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What Do Teachers Really Want for Christmas?


Every holiday season, parents speculate as to what to get their child’s teacher to show appreciation around this giving time.

While surveys and polls have shown that gift cards are in, coffee mugs are out—what do teachers really want to make their lives a little better after the season of joy has come and gone? Education World has a few ideas.

A School Budget that Covers School Supplies

A novel idea, right? The average school teacher spends about $500 out-of-pocket per year funding the most basic needs of their classrooms. For more luxury items like new technology, many teachers are forced to turn to crowdfunding websites like to rely on community support to make it happen.

But what if the school budget could magically cover all the supplies needed to best supplement student learning? Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

A Time Machine

Right now, the U.S. is being led by the Department of Education in a push to figure out how to create fairer, fewer and better assessments to test the country’s students.

Obama created the Testing Action Plan last year, and Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. announced this week a series of final regulations that will help the process under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Progress is being made, but teachers are working and dealing with outdated assessments now, meaning they’re still constantly dealing with the stress of teaching to a test— while knowing that no one is really sure what an effective test is.

A time machine to this near-but-distant future of redefined assessments would be a lovely gesture that any teacher will likely cherish. 

A Shock Collar for Parents

New technology is helping teacher and parent communication get better and better, but there are still a lot of teachers out there who wish parents held their end of the bargain by helping to continue their child’s learning outside of the classroom.

"I really CAN tell the kids who read at home from those who don't. Their growth and abilities are seriously connected to learning all those new words," says one teacher in an article for

The better parent-teacher communication is, the better classroom a teacher can run. You can get them a shock collar to zap reminders over—or you can just give them your attention and do the work on your end to promote cohesiveness.


Last but not certainly least, perhaps the greatest gift the teaching profession can receive is the gift of respect.

Teachers love the job they do because of the importance it carries: cultivating America’s young minds for productive and successful futures later on in life.

But repeated negative headlines and venomous rhetoric pushed by legislators who have not even been in a classroom give the impression that society doesn’t understand—let alone appreciate—just how important the teacher’s job is.

Giving them the same respect (if not pay!) as other professionals is the least that can be done to make teachers' lives a little bit better. 

Anything to add to this list? Let us know what YOU want for Christmas this year.


Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor



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