Q&A: Holiday Gifts to Teachers


 A personalized note or a small gift card to a bookstore make nice holiday/end of the year gifts for teachers/school staff, as do classroom supplies. – Check out what our readers have to say about holiday gift giving, and add your 2-cents to the conversation too.

Diane Hinze Kanzler writes, “So, last year I was considered a huge dork because, apparently, one is expected to give Christmas gifts to our child’s teacher/teacher’s aide. And I didn’t know this, being of a much older generation where those things didn’t happen. What’s the skinny? Is this now mandatory? And what does one do if the teacher in question is Jewish?”

Claire Lobdell responds, “My mother-in-law, an elementary school teacher, has said that she much prefers a heartfelt thank you note to a tchotchke. If giving “something” seems mandatory in your school around the holidays, maybe a small gift card to a bookstore (my MIL also really appreciates those, especially since she, like many teachers, has to buy the books she uses in her classroom herself).”

Meagheanne Donahue responds, “We make donations to Heifer International or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital  in the teacher’s name and just tuck the donation card in with the Holiday cards we send out. We do the same for the Principal and teacher’s aide (TA is Jewish).”

Swansea Benham Bleicher responds, “I’m all in favor of end of the school year gifts for teachers. Holidays are celebrated so differently from family to family.  If it’s part of your culture to give to the teacher at holiday time, then fine, but it shouldn’t be a stress or pressure…”

Carrie St John responds, “Our school suggests giving the teacher things she needs for the classroom—they generally all have a wish list posted or offering some volunteer time in class or with prep work. This comes in very handy in Public Schools where the budgets are tight. They prefer that you don’t give personal gifts because this can lead to some families feeling left out if it is not in the family budget or any sense of favorites, etc…”

Sienna Wildfield responds, “Some schools have traditions or may offer suggestions when it comes to expressing gratitude to their teachers/staff. For example, my daughter’s school has a tradition that happens at the end of the year rather than during the holiday season. — During the holiday season, the Amherst Regional High School suggests making a gift to the Amherst Education Foundation in honor of a teacher or school staff member… I would recommend checking in with a school administer to see what the school’s tradition/suggestion is on gift giving.”

[Photo credit: (ccl) sweetjessie]

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