Teacher gift etiquette

(65 Posts)
Onroute66 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:19:09

An individual gift for a teacher and TA. What's reasonable, what's not?

I won't say what I've bought just yet as I want to know if it's crap or ott.

Floralnomad Wed 17-Jul-13 20:21:49

We've bought our teacher an ornamental metal rooster ,I know she keeps chickens and if I were getting a gift I would like it .

TarkaTheOtter Wed 17-Jul-13 20:22:14

As an absolute upper limit I'd say £5. Better something made by your dcs or a heartfelt letter appreciating what they have done for your dc this year.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 17-Jul-13 20:23:22

Depends on your budget. As for whats reasonable, id say something that shows you have put a little efort in rather than generic box of roses.

Onroute66 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:23:45

So thank you notes not out of the question?

ArtemisatBrauron Wed 17-Jul-13 20:23:53

That is quite vague... Wine always acceptable, chocolate/cake/other treats good but you risk that the teacher has allergies/on a diet (I am allergic to milk and have to give away about 20 boxes of chocolate a year!)
I recently got some lovely luxury handwash/handcream which I love using every time I wash my hands.

Sometimes the best thing is a card with thoughtful message.

The absolute best thing I have ever received was a beautiful picture drawn by pupil who was gifted at art, I had it framed and people always ask about it thinking it is by some posh artist! grin

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 17-Jul-13 20:25:25

Effort even, will teach me to read before posting.

I have spent a decent amount on the teacher and after school staff and the rest have thoughtful smaller gifts. Card and nice bag alone can be £3 easily.

I got a case of half price Freixenet which I salted away so all teachers / TAs are getting a bottle and a thank you card from the DDs. Never known a teacher to be disappointed with wine grin

CeliaFate Wed 17-Jul-13 20:27:00

Anything home made, wine, chocolates, flowers, bath stuff, hand cream. I'd never buy ornaments or things for the home.

Shootingstar79 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:28:23

Honestly, I know I can't speak for all teachers; I can for the ones I know!

We hate to think that parents are worrying about gifts-too big, small, not right...I don't know when the trend started but I would rather do away with it completely, particularly when I see a child in the class who hasn't bought me a gift looking worried when they come in the class on the last day of term (obviously I reassure them).
we don't expect anything, we don't need anything, we don't judge anyone on the present we receive!
I know it is a cliche but an appreciative note in a card or on the report reply slip means the most. I keep them all.

jollygoose Wed 17-Jul-13 20:28:27

I agree its the effort that counts, a handwritten note of thanks, particularly if it mentions something in class the child has enjoyed or improved at. Keep it small - most of us are embarrased at large gifts.

Shootingstar79 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:30:17

Sorry, that goes for the class TA as well. They often get forgotten when writing a note of thanks yet they do so much to support the children in their care.

We did a collection for dt's teacher and Lsa's . But I individually got them each a bath bomb from lush. Was going to get dt's to make them something but been so busy in my school ( a comp so no pressi's for us ) that time just ram out!

Onroute66 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:34:53

I agree shooting star, and I'm sure that ds teachers wouldn't think anything either way. It's just one of those things though, like birthday party present etiquette.

At the same time if the teachers been good, your childs been happy, you do want to say thank you as you really do appreciate it.

gordyslovesheep Wed 17-Jul-13 20:35:00

TA's have got body cream (half price in Body Shop) and Lip balm (ditto)

Teachers have a 'No1 Teacher' Mug (£1 in Asda) filled with Heroes

I am a cheap skate

The CM gets a bottle of fizz and chocolates and I normally buy the head a bottle of red ...not this year because he has really boiled my tits

I also make sure I write an email to headteacher sending my particular thanks for any member of staff that has really made a difference to my DDs.

youmeatsix Wed 17-Jul-13 20:36:27

i read this earlier, people giving teachers presents Harrods's hampers, Tiffany necklaces and spa days confused
confused

youmeatsix Wed 17-Jul-13 20:36:58
giddywithglee Wed 17-Jul-13 20:38:55

DH is a teacher and he says he doesn't expect pressies but appreciates the thought if someone is kind enough to make or buy him something.

