Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Do these apple earrings make my earlobes look big?

I was employed as an elementary teacher before I began my glamorous job as a stay at home mom.

Full of glamour. For instance, yesterday, I got some color put on my nails.

When I scraped the play-doh off the floor. It was blue.

There are many wonderful things about being a teacher. Obviously, touching the life of a child should rank as number one. Other perks include: your WORK day ends by 3:30 (however, if you are a teacher, you know the working can last until midnight if you let it), two-week winter breaks, a week off in spring, 2 1/2 months off in the summer, the uncanny ability to know when each and every holiday/special day occurs, and a ton of good food in the lounge.

With each holiday usually comes parties and gifts.

Ah, the gifts.

Oh my word, the gifts. Quite the variety.

If you have never been a teacher, let me tell you some of the gifts that the typical teacher receives each Christmas/end of the year (I'll let you judge what are good and what are future "re-gifts". Let me just say that there are very few on the list that have actually lasted longer than a day in my house before it was lovingly placed in the gargage sale box):

  • lotions/soaps
  • candles
  • picture frames
  • candy
  • homemade foods
  • coffee mugs
  • jewelry (not the kind with diamonds, usually the kind in fruit-shapes)
  • stuffed animals
  • homemade cards
  • gift cards
  • white elephant type gifts

Now that I am a mom and in the role of "gift giver" I am finding that it is not an easy role to be in.

Nora is in Mother's Day Out and has two teachers. Both are wonderful and really seem to love Nora (which earns them a ton of points!). Nora and Elyn both attend a Mother's Day Out program at our church for an hour a week (while I am in Ladies Bible Class). I realize it is JUST an hour, but it is once a week and they take good care of them. Also, they have Sunday school teachers...sweet, sweet ladies who forfeit attending an adult class to teach my girls about Jesus.

Soooooooo, I want to show these teachers how much I appreciate them with a little something at the end of the year.

And this is where you come in...in the form of help.

I am in need of creative, inexpensive gift ideas. Keep this in mind while you are letting your creative juices flow:

  • I own an embroidering machine, I can use that
  • I am using the envelope system (see previous post) and we do not have an envelope labeled "teacher gifts", so it needs to be inexpensive
  • I know, I know, I could just write them a letter and tell them how awesome they are, but I would like something to go with it.
  • I DO NOT want to cook something. I get nervous when I give a food gift; will they like, will they judge me for my cooking abilities, will they throw it away, will they tell all of the other teachers how great/awful it was?
  • I want to get more interesting than gift cards.

Okay creative friends, help me out. If I get a poor amount of comments, I will repost this closer to the end of school. Thank you!


Lane said...

Um let me see, I would like...

LOL! :) You don't have to get us anything!!

Keisha said...

Oh goodness! I'm glad you posted this. The thought of gifts had not crossed my mind. Poor Violet's teachers.

Rachel said...

Okay - My mom is starting a business as we speak on the side of fun little gifts!! Tomorrow I will post pictures of what I am giving the teachers at Sonshine school from Claire and O that she made for me for Easter. She is starting a blog this week, so I will post that too when she is up and running! Right now she is making really cute little keepsake boxes that are embellished with feathers and jewels etc. She will make anything custom or whatever price...if you are interested, we can talk at church =)!

Mary Jo said...

what about embroidering cute verses or initials (or whatever) on white linen towels for the kitchen or bath. I remember those gifts from my years teaching. such a sorry waste of money!!!

winbe said...

I was thinking something along the lines of MJ. My step mom embroidered Christmas items (ie Santa, ornament, etc.) on kitchen towels for me and my sister-in-law this past Christmas and I loved them. I'm kind of cheesy though and like to put out seasonal kitchen towels.

Tesney said...

I am giving C's teachers insulated lunch bags with their initials monogrammed on them for Teacher's Appreciation Day. I know it's probably something they already have, but those things get gross after a while and you can always use a spare. I got myself one too because I use it to haul around all of my diabetic stuff.

Other stuff I've done: Starbucks gift cards, this awesome Aveda relaxation oil that you put on your temples...OMG it's the bomb, and holiday themed socks. OK, kiddng on the last one.

Kim said...

A tote with their name or initial embroidered on it

Kathryn said...

I like the idea of something monogrammed -- what about one of those water bottle holders? My mom is a teacher too, and several years ago she and the other teachers asked that students give gifts to the classroom instead of to the teachers -- things that the budget wouldn't cover, but were still needed (new scissors, fun papers for crafts, etc.). The kids loved showing off the gifts they'd given to the room. Oh - and never underestimate the power of baked good. Cupcakes are always a hit!

Holly Aytes said...

I do that too and it gets expensive b/c with school alone we have 4 teachers, 2 teacher aids, an awesome bus driver and 2 girl scout leaders and this is their last year to lead Taylor's troop :( We bought cute glass jars from a local draft store and the kids made "puppy chow" b/c you can't mess that up and the kids can help. We also have done small gift cards to Starbucks ($5) for teacher helpers. I normally save $5 a month (starting at the beginning of the school year) and then I have a budget..I don't normally spend all of the money I have saved. The dollar bin at Target has also given me some great things, oh yeah and if you have a Bath and Body works they have small "sample" size bottle of lotions especially the new fragrances for $1 all the time. Just got some yesterday to send in the 1st week of May as it is Teacher Appreciation Week. I will try to send in something small each day for my older 2's teachers but all these will be in the $1 amount...notepad, sticky notes, lotion, new pens, etc.

abc said...

My sis-in-law has a little home monogramming business. I've had her monogram intials or what-not on kitchen towels. I've also received these as little happy gifts from her and I personally can't get enough. If you were to buy them they would be around $15! So,in itself it's a great gift. I noticed some solid color towels in the Target $ spot the other day. If you wanted to add a little something throw in some kitchen utensils (can't get enough) or some yummy-smelling foam pump soap from Bath& Body Works (who doesn't like that?) And let me say as a former art teacher I was often overlooked with teacher gifts, which made the ones I got that much more special to me. Nora's teachers will appreciate anyting.
Ok, another thought: at Brady's preschool it is Teach Apprec week (thanks to the geniuses who scheduled that the same week as Easter parties and the week before Spring Break!) They asked us to do certain things on certain days. One day they had each child bring in one fresh flower. Once all the children brought in a flower they had a beautiful bouquet! could you coordinate something like that? I also had B draw pics and dictate a card. I prompted her with questions about what she liked about her specific teacher, what were they good at, etc. Her thoughts were fun (You are good at doing things I can't do.) I hope the teachers found them as sweet as I did.

Amy said...

Add a few therapists and imagine the gifts I have to get! So, one year my mom helped me make these really cute aprons from a dishtowel. We did Christmas aprons and everyone I gave them to loved them, tells me how they still wear them. It's a super easy Martha Stewart idea. I can find it if you want it. I think it would be way more awesome monogrammed.

TeamBortzfield said...

I just got the cutest notepad at Wal-Mart it was 2.49 and it is a 5x5 square with green and white polka dots.
You can buy a box of old fashioned hankies and embroider an initial, I would love this and it's so Southern!

Sandi said...

For our boys' Sunday School teachers, we have just given $5 coupon to a frozen custard place in town -- inexpensive, but just a little something to let them know we're thankful.

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