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Bloody school collections

(39 Posts)
turnipsoup Mon 20-May-13 16:56:57

let me start this by saying my DS's teachers are all wonderful, they deserve loads of appreciation and recognition.
However...
One of the school mums is organising a collection for the teachers, she did the same thing at Christmas, sent us all an email requesting a fixed amount from each parent. (it is quite a lot of money to me, and to some of the other parents in DS's class)
3/4 will go to the teacher who is there 4 days a week, 1/4 will go to the teacher who is there 1 day a week, and a 1/4 will go to the ta who is there 5 days a week.

i think it is realky unfair/unkind to split it up that way, and to ask for a fixed amount from each family. At Christmas the card with the present was only from the children that contributed.

A) am I really unresonable and should just mind my own business and get my own token gift (even though this could go on for years, and it makes me feel really mean for not contributing)

B) send an email or talk to the Mum organising it pointing out that asking for fixed donations is excluding several families, or worse pressuring them to pay what they can't afford? And that I think the breakdown of gifts is actually quite mean, especially to the TA who is there most of all!

C) organise a 'pitiful and poor' collection where people can contribute what they want, and get each teacher/ta a similiar value gift i.e. A nice plant for their garden, bottle of wine and chocolates.

Go on MN, tell me how unreasonable I am grin

turnipsoup Mon 20-May-13 16:58:26

Doh, maybe I should go back to school! 3/4, 1/8 and 1/8 !

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 20-May-13 17:12:22

Whatever happened to a card or a simple thank you said to the teacher?

YANBU! I think these collections are unfair and can cause hurt feelings.
I think B) is a good option, if you feel you can approach her (I am a chicken! wink ). I would never put in to a collection that had a definite amount to be given (at work they just said put an amount in the envelope and sign the card - no way of knowing who put what in).
But I would probably go for option A) and maybe make it known to other mums I knew were struggling that I was getting a token gift/ card.

Luckily we haven't come across this at DD's school. The parents do their own thing, in fact I have no idea what others at the school do, and that is how I hope it stays.

ipswitch Mon 20-May-13 17:17:30

YANBU.

I would choose option A.
But would also let organiser know why, so B as well.

hotcrosbum Mon 20-May-13 17:21:34

My ds teacher is leaving at the end of the week and some parents have organised a collection. They want £10 each.

29 children at £10 each (and some will give over and above, they always do). She's a good teacher, but Bloody hell, the best part of £300?

I can't afford to give £10 this week, I just can't. So I won't and ds will draw her a thank you card instead.

thefirstmrsrochester Mon 20-May-13 17:21:56

I've never come across the 'class collection' thing ever ever. My dc range from 8 to 13 years of age. Everyone does their own think at my dc's schools. DSIL is a teacher and the best gift she ever got was a 'best teacher' fridge magnet which was £1 in asda at the time. It was the gesture which meant everything, not the gift. She has had drawings and paintings from get departing pupils and cherishes them.

hotcrosbum Mon 20-May-13 17:23:54

Oh, and the lovely specially made card is only being signed by the children who's parents contributed.....I feel bad for ds, but £10 is the difference between me being able to afford to attend my exams at college this week or not - my qualifications win this time.

Hulababy Mon 20-May-13 17:25:02

Poor TA - there all day every day and gets the smallest amount!

I don't mind collections so long as the amount you give is your own choice and not known to everyone, and that the decision to join in with the collection is optional too with no bad feeling.

saulaboutme Mon 20-May-13 17:25:32

Go for it and do option B.

This is a sore point for me. I don't put in because they always ask for £10 or £20. I did the collection one year, being class rep, and got told off as I was telling parents to put in what they could afford!

I don't put in anymore, my dcs like to pick little gifts and wrap and give them themselves.
Why is there a collection going on at this time of year?

NynaevesSister Mon 20-May-13 17:26:53

we had an outstanding year 1 teacher, and an outstanding TA, and we wanted to get them something special to say thanks. Myself and another parent did a collection based on people simply giving what they wanted to. We made it clear we were splitting it 50/50, and it would be from the whole class. Some didn't put in anything, some put in £1 for each (£2), some gave £10 each, and others did something all in between. There's a huge range of incomes in the class, and more than one parent commented to us that they were really glad we were doing this as they could only afford to spend a few pounds, but this way they felt those few pounds would be going that bit further.

I personally think it is a bit harsh to do this as a fixed amount, and to exclude parents who can't afford it from the card. I would have a quiet word with them.

saulaboutme Mon 20-May-13 17:27:43

ahh leaving gift.

