kids made it so: a simple gift for teacher

we usually give consumables as teacher gifts. i imagine that most teachers are inundated with “stuff” each year, so our go-to gifts are usually gift certificates to teacher supply stores, their favourite package of tea or coffee, or something along those lines. something they’ll use up and not be burdened with having to store, donate, or toss (gasp! they don’t do that do they? i think some might.). we always include a handwritten note of thanks. my friend tara recently had some great teacher gift ideas as well.

here is another little idea if the kids want to give something handmade. we got some of these little birdhouses from the dollar store.

the kids painted them, and we filled paper bags with seed.

painted wood bird feeder and seeds

that’s it, nothing fancy. they’re all set to go.

such a small gift really, for such important work. i know that teachers aren’t always found within the confines of school walls, or defined by a piece of paper that says they can teach. that certainly sets them apart and i know many have worked hard for that piece of paper.  yet the best teachers i remember are the ones who didn’t just teach well, but who also inspired me to learn more, and be more…

who were your most influential teachers? i’d love to hear your stories. i’m feeling reflective as we’ve reached the cusp of the school year and are ready to tumble in towards summer vacation…

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15 Responses to kids made it so: a simple gift for teacher

  1. Tara Benwell says:

    If only you could have posted this on the weekend! I am so in love with this idea, Ana! The photos are so perfect as always. I bet you can guess what Jaks made for her teacher. Yep, she sewed a felt pocket. It’s blue with a button and a pink ribbon so she can hang it from a desk drawer. We filled it with stickers that she can use in class next year. Last week, just an hour or so before Joey graduated from preschool we remembered that we forgot to make/buy 3 teachers’ gifts. In the hour before it was time to go to the concert we made acrostic poems for all three of them. I told him a letter “B” and gave him a hint, “better than” and he completed the sentences (“Better than a marker”). We also included cards with an offer of a parent reference whenever necessary. He painted and stickered them up and we rolled up the poems in pretty ribbon. Ta-da. 3 gifts. Still…I wish we had made bird houses. Maybe next year!

    • iMadeItSo says:

      thank you tara. i should have shared sooner, but i barely got the cards written in time this morning! :-) jaks is too cute with all her sewing! and nice save with joey’s acrostic poem, i’m not sure i would have been so quick thinking. oh, and our recent chat about mrs.c got me thinking about all the great teachers i’ve had along the way…

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  3. Nancy S says:

    My friend is a teacher and I suspect that many of the presents I recieve from her are re-gifted. I don’t think she tosses any of them out. She does love feeding the birds so a gift like this would make her really happy. It’s a great idea.

    I’ve had many influential teachers during my schooling years – all in different ways. In college one teacher finally, finally made me understand algebra. And I was never intimidated by math again. All through HS I had horrible math teachers but, being the good girl that I am, I blamed myself for my failure to understand it. When I got to college this wonderful teacher made it all so clear. I owe her my bookkeeping career. And she has no idea.

  4. ~*~Patty says:

    maybe simple but oh so thoughtful and sweet
    my Mom was a preschool teacher for many years … back in the day … lots of kids must have picked out the gifts themselves … she had the most fantastic gaudy brooch/pin collection … sadly I think she got rid of most of them … I do believe they have become collectible!

    You said it so well … some of our best teachers ARE the most difficult people in our lives … there is a lesson in everything!

  5. bianta says:

    Uh, oh, I promise I am a lovely math teacher! I love teaching, I have so far had no other job (many wonderful jobs within) in 24 years. I am a young 47 year old and I still love my job.

    I teach high school and don’t get many gifts and totally beside myself and so grateful when I do get a present. Who doesn’t love presents? And I love handmade, especially cards, and especially…CHOCOLATE! Never, ever underestimate the power of chocolate!

    Funny enough, my favorite teachers are books from powerful writers: The Wheel on the School (the most wonderful children’s book ever, esp. if read aloud), The Life of Pi, Fugitive Pieces (Canadian), Cloth Girl (Ghanaian/British), Byron Katie, Lovely Bones, anything by Amy Tan…words that just paint the most wonderful pictures.

    Cheers from Lofer, Austria, Amy (on her way home, YIP!)

  6. Adorable! As a teacher, I absolutely love this and would be ridiculously pleased to receive it. I teach high school, which tends to get overlooked in the “teacher’s gifts” realms, which I’m, honestly, sometimes thankful for. A lot of my students bring me Christmas cookies, which are delicious, but dangerous because I get so darn many. My favorite gifts are the thoughtful notes of thanks from a student, especially those that come at random, unexpected times. They make me absolutely appreciate the profession. And last year, I did have a student buy me a coffee maker for my classroom, and some gourmet coffee. That was pretty fantastic too :) Thanks for sharing and giving a shout out to all the great teachers out there :)

  7. Jess says:

    what a great idea :)

  8. iMadeItSo says:

    thank you all for the responses and sharing your memories & experiences. i’m enjoying reading all of these.

  9. Angie says:

    That’s a great idea! So far in Maddie’s 6 years of schooling, I’ve only been impressed with one-her first grade teacher. We got her a little book of quotes and Maddie wrote something inside. Oh, also a beta fish-that was her grandmother’s idea, lol. “Thanks for being my teacher-now here’s something you have to keep alive!” She loves animals, though so I think it was fine.

  10. erin says:

    What a lovely post and what a great idea. I’m now thinking that the birdhouse might be a good loot bag idea for my son’s birthday party. I was also thinking about giving each child a small plant.
    Thanks so much.

  11. Julie says:

    My sister is a teacher and does not like homemade consumable gifts – she says that she doesn’t know where they come from and how they were handled! Which is just fine by me! Because she always sends them my way! And I enjoy every single bite! I love the bird feeder idea!

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