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What teachers really want for Christmas

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What teachers really want for Christmas


In her article, “Teacher’s Weigh In: What We Want for Christmas,” Sarah Lorge Butler of CBS moneywatch.com makes it very clear what teachers want for Christmas.  She enlisted a few teachers to share with her what they do and do

teacher gifts

Are these on your list of things to give a teacher?

not want. One teacher responded to this prompt saying, “As a teacher, I would like to suggest gift cards to Starbucks, Target, or some other store that is popular. Teachers get so many mugs, knick-knacks, and boxes of stationery. We would really appreciate a little treat to brighten our day rather than a mug to add to the dozens in our cupboards!” (Interestingly enough, some of the best mugs in our cabinet are the teacher ones.)

Another teacher commented, “Teachers do not need gifts from students. A note of appreciation, or a picture drawn by young students, goes a long way. Save your money, take your kids to a museum or the zoo, have some fun with your family!” (Could this teacher actually be saying, “Take your kids to a museum and see how it feels to spend the WHOLE day with them”?- Let’s hope not.)

Enough with the DON’Ts. What did teachers say they really DO want? No more suspense. Here’s the list as Ms. Butler laid it out:

  • “Handwritten notes of appreciation for their hard work, from students, parents or both. Young ones can draw pictures.
  • ‘Most teachers do not expect gifts. Times are tough,’ wrote one reader. ‘If you insist on a gift, however, donate the money to some worthwhile charity in the teacher’s name.’
  • Gift cards to stores like Target, Walmart or teacher supply stores. With budgets tight, teachers end up paying for many classroom supplies out of their own pockets.
  • Gift cards to restaurants or places like Starbucks, Panera, or Barnes & Noble so teachers can treat themselves.
  • Cash is king, claims one parent, who wrote that she folds bills into origami animals to give to the teachers. ‘They love it,’ she wrote. ‘No hassle with 25 years of picture frames.’ “

Do you agree? What have been some of the best teacher gifts you have received or given? Tell us all in a comment! Maybe we’ll really make some teachers’ days this year!

| gratitude, reality, solutions, work | December 15, 2010

About the author

Wynn Godbold is an inspired educator who stretches herself and those around her to new heights. Her work as a speaker, trainer, and administrative coach carries her across the United States where she spreads her message of inspiring teachers to reach children with authenticity, joy, and success. Her teacher retreats are known to empower teachers to love their lives. Teachers world-wide experience personal growth through the products and packages she offers on line. In June of 2012, Wynn kick started the International Academy of Bee Sharp Teachers. Wynn is Nationally Board Certified in Reading and the Language Arts. She has certifications in Education Administration, Elementary and Early Childhood Education. In addition to running Bee Sharp, she consults for the McGraw Hill Education Group and serves on the Educational Team at Page Turner Adventures. Wynn lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with her husband, two sons, and the family dog, JR.

6 Responses to "What teachers really want for Christmas"
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  • Clara December 16, 2010

    Hi Wynn! When my youngest daughter was still in grade school, it occurred to me that a great teacher’s gift was a box of chocolates from our own make candy shop right here in town. The shop makes wonderful chocolates, something to savor alone or share, and you didn’t have to find a place to store it!

  • Cheri December 16, 2010

    Wynn, handmade is the best, something that comes from within and chocolate can’t hurt either!

    • Wynn December 16, 2010

      Isn’t Christmas at school the best?! Thanks for weighing in. I bet lots of others would agree with the chocolates!

      • Yulie May 8, 2014

        The teacher that made the most icmapt on my life gave me an F in a high school math class. I say gave me because it was a true gift. He gave me the right to fail. He didn’t try to rescue me with a D minus. My first reaction was How dare he? My still-small voice replied Because you deserved it. Now pick yourself up and get focused on what you want your life to be about. I had skipped so many classes because my friend (a year ahead of me) said it wouldn’t matter. She later dropped out of high school because she was having a baby and ended up on welfare with 6 kids and no partner. My guidance counselor put me right back into the same teacher’s class the next year (usually they didn’t recommend the same teacher if the student received a failing grade.) That teacher never let up on me. Every day he asked me a homework question. Every day he made me contribute to the class. If I missed a day, he called my parents to be sure they knew. I made an A the next time. Then I registered for junior college. Guess who was a part-time teacher at the junior college? Guess who made me answer a homework question every day. Guess who never let up on me. Guess who gave me an A at the end of the term. Mr. Seagraves changed my life with the letter F. I continued on to a Ph.D. and ended up teaching in colleges and universities through my 40 year career. I mostly taught computer science and always supported the right to fail policy I was taught. Many students told me over the years that if I had given them a passing grade, they would never have discovered what they really wanted out of life. Failing in one area allowed them to be open to success in another discipline. Too often, parents are appalled at the audacity of professionals telling their child s/he is a failure at something. Yet, it might just be the very motivation for success. It might just be that dreams of others (like, I want my son to be a doctor ) can then be put aside so the individual’s dreams, strengths and weaknesses can be examined. A bright future might just depend on that right to fail. Thanks, Mr. Seagraves, wherever you are.

  • Stace December 28, 2010

    There’s never a problem receiving chocolate…
    Perfect gift any time of year 😉

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