I teach middle school, so sometimes we don't get the stash that elementary teachers get, and that's okay. I'm not in the job for gifts, I'm in it for June, July and August the children. Regardless here is my top 10 list of gifts.
1. Gift Cards -- They never go bad, and I don't have to worry about if the kitchen they came from was cleaned. My students know me so well that I ended up with $35 to Starbucks, $40 to Borders and $20 to Chipotle at Christmas time.
2. Office Supplies -- Teachers are obsessed with post-its, pens, paper clips, and any other organization tool, so a cute package of note cards or a nice set of markers makes our week! My friend Ali got 4 reams of bright orange paper from a student last year. I've never seen her happier.
3. Jewelry -- This Christmas I got a pair of earrings that I love! The girl told me that she saw them in Target and had to get them. It made me happy, and proved that the kids probably pay more attention to what I wear than what I say.
4. College Gear -- Most teachers are quite loyal to their alma-mater, so we welcome gifts sporting our mascot.
5. Christmas Ornaments -- Pretty ornaments are always nice at Christmas time, but I personally am not a fan of the apple themed stuff. Apples are a fall fruit, maybe a fruit cake ornament instead....probably not.
6. Classroom Items -- Sometimes the best thing is to ask a teacher what they need for their room. This could end up being anything from chart paper to children's books.
7. Candy -- Instead of getting expensive candy just for the teacher, get a huge bag of random candy that she can use in her classroom. Although, I'm not the type of teacher who would bribe my kids with candy. I'm above that. (Said in my sarcastic tone.)
8. Cutsies -- This is just my term for random cute things that you might find on Etsy or in Hobby Lobby. Your child probably knows his or her teacher well enough to tell you if she would like it or not.
9. Socks -- Okay, I know this sounds stupid, and you're probably thinking that I'm just trying to fill in 10 things, which I am, but I really do like getting socks. Not a pack of 6 from Hanes, I'm talking cute socks. They are such a great gift! They always fit right and add personality to my otherwise normal wardrobe.
10. Notes -- I LOVE it when my kids write me notes. I have binders full of them. I never throw them away, and I go back through and read them when I need motivation. Definitely the best gift in the world!!
Now, all of these tangible gifts are great. I will never turn you down if you want to give me a spa gift certificate. In the end though, it's all about the kids. Just knowing that parents trust us and support us in the classroom is what is important to us. I am grateful that I get to be part of making your child the adult they will become. I don't take that lightly. I love seeing my students everyday and getting to know them and their unique qualities. There is no doubt that it is one of the most stressful jobs in the world (come meet my 2nd hour!), and has the highest drop out rate of any career, but there is just something about those stinkin' kids that make it all worth while!