I am a huge fan of teachers…especially public school teachers. Overall, they do great work and should be celebrated. I see the sacrifices that they make because my husband Reggie is a teacher. He changed careers (from being a computer programmer) through the New York Teaching Fellows program a decade ago. He could do several other jobs, but I love that he is a teacher. As a mom of sons, I encourage more men – especially men of color – to get involved in public school education. Representation matters…in every industry. Any day is wonderful to show gratitude for teachers but Teacher Appreciation Week is an especially great time.
I loved the gift ideas for teachers that Phillip Done, a Disney nominated Teacher of the Year and author of Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood shared back in December of 2009. Until I find a piece that I like more, I will keep running this teacher appreciation week ideas post as a reminder regarding what teachers appreciate and (more importantly!) don’t like on their special days…
What are the most memorable teacher gifts from your staff room?
•A pair of earrings from a child who said they reminded him of his teacher. They were hoop earrings with marijuana leaves in them.
•A set of highball glasses.
•A Barbie doll with a crocheted dress that fits over a toilet paper roll.
•A box of chocolates. One-third was gone. The other third was half-eaten. Apparently, the child put them back until he found the filling he liked.
•A porcelain mask of Elvis.
•An Emergency Survival Kit including Red Bull, teacher’s favorite candy, and quick microwavable meals.
•My aide received one earring. When she asked about the other one, the student said he gave it to the librarian.
What are some of the funniest teacher gifts you’ve ever received at the holidays?
•A used roll of duct tape.
•An avocado wrapped in aluminum foil.
•A mug that said “Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”
•A wall calendar that was about to expire.
•Santa boxer shorts. From the kid’s mother.
The Five Absolute BEST Gifts for Any Teacher:
1. Gift cards: You can never go wrong!
2. Movie passes
3. Food: Dinner, homemade treats, chocolate
4. Books for the classroom
5. The Best Gift of All: a note of appreciation from a parent or student
Personally, I (Kimberly) usually give gift cards and have my sons write little thank you notes. Whatever you give, definitely take the time to celebrate good teachers.