By Trish Vignola
It’s December. If you haven’t already picked up a little something for your child’s teacher this holiday season, you might want to go shopping soon. That holiday party will be here before you know it! You don’t want to be caught empty handed.
Although your child’s teacher isn’t expecting a gift, you still want to thank and acknowledge the person (or people) who made such a significant impact in the life of your child. You want them to know how much you appreciate them, but the idea of getting them something that is going to wind up in their “circular file” is stressful.
Relax. Not only am I “soon-to-be” mommy, but I’m also a preschool teacher. I see both sides.
To make your shopping a little easier, I’ve complied a top three list of gifts that teachers would love to receive this holiday season. I also complied a list of three gifts that you should probably keep for the mailman. (No disrespect to the mailman.)
The top 3 presents for your child’s teacher
1. A coffee shop gift card: Not everyone likes coffee; however, many of these coffee shops also offer a wide arrangement of teas, cocoas and pastries. (If you are one of my students’ parents, please be advised that I am a fan of all of the above.) If you are going to go with a chain shop or a local shop to get the card, make sure it’s a place close to school. Most of my lunchtime is spent prepping lessons for my students, so the quicker I can get in and out with a snack, the better.
2. A dollar store gift card: I get a small budget to shop for materials for my students, so I live at dollar and discount stores. Any support toward acquiring supplies for my students, the easier my job is made. Again, make sure the card is for a store close to school. Please, no teacher needs a Wegmans card when the closest Wegmans is thirty minutes away.
3. Something that expresses that you “get” your child’s teacher: You have worked with your child’s teacher for about three months now. At this point, you know something about him or her. Get them something that really says you know and appreciate the work they do. All of my students know of my love of Hello Kitty. One parent last year gave me new folders all in a Hello Kitty theme. Did it help me organize my desk? Yes. Do I still use them today? Yes. Are they pink and fabulous? Heck, yes!
The 3 presents you can skip for your child’s teacher
1. No Mugs: As a teacher, you get a lot of mugs. I live in a three-room apartment and the more mugs I get, the less room I have to store them. My husband is starting to use them to play Jenga. It’s getting messy.
2. Homemade Food: We really appreciate when a parent takes the time to make us something homemade (especially food), we really do. However, you never know when a teacher has an allergy, someone in his or her home has an allergy or even worse… is on a diet. There is nothing that makes us feel guilty like having to throw something away that you worked so hard on, or even worse that your child helped you on. Unless I am specifically your child’s teacher and you know that cannoli is a home run (well, duh!), you might want to avoid homemade food as a gift option.
3. Stuffed Animals: We appreciate that your child picked a specific toy out as a present for us, we do! However, I bring you back to the mug issue. There’s nowhere to put them, so unless that teddy bear can sweep my floors and promise me that his eyes won’t pop out in my son’s mouth…it’s probably not a good call.
Trish Vignola is local fan, follower and contributor of Jersey Shore InMotion