Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Perfect Holiday Gift for the Special Education Teacher

It's the season of giving and as a parent, I am looking for the perfect Christmas gift for my daughter's teacher.  I am guessing I am not alone on this mission.  The National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) reported that according to national averages from the 2012-2013 school year, teachers spent $485 out of pocket on their classrooms.  (Access this article to learn more about these figures:
K-12 Teachers Out of Pocket $1.6 Billion on Classroom Tools by David Nagel
Yikes!  For those parents searching for something special for the special education classroom teacher, instead of grabbing a gift card or purchasing a coffee mug, think about supplies that come in handy in the classroom.  Here are suggestions of gifts I would rejoice over:

A Protective Case for iDevices
If your special education teacher is using an iAnything in the classroom, hopefully they already have it covered up with some sort of protected case. But if they don't, buy them a case ASAP.  Don't buy a case for $70.  Those super expensive cases aren't really the best option for special education needs anyway (heavy, hard to hold, no grip, no handles, no stand, hard to clean, etc.)  Instead, spend $40 and get one of the friendliest, safest cases on the market AND get one for yourself while you're at it.  Gripcase.com sells the perfect case- light weight, super protective, handles built into the case so it's easy for our kids to carry, possible to add a carrying strap if needed and all for a great price.  On top of that, you can take advantage of their BOGO program (buy one give one) by getting one for yourself and sending your bonus case to your school as a gift.  I personally vouch for these cases.  I've purchased several and they've been put to the test by many students. They are still standing strong!  Check out the Gripcase website for more information concerning their BOGO program here: Gripcase BOGO Program

A One Button Mouse
The typical two button mouse used with PC computers can be really difficult for special needs students to use and manipulate.  For $20 you can give a classroom with a small one button mouse, which can provide some students with an easier way to independently navigate some computer programs.  I get a lot of requests for these from special education teachers and from occupational therapists.  There never seem to be enough on hand to go around.  It's a nice little addition that every classroom could benefit from.  The Chester Mouse One-Button Mouse might put a smile on your teacher's face.   Click on the link to learn more about this mouse option:
Chester One-Button Mouse

Mounting Tape
I know, I know.  It doesn't sound very exciting.  I sounds like the equivalent of getting slipper socks from your aunt on Christmas Eve.  But trust me...this offering might be the greatest way to let your classroom teacher know that you are in touch with his/her true needs.  Mounting tape is used in a variety of ways in a special education classroom: creating picture schedules, mounting hallway passes, attaching communication devices to mounts and classroom surfaces.  It's expensive and hard to come by in some schools and when it is available, there is hardly ever enough.  There's a variety of different mounting tapes you can purchase, but if you really want to "wow" a teacher buy something super adhesive and with a lot of grip (check out 3M Dual Lock mounting tape.)  And don't underestimate the power of slipper socks...I ask for a pair every year.

Deluxe Spa Package
Reoccurring appointments, scheduled for Fridays at 4:00pm.  This is never a bad gift for any teacher.

Let's hear it from the teachers!  What are some items you would love to be gifted for your classroom? 

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