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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:56 AM

Why gift cards really are the perfect gift for teachers


Why gift cards really are the perfect gift for teachers

Cate I am SOOOO excited to buy Mrs. S a Christmas gift.

Me Giving IS exciting! What are you planning to buy for her?

Cate A hamster! She is going to be like, “OMG this is the best gift ever!”


~~more @ link~~

http://www.chicagonow.com/moms-who-drink-and-swear/2012/11/why-gift-cards-really-are-the-perfect-gift-for-teachers/


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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why gift cards really are the perfect gift for teachers (Original post)
me b zola Nov 2012 OP
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #1
iemitsu Nov 2012 #2
Gabi Hayes Nov 2012 #3
Igel Nov 2012 #6
iemitsu Nov 2012 #10
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #7
iemitsu Nov 2012 #11
lindysalsagal Nov 2012 #14
iemitsu Nov 2012 #15
lindysalsagal Dec 2012 #16
iemitsu Dec 2012 #17
AngryOldDem Nov 2012 #4
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #8
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #5
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #9
iemitsu Nov 2012 #12
iemitsu Nov 2012 #13
lindysalsagal Dec 2012 #18

Response to me b zola (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:59 AM

1. Hand sanitizer. Seriously.

Boxes of kleenex or pencils, too. Best present is a letter to put in the teacher's file on how that teacher has made a difference for your child (with specifics if you can think of any--a particular project, a time your child came home excited about something the teacher said or did, etc.). That letter gets pulled out on bad days, let me tell ya.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:02 AM

2. Excellent suggestion, especially now since teachers

are having to demonstrate their value, to the teaching profession and to the specific programs in their buildings, in ways that counteract the use of their student's standardized test scores to evaluate their success.
Under our new contract, every teacher has to keep a running list of extracurricular activities, tutoring opportunities, clubs one advises, and other volunteer efforts made, to enrich the experiences of students in their classrooms. They also need to keep a list of professional development courses and workshops they attend, and record any other activities they participate in, which might enhance their teaching and the learning of their charges. We are also expected to call each parent several times during each semester and keep a record of when and why the calls were made. These quantifiable measurements are supposed to provide accurate reflections of our pedagogical value and our success working with students.
Documentation of the above mentioned aspects of our work days, complied by each teacher, every year, will be used to weigh our value, when buildings need to cut staff.
Its seems very likely that teachers will soon have to obtain "letters of recommendation" from parents and students, as part of the evaluation process so your suggestion is spot on. Not only do teachers thrive on anecdotal evidence of their teaching successes but this sort of evidence may determine if a teacher even gets to continue in their chosen profession.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:34 AM

3. you'll love this:

we are now "voluntarily" wearing pedometers to see how far we walk every day!!

it's ostensibly part of a "fitness competition" between district schools

no joke

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Response to Gabi Hayes (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:13 AM

6. Yup.

Then I read that insurance companies won't be allowed to offer variable rates for a number of things.

But they will be allowed--even encouraged--to offer lower insurance rates to people who lose weight, reduce cholesterol, or take other measures (as recommended) to make themselves healthier. Such as walking.

Wellness. It's the new Spanish Inquisition.

Government pressures insurance companies who pressure employers who pressure employees.

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Response to Gabi Hayes (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:29 AM

10. And let me guess, those who walk farthest, fastest

are considered the best teammates and hardest working (most inspiring) teachers.
Will you be recording the distance you've walked and your end-of-day, heart-rates so these measurements can be included in your evaluation?
The athletic competition idea was probably dreamed up, hoping that teachers would be so excited about the weight loss that they would not equate it with the erosion of salaries and increased work-loads.
I hope all that walking is helping you to, "work smarter not harder".
Hope you have enjoyed your holiday too. Good luck with the rest of the year.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:20 AM

7. We haven't gone that far. Yet.

We do have to document all parent contacts and print those out and turn them in occasionally. I always keep every note a student writes me and every note a parent writes, mostly for the bad days, but just in case I really need them, too. I already have to have a PD file and a special binder for PD on anything I'm doing to learn how to teach Spanish and AP better. The usual one is a pretty box I refuse to organize, and the other one I have to put together today in prep for all the PD I'm going to in the next month.

