To think its time to ban end of term presents?

(229 Posts)
Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 09:25:15

There are kids crying in the playground this morning because mum can't afford.

News said 1 in 11 buy less food to buy a present.

1 in 4 felt pressured to do so.

Teacher ends up.with loads of stuff they don't really want.

Aibu to think there should be a blanket ban and that teachers would be horrified if a child had gone without food to buy a gift.

Instead children could be given time in last week to make caress gift.


Ezio Fri 19-Jul-13 09:28:12

I havent bought anything this year as DD will have the same teachers, last year i spent £6 on 2 presents for DD's teachers, mini potted rose plants, they looked pretty.

reelingintheyears Fri 19-Jul-13 09:28:19

I agree.
What was wrong with a shiny red apple?
I might give a box of sweets for the staff room but not to an individual teacher.

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 19-Jul-13 09:29:15

I have always been oblivious to these things, but my MIL insists.

YANBU. It was banned at my secondary school when I was a child and I don't remember people sending gifts at primary school. I don't know why it has become such a big thing now. A nicely worded thank you card is enough IMO.

yoyoyo Fri 19-Jul-13 09:32:46

DD has made a card, I'm not sending any gift how many worlds best teacher mugs does one person need

ShoeWhore Fri 19-Jul-13 09:39:28

I think in some schools it has got totally out of hand. Thankfully ours isn't one of them - some families send a small token of thanks, some don't and no one really knows which are which.

I like to say thank you to the teachers - they work really hard and one in particular has done a truly amazing job with ds this year.

Perhaps it would be better to ban over the top class collections or impose a limit on their value?

Jinty64 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:40:22

I don't like collections or whole class gifts but surely it is up to individual parents if they wish to give a card or gift to a teacher who has been responsible for their child 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for the best part of a year. Most people could afford a sheet of paper and get use of some crayons so that their child could make a card or a picture for the teacher.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 19-Jul-13 09:41:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sirzy Fri 19-Jul-13 09:42:22

I think it would be impossible to ban it.

The issue comes when people make a song and dance about it rather than the actual wish to thank the teacher with a small gift.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 09:42:43

Ours send in at Christmas/Summer/Easter and now teachers birthday. Its just too much..

Flobbadobs Fri 19-Jul-13 09:44:10

YANBU. DD gave her teacher a card this morning with a lovely message and drew a picture in it. Her teacher is leaving today so for the first time we've had a collection, all of the children wrote in the card regardless of whether the parents put in any money. Usually everyone just does their own thing but she is a well loved and long serving teacher so we've made an exception.
It can get ridiculous though.

namechangeforaclue Fri 19-Jul-13 09:46:14

Doesn't take much to make a card.
Sorry but only an idiot would buy something they couldn't afford and have less food because of it.
Also what is wrong with showing appreciation and teaching our children the value of it. I assume you would bye a friend a leaving pressie if they were moving away or something. Children can get very close to teachers and tend nowaways to only have one teacher for a year at a time. I look at it as a leaving gift, my little boy has helped me make cup cakes. We had a fun time making them and he will love giving them.
These are the people that look after your children when you don't.
Their job is hard and pretty thankless. Would you have it made worse?
If you don't want to do it that is fine but own your choice and don't try to make a crusade so that people that do enjoy it will no longer have the option.

MolotovCocktail Fri 19-Jul-13 09:50:56

There was a collection for my dd's teachers (1 teacher and 2 class assistants). The required amount to give was £8. I mean, I really like the teachers and am very grateful to them as my dd has come on leaps and bounds since September but ... I felt pressure to contribute and would have preferred to give a personal gift. I could have said 'no': admittedly, I went along with the majority for an easy ride and to save face (mine, I think, not dd's).

And this money is in addition to monthly wrap-around care fees; dinner money; school fund contributions; a recent school trip costing £18. I need to buy dd new uniform items over the next month, etc, etc.

So, whilst I don't want to be 'bah, humbug' about this, costs do add up and the collective gift feels impersonal.

jinglykeys Fri 19-Jul-13 09:51:10

We recently had a baby so am trying to be very careful with money so 4 4 yo DD spent yesterday evening after school making cards for her teachers and me dictating letters for her to write the phrases in the cards. the teachers were very happy with the cards this morning as they were the ones who taught dd to write so were proud of her too.

ubik Fri 19-Jul-13 09:51:15

Each child in our class did a drawing and then one of the parents bound it into a book. It was lovely. DD also brought her teacher a sunflower.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 09:51:39

Of course people can afford paper and a pen to make a picture.