As a teacher's wife wine is my favourite!

Dylanlovesbaez Wed 17-Jul-13 20:39:29

Honestly, a thank you really does the trick or a nice comment on report feedback.

pudcat Wed 17-Jul-13 20:49:21

Have read that link - parents giving those presents are doing it "as a status symbol to boast about in the playground or a marker that they expect special treatment for their child".
Teachers do not expect presents, a thank you is enough.

trinity0097 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:52:03

If you thinking of giving wine please do check that the recipient drinks! I am amassing a collection of bubbly in my office at school, when I have enough bottles I shall throw a big party with it all! Bubbly I can't even take home and give to hubby to drink as he's a beer/red wine kind of guy! Wonder how many bottles of fizz I need to start a party, have 6 so far from last term and this one!

I'm a TA and we don't expect to get anything, it is nice when people do give you a little gift-we all like to be appreciated.
However, two of my girls wrote me a lovely poem in their free computer time a few days ago and that will be going in my memory box for sure! I'm probably sad but I am so hoping for a best ta travel mug!
I shall shed a tear when this class move up as they and their parents are the nicest class I have ever had.

I am a cheap skate and asked my parents to bring back a small soap stone gift, from Kenya, for each of the preschool teachers. A small heart that can be used as a paperweight/ ornament but didn't cost much. 8 presents was a bit much but as DD preferred some of the "other" teachers to her own keyworker I felt i had to get something for everyone.

swannylovesu Wed 17-Jul-13 21:35:05

i've bought DS1 class teacher a little silver dragonfly bracelet from ebay (around £10). wouldnt normally, but hes leaving year 6 and she was the one who dragged him through his SATs when it was assumed he would do poorly in them. DS2 teacher is getting an ornamental shabby chic type teacher rag doll which was in the sale at a local garden centre for £5. Each of them will write a little thank you note too...does this sound ok???

Nanny0gg Wed 17-Jul-13 21:42:53

Seriously, swannylovesu, anything bought or made with thought is appreciated. Your gifts sound lovely.

ConferencePear Wed 17-Jul-13 21:44:42

I really wish parents wouldn't do this.
A thank you note, especially if you can find some particular thing to mention, would be cherished by me.

Summerblaze Wed 17-Jul-13 21:47:32

I bought a card with a personal note of thanks in it and then did little gift bags with chocs, pens, pencils, stickers, rubbers etc.

I took them in yesterday and have had lots of thank you's from the teachers saying how useful they will be.

Picturepuncture Wed 17-Jul-13 21:52:14

If you thinking of giving wine please do check that the recipient drinks! I am amassing a collection of bubbly in my office at school, when I have enough bottles I shall throw a big party with it all! Bubbly I can't even take home and give to hubby to drink as he's a beer/red wine kind of guy! Wonder how many bottles of fizz I need to start a party, have 6 so far from last term and this one!

DH and I (both teachers) amassed enough of the stuff to stock the bar at our engagement party a few years ago! And we had some leftover... Unbelievable! wink

Hissy Wed 17-Jul-13 21:56:19

Why does this even happen? When did it start?

We never had this when I was at school.

I'm grateful to those that teach, but I expect them to do their role to the best of their ability, as i'm expected to do mine!

I find it's another way of playground performers to show how much money they have, how great they are.

I don't think it's a good idea tbh.

knackeredmother Wed 17-Jul-13 21:56:45

I hope I don't cause offence with this but my SIL is a teacher and she gets literally bags full of toiletries, chocolates and wine. She gives most of it away and the toiletries gather dust and actually does not appear to really be bothered about any of it. She does drink the wine but really appreciates the cards.

I always figure if you don't drink it's a great gift to have in stock to take to dinner parties / have in stock for friends and family. Having said that ALL the teachers at our school drink wine.

manicinsomniac Wed 17-Jul-13 22:08:09

This year I got theatre vouchers (from a group of the parents), 2 bottles of wine, 4 boxes of chocolates and a comedy present from a parent who's also a colleague.