Would flowers and perfume or fancy accessory not do?

thestringcheesemassacre Mon 20-May-13 17:29:25

I don't mind the collection part, but being told how much to give is off.

turnipsoup Mon 20-May-13 17:40:13

saulaboutme - the lady organsing it is very organised, this is the end of school year collection (we've already had a 'reminder' email sent out, naming all the parents who have agreed to contribute... Talk about name and shame!)

wewantyouasanewrecruit Mon 20-May-13 17:48:06

It makes me really sad to read this. As a former teacher I just absolutely cringe at the thought of someone for whom money is tight feeling pressured in this way.

Putting names on an email to say who is contributing - what a cow.

I think Nynaeves had the right idea

Cakecrumbsinmybra Mon 20-May-13 17:48:44

I don't think YABU at all - I've never heard of a fixed rate collection, and it doesn't sound very fair! I think I would probably do a little straw poll amongst my friends, and then go for option B - sometimes people need to know that they are bulldozering their way through life! And the TA's amount? That is just mean, and I'm not sure I'd want to contribute anyway to that. The TA should get the same as the teacher.

thefirstmrsrochester Mon 20-May-13 17:49:19

Oh, that's not on turnipsoup. The lady may be very organised, but she hasn't any manners. And a class gift omitting kids who have no control over what their parents can afford to donate is in poor taste.

BlueberryHill Mon 20-May-13 17:51:29

My DS made some biscuits and put really lurid icing on them, they did taste nice though. He gives them to the TAs and the teacher. I think they appreciated them, or at least were very polite and gave that impression. I think that it is the thought that counts and something that the children have thought about or done is the nicest present.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 20-May-13 17:51:53

I think the fact that she is now "naming and shaming" in a sense is not on at all!
I think you need to explain to her that it is not on to behave like that.
I highly doubt the teacher would be impressed to hear that people felt bullied in to paying for a gift in that way.
To me, gifts should come from the heart, not because people were pressurised.
I think schools should have a rule about how these collections are being done. I also think a £300 gift (if there are 30 kids expected to put in £10 each) is a bit much as a thank you for doing your job gift.
Surely a nice bunch of flowers could be bought for under £30 at the likes of Asda / Sainsburys / local florist?
£1 is much easier for parents to find and when added up as a group can buy a lovely reasonable thank you gift.

Fillyjonk75 Mon 20-May-13 17:51:59

Just say you don't want to contribute, or don't say anything at all. If she chases you for the money just say "I've already bought something myself, sorry."

BlueberryHill Mon 20-May-13 17:52:02

Oh, YANBU, opt out and do your own thing.

teacherandguideleader Mon 20-May-13 17:55:47

I hate the whole idea of collections. A colleague of mine recently was bought a very extravagant gift - it was so showy 'I have the best gift therefore I'm the best, most loved teacher' (the person isn't!).

On the other hand, I have a box of monstrosities that I sometimes wonder what it is about me that makes the child think 'oh that's soooo Miss X'. But they chose it for me and I love all of them. It doesn't matter that it probably came from the pound shop. When I'm feeling down I get my box out and look at them. I remember each of the children who selected the item and smile - it makes it all worthwhile.

WilsonFrickett Mon 20-May-13 17:56:19

Opt out definitely. If you are feeling brave, tell her why. I might be tempted to be a tiny bit PA on email for this one. The fixed amount thing is horrible and giving less to the TA is equally mean - what sort of message does that send the children, that people with lesser responsiblities aren't worth saying thank-you to as much as others? Shocking.

CoffeeShoppe Mon 20-May-13 17:56:33

Just say no thanks? It is not her business why, and you can do your own thing, or just do nothing. It is not a rule to buy anything for any teacher. If you cannot afford to do it then don't. If you can afford it, but don't want to that's fine too.

As for the mum telling people what they should give, she is a prat of the highest order.

Fakebook Mon 20-May-13 17:57:13

I'm so thankful this doesn't happen at Dd's school! I'd never put money in a pot for a present. I get dd to make her own presents. Last year for nursery, we made hand decorated mugs, and I bought special ceramic pens for her to use. For Christmas, dd decorated some baubles with glitter.

Definitely go with option A and let the collection lady do what she wants.

Crinkle77 Mon 20-May-13 18:00:23

YANBU. I would say the other mother is. I would just tell her straight that you will be buying your own gift. It is not right to demand that you all put in to a shared gift and dictate how much you put in.

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