What I am saying is I've just seen a nine year old in school in tears embarrassed because the kids asked where his gift was and he had only made a card as mum was made redundant and three Kids in school.

The kids weren't nasty about it, they just asked.

Maybe it can be worked round where they can be left at office at hometime on last day or something.

EricNorthmansFangbanger Fri 19-Jul-13 09:53:46

DD1 (5) has taken in a handmade card, a picture and a little heart tin with 10 lindt chocolates in for both her teacher and TA. I did think chocolates in this weather would be a no no but DD1 insisted. They've both been amazing this year and DD1 wanted to make them a little something especially. I also popped a thank you letter in from both of us.

I don't know what the deal is with parents at the school and presents. I've not seen anything showy but it may happen. I think a little token of appreciation can be nice, especially something personal from the child. Reading some of the stories on here though, it is plain to see some go over the top. Children really shouldn't be made to feel upset because they haven't got their teacher a big present sad

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 09:54:27

Ubik I think that's a lovely idea.

OhDearNigel Fri 19-Jul-13 09:56:16

Dd's room is getting a box of cupcakes (im a cake decorator) and a thankyou card made by dd

Dancergirl Fri 19-Jul-13 09:58:13


10 out of 11 don't go without food to buy a present.

3 out of 4 don't feel pressurised into buying a present.

FGS, you can't ban buying a present! If you can't afford a present then make a home-made card.

Do you really think teachers even notice or care who doesn't buy a present?

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 19-Jul-13 09:58:22


Cards are the best bit, I've saved them all since I started teaching.

lynniep Fri 19-Jul-13 09:58:26

Its not a problem that I'm aware of (where we are) I chose to give the teachers a gift this year (homemade shortbread for all of TAs and teachers in his year and also for the ladies who run Out of School club, and then for his teacher of two years I made baby shoes as she's leaving on maternity). My DS's made them a card (DS2 is still pre-school but doesnt like being left out)

I have never felt any pressure to get them a present. It was my choice entirely. I didnt bother (forgot about it) last year. I certainly won't be heading down the high street to buy anything.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 09:58:34

Namechange I am aware how thankless the job is, I used to do it!

I am not saying don't appreciate the teacher. What i am saying is according to the news 3 of each class will have gone without food rather than embarrass their kid by not sending in a gift.

No teacher wants that.

There have been MANY threads on here where people have felt very pressured into giving large amounts for collections.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 10:00:24

No they don't notice or care dancergirl but the kids do.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 10:01:48

I know of two schools that have banned none home made gifts so it can be done.

LegoAcupuncture Fri 19-Jul-13 10:04:46

I can't see the problem in showing appreciation to a teacher for all they've done, doesn't matter in what respect you show it, a card, a gift, a handmade cupcake, it's the thought that counts.

I've always done gifts but wouldn't do them if I couldn't afford them. I don't u them all at once, I buy them as and when so that the cost is less.

LegoAcupuncture Fri 19-Jul-13 10:04:59


Mia4 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:05:48

My friend's a teacher, much as she loves getting gifts-wine and chocs usually- she ends up giving half away because she's on weightwatchers.

Her two favourite gifts were an A4 handmade thank you that the parent had laminated (she uses it as a mat on the table), and a small chilli plant that was grown from the parents bigger one.

Wine's usually a good bet because you can get offers from tesco, Iceland also often do 3 for £12, that's £4 each- no more's needed.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 19-Jul-13 10:08:33

YABU. It's just that some people get silly about the amounts to spend.

And if it had been banned, I would have broken the ban to buy a present for dd's year 6 teacher last year, who was absolutely tremendous and made a genuine difference to her. If I want to buy the guy a present, I bloody well will, and I'm very glad I did.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 10:12:15

"Her two favourite gifts were an A4 handmade thank you that the parent had laminated (she uses it as a mat on the table), and a small chilli plant that was grown from the parents bigger one"

"she ends up giving half away because she's on weightwatchers. "

^^this though, I read loads of times on her that teachers favourite gift or something they have kept is a bookmark/picture or card that little johnny made 20 years ago.

Do teachers even want all this stuff.

There were at least 20 big boxes/tins of chocolate alone this morning.

what on earth do they do with it all?

