Walking down the aisles of nearly every shop in town I see piles of Teacher Gifts. They are all very nice but I can guarantee each teacher will probably receive the same gift 2 or 3 times that year.
This got me to thinking. I am constantly trying to declutter or tidy my house. If I was a teacher, what would I do with all that stuff? How many cups can I fit in my cupboard, how many keyrings can I fit on my keys?
I have a specific theme for each of my rooms and don’t want things that don’t fit that style. Do I throw it away, donate to charity or keep it all in a giant room sized cupboard never to be seen again?
For most people this is too much but what if you care for the environment? How many things can you donate to charity or recycle? As a parent I don’t want to contribute to landfill, the plastic crisis, the recycling process or make a teacher feel guilty for discarding a gift from a child.
So as a parent what do we do? How can we show our appreciation to the person who teaches them new things and takes care of them for the majority of the day and still be eco-friendly?
One year my daughter had an OK teacher and a fabulous teaching assistant. I knew the teacher would love a box of chocolates and I knew the assistant wouldn’t appreciate them. I got her a miniature rose plant instead. I wonder if it is still alive?
She loved it and thanked me for not buying her chocolate. In this case I knew their personalities so gift buying was easy. But what if you don’t?
Here are some eco-friendly ideas. I posed the question, “What eco friendly gift would a teacher appreciate?” in a zero waste Facebook group. I got over 40 responses and these were the main points.
Quite a few people liked the idea of homemade food, but lots didn’t as they couldn’t be sure if the environment the food was made in was hygienic.
Too many flowers. Personally a house full of flowers would be my dream, but not for many other people, plus there are a few environmental issues there aswell.
There were two options here:
Ask the teacher:
Ask the teacher what they would like. A guaranteed win.
Ask them for a classroom wish list. Lots of teachers like to receive classroom supplies i,e pens, pencils, rulers, stickers and story books. You know these will come in useful and be well used.
Ask them if they have a favourite charity and donate the money in their name.
The best one was to get all the parents to group together and buy a course for the teacher for over the holidays.
Buy Personal Gifts
One teacher said there is no need to buy her a gift. Just say Thank You. I think I would like this option best.
Resteraunt/coffee shop vouchers. Let your teacher have fun or wind down on their holidays. Buy them a reusable coffee cupto take with them.
Shopping Voucher. This way they can buy what they need and not waste it. If the voucher is for an eco-friendly shop even better .
Tea, coffee and biscuits for the staffroom. Guaranteed to be used and not wasted. Make sure the packaging is recyclable and tea bags plastic free.
Last but not least a letter. Meaningful, heartfelt and easy to keep forever without taking up too much space. This is what I will do.
Get the child to write down one memorable thing they did that year at school and maybe a little picture.
As the parent write down all the things you think the teacher did well at.
But what if I don’t like the teacher? Do I still get them something?
The general consensus is yes. Whether you or your child didn’t like the teacher that person still took great care of your child kept them safe and taught them new things (hopefully).
Here are the opinions of a few bloggers.
As a teacher I hate getting wine. People always assume we are all drinkers. I don’t expect gifts and I do really appreciate that someone has gone to the trouble. (even if it is wine 😉 I just give it to the hubby) www.craftwithcartwright.co.uk
I think you have to be gracious even with teachers you don’t like. Our teachers are all great but I wouldn’t treat one differently if they weren’t fantastic. They all put a lot of work into our children, they deserve to be shown that you appreciate what they do.
I would probably still give something, like a little gift card of a local coffee shop.
I currently give to all teachers who help my son even if we have conflicting views at times. I normally give things like candles, stationery, gift vouchers etc. www.thebreastestnews.co.uk
I will give a card, handmade so they know it comes from the heart. I don’t like to make sure I get the best and most expensive gift, it’s not about that. X
My daughter’s SN class has 6 staff and I always make them all something. If I’m feeling flush I include £5 costa gift card. This year it’s crochet mandalas and my daughter will do each one a card too.
For some thrifty style Teacher gift head over to ThrifDee Dubai
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