Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

List of 10 #Giftideas for #TeacherAppreciationDay on #Education

Tuesday, May 3rd, is Teacher Appreciation Day. Since you may need a little time to find or make your gift, I thought I’d post my Teacher Appreciation Day gift ideas a little early, in April.

Here’s a smattering of great ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day gifts:


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Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Secret Pal Teacher Friend

Secret Friend Valentine's Day Poem

Image: Pinterest

Just as with last month’s post, I ran across this clever gift-giving idea on Pineterest, so I thought I’d share. Valentine’s Day gifts for the secret pal need to be clever but not-so-romantic. Here’s just the “tool” for you.

A person could choose teacher-y stuff to put in the cellophane instead, of course: erasers, pencils, Oriental Trade prizes, colorful paper clips, or sticky notes. I’m assuming you just make these gifts with the following:

  • cellophane wrap (12 inches x 12 inches, approx. depending on the size of your shovel)
  • curling ribbon
  • candy or prizes
  • I Dig Your Style Valentine Labels (click to download)
  • plastic shovel


  1. Lay the cellophane on a flat surface.
  2. Place the shovel over the top of the cellophane with its scoop in the center.
  3. Fill the scoop with the gift of choice (candy or prizes).
  4. Gather the cellophane around the handle and tie it off with curling ribbon.
  5. Glue or tape the label to the front.

I’ve included a Valentine’s Day label that you can easily download and print right here. (See link above.) On that document, I made two possible labels, so you can choose which one suits your secret pal best.

Happy Valentine’s Day! And remember, please show your appreciation for my freebies by “liking” this page, sharing it with others, and/or posting links from your blog to mine. Thanks!

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Secret Pal Questionnaire Form Sign-up Sheet

Are you ready to kick off the new school year with a secret pal sign-up sheet? Well I have it right here for you, with a fall theme and lots of great questions like:

  • What are your favorite crafts or hobbies?
  • What do you collect?
  • What foods are you allergic to?

Download the document right here on my website and get busy handing those out to everyone who wants to be a secret pal this year. Before you make photocopies, be sure to fill in your part as the administrator of the Secret Pal program:

  • Who do we return the form to?
  • Where and when will we meet for the big reveal?

And there’s even a spot for you to write in the name of each participant’s secret pal (just in case somebody forgets whose name they drew). Here’s the document you want to download:

Secret Pal Sign-up Sheet 2

Remember to check back at this website for great secret pal gift ideas, and have fun everyone!


The Very Best Gift You Can Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day

what do i give mom for mother's day ?

Image: iClipart

As I said last week, I”m taking a break from Secret Pal gift-giving in this week’s post.

Mother’s Day is approaching fast, and you might be wondering what to give your mom. Sadly, my mom passed away in 2008, but I can tell you about the most special gift I gave her before she died.

My mother was battling with a cancerous brain tumor. But no matter how much that tumor ate away at her gray matter, her bond with her daughters never disappeared.

She came to stay with me for her birthday in 2007. By that time, the doctors had already determined that her days were numbered. What kind of birthday gift do you give a mother who is definitely going to die? I thought about this for a long, long time. It kept me awake at night. I could only think of one thing that would be of value to my mom…


She needed time with me. So I set an appointment to spend the day with my mom, at the spa. We had our nails done. We were given facials. A professional masseuse rubbed sore muscles until they were like mush.

But best of all, we spent time together. Just talking. Just sharing. Just being a mom and her girl.

With mother’s day coming soon, be sure to give your mom a little of your time. You don’t realize how valuable it is, until time runs out…


If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog.

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Gardening Accessories for Your Secret Pal (Also Great for Mother’s Day)

Mother's Day gift

Image: iClipart

So this month I’ve been suggesting springtime ideas for the secret pal who loves to garden. In addition to the goodies I’ve already suggested (birdfeeder + birdseed, gardening tools, etc.), here are a few things that I plan to give my secret pal teacher friend this month:

Audubon Society stickers–Teachers can always use stickers as prizes, if not for other things.

A Bird-Shaped Moisture Meter–These devices help you test the moisture of the soil before watering. They’re best for indoor plants, but I suppose they can be used outside as well.

Bird Wind Chimes — It’s possible to find theses at the dollar store, if you’re lucky.

Outdoor Thermometer–I think I mentioned this a couple of posts back, but you can find them very reasonably priced. You can get an ordinary one for your secret pal’s garden, or a decorative one like the bird-shaped one in the link I’ve provided.

As I typed this blog post, I’ve been looking through the bag of goodies I’ve bought. There’s only one thing left to mention: a rain poncho. Those little packaged yellow rain ponchos that people can pack around in their purse–that’s what I’m talking about. It comes in handy in the spring, when a rainstorm can hit unexpectedly. I’m going to include this with my other gardening goodies, in a gift package.

And that’s really all I have for the gardening gifts. I might skip next week’s posting, because honestly, I’ve got enough here to last me into May without any problem.

I hope my ideas are helpful!


If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog. I hope you get something good there too.

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‘Tis the Season for Gardening Gifts

inexpensive springtime gift

Image: iClipart

This month I’ll be giving my secret teacher pal gardening gifts. It just so happens that my secret pal has a degree in agriculture/horticulture, so gardening-type gifts are right up his alley.

Of course there’s the traditional gift of trowel, transplanter, and cultivator. Here’s a link to a set from Fiskars, the folks who are famous for making nice scissors. But honestly, you can sometimes find these garden tool sets at your local dollar store (if you’re hard up for cash). If you buy a set of three, like this, you can give one the first week, another the second week, and the final tool on the third week–spread them out like that.

The same is true of garden gloves. If you buy a set of three, like you see in this link, you can spread out the gift-giving over the course of three days or weeks.

Some other possibilities include:

  • packages of seeds
  • a gardening hat
  • sunglasses
  • a knee guard pad
  • pots for planting starts
  • potting soil
  • a watering can
  • markers with signs that say “tomatoes” and “onions” and such

So you could fill the entire month of April with these little goodies. Heck, seeds cost next to nothing, so why not include a small pack of seeds with each little gift? Bundle them together with a ribbon or top them off with one of those sticky-backed bows. Put a bunch of things in a plant-start pot. It can look very cute.


If you’re an English teacher, like me, and you’d like to see all my cool assignments and stuff online, here’s the link to my academic blog. I hope you get something good there.

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