World’s Best Teacher Doesn’t Need It On An Apron And Other Teacher Gift Ideas

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on December 7, 2011

in Farts and Other Stuff,Kiddos

This holiday season, don’t forget your kid’s teachers. Not that I think you would. I’m just sayin.

Do you have any idea what your precious princess’s professor has to plan for a proper progressive period of primary (or secondary)?

A shit ton of planning.

I was a teacher in a past life. After going through the hell of undergraduate school and then submitting myself to the torture of graduate school, I taught for a whole 4 years in charter and public schools.

I stopped teaching for a reason: I was sorely underpaid for the amount of work required to make me a successful teacher. With all of my schooling and all of the support I received from my family, they paycheck I received did not equal the output required to make me a good teacher.

From excessive county requirements funneled down through my administration to provide in-detail reports not yet vetted by researchers to training standards far beyond what makes sense to the sensible mind, I couldn’t justify the time spent away from my family to get the job done.

There are people who can do it. There are teachers who are VERY good at what they do. Luckily, the teachers my girls have had so far are very good as far as I know. And really, isn’t 1/2 the job convincing the parents that their precious prince’s teacher is a qualified professional? 

Politics and my whining aside, don’t forget your kid’s teachers when you’re out buying every plastic, character-covered toy in Target. Show them some real love. They probably deserve it more than our bratty precious kids anyway.

One of the most important things I learned as a teacher for those few years is what to NOT give as gifts:

  • Teachers DO NOT want a framed photo of our adorable child. If you give them a nice frame with a photo of your child, they will remove your photo and replace it with a photo of their own child or pet. If you give them a crappy fram of your child, they will throw the whole thing away.
  • Teachers DO NOT want something your precious picked out from the Dollar Store. She’d rather have that dollar than the crap your kid settled on choosing.
  • Teachers DO NOT want an apron appliquéd with “World’s Best Teacher.” If she is the kind of teacher who wears such an apron, she’ll have one already.
  • Teachers DO NOT want a homemade coupon book of favors done by your kid. Save the construction paper and teach your kid to do nice things for his teacher all year long. His teacher doesn’t want to have to hand over a request for your prince to have “1 Whole Day Of Sitting In My Seat Without Being Asked!” He should be doing that already.
  • Teachers DO NOT candles. No. More. Candles. NONE. Please. I speak for the 99% of teachers who don’t need more scented candles flaring up her allergies or stinking up her kitchen.

The #1 best gift to give your kids’ teachers? GIFT CARDS. You may think they’re impersonal, but no matter the amount of the gift card or to where it is spendable, the gift card is the perfect teacher gift. Couple the gift card with a handmade card by your kid, and she’ll love you forever.

They may even buy more books for their classroom for your kid to read so you don’t have to buy the damn book yourself as my kid’s teacher did this week. ::ahem::

Friends, you are welcome.

For more of my rantings on being a teacher and the US education system, my friend Joanne Bamberger, aka PunditMom, is sharing them on her new women’s collaborative political site, The Broad Side.

Teachers Have It Easy? Just Ask One.
This? Is Not OK: Teacher Pay Edition

What are you gifting your kids’ teachers? Do you have better ideas than mine? Probably.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda December 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

My mom was one of the best music teachers you’d ever find before she got chronic fatigue syndrome. I could not agree more with the things that you have said. Mom would get gifts from students of all grades and they would fill the back of our car. Unfortunately, so much of it was so tacky or generally useless… and even the things that were nice have cluttered our house.

The thing I agree with most though? NO MORE CANDLES.
An Awesome post on Amanda´s blog … I am too hungover to put much effort into this


2 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] December 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

I felt bad throwing most of the crap away, but it really was just crap the kid’s mom just piled into the cart at the last minute.


3 Miss December 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You’re 10000% right here. My mom brings home a ton of CRAP every single holiday. Giftcards rule.

Also, thanks for the reminder.
An Awesome post on Miss´s blog … On Giving Thanks with @FeedingAmerica


4 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] December 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

Also, when you give a teacher gift cards, she can take her friends and family out to dinner. ::AHEM::


5 Mindy December 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm


Completely agree with everything.

-Second Grade Teacher


6 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] December 8, 2011 at 8:53 am



7 Diana Kimmel December 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hey Ang,
A teacher friend of mine showed me a stack of gift cards she has received and they measured 4 inches tall! Teachers really do love gift cards even if they just use them to show off!
p.s. what time were you writing this blog? Lots of typo’s, just sayin ;/


8 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] December 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm



9 Diana Kimmel December 9, 2011 at 9:10 am

At first I thought you meant to write princess’es instead of prince’s but after reading further I could see you wrote “his” in reference to the child.
In bullet point number 1; fram(e) and 5; do not (want) candles.
You do a great job, these are the first typos I have ever seen. You see I have a sickness with typos (I don’t even know how to spell typos) but I know one when I see it! LOL! ;/


10 Neeroc December 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Good to know. I also figured something consumable like shortbreads or chocolates could go either way, since receiving 15lbs of anything might be a bit of overkill.
An Awesome post on Neeroc´s blog … One month later


11 Patrick December 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm

While i understand how you felt when you are underpaid and yet you have tons of work load, but being a teacher in our country Singapore is little different.

As our governments places so much emphasis on education, teachers here are very well-paid.

Do visit my music blog which is about: rap beats for sale


12 Amit January 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

If your teacher is a sports fanatic, give a pair of sports tickets. Even if it’s to the local high school or minor league team, it’s a night out that he or she doesn’t have to pay for. 🙂

Do visit my music blog which is about: rap beats for sale


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