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A Wish List for Teachers

by Lori Sciame | December 11th, 2012 | Elementary

Parents of elementary age children often wonder what to give teachers during the holiday season. An apple tree ornament? An inspirational plaque? Or maybe a new pen and pencil set? Sound boring? It is! This year, instead of buying something your child’s favorite teacher will never use, opt instead to ask him or her for a wish list. This list can then be shared with other parents/guardians in the class. The beauty of this system is that many items listed will be low-cost or no-cost. Read on to learn more about what teachers may want for the holidays.

Tissues/Paper Towels

This might seem like a lame gift, but truthfully, elementary schools contain a plethora of viruses which cause noses to run. This means little ones will be sneezing and sniffling all winter long. Giving the gift of several boxes of tissues will certainly help to stop the spread of germs. (Or at least slow them down a bit). Think about adding a couple of rolls of paper towels for those pesky spills that invariably happen in classrooms as well!

Mittens and Hats

One year my child’s teacher asked for good quality used mittens and hats for the holidays. She requested these as several youngsters continually came to school in freezing temperatures with no protective gear. A child’s needs can be different in various locations around the country. Some students may need socks, others toothbrushes. To help a teacher keep the children in his or her classroom comfortable, ask what specific needs should be addressed.

Teaching Supplies

Many school districts suffer from budget cuts yearly. To compensate, teachers will try to make up the cuts by purchasing supplies themselves. Printer paper, markers, glue sticks, pencils, pens — teachers need more of these types of things to make learning easier. He or she may desire a specific item — maybe a pencil sharpener — so don’t be afraid to ask!

Volunteer Time

Don’t underestimate the importance of giving time. Parents/guardians who choose to volunteer in their children’s elementary school help tremendously. In every school there are various needs to be filled, from reading to students to assisting in computer classes. Think beyond only volunteering to go along on the yearly field trip. One or two hours per month of volunteer time will be greatly appreciated by any teacher.

One Large Gift

If a parent/guardian wishes, he or she can coordinate one large gift for the teacher instead of dozens of small ones. This can work well if all the parents know each other, and they have heard of a specific need within the classroom. Again, it is important to ask the teacher what he or she wants for classroom use. In addition, be aware that not all parents may be able to contribute the same amount of money towards the gift, so accept what each person can afford with grace.

Teachers should be recognized for all the hard work that they do. Why not celebrate the holiday season by giving them what they really want and/or need?

  1. Michele says:

    As a former teacher, one of my favorite gifts was a gift card to a bookstore, where I could buy books for the classroom, or a department store, such as Target, where I could buy extra items for the classroom.

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