Of course, as a secondary teacher, mine were often less handmade, and more boozy, which helped, but I can honestly say that everything was appreciated. Here are some tips and hints on teacher present buying, from the perspective of a teacher. I'll start with some of the best gifts ever, that I got. You'll note that none of them cost much.
Top Ten gifts received by me, as teacher.
- Absolutely best ever gift: a letter from a student thanking me and saying how i'd helped. Also copied to the Head. Thankyou X.
- A huge hunk of cheddar. Probably shoplifted from Morrisons on the way in, and lobbed over with a "Ere you are Miss". Much appreciated by me and the staff party, and a lovely thought from a pupil not much taken with thought for anyone.
- A fridge magnet made by a Year 7 student, consisting of a slab of plastic stuck onto a magnet with "You are my best teacher" written on it in Tippex. I kept this for years until it fell apart.
- Some really large pajamas (my maternity leave co-incided with Xmas) from my form group, along with a note that said "My mum says these will be handy even after pregnancy, because you stay fat and the weight never comes off".
- A sparkly, really, really sparkly pink fake cubic zircona keyring in the shape of a letter "M". Because my name was "Miss".
- Any wine. Really.
- Home made biscuits wrapped up in paper which had a picture of me on it. Year 7's can be cruel. Yes, my heels were high and my suits severe, but I really didn't think my butt was that big. Biscuits were lovely, I ate them anyway, despite the pictoral evidence, picture stayed on my wall in class for years.
- Pens. Especially red ones.
- Bath stuff. Yes, I know it's a cliche, but I could keep my bath going for half the year on my Xmas booty and I really appreciated each and every smelly. Although I admit the luminescent ones with no ingredient list went to the PTA raffle. Buy small, cheap, but good and hypo allergenic.
- A set of socks to be kept in my drawer because one very observant tutee noticed I always forgot to have spares, and after walking to school from the train station I often had wet feet till break. Ditto tights.
So, a few tips.
- Personal. Yes, let them draw the card / gift. This year we made the cards and let son (4) write in them. I've seen some lovely plain baubles that would be great decorated by your kid. Letters are fab. Something the kid has made is NOT second best, it's the tops!
- Useful. I say to you again: Pens. You have no idea how many pens teachers get through. And how tight the person with the key to the stationary cupboard is.
- Self pleasuring. Your teacher is knackered. Anything that involves a small bit of joy for them is heaven. So yes, bubble bath, scented candles, food, wine, chocolate.
- Genuine. Don't fake it. Don't feel you have to. I never ever expected anything from any of the kids, and every gift was a bonus. I do not subscribe to PTA's that ask for donations for presents. I don't think every teacher deserves one, I know not every parent can afford it. Think simple. Free, cheap, personal, if the kid themself wants to.