Group Gifts for Our Teachers

05.26.10

Wow. I can’t thank you enough for your help yesterday with Tab’s teacher gift dilemma. I’m always overwhelmed, on days like yesterday, with how many amazing, thoughtful people I’ve met through this blog. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments and ideas.

I thought I’d share the group gifts we did or are doing for our teachers this year.
My son’s preschool teacher is going to be moving over the summer, so we picked up this Japanese maple for her to plant at her new place. Isn’t it pretty? We also had each of the kids paint a rock for her to put at the foot of the tree. They really enjoyed getting to do something for their adored teacher. We also found out about some software she’d been wanting, so we got that for her too.

For my daughter’s teacher, we had the wonderful admin at the office do a little spy work for us. We found out she loves the beach, so we’re pitching in for a Select Registry gift card. She can pick out any bed & breakfast she likes and get away for a weekend. I found this one in Monterey while browsing the registry. Isn’t it dreamy? We’re also planning to plaster her door with thank-yous on the last day.

Have you done any fun group gifts for teachers? I’d love to hear.

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Divine Twine

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Fiona May 26, 2010 at 6:51 am

Honestly, I would shy away from a group gift that is made up of little things from each child. I know you think it’s sweet and special, and while your child’s teacher undoubtedly feels that each of her children is special and wonderful, over the years teacher gifts add up. I come from a family of educators, and each of us had at least 20 children in our classes each year. If we received individual gifts from each student for just five years, that’s 100 things we have to find space for in our homes. 100!

Those rocks are adorable, but, for the sake of argument, imagine over five years receiving 100 of them. Where am I going to put those?! 100 figurines, 100 aprons, 100 picture frames, etc., etc.

Group gifts are a great idea, especially when it consists of just *one* gift. Of course I’d be grateful for anything a parent decided to give me as thanks for teaching their child (and I’m by no means saying that I expect a gift!), but the teacher gift clutter does add up over time.

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AmberLee May 26, 2010 at 7:25 am

Hi Fiona!
Thanks so much for the comment. It’s so great to get notes from real teachers. The advice is invaluable.

I totally agree. I know teachers can’t keep everything from their students, and I think as parents we usually realize that. But the kids adore this woman, and really wanted to create something for her. They were super excited about it. This teacher has only 8 or 9 students a year, too, and has a few acres of property (the kids spend a lot of time “out in the pasture” checking on animals and such), so we thought a few rocks that could be kept outside in the preschool pasture would be a nice momento, and we figured this way if she didn’t want to keep them, at least we were being green about what we gave. But I agree, teachers are always free to appreciate the thought and that is usually enough.

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Staci May 26, 2010 at 7:35 am

I didn’t come up with these ideas but I thought they were good ones and used gift cards, which teachers like more than knick knacks and lotion. They are from familyfun.com

http://designingandmotherhood.blogspot.com/2010/05/teacher-appreciation-gifts-with-gift.html

Keep up the great blogging work. Staci

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Fiona May 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

Oh no, I think the rocks were really cute. Sorry, I was just using that as an example.

Teacher gifts are a difficult form of gift giving. While you do get to know the teacher over the course of the year, you may not really know him or her on a personal level as you would a friend or family member, so that adds a degree of difficulty to the gift giving process.

And again, I will say that I am always appreciative of anything that my students give me. It’s nice being thanked and remembered at the end of a long school year.

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Michelle May 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

My kids and I are working on end of the year gifts for their teachers in the form of “get ready for summer” bags. We picked up great canvas bags (that will be used for all kinds of things, I’m sure) and will fill them with reusable water bottles, s’mores ingredients, gift cards to the local ice cream shop, and handwritten notes, plus whatever other summer necessities they think their teachers might need. : )

I’ll post the finished products when we get them all done!

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Robin J May 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

I, too, am a teacher. These group gifts are amazing… want to send your kids to my school?!?!? Ha!

I totally agree that a group gift is better than individual gifts. At our school for Thanksgiving, the students fill a basket of food items for me. Though some ideas are very thoughtful (homemade breads and cookies), some are not (canned jam from discount super stores that looks like it was sent there because it is two years past its expiration date). I prefer the much more personal gifts.

I also usually get a lot of trinkets. No, I don’t need or want another “#1 Teacher” magnet, ornament, or coffee mug. I think its funny that the parents of my kids have not realized yet that I NEVER have coffee in the classroom because I don’t drink it.

To be honest, as selfish as it sounds, I get paid very little. A gift card to the movies, a grocery store, or a restuarant are always my favourite. I can’t afford to do some of these little extras but they mean so much. In this case, giftcards are NOT impersonal.

I have noticed in the last two years though that most parents have stopped giving the teacher gifts. I received two cards for teacher appreciation day out of the 50 kids I work with (high school level now). Both cards were hand-made by the students, which meant a lot. But then again, I’m not in this job for the gratitude I get. I’m in it to train kids, to explore with them, and to see them mature and develop.

Your kids’ teachers are lucky to have such a thoughtful parent! Thanks for sharing!

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Rebecca@RootsAndWingsCo May 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Money trees!-My BFF has 3 kids that go to a private school. All 3 of their teachers will not be returning next year, and as of right now the teachers do not have new jobs yet. So, my BFF gathered money from the class. She then made up mini trees, in cute little containers. Then, she tied/clipped money all over the tree. Hopefully the trees themselves will be used somewhere in the teachers’ homes and the money, I’m sure, was quite needed for them all. So, see, money can grow on money trees! ;)

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