Teachers on teacher gifts: it's the thought that counts

Marlene Alexander

Lisa MacColl went up to the teacher's desk and asked a question. In fact, she queried several teachers. "What do you like to receive from your students as Christmas gifts?"

The result was an article for Reader's Digest that should have parents everywhere breathing a sigh of relief.

MacColl's article lists nine ideas, many of which cost very little or even nothing at all. Some of my favorites:

Make something, like a unique personalized ornament, with your kids or bake up a batch of cookies with them. Pop the cookies into a dollar store cookie tin, add a bow and you're golden.

One elementary school teacher said she treasures dollar store gifts that have been selected by the student and given with pride. Hey! It really is the thought that counts!

MacColl offers no suggestions as to what those gifts might be, but you know I will. What about a set of three matching ornaments? I recently found colorful acrylic snowman ornaments in three different designs. Or how about the small white porcelain-look angel ornaments that come in a variety of styles? Each ornament is only a buck. You could also give a new desk or pocket agenda with a pen; $2 for the set. I've also seen some really nice wall calendars. Just a few thoughts.

Another really inexpensive idea from the article comes from a musician/teacher, whose student gave him a framed photograph of himself playing at a local jazz festival. Again, there are lots of nice frames at the dollar store and you can bet this teacher will keep this memento and remember the kid who gave it to him.

Perhaps the best gift of all is a simple "thank-you." A heart-felt note written by the child will be kept and re-read. I'm sure more of our teachers would appreciate knowing that they have made a difference, especially since the day-to-day running of a classroom can be downright tiring at times.