Every year around the holidays, teachers brace themselves for the onslaught of gift-giving. Parents often don't stop to consider that many gifts tend to be useless and create a lot of clutter. When giving a gift to a physical education teacher, think in terms of things they can enjoy and use related to physical fitness but that won't have to be moved into storage or trashed to make room for more gifts. Gifts that revolve around an experience or are perishable are good choices.
Tickets to a Game
Many physical education teachers also coach a sport. In all likelihood, it's a sport they are passionate about. Find out the teacher's favourite sports team and, if they don't already have season tickets, consider tickets to a game. If that's out of your price range, talk to the parents of some of the other children in the class about going in together as a group. If the entire class gets involved, the teacher might end up with very nice seats.
Gift Card to a Sporting Goods Store
Some school budgets just don't allow teachers to get everything they need to run their class. Physical education teachers generally have lots of equipment: various types of balls for sports, bats, nets, climbing ropes, etc. Depending on the school's budget, replacing some of these items can be neglected for several years.
A gift card to a sporting good store allows the physical education teacher either to get something they'd like for himself or to slowly work on replacing some of the worn-out items from the gym. This is another gift that works well if the parents of several students go in together on it.
Gift Card to a Healthy Restaurant
Physical education teachers, though not all health food nuts, tend to be pretty aware of health, diet and exercise. If they're in good physical condition, they're aware of how much what you eat affects your muscle to fat ratios. While candy and cookies may be appropriate gifts for other types of teachers, PE teachers (as well as health teachers) may be too hyper-aware of nutrition to fully enjoy the gift. Consider instead a gift card to a healthier restaurant like a favourite deli or Subway.
Some families can't afford to buy gifts for every teacher, or any teacher, and often can feel left out or embarrassed they have nothing to give. A PE teacher can play a vital role in a child's self-esteem as the child gains better physical fitness and sports proficiency. A meaningful letter from the student telling the PE teacher how much their help in class or with sports is appreciated can be just as valuable a gift as any object or gift card.
And according to Bonnie Cullison, president of the Montgomery County Education Association, "A note to the principal praising a teacher is welcomed and can help them in their professional path."
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