs).

    When my son was in school, i would make a collection and buy a visa gift card.
    Also my son would make the teacher a personalizd pointer.
    a 3/8" dowel he would paint pencil yellow, sharpen on end to a point, paint oter end pink
    And put the name on the pencil. Teachers always asked for that.
    I know a couple of teachers who would love to teach where your sister does. but of course they teach in Ga

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    I made a pillow with teachers name on it and added a pocket for a book, so she can either relax at home and read or sit with class comfortable and pull out the book she choice to read that day from the pocket on the pillow. Real easy. Jan

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    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    As a teacher, I just had to write. THANK YOU to all out there who appreciate teachers! I worked so hard to meet each child's needs and to make each year a great year filled with learning experiences! I paid for so many classroom supplies and all the crafts projects we did. I bought tons of books for the classroom library. Most all the teachers I know did the same things. That's why it hurt a bit to see one person write, "why do we have to buy teachers gifts?" The answer is "you don't" but why would you not want to thank and support the person who spends all day helping, teaching and caring for your child? Plus, don't you want to teach your child to be kind and thoughtful? BTW, I've taught in 4 states and never made anywhere remotely near what the writer from Long Island said!

    For gifts I loved gift certificates to book stores, movies or restaurants. I never wanted my families to spend a lot of money, so having families do a group gift works well. Yes, the Kleenex and paper and crayons are very much appreciated, but they are not personal. My most treasured gifts however, we're the personal notes from kids and parents. Those meant the world to me.

    I would definitely avoid coffee mugs, ornaments and baked goods. Also, if the school had a fundraiser selling candles or candy or gift wrap, please avoid these items....we teachers already bought a ton of it when the kids were selling it! Since all of us here are quilters, place mats and table runners are great, as are seasonal (non religious) wall hangings for the classroom. Another great idea for those who are clever would be a quilted hanging to go outside the classroom door saying the teacher's name (skip the room number and grade since they may change over the years).

    Sorry to be so long, but I just want to thank all parents and grandparents out there who volunteer, write kind notes, buy classroom supplies, go on field trips, or send in gifts. Your support means the world to your child's teacher!

    TanyaL;5513557]A comment under another thread made me wonder about the best teacher gifts in today's world. She mentioned she had to buy many of the supplies for her classroom out of her personal money. I am thinking that cash or a gift card would be better appreciated than a home made item. What do you think?[/QUOTE]
    Create with joy in your heart!

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    Lynnie, it might seem your sister is making a lot of money, but she is probably working a lot of overtime and doing extra activities, probably working in the summer enrichment activities for the school district. She must be working in the big city. So cut her some slack. I just retired after 34 years and did not work as much extra as she did but I did before school enrichment and afterschool activities and I worked in the summer also. Maybe she should quit complaining an be thankful that she has a lot of activities to choose from to make extra money.Parents and officials are asking for a longer day and more activities and these require money.
    As for gifts, I learn never look a gift horse in the mouth , be thankful for what you get. I know when I am appreciated by parents and when they tell me that their cjild is excited about math and don't want to miss school, that's my thanks.

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    Senior Member Christine27's Avatar
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    I am not making 6 figures as a teacher but I bet it costs a lot more to live in NY than where I live. I usually spend $1000-$2000 every year to supplement my classroom budget and supplies. I do it for my students, not for public recognition. However, appreciation is always nice!

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    Teacher Gifts

    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    I would bet a gift card to Staples or Office Depot would be very appreciated.
    For a teachers Xmas gift, my mom and I would ride the bus downtown in OKC to Halliburtans Dept. Store. Ask the clerk to get out several pair of hose from inside the glass counter. They would discuss the color, sheerness, seemless or not, this selection was tedious work. Finally the hose were wrapped up and off to Stovers Candy Store where I picked out a bag of their once famous flavored stick candy. Which kept me quiet and in my seat on the bus ride home.

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    I wish I knew where to send crafts supplies. I had several boxes of yarn, books, hoops, wood bead, alpha beads from previous craft projects. I asked a person that worked in a local school and she told me the teachers did not want my 'junk'.
    I donated it to a thrift shop and the ladies were very excited to get the items. They were not bits and pieces but full bags of bead, skeins of yarn, etc. -I tend to over by when I do crafts. I wish I had know some of the teachers here on the board as I would have paid the shipping to give them the items.
    I also have the same problem with my quilts-my family doesn't want them and I love to design. I was hoping to give them as lap quilts to VN and retirement homes but have been shut down every time I ask, Same for my books.
    Oh well-some one will want them

  19. #19
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    As a retired teacher I'd like to tell you how I feel. While a gift card to an office supply store would have been greatly appreciated by me, a home-made personal gift was even better! Every Christmas I still hang on my tree several ornaments handmade by parents/children. One of my faves- a small quilted ornament! Back then I had no idea I would become a quilter in my retirement, but I loved it even then. Having said that, I must tell you, when we moved to our retirement home, none of the dollar store items came!!!! (Side story- had a garage sale once. Lady came over and whispered, "Where do you teach?" When I asked her how she knew I was a teacher, she whispered, "Because I got all those tacky little things on your ten-cent table as Christmas gifts, too!")

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    I would bet a gift card to Staples or Office Depot would be very appreciated.
    Well.......actually.......I'm a teacher and would rather have a WalMart or Target card or maybe a Visa giftcard. Why? Because the same stuff I can get at Staples or Office Depot, I can get for a lot less at WalMart and thus get more stuff. Our PTA gave us all $25 giftcards to Staples last year and while I was grateful for it, I hated paying so much more at Staples when I knew I could get the same pens and markers for a whole lot less 1/2 mile away at WallyWorld. I spend about $250 a year on my classroom, by the way. I get very little from the school system....not tissues, dry-erase markers, staples and stapler, or anything to use with the kids like crayons or other coloring supplies, notebook paper for when they don't bring any or anything else. Either I buy what I need, I get parent donations or I do without. I love what I do but this isn't my favorite part of the job!
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    Quote Originally Posted by damaquilts View Post
    I know a couple of teachers who would love to teach where your sister does. but of course they teach in Ga
    I'm in GA and have taught 14 years. I have a Masters degree too. I have taken pay cuts totaling just over 10% in the last two years and probably another one this year. I make just over 50K per year. I am grateful for donations of ANYTHING to my classroom and prefer it over personal stuff so I don't have to go buy the classroom stuff myself. I agree with another writer; personal notes of thanks, telling me what your child has enjoyed about me and my teaching, are worth the most to me and cost basically nothing. They're worth even more if the child writes them.
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

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    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deneldacoop View Post
    Why do we have to buy teachers gifts?
    i can just imagine all the crap a teacher could get from well-meaning parents and children every year, year after year. if a gift must be given, let it be a consumable and impersonal, like a gift card.

  23. #23
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    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.
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    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    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!
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  25. #25
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    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.
    Neesie


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