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December 9, 2014

The 2014 Together Teacher Great Gifts Guide

OK, people, it’s that time again. This winter, how are you thanking a teacher in YOUR life?

The Together Group has assembled a Great Gifts for Teachers List. Whether you’re a parent giving to your kid’s teacher, a teacher looking to shower love upon your grade level, or a principal thanking your teachers, we hope this guide can help you out. Or maybe you’re a teacher hoping to drop some not-so-subtle hints to the non-teachers in your life . . . Hey, it can work for that, too!

The gifts below range from the inexpensive to the more lavish. There are a variety of personalized gifts that require advanced planning, but others that are more “last minute” friendly.

Here goes!

Classroom Touches

  • Succulent plants can sit on a teacher’s desk, don’t require a lot of maintenance, and are usually very cheap.  Anna reports, “Jade plants are traditional good luck New Year’s gifts, so this is a good one for principals looking for a staff gift before winter break!”
  • A small, low light desk lamp to keep the sunshine close.
  • Framed, personalized photos for a teacher’s desk.

Health + Wellness

  • rockin’ water bottle! Valerie says, “It keeps my water cold ALL DAY!!!  Which means I’m not drinking enough if the same water is in there over the course of 10 hours!”
  • Emily confessed her love affair with her mini-crockpot (safety rules permitting):  “With this little beauty, I fill it up with leftovers, plug it in next to my desk when I get to school, and have a hot lunch waiting for me at noon! I’m able to eat in my classroom and not waste time in line for the microwave!”
  • Teacher care pack: Ibuprofen/Tylenol, Band-Aids, mints, plus a favorite soda or candy.
  • A coffee subscription (a must for many!).

Get Personal

  • Personalized pencils or pens kids are always borrowing these, and it’s great to have some sort of marker to prevent them from walking away . . . .
  • Personalized stamps for grading, especially if they’re funny or goofy.
  • Personalized stationary! Kate confides, “I still have my ‘A note from Ms. McCabe’ notepad on my desk! I am down to low numbers so I use it very sparingly!”

Supplies + Gear

  • A poster bag to transport anchor charts without having to roll them up.
  • If paper supply is in short stock, a ream of paper with a bow stuck on top.
  • There’s nothing like a clipboard with everything you need handy at your fingertips!!
  • Magnets! Meghan says, “I was obsessed with magnets because I had 30 different charts on my board at any given moment!”
  • And of course, flair pens in a teacher’s color of choice (my husband always grades in purple!).

Technology

  • This site has tripods for cameras and electronic devices. Really great if you’re trying to get video of your classroom.
  • A small set of inexpensive speakers is always welcome.
  • cheap, personal printer is great for the teacher who doesn’t want to wait in a long line before school.
  • document camera is a great tool, especially for ELA teachers teaching close-reading strategies in this age of Common Core Instruction.
  • desk holder to keep that smartphone in full view.

Thanks to Emily Letourneau, Anna Weiss, Pamela Bookbinder Clarke, Valerie Evans, Emily Schneider-Kryz, Kate McCabe, Kendra Rowe Salas, Meghan Pierce, and Taylor Rifkin for their contributions to this super list.

What would you add? Teachers, any wishes?

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