Holiday Shopping Guide: Teachers

December 15, 2009 at 1:14 pm 4 comments

Teachers, raise your hand if you get more adorable little teacher-themed doodads at Christmastime than you could possibly ever find a use for.

As a secondary teacher (and teaching in a less well-to-do district this year) I don’t see this as much. But if my kids (or rather, their parents) are going to spend money on me for a present, I’d rather it be something that I can put to good use in the classroom. Wouldn’t you?

One of my favorite online bloggers (and lo, my shame boils over, for I never actually get beyond my RSS aggregate to comment on these sites – I need reformation) by the bloggy name of Mrs. Chili writes weekly lists of ten things at her personal site, The Blue Door. (She does some great stuff at her edublog, too, but I can’t remember whether she tries to keep them separate, so I won’t link to it here.)

Anyway, her most recent “Ten Things Tuesday” list was one of practical gifts she wouldn’t mind finding under her tree this year. I kept finding myself saying “me too!” so I thought I’d do something similar, even though it’s getting late for the elves. This is a list of things that Santa Claus ought to bring teachers – and if any parents are looking for good ideas for presents for teachers, they might find some better ideas here than admittedly adorable but less-than-useful teachery decorations.

School Supplies

  • PENCILS – #2, of course, and preferably cute ones, because even the high school kids like sparkly or Disney pencils – personalized ones, like the ones at Explicitly Yours, are the best!
  • BULK BALLPOINT PENS, because goodness knows we can’t expect the little dears to remember their own pens
  • CORRECTING PENS – nice ones for teacher, and cheap ones for the students to borrow
  • POST-IT NOTES in a variety of sizes and colors are a teacher’s (at least this teacher’s) water wings in a churning wave pool of disorganization
  • DRY-ERASE MARKERS, bold colors, Expo brand. They’re worth it.
  • PAPER – looseleaf, colored copy paper, art paper, large white paper, unwanted rolls of fax paper…
  • ART SUPPLIES, especially the always-popular colored pencils
  • MOTIVATORS, like stamps and stickers, because I’ve yet to encounter an age group that didn’t light up with the stamp pad comes out
  • DATA STORAGE. Blank CDs, portable hard drives, and especially flash drives. I can always put a flash drive to good use – even the cheap promotional ones you sometimes get at trade fairs.
  • FREEBIES FROM CONFERENCES. Speaking of trade fairs. The pencils, pens, erasers, etc. that you pick up when your boss sends you to a conference will be put to good use in a classroom. Be careful of what they advertise, though. 🙂

Germ Fighters

  • KLEENEX. If your classroom is anything like mine, you’ve still got enough for now, but will run out quickly once midwinter hits
  • HAND SANITIZER – not the foaming kind (kids, even 11th graders, like to play with it too much) but the biggest bottles you can find. CostCo, anyone?
  • ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES for desks and other surfaces
  • AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS with a germ-zapping UV light can really cut down on sick days
  • VITAMINS or Emergen-C. (I like adult chewable multi-vitamins because I’ll actually remember to take them! I’m totally a kindergartner.)
  • THERAFLU, but not the kind with the menthol flavor, because that’s just disgusting
  • LOTIONS – not actually a germ-fighter, but this seemed like the best category. Kids go through lotion pretty quickly, and will happily use up the weird scents that your great-aunt always sends you.

Foodstuffs (to have on store for students without lunch)

  • JUICE or cheap soda, in single serving containers – the kind that doesn’t need refrigerating
  • RAMEN/noodle cups
  • CANDY (individually wrapped)
  • NONPERISHABLE or slow-perishable foods, in bulk

Gift Certificates

  • BOOKSELLERS (used is often better)
  • COFFEE (or smoothies, or your teacher’s non-alc poison of choice)
  • FOOD – having a nice dinner every once in a while can really help a teacher out!
  • MASSAGE, anyone?

Magazine Subscriptions

  • Time or Newsweek (both of which, I believe, have kids versions)
  • InStyle, Teen Vogue, etc.
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Regional sports interests (snowboarding, surfing, rodeo, etc.)
  • O, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple
  • National Geographic for Kids
  • Ethnic interest
  • crafting and building (scrapbooking, cars, etc.)

Used (or New) Books

  • BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES (but not movie novelizations)
  • IN-DEMAND FICTION, like copies of the Twilight books
  • GRAPHIC NOVELS, but check them first – some are very graphic, in a different sense of the word
  • ILLUSTRATED TRIVIA BOOKS or books of world records
  • BEHIND THE SCENES of movies, television shows, etc.
  • CURRICULAR BOOKS – extra copies of the books that students read in school are always helpful

Technology and Bigger Ticket Items

  • DESKTOP PAPER CUTTER (the sliding style is safer than the guillotine style for a classroom)
  • CLICKERS – hey, a girl can dream!
  • iPOD DECK (and hey, a dedicated iPod would be nice, too)
  • COLOR PRINTER with affordable ink
  • TASER. Ha ha! Just kidding. (No, really. Taser.)

So, what did I forget, teachers? Or alternatively, what kind of unwanted presents have you received?


Entry filed under: FUN STUFF.

Sans Guidelines You’re Bluffing!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mrs. Chili  |  December 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Oh my GOD! SEE? You don’t come to my site, so I NEVER KNEW YOU WERE OUT HERE! Now I do, though (thank you, WordPress pingback!), so good luck getting rid of me!

    Okay – this?

    TASER. Ha ha! Just kidding. (No, really. Taser.)

    TOTALLY cracked me up. I’ve taken to whacking kids on the heads with their own books (it’s actually quite satisfying) but tasers? MAN, would THAT be fun! A good zapping now and then might do them some good!

    I’d add a DVD player to the list (and it can be one of those $30 numbers from Target, just so long as it’s got a remote), Beyond that, though (well, that and SmartBoards, of course, and lots of money for professional development courses), I’d say you’ve got it all covered.

    (oh, and by the way, I don’t keep my teacher and personal blogs separate; you can find me on either, and sometimes I like through from one to the other, so it’s no big deal…)

  • 2. Stixen  |  December 17, 2009 at 10:06 am

    “(I like adult chewable multi-vitamins because I’ll actually remember to take them! I’m totally a kindergartner.)”

    …I have gummi adult vitamins. It’s the only way I remember to take ’em – cause they’re more like candy than anything else 😉

  • 3. Mrs. Bees  |  December 17, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Dangnabbit, I meant to say gummi vitamins. Chewables aren’t that good. The gummy ones, though – they taste like gummy bears!

    Adult consumers of gummy vitamins, unite!

  • 4. Kit  |  January 8, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Why didn’t I read this before Christmas? I have plenty of ideas for your Easter basket, I guess.


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

I am striving to maintain anonymity on this blog so that I may more freely interact with my fellow edubloggers. If you know who I am, please help me protect my anonymity in your comments. I use pseudonyms or initials for everyone I write about to preserve their anonymity as well.

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