It’s that time of year; the time of the holiday craft shows that are an annual event in my hometown. Every high school, middle school, and community center has their own version of the holiday craft fair. I attended one today, and visited the booths that displayed an abundance of soy candles, handmade soaps, crocheted scarves, painted slate plaques, and ornaments made from goose and ostrich eggs. As I perused the goods, I noticed a similar thread that wove its way through quite a few of the sales pitches thrown by eager artisans. “This (lotion, candle, scarf, soap, ornament, or bracelet) makes the perfect teacher gifts!”
As a teacher, let me assure all of you that, contrary to these declarations by smiling crafters, these items do not make the perfect teacher gifts. Not even close. I, and every teacher I know, have a cupboard or closet dedicated to gifts given by well-intentioned parents. Among the gifts in my closet are luggage tags in Spanish, a black silk blouse with rhinestone buttons (for those very special, after-hours staff meetings), a 10×13 framed picture of a student’s family, a swan covered in mirrored tiles, teacher-themed ornaments (lots of apples!), Starbucks gift cards totaling over $60.00, and 23 coffee mugs, all with variations on the theme of “I Love My Teacher!”.
Before you go shopping for your child’s elementary teacher this year, please read the list below of the gifts every teacher will love!