Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Wish List

I’ve seen many suggestions of Christmas gifts for teachers floating around the internet.  Pinterest is full of adorable crafts and sweet treats to thank teachers this time of year.  As a middle school teacher in a relatively poor community, I don’t receive many gifts and that’s OK.  I decided that I would, however, put together a teacher's wish list from my perspective.  These are my top 5 most desired Christmas gifts in order of preference.

1.     A note of thanks.  Have your child write me a note about what they enjoy about class and what they’ve learned.  I keep notes like these in a box and I read them on days that have been particularly rough.  Everybody loves warm fuzzies! 
2.     A commitment from you to follow up with your child nightly regarding homework assignments.  One of the biggest frustrations I have is the lack of homework completion from my students.  Check in each night, ask to see homework, have your child explain the assignments to you, and follow up with the school’s homework hotline, online gradebook, or teacher if you think your child is not being responsible. 
3.     Your time at school.  Come to a concert, to a PTA meeting, or to chaperone a field trip.  Your children and their friends will appreciate your presence and support.  I will appreciate the opportunity to get to know you as more than Mrs. Smith at 123-456-7890. 
4.     School supplies for your child.  Spend $10-20 at Christmas per child to replenish school supplies for the second half of the year.  Check the condition of binders as the rings may have warped.  Then buy a few packs each of pencils and looseleaf.  I’m so happy when kids come to my room with these simple supplies; last school year I gave out approximately 700 pencils over the course of the year.  Think, too, about semester long classes which change in January and what supplies will be needed for second semester. 
5.     Classroom consumables. If you insist on giving me “things” for Christmas, please make a donation to my classroom.  Some of the items I purchase myself that we use are listed below in order of greatest need/use:
a.     Tissues
b.     Yellow #2 pencils
c.      Loose leaf paper
d.     Dry erase markers
e.     Post-its of any color of size
f.      Unscented hand sanitizer
g.     Sanitizing wipes
h.     Ziploc bags (sandwich, quart, or gallon)
i.       Paper towels
j.       Napkins, small cups, and small plates
k.     Small individually wrapped candies for rewards (no gum or lollipops per school rules)
l.    Glue sticks
I really would appreciate these items.  Just the fact that you would be saving me a trip to the store would be a great joy!  

Fellow teachers, what’s on your Christmas list?  If there are teachers on your list, what are you giving them this December?