At the Londonderry School in Susquehanna Township, parents are always generous around the holidays.
“Everything from candles to spa treatments to quilts to tooks…all kinds of wonderful things,” said teacher Jane Allis.
“Somebody was kind enough to send me flowers,” recalled teacher Marilyn Klein. “Not bring it to school, but sned me flowers. And that was awesome.”
One year, when there was no state budget in place, Caroline Shultz asked parents to buy classroom items in lieu of gifts.
“Rather than giving it to me, it went right to the classroom and their child had the advantage of using it as well,” she said.
Allis’ favorite gifts have been notes from the children themselves. She also appreciated a large tote bag that was decorated with the handprints of her 4-year-olds.
“It does take me back and when they see me carrying it, it’s really special for them to see that I’m using the bag with their 4-year-old handprints on it,” Allis said.
An informal poll of other teachers in the Midstate shows the top pick by far is small gift cards, perhaps for something like coffee, accompanied by a personal note. This prevents duplication, since teachers often get the same types of gifts, like hand creams and candles.
“I think we have a full cupboard, so we don’t need anymore coffee mugs. I can say that,” Shultz said. “Anything that has an apple, A+ teacher, I have been a teacher for 20 plus years. I have enough of that stuff. Although it’s very appreciated, I’m sure for a newer teacher, as a veteran like myself it’s not the greatest gift to receive at this point in my career.”
“We always appreciate whatever it is,” Klein said. “It’s the thought that counts.”
Many area teachers were divided over the idea of food, especially cookies, as gifts. Some teachers may be counting their calories, and if they get too many, some of the baked goods may end up in the trash. Other teachers love receiving food, so it’s important to pay attention to the tastes of the individual person.
If your budget does not allow for a teacher gift, educators say a thank you note goes a long way.