Generally speaking (obviously there are lines) I think any or no present is totally acceptable. I've had some embarrassingly expensive presents from individual parents in the past which is awkward but I still appreciate it!

I don't actually agree with all the teachers saying the don't expect presents though. It's been going on for so long that actually, I do expect it. I don't feel I need or deserve them and I don't expect something from everyone but, if the end of term came and I didn't get given anything by anyone, then I think I'd be surprised and maybe even worried that I was a terrible teacher. I'd only feel that because it somehow seems to have become the 'done thing' though, not because I think it should be.

knackeredmother Wed 17-Jul-13 22:11:33

Manic my SIL does say privately that if she doesn't get a present she does wonder why and it is noticed.

manicinsomniac Wed 17-Jul-13 22:44:31

glad I'm not the only one knackeredmother!

raisah Wed 17-Jul-13 23:02:27

Advice needed please for end of year gifts for x 2 teachers, x4 TAs & 1 school bus driver and escort. As theres 8 staff members I cant afford to spend much. I was thinking of buying a gift for the nursery instead so future kids can benefit. What do you think?

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 17-Jul-13 23:23:10

I honestly think anything, no matter how small or inexpensive, is very much appreciated. I work in childcare within a school and some kids bring gifts on the last day, some bring cards/letters, sone bring nothing but say thank you in person. It is all appreciated smile

so far this week (kids finishing childcare different days) i have been given 5 gifts, ranging from a 'party bag' type thing of all my favourite sweets (thanks to the not so subtle questions from the child last week smile ), to a voucher for a manicure from a parent who has 3 children who all come to me. I also have one parent who buys me a £10 boots voucher every summer/xmas as she knows im make up obsessed.

However, i would have to say that my favourite gift this week was the result of a child sitting in a corner for 30mins, using every felt tip/glitter glue they could get their hands on to make me the soggiest messiest picture of me, with the words 'shabby' i love you because you make the best toast and give me cuddles when im sad'. Im not ashamed to say it nearly made me cry hormonal its stuck on my fridge smile

Amy106 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:38:03

As a teacher, I really value and save those child made thank you cards or pictures. They are special to me because they come from the heart and make me smile. smile. I hate the thought that families can be stressed by gift giving. If really pushed, I have also suggested a small donation to any charity that helps children. But really, for me, gifts are not necessary.

Nanny0gg Thu 18-Jul-13 00:04:03

raisah Brilliant idea.

SarahAndFuck Thu 18-Jul-13 00:13:53

I bought a selection of stuff for them to put in their kitchen and share. They have a self contained little kitchen in the classroom so I know the teachers from DS's class will get the benefit of that, plus because it's a foundation class there are two teachers and three or four teaching assistants and a nursery nurse so individual presents were a bit difficult.

DS gave them Tea, coffee, drinking chocolate, flavoured water, three of different types of posh biscuits, yogurt bars, mints, chocolates, pretzels, and a couple of different packs of posh crisps.

I thought they could just share and pick at the bits they liked over lunch or tea break.

And he wrote a card that said thank you to them all.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 18-Jul-13 07:20:45

One of my DCs is going up to Reception this year so, as a thank-you at two settings he is leaving, I have spent or given about £30 to the organisation for something they want (e.g. for one, I got a good deal on ebay for some floor cushions they were after). When a DC let presviously, I bought some nice jigsaws, that sort of thing.

musicposy Thu 18-Jul-13 07:27:16

Just let the child make a note. Or get something really little. Don't spend over a fiver. Here it really is the thought that counts.
I'm a teacher smile

funkybuddah Thu 18-Jul-13 07:31:20

Ds constantly talks about his cooking passion so he is making the teachers his special Brownies and writing out the ingredients and instructions. They got his writing and grammar up to scratch for the yr6 says so he wants to show them what he can do .

Onroute66 Thu 18-Jul-13 07:37:54

I think what I've got should be ok.

It's a small sweet, let's say a mini box of nice sweets, but something they're unlikely to have another of. And a little stationery item.

