If any of you have school aged children, please take note. Now while I can only vouch for myself, I'm pretty sure I speak for many other teachers when I reveal to you the following hints for choosing their holiday gifts.
Teachers really don't want or need any "teachery" things. I cringe when I see ideas across the blogosphere for "cute teacher gifts" like the teacher's name spelled out in crayons, mugs with catchy teacher sayings (especially the ones inferring that teachers don't do it for the money, blah blah blah) or (God forbid) something else with an apple on it.
At a recent craft fair, I found myself cringing when I saw little signs saying "makes a great teacher gift" on a cake made out of school supplies, or even worse, a little bag of Kleenex, Airborne and hand sanitizer. Um, no please.
Teachers like the same things normal people do: Starbucks, Amazon, iTunes and of course candy. Just keep things useful, simple and sweet. And let us not underestimate the thoughtful gift of cash. My first year of teaching at my current school, one family was so thrilled with their son's progress they gave me four one hundred dollar bills. I've never gotten anything so thoughtful since, but you can bet I will never forget that kid!
Not everyone can afford gifts for teachers but please do SOMETHING even if it's just a handwritten note of thanks for a great year so far. I for one do notice when nothing is said or done during the holidays. It hurts my feelings. After all I am probably spending more hours of quality time with him than you are. So please remember me... thoughtfully.