I had some folks ask about some good ideas for teacher's gifts-- so I asked a teacher!  Huge thanks to my cousin-in-law Eileen for her great suggestions.  Here's what she said:

"One of the things I do at the beginning of the school year is give a brief survey to (my son's) teacher. It's a similar survey to the ones you might find on facebook that helps me to know what she likes to eat, what scents are faves, where she likes to shop, eat out, etc. It opens up the gift options big time."

Here is Eileen's teacher survey:
What is your favorite...
1. Candy?
2. Color?
3. Warm drink?
4. Cold drink?
5. Restaurant?
6. Ice Cream flavor?
7. Place to shop?
8. Holiday?
9. Family activity?
10. Thing at Starbucks?
11. Way to indulge?
12. Perfume/Lotion
13. Animal?
14. Decorating style?
15. Scent?
16. Cake or pie?
17. Walmart or Target?
18. Way to unwind?
19. School subject
20. Hobbies
21. When is your birthday?
22. If you had $10 to spend, where would you spend it?
23. Apple things for teachers...love them or hate them?
24. What is something you wish the parents of your students knew?
25. What is the most helpful thing I can do for your class this year?
"As far as gift suggestions go...teachers get a LOT of ornaments, candles, and food. I suggest thinking outside the box a bit. Gift cards to favorite restaurants or stores are always fun...considering teachers aren't rolling in dough. A gift certificate to a mani/pedi or massage is a big winner! One year, I got a "money tree" from the parents in my class. It was a little Christmas tree with cash tied on it. It is a great class gift if someone is willing to coordinate because parents can chip it whatever they can afford. It was full of everything from $1-$20 bills and I walked away with a nice chunk of change to do whatever I wanted. Classroom supplies are always great too- books, games, puzzles- anything he/she might not buy for themselves.

It's a really kind gesture to not forget other teachers too (PE, music, art, librarians, and teacher's aids) These people work just as hard and are often overlooked because they aren't regular classroom teachers. A simple card with a $5 Starbucks gift card, a plate of cookies, or a jar of candy to say "thanks" is always good. Another group that is often overlooked is the front office staff. These people are on the frontlines and help keep everything flowing. Individual gifts are not necessary, but they sure would appreciate a basket of muffins (and maybe some juice), cinnamon rolls, or a dozen bagels with a thank you attached."

Eileen also found this great gift suggestion on organizedchristmas.com: a Journal in a Jar.  If you know that your child's teacher enjoys writing, you can fill a mason jar with strips of paper that each feature a writing prompt on them.  The Organized Christmas website has pages of prompts that you can download and print out yourself. 

Along these lines, perhaps a good gift for a Sunday School teacher would be a jar filled with favorite Scriptures.  I think there are lots of ways that you could adapt this idea.  You could do a jar of favorite quotes-- quotes from famous people, quotes from literature, even quotes from movies or music.  Almost like a homemade "page a day" calendar.

Hopefully these ideas will help you to come up with some fun and creative teacher gifts this year!



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