GangstaGranny Thu 18-Jul-13 07:48:24

I generally make a batch of chocolate fudge that I can share out in home made boxes. My fudge seems to be getting a bit predictable so had to rethink this year.
My fridge is full of Wicked Baileys Truffles! Easy to make, not too evpensive over 3 teachers, 3 TAs and after school club. I'm even taking a batch into work today. Even at £5 a head I would have spent £30 before cards and wrapping.
He husband works at a school (but doesn't teach). Recently he threw away 2 boxes of "No 1 Teacher" type mugs that weren't wanted, such a shame as they all had to be gifts.

27cats Thu 18-Jul-13 07:54:07

Giving something to the nursery setting is a good idea. Books and jigsaws are especially useful, as they do get worn out. smile

FauxFox Thu 18-Jul-13 08:11:36

I try and give gifts that mach my level of appreciation. Some years I just do £10 in the class collection, but teachers that go above and beyond the call of duty to help my kids get more. DDs teacher has spent plenty of his own time making personalised resources to encourage her and for the first time she's really 'got' the point of learning, she adores him. I've got him a family day pass for a local attraction so he can spend a cool day out with his own kids to make up all the time he's spent on mine grin

jojane Thu 18-Jul-13 08:16:56

I think I am gettin one funky pens etc. ds1 has had a supply teacher most f this year due to maternity leav who left last month so we got her some gardening stuff - funky trowel, kneeling mat, seeds etc as she had said in her leaving note that she was looking forward to spending some time in her garden.

SweepTheHalls Thu 18-Jul-13 08:33:19

Every hand written note goes in a file that I read when I have had an awful day and need to remind myself just why I teach.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Thu 18-Jul-13 09:21:10

Oh, and I checked what the setting wanted before I bought stuff ...... That's at Pre-School level, though. Bit different when they are at school.

JazzDalek Thu 18-Jul-13 09:36:23

Disposable income hit hard by birthdays and sale spending recently blush so have only bought one present - DS is going up to year 1 next year, so his teacher has had him all through nursery and reception and she has been brilliant with him (he was slightly challenging at first). Have bought a card and a bag of summer fruit chocolate from Rococo.

DD's teacher is also lovely but she has her next year too so will get her something at the end of her two-year stint with DD.

Thereistoomuchconfusion Thu 18-Jul-13 09:51:48

Fauxfox that is reallyy lovely, where is this school my dd does not 'get' learning I want him to be my dd teacher. Although my dd teacher is brilliant. We had some old tins in the cupboard which hubby took to work and spray painted them in the TA and teachers fav coulours (not so subtly found out by dd). The dd decorated the tins and wrote the teachers names and put stickers on them and we filled the tins with pens fancy tissues and some nice smelling hand stuff, and a tiny Yankee candle in Clinton's for 80p bargin!! And I did get some moon pig cards and got dd to write a little note which is hard for her and is not readable but her teacher will understand it is difficult for her to write so hopefully appreciated xx

frangipan Thu 18-Jul-13 09:52:32

I have made bookmarks from wide ribbon with a fabric rosette and button sewn on. Took me about 2 hours as i was making 19 of them (3 dc separate schools) cost approx 50p each but i already had all the bits anyway. DS1 13 made up the following Poem to go with it, and we wrote a personal message also.....

This little homemade gift
Is to help you mark your place
And to be a constant reminder
That (little frange )thinks you're ACE!

They've gone down well so far i think <hoping they don't think i am cheap>

BiddyPop Thu 18-Jul-13 10:01:26

DD's school generally have envelopes in the Secretary's office for each class, so parents can drop in €5 or whatever they want for each child - that is used to buy a voucher each for teacher and TA in the room.

DD then does a card which she makes herself (but which she generally doesn't give herself enough time to write, so I do a message from us all inside). One each for teacher, TA, SEN and reading group leader (and this year there was also one for the TA who had them 1st term).

We had to get a present for the SEN seperately, I got her a bag of nice "relaxing tea" and I know another 1 of the small group (3) that DD works with got her a nice mug - so it looked coordinated. grin (The kids all know she loves her coffee in the mornings and then green tea and other infusions).

Seperately, we also have the 3 minders in the afterschool club in creche, and the 2 drivers to the creche - they each got a box of chocs and a shop bought "Thank you" card, written by DD.

