Mike is back and for the first time ever, I think he truly wants to help you. I think Mike is here in an altruistic capacity. On a mission, if you will — to help you NOT SUCK. In particular, he wants you to not suck in teacher gift-giving. And he knows what sucks. He’s been married to a teacher and principal for over 25 years. He’s seen it ALL school-wise, right down to the ugly regifted hand towels.
Read on to find out what not to give your kids’ teachers (unless you want your gift sold at a yard sale or tossed in the trash) and just to be even more helpful, he even offers some suggestions of things that your teacher will NOT think sucks. Wait, no further. Here’s Mike.
I have been married to a teacher and principal for over 25 years. I have seen the “gifts” that you give her. Let me be perfectly clear – she loved and appreciated each and every gift given to her. Me? Not so much. These are MY opinions of the type of gifts given to her – I don’t want her getting “credit” for my awesome and very accurate observations.
Teacher Gifts That Suck Balls.
1. Coffee mugs. Listen, my wife loves coffee as much as the next chick, but we don’t need a different mug for every damn day OF THE YEAR! Go with the assumption that the teacher already has 1000 coffee mugs, because I promise you, she does. She doesn’t need to add yet another “Hug a Teacher” mug to the mix. Now if you want to get her a sweet Yeti tumbler, feel free.
2. Handmade crap. I know you consider your kids budding artists but if no one would buy your dead twig picture frame or painted macaroni earring and necklace set at the local craft fair, what makes you think the teacher wants that? What makes you think that won’t end up in our trashcan? Save that stuff for your family at Christmas – so it can go in their trash cans.
3. Homemade hot chocolate mix. As great as you think your grandma’s homemade 1945 Woman’s Day magazine knock-off hot chocolate recipe is, keep it. It sucks and no amount of Hershey’s syrup will save that crap.
4. Cookies. Teachers usually won’t eat a bunch of cookies because they think it will make them fat, so it usually falls to the husband and the kids to ingest these temptations. I am perfectly fine with store-bought as long as they are good ones (not the cheap 50 cookies for a $1 kind). Save your time and money on baking the homemade ones. As good as they look, I won’t eat them. I have no idea how clean your kitchen is or if your cat is rubbing his balls on your cookie trays when you aren’t looking.
5. Movie gift cards – Not bad – we can take the family to a kiddie movie (otherwise known as taking a nap) but movie gift cards mostly just get a “meh” from me. I’d like to go see a grown-up movie but when do you think we have the time to punt the kids, go to a theater and actually sit through an entire movie? And if we did we would be asleep before the previews ended.
6. Hand towels – Really? I’m betting $100 you’re just re-gifting some ugly ass hand towels that someone gave you last year. Keep them, wipe your ass with them and throw them away.
7. Soup in a jar. You thought it would be cool to give a hand-decorated mason jar filled with all the “inexpensive” crap used to make a soup? Yeah, great idea – now I will only have to make a trip to the store to go get chicken, chicken broth, salad, bread, etc. Your gift just cost me $30 extra plus I also have to make it. Swing aaaand a miss.
8. Apples. Please! You wouldn’t let your kid eat an apple they got trick or treating, you think I would let my wife eat one you gave her? Not going to take a chance on my precious Snow White.
9. Whose bag is this? Bags are great for teachers to carry their books, classroom notebooks, lunch, etc. But, like a coffee mug, they only need so many. If your teacher is new, by all means get her a monogrammed bag. If she’s been teaching for 20 years, then stop …. she’s tired of trying to make new friends with the same initials as her so she can pawn those off.
So I’ve told you what sucks, how about the inside track of what is great to get your teacher?
1. Wine is always a winner – and if you give it to her with a dash of humor, a little recognition of what she’s gone through for your “spirited” little kiddos, even better. Buy these funny Honest Wine Labels for Teachers (you can buy them individually or as a set), print them out and attach them to whatever wine you pick out. If you think it might not be copacetic to give your teacher wine, then wrap it up in a box and add the special free gift tag Toulouse & Tonic provides that says “This gift is best opened at home.” Then you’ll be mom of the year.
2. Restaurant gift cards. Hey, we have to eat and anything that puts free food in my mouth and doesn’t require me to prepare a meal is a winner.
3. Starbucks gift cards. Like I said, she loves coffee. And it’s even better (for me) when someone else is fronting her $8.00 Venti, soy milk extra hot skinny latte with no whip.
4. Be a room volunteer for a year or a few months or even just a month. I saw the immense number of hours my wife put into her job each week. It is insane. Just having someone around to help her to do some of the things she needed done to properly teach YOUR child would be a blessing to her. The gift of time is a great gift to give.
5. See? I turned out pretty good! In my opinion this is the coolest “gift” you can give a teacher – go back and see your teacher. I’ve always had great admiration for the impact my wife made on kids. The fact that they still remembered her and thanked her for being their teacher is a very special thing. No one ever comes back to my office and thanks me for teaching them how to create a report or remembers me from that awesome presentation I did. My impact on the world is zip. (Toulouse says, “I disagree. You’ve made a lot of people laugh and that’s not nothing. We all need to laugh. See more of Mike’s contributions to the world here)
Teachers? They’re doing some of the hardest and most important work in the world. This year, make sure you thank them in a way that rocks cuz we all know you would never give your kid’s teacher a gift that sucks!
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