To send these cards during the summer hols?

(181 Posts)
Bocolatechiscuit Wed 30-Jul-14 06:54:51

I'm a secondary school teacher, and as you will know, the end of year gifts tend to tail off to almost nothing as children move to high school (I don't actually believe in teacher gifts as I see it as doing the job I'm paid to do and absolutely adore, but that's a whole other thread).

This year though, I was given presents from three students. They caught me in the corridor and gave me the gifts in pretty gift bags with a card inside. As it was the last day and I was rushing to lessons, assemblies etc I thanked them profusely of course but didn't open the bags there and then. When I opened them later, they have gone to huge effort, buying personalised gifts and have all written such lovely things in their cards about how they have enjoyed my lessons this year and learned so much etc etc.

So...I'd like to send them a thank you card. I've bought a pack of small cards and am thinking of sending them to their home address which I can easily get from the school system. I'm not going to be teaching them in September unfortunately and in any case feel it's too long to wait to say thank you. I'd like to send a card each, thanking them for their gift, telling them it was a delight to teach them (it genuinely was-fantastic students with lovely bubbly personalities, amazing senses of humour and such a desire to learn) and wishing them a lovely holiday.

Something's holding me back though and I don't quite know why. I've had the cards a week and still not sent them. Is this a nice thing to do like I think it is or is sending them to their home address a bit ott?

lettertoherms Wed 30-Jul-14 06:57:00

Sounds like such a nice idea, I don't see any problem with it.

newtonupontheheath Wed 30-Jul-14 06:57:31

Would you be allowed to use the school's system for that purpose? Can't you only use data stored for the purpose it is intended for under the DPA?

EarthWindFire Wed 30-Jul-14 06:59:52

If you have the authority to use the data base for this then I don't see a problem. It's a lovely idea.

jaynebxl Wed 30-Jul-14 07:00:00

I absolutely wouldn't. I don't think that's an appropriate use of ypur access to the school system and feels like it crosses a professional line to me. It can wait til September. You have already thanked them verbally.

Panzee Wed 30-Jul-14 07:00:28

Could you address them to the parents and ask them to pass them on?

littlesupersparks Wed 30-Jul-14 07:00:53

No way!!! You should not be using their data in this way. Wait until September.

tohotnot Wed 30-Jul-14 07:01:13

I can't see anything wrong with it. My childrens primary teacher often sent thank you cards over the holidays.
Last year my ds got a good luck card from a teacher for something he was doing over the hols and the teacher forgot to wish him luck before school ended.

I thought oh that's nice not strange at all.

JustKeepPacking Wed 30-Jul-14 07:01:19

I think it's bit ott. Their gift was a thank you,you don't need to thank them again. I do think it's a bit weird to send them private post using their addresses, that you have got off the school system too. I think you should just wait and see them in sept and thank them again then. You had the school report etc as a chance to tell them how great they are as students. Don't send this!

littlesupersparks Wed 30-Jul-14 07:01:28

And a thank you for a thank you is a little odd! I would find them and verbally thank them.

leeloo1 Wed 30-Jul-14 07:02:41

Are there any admin officers in school that you could give the stamped cards to and ask them to address and post on your behalf?

I agree, its a kind thought, but looking up where they live could seem a bit stalkery?

Altinkum Wed 30-Jul-14 07:06:00

You would be misusing the children's personal data for personal use, if the parents contacted the school and complained you'd have no leg to stand on!

Seriouslyffs Wed 30-Jul-14 07:07:51

How depressing. Of course it's not stalkerish hmm

Its not stalkerish, but it might be a breech of DPA rules and if one of the parents is like leeloo and complained, you might be in hot water.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Wed 30-Jul-14 07:17:10

How sad! I am sure we have had thank you cards during the holidays.

But I suppose you should take heed of the warnings.

pippistrelle Wed 30-Jul-14 07:20:31

One of my daughter's teachers did such a thing. I thought it was charming, and my daughter was delighted.

BikeRunSki Wed 30-Jul-14 07:22:48

My job requires me to hold names and addresses gir a particular purpose. I'm pretty sure you'd be breaching the Data Protection Act if you obtain the children's addresses in this way.

Hulababy Wed 30-Jul-14 07:23:56

I always thank children for their gifts and often send thank you cards.

It wouldn't be an abuse of the database system in my experience. Teaching staff often send mail to parents.

annie987 Wed 30-Jul-14 07:25:50

I always do it every Summer (I'm a teacher). The children love receiving the thank yous in the post.

Bocolatechiscuit Wed 30-Jul-14 07:30:04

Ok so now I know why I was holding back. Thank you...I absolutely agree it's depressing and does make me feel sad. I know these girls well having taught them for 2 years and know they will be wondering what I thought of the gift and would be delighted like pippi's daughter to receive a card. I know the families too, having taught older siblings and am certain they would take it in the way it's meant, as an acknowledgement of something kind their daughters did and as a positive example to them of good manners and how to behave when you receive a gift.

These comments about it being 'odd' and 'stalkersish' however are what I really hoped not to hear but worried I just might.

How sad that times have changed so much that I can't do this (dpa, using system for 'personal use'). So sad...but I won't do it.

LiegeAndLief Wed 30-Jul-14 07:30:59

I was with a group of parents recently discussing how a primary teacher had sent letters halfway through the summer to her new class saying how excited she was to be teaching them etc. We all though it was lovely and definitely not stalker ish! However, I guess if you would actually be breaking the DPA you'd probably (sadly) better not.

Dd got a thank you letter for her thank you present, she was absolutely delighted! Wasn't posted though, teacher had somehow managed to write them during the last day of school.

Missunreasonable Wed 30-Jul-14 07:32:55

It is a nice thing to do and I'm sure the children will be thrilled to receive a card and know that you appreciated their gift. I agree with somebody upthread about writing the cards out and giving them to school admin to address and post just tim prevent any unlikely comeback.
My sons teacher gave him a thank you note for his end of term gift and I thought it was lovely and he was pleased that she liked his gift.

Itsfab Wed 30-Jul-14 07:33:34

DD received a thank you in the Christmas holidays in the post for the gift she gave her. I was surprised seeing as she would be seeing her in January so I would definitely say send a card now. Lovely and is good manners.

My son received a piece of paper in his book bag saying thank you for the gift with mistakes crossed out hmm.

I wonder if it is relevant my DD's teacher was a woman in her 50's and my son's a man in his 20's.

The only thing to think about is are you okay to take the address from the school data base.

Missunreasonable Wed 30-Jul-14 07:35:43

It isn't odd or stalkerish, why would it be?
Surely you don't feel that the children are odd or stalkerish for buying you the gifts and taking the time and effort to buy something nice. So why would it be stalkerish to take the time and effort to write a thank you note?
For those who find it odd or stalkerish; do you not encourage your children to send thank you notes when they receive gifts?

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jul-14 07:36:10

Well this is thoroughly depressing.

If my DD received a note after she had sent a gift to a teacher she clearly liked and valued, I would think it was lovely.

Life is fucking miserable sometimes.

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