It's getting ridiculous, though. I miss the days when principals were in the building enough to know what was going on without having to make us do their jobs for them.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:28 PM

11. Yeah, me too.

Teaching used to be fun and organic. Curriculum choices could be made according to the needs and interests of the students not the requirements of the test. We could promote, and model, a life-long learning approach toward knowledge acquisition, understanding that there is always more to learn, rather than the timed-test model which suggests that all one needs to know about a subject can be learned before the test.
Students are conforming to the new reality but they are not happy about it. They are increasingly stressed about their school work and their futures.
Teachers, too, are more stressed out. The success of our students, on these exams, has become the litmus test for our value.
The best teaching moments and the most learning takes place when the tests are forgotten.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:39 AM

14. Teacher, here. The new teacher abuse is just a ruse: They'll try to get our tenure and fire the

most expensive of us, and use all of this b.s. crap we've all been filing as an excuse.

Most expensive = experienced=old. As long as boards of ed are elected every 2 years, they'll want to keep taxes down, and the best way to do that is to limit teachers to 6-8 years. You can't even pay off your student loans by then: 6 years of college=$300K.

I never thought I'd say it, but I'm glad I can get out in 3 years and retire. I love the kids, but the administrative b.s. just isn't worth it.

Note to parents who are reading here: If you don't help public schools survive, you'll all be paying triple the amount for a limited private school education. That also means you'll pay retail for everything the school doesn't have: Music, art, sports, media, theater, dance, languages, science labs....

Think your taxes are high now? Wait about 5 more years when your public schools are so bad, you'll continue to pay those taxes PLUS outrageous private tuition.

Good luck with that. Just keep blaming teachers and firemen and policemen for all of the economy's problems. See where that gets you.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:27 AM

15. I'm on about the same time line as you are for retirement and

completely agree with your assessment of the situation in public schools.
This is the result of 40+ years of republican sponsored greed.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:56 PM

16. I hope you make it: I'm music, so I'm holding my breath for the next 3 years...

good luck

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:40 AM

17. I'll hold my breath too, for both of us.

I teach history and art (drawing and painting). The arts are always being threatened so I've practiced holding my breath.
I know from experience that one can hold their breath for as long as you will need to.

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Response to me b zola (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:51 AM

4. When my kids were younger I always gave their teachers a generous gift card...

...an educational supply store as an end-of-the-year thank you. I always felt great doing it because I knew they needed it, and would put it to its most effective use. I figured they could use it to prepare for the upcoming year.

This is a great idea, especially when teachers have to pay out of pocket for a lot of things anymore.

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Response to AngryOldDem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:20 AM

8. That is a really good idea.

We always spend a lot at those stores.

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Response to me b zola (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:13 AM

5. Taught h.s. No gifts.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:21 AM

9. Really? We get some. Not many, sure, but some.

I've got to get to writing for my kids' teachers (they're both in middle school, and some teachers aren't getting letters, but several are).

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:34 PM

12. Thank you for thinking about your children's teachers and their needs.

Not all parents take the time to let teachers know how much they are valued.
But, something in your post reminded me of Valentines Day in elementary school where the primary concern was to be sure each child got the same number of cards.
The worst aspect of the new teacher evaluations is the competition that it sponsors among staff, whose lives and work are enhanced through cooperation.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:24 AM

13. I teach in a public high school and typically receive many gifts

from students, during the winter holiday and at the end of the school year.
The likely reason for this is that one third of the students, in my building, are Asian. The gift giving tradition is strong in these kids and, at least in this school, the practice has spread to non-Asian students too. Because the school serves high poverty families the gifts are usually homemade and/or inexpensive.
Since I live with two Asian women (my wife and her mother) I am familiar with "over the top" gift giving.
As a young teacher, I was unprepared for and uncomfortable with accepting gifts from students. But, after many discussions, much input, and some introspective thought I have decided that the students, who participate in this tradition, gain far more from the process than the actual cost of the gifts.
Our school also sponsors events which allow students and staff members to "break bread" with each other and our families. The community that has evolved is something pretty special. I am really lucky to be a part of such a dynamic school.

ps: I work in one comprehensive high school in a district with five. The other high schools, while good in their own ways, do not share this same environment.

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Response to me b zola (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:47 AM

18. Teacher, here. Avoid food, especially candy. Try candles, or other consummables

Last year I had about 12 pounds of fancy cookies and chocolates.

I took them all over to the homeless shelter.

Teachers like nice unscented hand lotion, scarves, earrings, or even our favorite family recipes.

Interesting guest paper hand towels, picture frames.

Honestly, Starbucks or dunkin cards are great, even if it's $5.

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