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End-of-Year Teacher Gifts: Your Presence Deserves Presents

teacher wine glass_optIt’s almost that time of year again. You’ve made it through monotonous orientations, hours of grueling homework assignments and gluing of various objects to flimsy poster board, your fair share of overcrowded shows to watch adorable children sing off key, a few trips in pajamas and slippers to drop off forgotten lunchboxes, and countless phone calls from Wayde. The end of the school year is in sight, but the work for you Mom and Dad, isn’t quite over.

Since late August, teachers around the nation have been dedicating their days, rain, shine, and maybe not so much snow, to educating young, blossoming minds. This should be a relatively easy job though considering children are always perfect listeners, sit still, come to school germ free and always use their inside voices… right? Let’s be honest, as rewarding as teaching might be, it has got to be one of the most difficult jobs in existence; despite all of the little angels that grace their presence daily. The time, patience, and dedication that it takes for a teacher to perform their job, is almost certainly, nothing short of a miracle some days, and definitely a profession that is deserving of reward and recognition.

They’re deserving of all things money can’t buy because let’s face it, not just anyone would wipe boogers, laugh off inappropriately timed jokes from your class clown, and give hugs to a little one that scraped her knee on the playground; but you must be practical.

With the end of the school year fast approaching, you (yes, you) have one final homework assignment to complete; picking the perfect teacher’s gift. Unless you have spent many hours in the classroom rubbing shoulders with room parents, and more importantly, your child’s beloved teacher, how would you know what they’d most like to see on their desk on the last day of school? They’re deserving of all things money can’t buy because let’s face it, not just anyone would wipe boogers, laugh off inappropriately timed jokes from your class clown, and give hugs to a little one that scraped her knee on the playground; but you must be practical.

As the cliché goes, “it’s the thought that counts”, which in most cases is very true, but believe it or not, there are good and bad teachers’ gifts. Pinterest has taught us that we all need to be the perfect suburban housewife, and carefully construct the most adorable and crafty gift possible. There are actually many great ideas you can find online to draw inspiration from; gift baskets filled with goodies and things you think smell delightful, lovely decorated frames, and cups and mugs with totally punny notes attached. All of these are gifts from the heart and undoubtedly appreciated, but what do the teachers really want, and what should you stay away from?

Several Loudoun teachers were recently asked the burning question; tell us what you want… what you really, really want. The jury was in and there seemed to be quite the consensus. Whereas everyone agreed that any and every gift is appreciated, from a big hug to a little iPod (seriously, that’s a thing?), all also agreed that some items are slightly more desired than others.

Speaking of wine . . . this surprisingly is one item that made the list of end-of-year gifts that teachers are looking for. Can you really blame them?

Of course one can never have too many mugs and plastic tumblers; we all need to stay hydrated. An endless supply of lotion, perfume and candles is something most wouldn’t turn down; turn down for what? Also, who doesn’t love an abundance of candy, and delicious baked goods to stuff your dieting face with? All of these are gifts that, though indeed appreciated, made the list of gifts to avoid. Though these may seem like excellent choices and are typically harmless, most are either personal in choice, could aggravate an unknown allergy, or are causing major overflow in Mrs. Smith’s kitchen; don’t overflow Mrs. Smith’s kitchen, she needs room for more wine after dealing with Jimmy all year.

Speaking of wine . . . this surprisingly is one item that made the list of end-of-year gifts that teachers are looking for. Can you really blame them? Then again, adult beverages could also be considered one of those “personal choice” items, so if you should happen to choose this route, possibly a gift card to a wine store (or even the ABC store if it’s been a really tough year) would suffice. Suppose this gift item is a bit too provocative for your liking, that’s fine, you have options. Some prefer a more classic and less laborious route; you can’t really go wrong with a bouquet of flowers or fruit basket.

However, the overall most-wanted item (drum roll please)… gift cards!

Then there are the parents that just flat forget until the night before, and give their kid a piece of construction paper and some markers to go to town with; nothing expresses gratitude quite like some scribbles and stick figures. However, the overall most-wanted item (drum roll please)… gift cards! Teachers will use spa gift cards to relax and rejuvenate, restaurant or movie gift cards will be used for family time over the summer, and even Amazon or Target gift cards get put to use, usually to purchase much needed supplies for their classrooms and students next year (even though you know they should spend it on themselves).

Whether you deliver handmade crafts, store bought goodies, a gift card or, Barbie coloring page… do not fret, any gift is sure to please. Many parents feel the need to stretch their budget, or to out-do other parents by presenting the most grand gift in class. With everything else going on in your life, why add more pressure? There is no correct way to show your appreciation, so remember; it truly is the thought that counts. Perhaps ask your child what kind of gift they’d like to give their dear teacher this year. After all, they are the ones that have spent months bonding, learning, and even wiping boogers together.


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