Plants. Christmas and desk ornaments. Coffee mugs that read "World's Best Teacher." What do these items have in common?
I have it on good authority that they're all gifts that make teachers groan. I know they would never groan out loud or admit that they're less than 100% grateful for the effort (which they are.) But, there are some things you can just have too many of, as delightful as coffee mugs can be.
Did you know that the average teacher spends hundreds of dollars out of their already small salary every year on books and supplies to educate our kids? If you thought all those group projects and science experiments were paid for by schools with limited budgets, you'd be mistaken.
Gift certificates for classroom books, grocery stores, stores that carry school supplies, or the cash that we spent on the aforementioned coffee mug would be much more welcome and useful to the teachers I know. This year the girls and I made what we hope won't be a gift that elicits a groan ... a stationary set that holds a gift certificate to a local bookstore and some little thank you cards she can send to all the plant-givers.
And, of course, the best gift a teacher can get is to know that their hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated all year long.