“Mabel, do you want to go with me to choose a teacher gift for Ms. Ermie? This is your last week of school,” I asked.

“Yes! And I know where I want to go! I went there before with Mommy. I saw something that Ms. Ermie will love!” Mabel said.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I’ll show you,” Mabel replied.

Mabel is an incredibly observant 4-year-old and has pretty much memorized the entire

5-block radius that surrounds our apartment. I followed her as she rode her scooter down the sidewalk, until we reached her destination. Mabel announced “Here we are!” as she rode her scooter through the open doors of the 99-cents store.

Mabel went directly to the toy aisle and quickly scanned the shelves, before exclaiming, “Here it is! The doctor’s kit!” Mabel held up a bright pink plastic doctor’s kit with a $3.99 price tag.

As a teacher myself, I have received lots of end-of-year gifts. Coffee mugs, photo frames, gift cards, and thank you notes are pretty customary. I felt the need to intervene.

“Why don’t we walk to another store and see if we can find something else?” I asked her.

“But I already KNOW what I want to get,” Mabel said, tears beginning to fill her eyes. “Ms. Ermie doesn’t have a doctor’s kit in her classroom and I know she’ll love it.”

I bent down next to Mabel, glanced at the doctor’s kit and then looked into her eyes.

“I think the new kids will like it too,” she told me. She paused for a moment, and then added, “I’m not going to be in Ms. Ermie’s class anymore. I only have two more days.”

Her tears overflowed. 

I suddenly realized Mabel was seeking to find a meaningful way to say goodbye to her teacher. In her own small way, she was gifting Ms. Ermie with a legacy gift. A legacy gift that new students could enjoy in Ms. Ermie’s classroom the next school year.  

In our family, we try to choose gifts for others that are meaningful, practical, or have a story. This little plastic doctor’s kit fit all of the criteria. The doctor’s kit represented something deeply significant for Mabel.

I hugged Mabel and said, “I think this is the perfect teacher gift for Ms. Ermie. Let’s choose a card for her too, and we can write a little note to her about the gift.”

Mabel nodded and said, “Oooh! I even know a store where we can go to buy wrapping paper!”

choosing teacher gifts

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I'm Tyler Moore 

My wife and I live with our three young girls in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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June 21, 2019

The Perfect Gift

“Mabel, do you want to go with me to choose a teacher gift for Ms. Ermie? This is your last week of school,” I asked.

“Yes! And I know where I want to go! I went there before with Mommy. I saw something that Ms. Ermie will love!” Mabel said.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I’ll show you,” Mabel replied.

Mabel is an incredibly observant 4-year-old and has pretty much memorized the entire

5-block radius that surrounds our apartment. I followed her as she rode her scooter down the sidewalk, until we reached her destination. Mabel announced “Here we are!” as she rode her scooter through the open doors of the 99-cents store.

Mabel went directly to the toy aisle and quickly scanned the shelves, before exclaiming, “Here it is! The doctor’s kit!” Mabel held up a bright pink plastic doctor’s kit with a $3.99 price tag.

As a teacher myself, I have received lots of end-of-year gifts. Coffee mugs, photo frames, gift cards, and thank you notes are pretty customary. I felt the need to intervene.

“Why don’t we walk to another store and see if we can find something else?” I asked her.

“But I already KNOW what I want to get,” Mabel said, tears beginning to fill her eyes. “Ms. Ermie doesn’t have a doctor’s kit in her classroom and I know she’ll love it.”

I bent down next to Mabel, glanced at the doctor’s kit and then looked into her eyes.

“I think the new kids will like it too,” she told me. She paused for a moment, and then added, “I’m not going to be in Ms. Ermie’s class anymore. I only have two more days.”

Her tears overflowed. 

I suddenly realized Mabel was seeking to find a meaningful way to say goodbye to her teacher. In her own small way, she was gifting Ms. Ermie with a legacy gift. A legacy gift that new students could enjoy in Ms. Ermie’s classroom the next school year.  

In our family, we try to choose gifts for others that are meaningful, practical, or have a story. This little plastic doctor’s kit fit all of the criteria. The doctor’s kit represented something deeply significant for Mabel.

I hugged Mabel and said, “I think this is the perfect teacher gift for Ms. Ermie. Let’s choose a card for her too, and we can write a little note to her about the gift.”

Mabel nodded and said, “Oooh! I even know a store where we can go to buy wrapping paper!”

choosing teacher gifts

Thanks for pinning!

June 21, 2019

The Perfect Gift

About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our three young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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