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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Gifts We Give

This year, as school is beginning for us here in the USA, I would like to provide a bit of wisdom with regards to purchasing gifts for your child's teacher. Many parents feel that this is a great way to thank their child's teacher for doing a good job. If you wish to gift your child's teacher in a way that will be useful and appreciated, but feel that chocolate and perfume are a bit overdone, here is an idea that can be used for any holiday or occasion and for any grade level.

Start by purchasing a suitable container that can be reused in the classroom. Plastic shoe boxes or pencil boxes are always great. Decorative baskets can be good, too.

Then choose a selection of supplies that you know will be useful to the recipient. A list of ideas will be included below to get you start.

You may think this is far too impersonal for a gift, or far too practical. However, consider that teachers are rarely provided all the supplies they need by the school they work for and often pay for their classroom supplies out of pocket. Some states do provide a stipend for supplies, but that stipend is rarely more than $150.00 to provide for the entire year of necessities.

Also, teachers are accustomed to receiving chocolate, apples, and other things in such quantities that they are probably overburdened with these things. Something different would not only surprise the teacher, but would also be appreciated - because while chocolate is wonderful, there really is only so much chocolate that a person can eat.

Now, for those promised ideas... Some are obvious, but others may not have occurred to you as a needed item for the classroom.

1) Pens - various colors
2) Pencils
3) Electric pencil sharpener
4) Highlighters
5) Dry erase markers
6) Sharpies
7) Paper
8) Binders
9) Post-It notes
10) Paper clips
11) Binder clips
12) Stapler
13) Staples
14) Stickers for graded papers
15) Stamps and ink pads for graded papers
16) Books to keep in the classroom - particularly for lower levels
17) Chalk
18) Art supplies - crayons, color pencils, markers, glue, buttons, etc
19) Gift certificates to teacher supply stores or dollar stores, etc.
20) Batteries - AAA and AA always a good idea