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The Top Worst Gifts for Teachers

Top 3 Worst Gifts for A Teacher

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Elementary student holding an apple in her hand
Erik Isakson/Getty Images

They say it's the thought that counts for gifts and it's just as important to give some thought to what would be the worst gift for a teacher. Though teachers are appreciative of their student's gifts, there are some that are worse than others.

Worst Teacher Gifts

1.  Apple-themed knick-knacks. The whole "apple for the teacher" idea is cute, but it's a shame to waste your money on a holiday gift the teacher really won't use.  While some teachers love to collect these things, the reality is most teachers receive more apple-adorned mugs, shirts, bookmarks, plaques and ceramic figurines then they know what to do with.

It's a matter of simple math. If no fewer than five children a year give an apple-themed gift and a teacher retires after approximately twenty-five years in the classroom (assuming she only teaches one group of students per year), that's 125 apple-related items she's accumulated!

2. Scented lotions, cosmetics, perfume or aftershave.  Unless you or your child can positively identify the scent his teacher wears to school everyday, it's probably best to steer clear of anything "smelly."  Your child's teacher may be allergic or sensitive to such things or may not like to use cosmetics or aftershave. That's not to say that a gift card to Bath & Body Works or somewhere similar wouldn't be appreciated, just that it's better not to decide how your child's teacher should smell.

3. Items emblazoned with the phrases "World's Best" or "#1 Teacher."   Much like the apple-themed paraphernalia, the "World's Best" theme is way overdone.  From mugs to plaques to Christmas ornaments, these are items that tend to advertise that you had difficulty coming up with an idea for a holiday gift for your child's teacher, in which case it's likely this isn't the best teacher he's ever had.

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