It is time for Spring Break and before you know it the kiddos will be out of school for the summer. We start thinking about gifts to show teachers how much we appreciate them. You peruse Pinterest to get inspired to make the cutest gift the teacher has ever received. Well, I am here to tell you to JUST SAY NO to "teacher gifts". We are all guilty of it at some point but it has to stop. Your teachers really don't want another mug that says #1 Teacher. They REALLY don't want another picture frame handcrafted from pencils. No more plaques with pictures of apples. Those melted crayon art canvases are kind of strange. They really do not need any more apple jars. Cut it out with the cutesy rulers and clipboards! Also, just as a reminder, an 8x10 picture of your child is not appropriate.
The main reason to forget about the cutesy gifts is to help your teacher control clutter in their home. This past Christmas break I helped my mother in law do some decluttering. She taught for many years and had many beloved students. We collected over 50 "teacher" mugs, that many candles, and some strange body sprays to take to Goodwill. We also got rid of some "teachery" Christmas ornaments and jewelry boxes. This stuff had been taking up real estate in her home for years. We are not even mentioning all of the mini school pictures of her favorite students. She just didn't know what to do with all of these gifts. And this was just a drop in the bucket of what she has received over the years.
Let's do the math. If a teacher has 20 students a year and teaches for just 15 years they could receive 300 gifts during their career. That is a low estimate. If each of the 20 students spent $10 then the class as a whole spent $200. What if everyone gave a couple of dollars for a gift card instead? This scenario would be less expensive for the families and the teacher gets something that is useful.
I know that teachers appreciate your thinking about them. But, wouldn't you much rather give teachers something they will enjoy? How about a gift certificate to Starbucks or a restaurant? Some teachers like to have their nails done. Male teachers would probably like a gift card to a sporting goods store. Hey, how about a gift certificate for an organizing session to get rid of all those teacher gifts in the closet...lol! Or, just save your money and tell the teacher how much you appreciate their hard work.
I would love to hear from some teachers about the gifts they would like to receive. Please leave your comments below.