I figure that's enough organising to have to do. We got one of the drivers calling to the door at home (she lives nearby) to say thank you as she was out when DD dropped it off (not organised enough for her day driving) - as almost no one gives anything to the drivers and she was delighted with it. (Including the Christmas present she kept forgetting to give her blush - a hand knitted facecloth and nice soap).

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Thu 18-Jul-13 10:01:34

I have 2 teachers and 4 TA's to buy for so the teachers each got a nice tin of biscuits from M&S and the TA's got some shortbread stars, and one TA also got a best TA keyring (only £1 in card factory) as she has really helped my son with his writing this year. They all got a card which my boys wrote saying thank you and I also wrote in the card saying how grateful I am and especially to the teacher of my son who struggles a bit with his writing as I feel he has made such a difference this year and I wanted to acknowledge it. The gifts didn't cost much each but add up. I am hoping the cards mean something more to them.

SanityClause Thu 18-Jul-13 10:18:49

One lovely teacher DS had, came to his naice prep school from a much tougher school.

She told me that the first time a load of parents came in at the end of term to give her a present, she thought they wanted a row!

I quite like the class collection idea, as it means the teachers aren't innundated by small bits of tat presents. I do appreciate that a class collection brings its own problems, however.

BiddyPop Thu 18-Jul-13 11:59:51

Sanity, in our case it is up to each parent to decide on participation or not, as they wish. The secretary minds all envelopes and it is only the Class Rep who gets it so sees the list of names. And as there is a range of incomes etc in school, there is never any disctinction drawn between those who can or cannot participate, and I know the card the teacher gets is signed as "On behalf of 1st Class 2013" or whatever is relevant - no names are included on card. And you do see some children bringing something different, or just cards, or nothing - but as they could well have put into the collection, that doesn't mean they aren't giving. So it actually means that any who CAN'T give are not singled out in any way - they become annonymous instead.

lachrymavitis Thu 18-Jul-13 12:19:32

The teacher and TAs will get homemade cards and homemade biscuits this year.

They may go in the bin but hopefully the teacher and TAs will appreciate the effort that will go into making them. The children will enjoy making them too.

oscarwilde Thu 18-Jul-13 12:30:56

My MIL was a teacher and said that nice biscuits, nice tea and coffee and wine were the crowd pleasers. They don't have a kettle in the classroom nor a dishwasher in the staffroom so one clearly identifiable (and large) mug is preferred.
She got this one year and loved it
My sister is a primary teacher and spent a year teaching in a private prep. She left at the end of the year with Clarins gift sets and all kinds of expensive toiletries most of which she gave away rather than store 10 yrs worth of the stuff. We were all gobsmacked at the average value of the gifts she received. Madness.

Caitycat Thu 18-Jul-13 12:45:27

I am a secondary teacher and we very rarely get anything in my school. The exception is sixth form leavers who will often buy something for me as a class. I absolutely love getting a card with a gushing message - these feel all the more genuine for being only occasional!

fudgeit Thu 18-Jul-13 19:09:51

i resisted last year but felt bad after. this year i have collected this and that fr

fudgeit Thu 18-Jul-13 19:11:55

i resisted last year but felt bad after. this year i have collected this and that from sales at Paperchase and the like. so the TAs get chocs and little diaries for next year, the same for teacher plus a little charm key ring. again cards and gift bags on sale so it might look a bit OTT but actually isn't.

fudgeit Thu 18-Jul-13 19:12:55

and i was really hoping that mis-post hadn't gone through confused

Balaboosta Thu 18-Jul-13 19:33:13

I got a job lot of quirky fridge magnets off eBay and some little Chinese cloth bags to put two or three into, also from eBay. But theyre quite kitsch and some peoples fridges dint have magnetty doors... My problem is that all the staff in the school are lovely and helpful to me and DTs - one has sen so lots of support - and where do you draw the line? Even the janitor that holds open the gate is deserving of a gift so i could end up with a huge box-load of gifts...

clarasebal Wed 18-Sep-13 19:15:56

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