Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

Top Five Worst End-of-Year Gifts for A Male Science Teacher

Science Under the Microscope

Top Five Worst End-of-Year Gifts for A Male Science TeacherAs this time of year rolls around, I have to admit to getting a little excited about some of the gifts that students and their families give in appreciation for a year as their science teacher. 

Usually, I receive a smorgasbord of edible treats, gift cards, and some unique items. Equally diverse, however, is the abundance of gifts that may come from the heart but will likely end up in a dumpster. 

In no particular order, and with appreciation for the effort and expense that goes into giving teacher gifts, here is my top five list of gifts that I would rather never receive again.

1. Any “For Dummies” Book. This one is a little ego-centric, but I can’t help but be a little insulted when someone gives me one of this books. I picture the student or parent walking through the bookstore and stopping in front of this section and saying out loud, “You know who could use one of these books? My science teacher.”

Related Articles
Tablet displaying ‘Zoom’ sitting on a coffee table with books and a pencil.
With the shift to distance learning, having the right instruction tools is...
Open book that is turning into a laptop with various icons coming out of the screen.
More and more teachers every day are having to move to online learning. Explore...
Stethoscope in the shape of a heart surround ‘April 7’ and ‘World Health Day.’
With the ongoing global health pandemic, teaching students about health is as...
The word ‘maker’ surrounded by tools, wires, and more.
Engage your students and get them excited about learning with Maker Education....
Young boy sitting at a desk in a classroom writing in a journal.
Self-regulation is an essential tool in any student’s toolbox if they want to...

 2. Candles. Yes, I know that in a vocation dominated by women, we male teachers have to be patient with families that are not accustomed to our interests. But, really? I have never, and will never, burn scented candles recreationally. Aside from the occasional power outage or birthday cake, I do not have any need for candles.  

3. Bath/Body products. See #1. Unless you know of a skin condition that I am not aware of, lotions are not even close to my “most wanted” list. 

4. Intelligent Design “literature”. Any gift that could be considered propaganda is probably not a good idea for any recipient whom you respect, but Creationism’s favorite back door into the Science classroom is the worst kind of pseudo-science. Count me out.

 5. Self-help products. No one really likes being told that others view them as needing improvement, but the brand that is sometimes given to me include weight-loss tools, baldness remedies, and advice on how to attract women (Note: I am a happily married man). 

It is a sad fact that I have received examples from each of these categories as year-end gifts at least once over the past five years. Hopefully, publishing this list will prevent torture like this from being administered to other Science teachers in the future. But, let’s not call it “Teacher Gifts for Dummies”.

Today's Poll

Which types of articles would you like to see from us in 2020?
Classroom Management
15%
Classroom Activities/Games
30%
Teaching Strategies
30%
Technology in the Classroom
19%
Professional Development
5%
Total votes: 168