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What Teachers Really Want: Gift Ideas for Christmas--or Any Occasion!

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 11/25/2012

Do you have a small budget and want to buy something nice for your son or daughter's middle school teachers? Here are a few ideas from a real, live middle school teacher.

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    It's that time again--the beginning of the Christmas holiday is approaching and you want to buy a gift for the teacher. Your child has now moved on to the middle school, now, so instead of buying for one teacher, your child now has up to nine teachers. It can be expensive to buy gifts for every teacher. Middle school teachers usually do not receive as many gifts as elementary teachers; however, most certainly appreciate the gifts when they do receive them.

    The following are cheap but thoughtful gifts for the middle school teacher.

    Gifts for the Classroom

    One idea is to buy items for the classroom. This is an inexpensive but thoughtful gift that can benefit both the students and the teacher. Supplies that are wonderful to give as gifts are as follows:

    • markers, scissors, rulers, pencils, pens, colored pencils, craft supplies, three-hole punch, single hole punch, glue sticks, construction paper, folders, wax clips to hang posters on the walls, bundles of bookmarks, party supplies (cups, napkins, plates, plastic spoons and forks), yarn, magnets, candy for the prize box, posters, etc.

    Also, teachers enjoy receiving personal desk supplies, such as stationary, stamps, nice pens, plastic/metal baskets and trays, lotion, hand sanitizer, etc.

    Gift Cards

    Many teachers love to receive gift cards. Gift cards can be given from fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, discount stores or even teacher stores. Many teachers are just as busy as the parents. A night out for dinner is as good as any hand-painted ornament that took hours to complete.

    I.O.U.

    Some middle school teachers are desperate for volunteers to help in the classroom. Many parents stop helping in the classroom once their child moves to middle school. A thoughtful card with a promise of helping chaperone a field trip, or helping with a class project, is a very cheap but helpful gift to a middle school teacher.

    Holiday Cards

    You don't always have to buy a gift! A lovely card with a personal note that tells the teacher that he or she is appreciated is a very inexpensive but thoughtful gift. This is a personal way to tell the teacher to have a "Happy Holiday" and that the teacher is valued.

    When shopping for your child's teacher, do not feel compelled to spend a ton of money. The important thing is to keep it simple and to be thoughtful. Most teachers already have too many ornaments and Christmas decorations. Try to buy your son or daughter's teacher something that is thoughtful and helpful.