There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday season than to go shopping for gifts, but this year, are your teachers on your gift lists?
Unlike us, students in Alabama don’t have to worry: a March law banned nearly all gifts to all Alabama government workers — not just elected officials, but all state, county and municipal employees, which includes teachers. Government employees who accept personal gifts could be subject to fines of up to $6,000 and prison sentences of up to one year. The restriction keeps teachers from playing favorites to students whose parents can afford to be more generous than others.
These laws are a bit out of hand, but the key to avoid getting a ban on gifts in Maryland is to keep it simple. Some students may roll their eyes and feel that giving holiday gifts to teachers is considered “sucking up,” but if gifts are approached the right way, then a small, thoughtful token of your appreciation of your teachers can go a long way.
Believe it or not, teachers have lives outside of the classroom and would appreciate a present just as much as anyone else would. Sometimes, students aren’t always forthcoming or insightful enough to adequately express their appreciation of their teachers. A genuine heartfelt card, homemade or Hallmark, and a sweet, meaningful gift are effective ways to make your teacher feel special.
Lean towards items teachers can use at school or home, like a picture frame, notebook or gift card. You can never go wrong with food either because, honestly, who doesn’t like to eat during the holiday season? In general though, the more unique, the better.
Some students, though, aren’t that crafty with their gifts. These students resort to their parents’ credit cards, which make it seem like they’re trying too hard. Bringing in a huge bouquet of flowers with Godiva chocolates is more suited for a first date than a teacher’s holiday present, and expensive gifts like that can be viewed as highly inappropriate.
It’s okay to give teachers cards and small presents, but don’t go over-the-top. Sometimes, a heartfelt note of gratitude is all it takes.