Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Teachers Gifts

Today is the last day of school for the boys. It's a half-day.

Every year at Christmas and at the end of the year I struggle with gifts for the teachers. I want to show my complete gratitude for these men and women who are educating my children and nothing seems adequate enough to express it. Then I have to find something affordable enough to have multiples. Eight this year.

This year (after bouncing a million ideas around in my head) I decided on a tote. I wanted to make one for each teacher, but I thought eight might be pushing it with my time constraints. I decided to buy pre-made canvas totes from the craft store and decorate them.

I used my sewing machine's embroidery feature and embroidered the teacher's first name. Then I sewed rick rack along the top seam. I made fabric flowers and sewed each one onto the tote itself.


The verdict in the end is this: They were affordable, yes (three bags for $9.99). The canvas bag itself is nice. The handles are not. They are nylon, not cotton. I wish I would have had some cotton webbing to change them out, but I didn't. And I didn't have the time either. And they were more time-consuming than I expected. I had Joe on flower-cutting duty last night as I assembled the flowers, made covered buttons, and sewed them onto the bags. Would I do it again? Probably not.

My question to you is this: How many teacher gifts do you give? And to whom? I feel like I should give something to their homeroom teacher (because they handle all the administrative stuff for the children, whether or not they have the teacher for any classes) and something to the teachers they have for subjects (not including "specials" like art, music, media, P.E., etc.). Oh, and for any teacher's aides (in Kindergarten). I wish I could give something to each "specials" teacher, the office staff, etc., but I have to draw the line somewhere. (I sent in a large chocolate bar for the bus driver who transports my children to and from school and to Taylor's instrumental band teacher because he taught Taylor how to play the clarinet.) What do you do?

17 comments:

Karyn said...

Don't forget the librarian!!!! :)

Those bags look great. I want to see them even closer, but clicking on them doesn't make them bigger. We need to figure that out already!

You must be so excited to have all six kids home for the next 2.5 months! :)

nikko said...

I just wrote a thank you card to M's classroom teacher. Nothing handmade, nothing for the librarian, bus driver, PE teacher, etc. I'm a slacker.

kirsten said...

ah, see, this is where homeschooling rocks. ;) except we still have/had one in school. pulling him out early made the gifts a moot point.

but we usually do something for his teacher + aides. small-ish. i like your totes!

for princess, we try to remember her piano and dance teachers. speaking of which...

Little Munchkins said...

I was just thinking a couple of weeks ago maybe I should get started on Teacher's Day pressies now when I have time. Though the special day is not for a while longer, I can just put them away for the moment.

I was going to do totes too (nice and simple) and I was also wondering if I should give to only the 2 teachers in kindergarten or to the 2 aides as well. I haven't decided yet.

jessi said...

This was the first year I ran into that - I just gave to the teacher and the two aides (it's pre-school), but he did have a bus driver and I wished that I hadn't forgotten something for her. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say about this.

laeroport said...

Those are great. I do something bigger for their main teacher and something smaller for the others - specials, etc. I think once we get to middle school and have several different teachers I'll nix the big teacher gifts - or go smaller.

atet said...

Those bags are great -- but as for gift ideas I have no clue. My little one is in daycare a few days a week (no siblings so learning to play well with other children where she isn't the center of the universe) and with anywhere from 2 - 4 teachers at one time, I'm just as clueless what to give :0).

hooli said...

Wow! That's really major work. You are a saint.

You know what?!?!? I just did flip flops with a note about finally getting to wear them (they can't wear them in the classroom here).

I was able to get $.99 ones. All I know is that I had a teacher tell me once that if she had a dollar for ever present she ever got with an apple on it, or made from apples, etc. she wouldn't need to be a teacher, she could retire.

amandajean said...

I struggle with teacher gifts, as well. I just gave one gift to my son's home room teacher....my friend heather and I made her a quilt (go figure) with all the kids' self portraits on them. we had the art teacher do it for a class project so it was a surprise for his teacher. I didn't do any other gifts for the helpers. or for the bus driver, for that matter. thinking back, I should have, at the very least, written a thank you card. I'm always a little late with those ideas, unfortunately.

cici said...

i bought myself a several 10 cent linen towels at a garage sale.

i'm such a great teacher, i thought, "hey, why not splurge?" ;)

Jane said...

Those bags look awesome! I am on the receiving end of those gifts and I can tell you that it is a tricky situation!

Some of my all time favorite gifts have been really goofy... a box of chocolates with a few missing! I love wondering if Jason snuck some candies while his mom was busy wrapping! LOL That one still cracks me up. I know his mom would have died! I also like the knick knacks that some of my kinder girls have picked out because they were ***"So beautiful!!" Too cute!

ANother favorite was a ceramic polar bear that a student made me with a very nice note from her parents.

My least favorite gift was a cheese plate from a local gift store. Another teacher called me to let me know that cheese plate was selling for $92! All I could think was, "A twenty something teacher needs anything else but $92 cheese plate!!" It was lovely, but so far from the reality of my life at the time.(or now for that matter!)

I think a small plant and a nice card written by you or the child is nice. Candy is nice. Your totes are lovely and man oh man do we use a lot of bags!

In the end, I mostly save the cards.

utmommy said...

Once again, another great project!

Brenda said...

Hope everyone has a nice summer. brenda

Grosgrain Kathleen said...

WOW! You are a far more generous person than me. You put my half attempt at thank you cards to shame!

melissa said...

What a fabulous idea!

Mirre said...

Woah, all those teachers would drive me crazy!
The totes are cute!

Emily said...

My gurls did not grow up with me so I had none of this requirement to fulfill!