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Gift Guide 2011: Ideas For Gifting Teachers This Holiday Season

First Posted: 12/13/11 10:42 AM ET   Updated: 12/22/11 01:15 PM ET

Gifting for teachers is always a challenge, particularly as families are increasingly strapped for cash and as states -- like Alabama -- have enacted legislation that restricts teacher giving as part of ethical regulations.

But there are still plenty of things that teachers love, need and likely appreciate even more than the "World's Best Teacher" mug-and-hot-chocolate (they've probably accumulated too many of those over the years anyhow).

So in the spirit of the holidays, with respect to limitations of ethical perception, and in light of budget restrictions -- both in school cuts and parents' pocketbooks -- here are some meaningful gifts to express your appreciation for teachers.

The focus this year is on thoughtfulness and the classroom. If you have other ideas, please post them in the comments section below.

Classroom basics
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There's always a need for classroom supplies, and teachers often have to open up their own wallets to stock their classrooms, especially as more schools across the country are slashing education budgets. For starters: thumb tacks and stickers, and replacements for the smaller equipment that break all-too-often like pencil sharpeners and three-hole punchers.
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Filed by Emmeline Zhao  |