I stumbled across a post on Facebook, asking one simple question: What do teachers REALLY want for a gift this year? It immediately caught my attention and – like any proper link on Facebook – I clicked on it, expecting “it” to be some type of op-ed piece on what teachers really, truly want.
“It” turned out to be a poll question: a marketing company figuring out what teachers would potentially purchase for their classroom if they were given a certain amount of money. The link was literally asking, “Teachers, what DO you really want for your classroom this year?”
Even though I had a few ideas, I couldn’t in good faith answer the poll. That ship sailed for me about 18 months ago, when I finished up my last year as a teacher and never returned.
I remember the Christmas gifts I would receive from my students (or, to be more specific, from my students’ parents). Handmade cards, created with construction paper and markers; flowers, maybe even a gift card or two. Whatever the token was, I was desperately happy for it, because it meant that the parents took the time to show their appreciation.
I’ve actually been asked this question before: friends with children would get in contact with me, even after I had quit, asking what they should give their children’s teachers for Christmas. I’m not part of a marketing firm, nor do I have any kids (let alone kids in the school system). But the question of what one could potentially give teachers for Christmas – something they’d really, truly want – stayed with me.
If I could, this is what I’d give teachers for Christmas: