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Thursday Thirteen Ed. #71

December 13th, 2006

The kids gave their gifts to their teachers today — Christmas ornaments, chocolate bars, holiday cards and a poem by Wacky Girl. (Keeping everything simple and within the budget this year.) For this week’s Thursday Thirteen


1. Volunteer in class when you can.

2. Gift certificates — to restaurants, a gourmet grocery store, a bookstore, an office supply place.

3. If you have time, go into the school when you pick up your child and ask if they need help cleaning the classroom — recycle old papers, wipe down the desks, push in the chairs, sharpen the pencils, sort out work to go home with the kids.

4. Buy them a CD player for the class if they need one. Or beanbag chairs. Or bookshelves. Teachers spend way too much of their own money outfitting their classrooms and buying supplies for students.

5. Small gifts are fine — kids’ drawings, cards or letters, poems. Even a thank you note will do. An assortment of teabags, a pound or two of coffee. Homemade or storebought cookies, mints, cheese and crackers.

6. Jewelry. My daughter came home from kindergarten saying, “Some of the kids bought the teacher jewelry for Christmas!” It was from the Dollar Store, but who cares? (If you can afford better, go for it.)

7. Neck wraps — I have a lavender-scented one I love. Heat it in the microwave for two minutes and neckache is gone. Teachers (the ones I’ve known, anyway) seem to internalize most of their stress.

8. Journals, blank notecards, fancy pens.

9. A homemade meal — something easy to transport, that you can leave with them at the end of day. Maybe a casserole with a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and dessert. No time to cook? Costco meals are much appreciated, too. (I’m thinking of my neighbors right now — new parents, teachers, the mail carrier — everyone likes a meal that they didn’t have to fix.)

10. A gift certificate for a massage, manicure or pedicure.

11. Fruit baskets — small or large.

12. DVDs, music CDs, books, magazines. Or better yet — subscriptions to magazines.

13. Anything, really, as long as you’ve put a little thought into it.

Honestly? It’s the thought that counts. When I saw my daughter’s teacher reading her poem to himself (she drew little pictures in the margins, it’s totally sweet), then asking her, “You wrote this? Did it take you long?” I don’t know who was happier — him, her or me. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher showed me the best present she got at the end of the school year — a little Matchbox car that one of the kids gave her. (He saw the other kids had brought in gifts, and didn’t want to overlook her.) Now that is a present.


  1. ms_teacher says

    Yes, yes and yes to all of them. Thank you!

    December 13th, 2006 | #

  2. suki says

    I’ll keep those in mind, should I ever find myself in school again. :P It’s been awhile.

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  3. K T Cat says

    I think the volunteering is the best. It gives them someone over the age of 10 to talk to. My TT is up.


    December 14th, 2006 | #

  4. Caylynn says

    Those all sound like great gifts for a teacher! Thanks for the suggestions. Volunteering to help out in the classroom sounds like a great idea.

    Happy T13. :)

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  5. Sanni says

    Thanks for sharing this great list! My favorite is #1 =)

    Happy TT from Germany,


    December 14th, 2006 | #

  6. Marina says

    As a teacher, I think this is a great list! ;)

    I have to say, though, that the material items are nice, but when parents become involved in their children’s education and work together with teachers, that is more a blessing than I can put into words. Hence why number 1 is so important!

    Happy Thursday to you!

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  7. Susan Helene Gottfried says

    I LOVE volunteering in my son’s class. I get to interact with all of the students and it’s hard not to appreciate each kid. They’re so different and yet so cool and trying so hard. And the teacher… she’s amazing.

    Happy TT!

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  8. Eric says

    Your list is great but don’t forget that things like jewelry or a manicure may not go over too well if your child’s second grade teacher is a male! :)

    I would definitely take the volunteering and the gift certificates though…

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  9. N. Mallory says

    What a thoughtful list!

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  10. Zipdodah says

    May I add just one more? If you can find this album, or even download the music…your Christmas’ will never be the same.

    Mae West’s Wild Christmas Album

    “What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day” – Mae West

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  11. Frances says

    I still remember all my favorite teachers and all that they did for me.
    Take care,

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  12. Shannon says

    Great ideas.

    Have a happy Thursday!

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  13. Wacky Mommy says

    Eric — You wouldn’t go for a pedicure? Aw, c’mon…

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  14. ali says

    thanks for this! i’m always looking for something good to give!

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  15. Michelle says

    Yes, I’ve heard that teachers really like the thanks. Several years out of college I sent my old high school English teacher a card to let her know how I’d grown from what she’d taught me–and let her know that I finally did finish Crime and Punishment. She liked it.

    December 14th, 2006 | #

  16. Mr. Manicure says

    I must admit that manicures are great to get a person feeling the world better but the real treasure in the land of gifts is to actually do a manicure on someone else. Give your teacher a manicure!

    January 18th, 2007 | #

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