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?

wigornian Wed 30-Jul-14 07:39:56

Don't see the problem, why should you not thank them for nice "thank you gifts" - Email their parents through the system as you would have done while the children were there and ask for postal address and explain why.

KEGirlOnFire Wed 30-Jul-14 07:43:13

Just like Pagwatch, this makes me INCREDIBLY sad. I would love for my DD to receive a card like that.

The World has gone mad. sad

ilovesooty Wed 30-Jul-14 07:43:20

Sadly I think it might be better if you didn't. If there are school admin staff in who could address the envelopes it mightbe possible as others said. Otherwise it will have to wait until September.

You just can't afford to overstep any kind of boundary and I can see why you were hesitant.

jaynebxl Wed 30-Jul-14 07:47:29

I know these girls well having taught them for 2 years and know they will be wondering what I thought of the gift

They won't. You already thanked them. And even if they are they can wait til September.

steppemum Wed 30-Jul-14 07:50:43

My kid's teacher wrote thank yous for the gifts she received and sent them home with the kids on the first day of new term in Sept.

I was very touched she had spent time over her summer writing thank yous, and wasn't expecting it.

In your case I think the kids would really like the thank you cards. But send them out through school on first day back.
If they have moved on schools, I don't see why you shouldn't ask school to address and send them (you put stamps on obviously) that way you haven't accessed the system.

I am sad that some think it is stalkerish. Thank yous for gifts are quite normal.

Sirzy Wed 30-Jul-14 07:50:59

I think it's a lovely idea. Can you drop a quick message to the head teacher to let them know what you want to do so they are aware?

MarchEliza Wed 30-Jul-14 07:51:00

As a student if I had received such a card I would have been delighted (as would my parents) if my child received one I would also think that was really kind - certainly not stalkerish!!

However if your worried about use of data (and maybe you're right to be) can you not ask the school? If they say it's ok you'll be fine, or they may suggest they send them on your behalf so you're not even accessing the data.

wigglesrock Wed 30-Jul-14 07:51:54

Well, I wouldn't be happy if you used the school database to get my address. I don't give my address out for specific reasons, my children's school doesn't do class phone/ address lists etc.

You have thanked them, if you want to do it again, why not get them good luck cards for September, give them to them in school & say how much you enjoyed teaching them.

Itsfab Wed 30-Jul-14 07:54:38

I would ask the Head if this is okay.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 30-Jul-14 07:55:41

What Pag and KEGirl said.

What a shame we are even having the discussion sad. Since we even are though, sadly I suppose things have 'come to this' so I guess you'd best not, although I'm sure I don't know anyone who wouldn't be thrilled with a card like that and you sound a lovely teacher.

What a world.

mawbroon Wed 30-Jul-14 07:57:21

DS1 has had a lovely note from all his teachers since P1, so 4 years now.

They have all arrived in the post during the first week or so of the holidays, apart from his note from the teacher who has just finished teaching him this year.

Last year's teacher zipped round on his bike and hand delivered the notes to all the children. I was really touched that he had done this - there were loads of kids in the class!

Odd and stalkerish would not even cross my mind!

Itsfab Wed 30-Jul-14 07:59:36

I have remembered another one. My child received a generic slip of paper with typed thank you for the gift. I wasn't impressed with that. A thank you is pointless if it isn't heartfelt. The teacher was leaving that day anyway but I felt it was presumptuous to think she would get a gift and she could have written a nicer note.

OP I think you should send the cards. Speak to the head to make sure you wouldn't be in trouble but I think the joy the children will get, and the manners used, far out way any miniscule chance that the parents will think you are a stalker hmm.

Delphiniumsblue Wed 30-Jul-14 08:00:06

MN never ceases to amaze me as being such an odd place! It is a lovely idea. Some of my children got thank you cards from the teacher for their end of term presents and it was lovely. It is very difficult to get children to write thank you letters if somehow adults and teachers don't need to bother!
I would go ahead, much better than singling them out next term.
I am sure that they and their parents would be delighted and wouldn't think you had turned into a stalker!
If you think they are as strange as some people on here you could always take wigornian's suggestion.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 08:00:37

I totally understand both sides to this.

On the one hand, I once received a letter from a Primary School teacher during the holidays (I was leaving the school to go to a new Primary in the final year and she didn't have a chance to say goodbye in the way she wanted). I treasure that card. It's beautifully written, heartfelt and encouraging.

