Teacher gifts: consider the personal touch
A gift of appreciation for a hard-working teacher used to be an annual ritual which traditionally took place at the end of a busy school year.
However, these days it is becoming increasingly common for teaching staff to be showered with gifts at Christmas as well. Pupils are dispatched into the classroom bearing festive tokens of gratitude - perhaps a gift for an individual teacher, sometimes thank you presents for the entire staff room.
If you’re planning to buy something it can be tricky to know what’s best - it is, after all, hard to ignore the high probability that some of the other parents may well have the same idea as you.
In reply to a recent Mumsnet thread on ideas for teacher gifts, one commenter said: “I have had almost 50 best teacher mugs and coasters in the last few years...neither of us drink tea or coffee!” Another added: “A few of us in my school don't touch alcohol and have tons of useless bottles of wine to find homes for every year, which is difficult when no one you know drinks.”
Some families do opt for more unusual offerings, though. A 6ft inflatable giraffe, Christmas-themed pasta and half a Curly Wurly were among the more unexpected gifts given to teachers who responded to a recent survey.
The personal touch
Before you’ve even hit the shops, there is the issue of who to buy for as well. Many pupils are taught by more than one teacher, and then there is the support staff to consider. Columnist Jane Bradley recently wrote about how the thought of buying presents for 11 teaching staff was keeping her up at night.
So, bearing all of this in mind, we don’t blame you if you are a bit stuck on how best to navigate the end-of-term gift buying issue. There is a low-cost option though - which has a good chance of pleasing the recipient.
According to author and teacher Braden Bell, a detailed note of gratitude to an educator is a failsafe way to make them happy this Christmas. In a recent Washington Post post he wrote: “Everyone I surveyed expressed 100 percent consensus in this regard. Teachers cherish sincere, specific notes from a child or parent because they generally go into education hoping to make a difference in someone’s life.”
We’re keen to know what you think about buying teachers gifts - do you do it? What ideas have gone down well in the past? Maybe you’re a teacher who’d like to let us know what you’d like to get this Christmas! Share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.