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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: mommydionne
Date: 06-15-2006, 12:04 PM (1 of 16)
Anyone have ideas regarding good (and quick and useful) teacher's gifts? It's that time of year and I'm out of ideas!!
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: bethm95
Date: 06-15-2006, 12:39 PM (2 of 16)
No sew fleece blankets are always a big hit!! Yes, it's warm outside now, but they can be used as a throw on a sofa, and then when it gets cold, they will be much appreciated!! It only takes about an hour and half to make one. I've given many of these as gifts and they are always loved!!
User: bethm95
Member since: 04-27-2004
Total posts: 16
From: MaryW
Date: 06-15-2006, 12:40 PM (3 of 16)
I was thinking the same thing. There are a couple of teachers in particular who deserve something.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: DorothyL
Date: 06-15-2006, 01:05 PM (4 of 16)
I've heard it elsewhere and my sister-in-law who is a teacher agrees -- they get so much crap from students every year it loses its meaning.
Something for the classroom -- supplies, posters, sticks to hit the kids with (just kidding) -- really has more value than another mug or even a hand made gift.
My sister-in-law said the best gift she received from a student was a small donation in her name to a children's charity.
After all the gifts are not personal. They are just something people feel they have to do.
Just a thought.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: Mom of Six
Date: 06-15-2006, 01:27 PM (5 of 16)
My Dd has always given gift cards to Wal Mart or Target.With a homeade card of course. They can shop for themselves or the classroom. My youngest once gave her 5th grade teacher a poem in a nice frame. It was about teachers being angels. she had that displayed in her classroom & always told the students who it was from. That was the firsty thing she told me was packed for home when she retired & is on display in her home office today (I have seen it). My kids had 1 teacher that didn't even open gifts she donated them to charity. Imagine her surprise when she found out 1 had a $50 gift cert. in it(luckily she found out the day before donating. She always opened after that. We started taking up a collection & getting the teacher a gift card from the class. everyone gave what they could affourd & all names went on the card.
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: SheliaHC
Date: 06-15-2006, 01:31 PM (6 of 16)
I think the contribution to a charity is a great idea!

Recently a lady asked me to help her finish a crocheted granny square afghan. She had made all the squares but needed help putting them together. She had to have it finished in a hurry but was a new crocheter so she knew she couldn't make the deadline. I've crocheted many years so I put it together in just a couple of days. She wanted to pay me but I told her that it was a gift to her. I gave my time as a gift because she was making this as a gift for a very sick person. Several weeks passed and I received in the mail notice that she had given to a charity in my name. That was probably the best payment I've ever received for a crochet project.

User: SheliaHC
Member since: 12-28-2005
Total posts: 95
From: stephi
Date: 06-15-2006, 01:39 PM (7 of 16)
My daughter was in K3 this year and she had two teachers. Her main teacher had a teddy bear that each student got to take home one weekend and write about in his book. SHe liked bears and scrap booking so I made Mr Bear a pair of pants and a hat and I made a CM scrap book cover with a bear print material for his scrap book!! The asst Teacher liked lady bugs and was the one who usually took the kids outside. She had to drag a 1st aid kit with her and it never stayed on the fence and got dirty or stepped on and broken if on the ground, so I made her a lady bug bag to keep it in. Very very simple one mind you. And a little pillow with the left over material. She loved the pillow because it fit perfect on her daughter with DS wheel chair. They both got Micheals gift cards too.

I heard from a few other teachers that they wanted my daughter in thier class, LOL!!

"No body knows what it is that I do until I dont do it"

"if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always gotten"
User: stephi
Member since: 03-17-2006
Total posts: 361
From: HeyJudee
Date: 06-15-2006, 02:35 PM (8 of 16)
Many moons ago I used to be a teacher...taught for 7 years and most of those years I taught kindergarten in a country school. I hated Christmas and the last day of school because most of kids just had to bring something for the teacher. Many of the families really couldn't afford it and I always felt guilty when I would get something from the families that I knew shouldn't have spent money on a gift for me. But saying that...the "end of year" gift that I remember the most was from a poor little guy who's family lived in a house made of boards & you could see thru the cracks. In Canada, that does not make a comfortable house in the winter time! He brought in his gift wrapped in brown paper. It was a small sailboat that would sit on a table. It had a small piece of glass framing his wallet size school photo. I still remember how his face lit up when I thanked him...and it is one of the few gifts that I still have today.
TTFN from
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: SummersEchos
Date: 06-15-2006, 02:45 PM (9 of 16)
Being a retired teacher, end of the school years gifts can be a touchy subject. I myself would rather have gifts cards to someplace I could buy things for my classroom. A close friend one year received so many no sew blankets that I received most of them for my special needs students for them to lay down on. I think a gift card to someplace would be a great gift. Then they can choose what to buy and if they want it for themselves or the classroom. Another thing is just a nice card and letter telling the techer how much you liked her/him, anything special about how they ran the class or did something to help a student is always appreciated. It lets the teacher know she is on the right track, and if they are newer teachers it is a great way for them to build up their own files if they need to try for a new position or even a raise. If you felt the teacher wasn't worth it then don't buy them any gift.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: Sherri
Date: 06-15-2006, 04:03 PM (10 of 16)
Some of my students got me plants to go outside. Those were nice!!!