But I understand what is holding you back, and it is sad.

Maybe asking the Head is the best way to go. It's what I would do

jaynebxl Wed 30-Jul-14 08:06:24

I think it is about professional boundaries. As a teacher I wouldn't be very happy if I gave out an end of term gift to my class and some of them sent me a thank you card to my home address. I pnce had a dad turn up at my house looking for his daughter's coat because she had left it on a school trip. I think school matters should be kept to school, and keep people's personal details out of it. I wouldn't send my dr or dentist a thank you to their home address. It feels to me like crossing a line, using home addresses.

jacks365 Wed 30-Jul-14 08:12:08

My dd school uses a franking machine which prints the logo and name so a thank you via that would be welcomed and treasured but I would feel a bit odd if one came just stamped because it would feel like it was too personal. I am slightly cautious though as we did have a couple of issues last year due to inappropriate contact from someone.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jul-14 08:14:21

I don't agree at all.
A parent who turns up uninvited at a teachers house has crossed professional boundaries.
A teacher sending a kind note to a child's home is a teacher sending a kind note.

My DD carefully selected two specific gifts for two specific teachers this year. When she handed the presents over the teachers didn't open them immediately. One of the teachers phoned her on our home phone mpnumber to thank her and she nearly burst with happiness.

It's just ordinary human kindness. The defensive 'professional boundaries/data protection' stuff may well be necessary - I completely get that teachers may justifiably feel the need to protect themselves and I totally agree with how they chose to do that - but it sure as hell is depressing.

Delphiniumsblue Wed 30-Jul-14 08:15:28

The sad thing is that the world is such that you have to ask. Maybe try the email first and see what the parents say. I think of MN as being a parallel universe but you can't be sure.

hankyspanky Wed 30-Jul-14 08:23:14

How sad has life become?

There are some sad fuckers around, for anyone to see this as anything other than a polite, lovely gesture.

My DD's were thrilled to receive anything in the post.

My eldest DD saw her primary school teacher in Morrisons the other day and was overjoyed. She last saw her 18 years ago!

hmm some people need to get a life.

effinandjeffin Wed 30-Jul-14 08:23:33

I don't expect anything from the teachers when we give our presents at the end of term. I realise that they must get loads (and going by a previous thread) don't want half of the stuff they're given, but I do it anyway, more for the dcs sake.

However, one year we received a thank you card from my sons teaching assistant, in the holidays, who must have done just as you're suggesting OP, and it was absolutely lovely. I think those girls who went to so much trouble for your gifts would appreciate it too.

This site is like a sodding parallel universe sometimes.

chemenger Wed 30-Jul-14 08:29:25

We always got thank you cards by post in the holidays when my dds were in primary. I think its fine and sets a good example of manners and courtesy. Maybe you could give them to the school and they could address and post them?

Seriouslyffs Wed 30-Jul-14 08:29:40

I found a postcard the other day, posted to me from my first ever teacher after she moved to The Channel Islands. She said her new pupils weren't as clever as me! 40 years ago. grin

pippistrelle Wed 30-Jul-14 08:30:54

Parent turning up at a teacher's house - weird, and slightly worrying. How would they know where you live, for one thing?

Teacher sending a card - lovely. I can't say I would find a child's teacher being able to get access to her address as worrying. And would it really occur to anyone that they couldn't? (Whether they use them or not.)

Not being able to tell the difference in appropriateness between the two? Mind-boggling.

Altinkum Wed 30-Jul-14 08:35:16

Although it's a a lovely gesture, it really isn't right that someone can access personal data for personal use, if that is the case what's the point in having the DPA at all.

I really do think it's overstepping a professional boundary, you can say the "worlds gone mad" etc.... But the fact still remains that you're accessing a child's file.

So you've accessed a child's file, for a simple gesture, someone else wants do to the same thing, so why not allow that person and the next, however so does someone else but it's been disallowed, but why not them and you? All for simple gestures....

spiderswilldescend Wed 30-Jul-14 08:35:54

This is indeed very sad.

Teachers at our school always post thank you letters and it's lovely - kids now hardly get any of their own post, and it makes them really excited. It also shows them that I'm not the only one in the world who thinks thank you letters matter smile.

Mind you, I'm always agog at the parallel universe thing that often goes on here on MN when thank you letters are discussed. Have seen many a one where the OP is an entitled bitch for expecting thanks for something confused.

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