Six gifts for the language teacher

giftWith the holiday season upon us, I thought I would share six gift ideas for the language teacher. Not sure what to ask for for Christmas? Need to buy something for a fellow teacher? See below.

1) Cool stationery. Things always go missing at school, and what teacher doesn’t like having a fresh set of whiteboard markers, pens and notepaper? Or how about a nicely bound notebook, some colourful post-it notes, some blu tack or a new folder. Or a memory stick to store work on. Price range: CHEAP.

2) A subscription to an English newspaper or magazine. This could be something like the Guardian Weekly, a favourite with lots of teachers, or the Guardian Monthly magazine. It could be a subscription to Time or Newsweek, always useful for planning classes around current news topics. Or it could be a subscription to a teaching magazine or journal, like English Teaching Professional or ELTJ. Price range: MID.

3) Mini speakers for an iPod or MP3 player. More and more teachers have MP3 players, and it’s just too much work to copy a favourite song or podcast to a CD to play on the class CD player. A set of travel speakers, loud enough to be heard in your class, and you’re sorted! Price range: MID to EXPENSIVE.

4) Something to read on the commute (or multiple commutes if you’re a business teacher) to class. Tastes will vary, but the following novels and books deal with language or teaching and are, in my opinion, good choices. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Loversby Xiaolu Gu, Teacher Man by Frank McCourt, The Language Teacher’s Diaryby Joaquim Appel or anything by David Crystal in the paperback section. Price range: CHEAP.

5) A resource of teaching ideas and interesting stuff… something like The Language Teacher’s Survival Guide? Ok, so that’s a blatant plug but it is cheap and it’s only ONE of the six things! Price range: CHEAP 

6) Money. Language teachers don’t make a lot, and in these tough economic times we can always use more! Of course, it doesn’t have to be cold hard cash. Gift certificates for Amazon, iTunes or some other online shopping would probably be just as welcome.

Right. Those are my six. Any one else have good ideas?

Published in: General lists | on December 15th, 2008 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments

  1. On December 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm Claire Pye Said:

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’m so pleased you’ve set up a blog but, please, don’t miss a subscription to onestopenglish! What more could a teacher need?
    Claire

  2. On December 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm lclandfield Said:

    Very true! A subscription to Onestopenglish. Price range: CHEAP!

  3. On December 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm Larry M. Lynch Said:

    Great post Lindsay! I haven’t really talked about gifts for English teachers on my ELT blog but one suggestion I’d make is a selection of paperback novels.

    If you know the kind of personal reading for pleasure the teacher likes, then gifting them a series of from three to five or so paperback novels in a genre they like would always be welcomed and appreciated. Many of these types of books are unavailable or prohibitively expensive abroad.

    Teachers can use excerpts from them as authentic language text for numerous types of EFL lesson applications. If their favorite author isn’t available in a series, then try a selection of paperbacks in the same genre.

    My slowly-growing collection of Sue Grafton detective novels has provided me with a rick source of fodder for countless EFL lessons (and blog posts).

    Keep up the good work!

  4. On December 15, 2008 at 10:05 pm Karenne Sylvester Said:

    Hey Lindsay,

    Great to see you in blog-o-sphere! Welcome!

    How about one great toy, a netbook, PRICE RANGE: EXPENSIVE but perfect for teachers to carry around in their bags/rucksacks – and excellent for teacher trainers going off to conferences ;-) .

    I’ve done a review plus links and tips for downloading freeware over – here.

  5. On December 16, 2008 at 7:13 am lclandfield Said:

    Thanks Karenne – yes, I’ve just seen that post on your blog. Toys for teachers, excellent stuff! And you’re right, a lightweight laptop is a great gift. I didn’t want to be accused of putting too many expensive ones though :-)

  6. On December 16, 2008 at 9:13 am Chaz Pugliese Said:

    Hi Lindsay.
    My suggestion for a gift: a massage session, followed by lots of steamy mint tea. Teachers are often rushed off their feet, running around like desperate souls: that should (temporarily) relieve the tension.

    Price range: cheap to mid.

  7. On December 16, 2008 at 9:26 am lclandfield Said:

    Thanks Chaz… a very good suggestion and an excellent point about being run off one’s feet…

  8. On December 20, 2008 at 2:50 am Peter Vahle Said:

    Since we English teachers all need a good laugh, might I add ‘English as a Second F*cking Language’ by Sterling Johnson to #4? I just got a copy and have not stopped laughing since.

    Peter

  9. On December 20, 2008 at 9:08 am lclandfield Said:

    Thanks Peter, I’ll look out for it! Last minute Christmas present request perhaps…