I teach playschool and feel uncomfortable about the gifts.

Last year we made shopping bags for my kids teachers so they had something to carry home all their otheir gifts in :)

My website
User: Sherri
Member since: 02-07-2001
Total posts: 357
From: Sancin
Date: 06-15-2006, 04:09 PM (11 of 16)
My children have been out of school for a long time and I can't recall everything they gave. Usually I gave a book or a small decoration suitable for the classroom. If I knew the teacher relatively well I gave a book that I enjoyed (small or paperback) and thought he or she would. Sometimes I gave a book that my children enjoyed or would enjoy for their age group for the classroom library or reading aloud. Plants were another thing, with the thinking that end of year business often puts gardens on hold. Looking back on it, and now as I am considerably down sizing, I am not sure about the books. I have a lot of sentimental ones but they just have to go and not always sure where to go. As an adult educator the only gifts we got were from nursing clinical groups which had pretty intense relationships. As students often go hungry I was always sorry when they got me something. Sometimes goofy gifts or poems were more fun. I really didn't like getting, no matter how well meaning, smelly type stuff. It usually went right into the box for the women's shelter.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: mommydionne
Date: 06-15-2006, 05:41 PM (12 of 16)
Well... forturnately no one will go hungry in my house... but an aside here is I am closing my family practice as we are moving and one of my poor ladies who often borders on desparate brought me a little photo album for my kids, she made me :cry:

But... my son's class is the pilot class for french immersion and have all been together for 4 years now and his teacher is amazing!! and my daughter's teacher has been involved with our family for 3 years now. Both are great, but I think I will get gift cards from Staples (teachers also get discounts etc there) and let them pick thier own gift or buy class supplies.

One of my hubbies cousins is a pianist and often plays for events etc. and she is so tired of what she calls TMP (tacky music paraphernalia). Sounds like the same goes for teachers!! :wink:
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: Sancin
Date: 06-15-2006, 09:21 PM (13 of 16)
A thought
Recently I have been giving foodstuffs as gifts to people my age or as house gifts as they can be used and thrown out. I try to find decadent/ luxurious or something hard to get - in fact I usually pick up items at craft fairs, just to have on hand for such events.

Jeanette -I know that nurses often get gifts when patients are discharged. Usually the gift is something for the whole staff, as either ethically or professionally we don't accept gifts individually from patients. When I or a family member have been hospitalized I usually buy a book (surprise!) for the ward library, but I do have access to such books. Do Dr's get gifts and if so of what nature? In internest friend of mine told me he gets a lot of invitations to services! I like the idea of contributions to charitable organization for any occasion.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: pretnichols
Date: 06-15-2006, 10:57 PM (14 of 16)
I like this thread for its simple ideas. Here are a few that I practiced this year and last year:

Christmas & my DD's birthday are the same week, so I asked the teacher for suggestions on book donations to the classroom. Last year I sent money for Scholastic books, since the teacher ordered from them monthly. The books were kept in the classroom, and then donated to the school library. The library puts "book plates" into the books, telling who donated them.

This year the teacher had a very favorite author, so I specifically asked her for a few of the titles she did not have for her classroom. The kids had a project of writing to the author, visiting the website, writing book reports, etc. Instead of treat bags, my daughter donated a couple of books. The kids in the class were thrilled, since they had been reading all the author's books, checking from the teachers library as well as the school library. They were hers to keep at the end of the school year. Not that the library didn't need books, but these were specific to this teacher who added them to her collection.

In early May, we had "teacher appreciation week", with a list of simple suggestions for each day. (stickers, books, supplies, sweet treats, poems or made-up stories, hand-drawn pictures, etc.) My DD's teacher loved bee's (her name was Beatrice), so I went to the dollar store and picked up a notepad, a windsock & something I cannot remember with bees on it. She hung the windsock above the door, and loved the paper. In addition I sent in school supplies, that were left over (all brand new) from previous purchases. (Another long story, but not for today). I also went to "oriental trading" and order pencils with the teachers name & this school year. She in turn, gave each student one of these pencils on the last day of school -- to prepare them for next year. A huge success with the teacher!

Just my $.02. Keep the ideas coming....I have 2 in school next year!

So little time, sew much to do...........
User: pretnichols
Member since: 10-16-2005
Total posts: 342
From: Rosie3197
Date: 06-16-2006, 08:28 AM (15 of 16)
I gave my son's teachers gift cards to Barnes & Noble. I figured they could get what they want...a few magazines, a book, or whatever. I have to admit, I love gift cards myself...right size & right color! Besides, I am promoting reading, right? ;)

My son just finished 3rd grade. His main teacher has been teaching for over 20 years. I saw the many "apple" and "teacher" type things displayed in her room.

User: Rosie3197
Member since: 06-16-2006
Total posts: 1
From: LoveSewin
Date: 06-16-2006, 11:16 AM (16 of 16)
I too did the gift certificate thing. I had a lot of teachers to buy for this year (dd in Kindergarten had a teacher and assistant, plus two classroom aides, and dd in Grade 3 had a teacher in the morning and one in the afternoon).

I made custom thank you cards with my dd's picture on the front and put gift certificates in the 4 teachers cards, and just gave cards to the aides.
User: LoveSewin
Member since: 01-31-2006
Total posts: 103
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