Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shopping Saturday: Teacher Gift Ideas

Let's just admit that this is going to be a steady thing now, OK? We are all going to shop together on Saturdays. That's all there is to it.

School is starting soon (except for the lucky people in the south who have already started) and I know some of you do a teacher gift for the first day. I totally do because I feel like at some point at the end of the first day they probably sink into their chair, look at the mess left behind by all the students and think, "It's going to be a LONG year.". Maybe not, but I think that happens more so than not. Then I try to think, what would cheer me up?

A basket of AWESOME STUFF, that's what.

Here are some things I've included before, things I'm including this year, and some ideas.

Most every teacher at my kids' elementary school knows I'm a huge book lover so I always include a book. In fact, I almost always include a book with all gifts because I love books. I'm forcing my love of books onto others. This year I purchased this one because I have heard nothing but great reviews for it and I want to read it so badly.

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom--or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it's her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max--this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the-wisest-candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

From recording parents' response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of-special-brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen's methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen's past, a hyper-sensitive -allergy mom,-a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple this is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction--the kind of novel that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious thrill-read for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman's acerbic truths. 

How great does that sound?! It sounds hilarious. Who doesn't need a hilarious start to the year? And it's a new release so they likely won't have it yet so it makes it even better. 
Now, depending on how well you know the teacher, you can also get this book. I usually save this one for Teacher Appreciation Week and get it ONLY if I know the teacher is fun and OK with a few swears. If they aren't, steer clear. 
Teacher Misery perfectly encapsulates the comical misery that has become the teaching profession. Morris’ strange, funny, and sometimes unbelievable teaching experiences are told through a collection of short stories, essays and artifacts including real emails from parents, students and administrators. From the parents who blame their son’s act of arson on the teacher for causing him low self-esteem, to the student who offers to teach the teacher how to sell drugs so she can pay her bills, to the administrator whose best advice is to “treat kids like sacks of shit,” one story is more shocking than the next. An important read for teachers and non-teachers alike-- Teacher Misery paints an amusing and thoroughly entertaining picture of what has become of our education system, without detracting from the overall point that what teachers have to put up with today is complete, utter, unacceptable insanity.

You see how maybe this one isn't for everyone? It's pretty funny and it's one I always forget to order for myself. 

So you can get the teacher a book, pair it with a gift card to a place to get coffee and a breakfast to-go, and/or a gift card to a place that will deliver lunch to the school. Not every place does (especially where I live, we have limited places that deliver) and you know there are some days that you forget your lunch at home but don't have the time to run out to get lunch AND eat it. They can save the gift card in their desk for those days. 

The next idea I will do is start with a cute container or basket and shove it full of useful items. My favorite bins to use are from Thirty One and they are really super handy and versatile: 
 Oh Snap Bin: only $10!
 Carry All Caddy: only $14!

Of course if you get any kind of personalization on them the cost goes up a little, and I've never done that. But these little containers can hold quite a bit, can be used again and who doesn't love Thirty One? But if you are on a small budget or can't wait for something to be shipped, the Target dollar section will always have your back. This year I found a cute little blue tin with a lid that has a little chalkboard label on it I can write on. That's what I'll be putting things in for Jackson's teacher. 
* Travel sized Tylenol or Advil because you know damn well your kid will give them a headache. 
* Travel sized Tums or something because you know damn well eating cupcakes for every birthday is too much and sometimes the staff potluck is questionable. 
* Sticky notes like these because they go through a LOT and it's handy to get more without having to pay for them. 
* A coffee mug that will keep their drinks warm. I really like these ones because they are cute and you can use it as a container for gift cards, pens, etc. 
* A water bottle! I'll be honest, I usually go for a water bottle over a coffee cup because I figure everyone does the coffee mug thing, and everyone at some point strives to drink more water in the day. This one is great because it's double insulated (won't sweat all over their desk) but it also has the nifty thingie to infuse their water with fruit. Kind of a cool option. 
* Either way, include some drink packets! Walmart sells a huge selection of different water enhancers, some that include caffeine even, and they make a good filler for a basket, too. 
* Thinking Putty. Have your kids asked for this yet? It's WAY BETTER than that homemade slime crap. Ugh. This comes in so many sizes, colors, variety. It's a cross between Play Doh and Silly Putty. It's pliable like Play Doh but strong like Silly Putty. You can buy magnetic putty, hyper color that changes color the more you play with it, stuff with glitter, glow in the dark, etc. It's very cool. My kids each have a small tin that fits in their pocket but in my therapist's office she has a large tin and it is really a cool stress reliever. 

* The best pens in the entire world. I love these pens SO MUCH. Truly. I won a pack of them on Facebook and I have thrown out all of my other pens, that's how much I love these. I've got them in my purse, in every pen cup, in my van, in pretty much every drawer in my house next to a pack of sticky notes because I'm always writing myself notes. (Sure, I don't know what they mean later but I'm making the effort!)

And of course, throw in candy. Throw in some planner stickers. A little lotion and some hand sanitizer (Bath & Body Works has those mini ones that are often $1 or at least on sale and you can get yourself some!). Lastly? Include a card wishing them well. Let them know you're able to help in the classroom, on a field trip, and if your kid is being a turd, they are welcome to contact you immediately. Let them know you are a partner in your child's education. 

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