BeCool Fri 19-Jul-13 10:16:28

YY let's legislate against it! hmm

Or people could just make their own mind up about it and do what they want?

I agree it's the thought that counts. I will buy teacher a £5 bunch of gorgeous peonies & DD will make a card. If I couldn't afford £5 I wouldn't spend it. I would normally consider baking a cake or some biscuits but the oven just broke so I can't.

There was talk of getting a collective class present and putting in £5 each. But really it's all about the children giving the teacher a show of appreciation - which I don't think a collective present does.

A collective present shows that one of the parents got very busy & hassled collecting ££ from everyone, and choosing a pricey gift. It all goes wrong when its about the present. I said I would chip in £2 as DD would still want to give something personal, but I wasn't prepared to organise the collective gift and I didn't feel it was necessary.

I've lived with teachers - and they do come home with a bunch of crap. Wine - good. Chocolates of varying quality - some are OK, some just go in the bin. Flowers - lovely. Jewellery of dubious taste - no thanks. Regifted bubble bath - why not. Last day of school & Christmas was always a hoot when the teachers came home. The cards were the things they loved and appreciated the most (and the consumable gifts like wine/flowers/chocolates).

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 10:16:29

like I said then earlier, allow gifts to continue but find a way of them being given in which provides less opportunity for the competitive parent brigade doing it to show they have more money.

LegoAcupuncture Fri 19-Jul-13 10:16:35

If they are savvy like me when I get bottles of wine, give them away to family members at Christmas time.

BeCool Fri 19-Jul-13 10:20:22

Oh - the collective gift didn't happen afterall. I think the other Mums were pleased I said what I did and relieved them of the obligation they felt (and they did feel a genuine obligation to try to do this) to organise such a gift. I also said if we did do it, that every child in the class should be able to sign the card, regardless of if their parent chipped in or not. But I'm glad it didn't happen.

echt Fri 19-Jul-13 10:20:55

YANBU. No gift is ever needed. I've been teaching for yonks, and it's the cards and written thanks that count. I keep them for my annual review. grin

kooksi Fri 19-Jul-13 10:21:38

I agree ... blanket ban on gifts is the best idea ..

Nothing wrong with a home made thank you card (by child not parent) .. the rest is just showy

Orli Fri 19-Jul-13 10:34:01

I think is nice to give something small, especially if your teacher, like ours, went way over the strict lines of their duties. So I bout a card, a box of chocolate, and a special keyring that changes colours when there is too much UV rays, because it is related to our situation, and because some of the proceeds go to a charity close to my heart - the Albinism Fellowship.
I guess what I am trying to say is that you shouldn't "have to" buy presents, but you should "want to" (at least if you had a good teacher!)

BeCool Fri 19-Jul-13 10:34:38

Or you could change the way you feel about the 'competitive parent brigade'. Rather than envying them or admiring them or competing with them (in fact rather than being a competitive parent yourself), just pity them for being money focused, shallow, and concerned with what other people think!!

Who cares if parent X has more money and wants to show it? Disengage yourself and your child from THEIR priorities and their showy behaviour. Leave them to it. Why let their messed up values have any bearing on you whatsoever?

Whojamaflip Fri 19-Jul-13 10:36:38

It all gets out of hand at our school too - expensive pressies from parents who don't notice the cost.

I am one of the few who has to watch the pennies there so all dc's teachers and tas got a small posy of flowers from our garden tied up with garden twine and brown paper. I ended up making 28 to cover everyone (4 DC at the school - one in preschool so 12 for her alone confused )

Even if I had bought cheap chocolates for everyone it would still have cost me the guts if £100 shock - just couldn't do it.

Tailtwister Fri 19-Jul-13 10:40:46

I agree. If I was a teacher I would hate to think such upset was being caused by giving me a present.

We had a collection this year. Anonymous donations, everyone gave their own card if they wanted to. DS made some book marks and that was fine until he saw one mother march in with gift bags containing bottles of expensive champagne for each teacher! Hugely over the top and exhibitionist imo. However, each to their own I suppose.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 10:41:17

Becool I don't give a shit what they take in or how much they spend.

It wasn't my child who was crying in the playground this morning because he had only made a card. His parent was gutted and said she a shit mum but had three in school and two had a job share so five teachers and then ta to buy for.

tedmundo Fri 19-Jul-13 10:42:16

I got my DCs to make cards and I even sucked it up and let them use glitter.

They wrote the message themselves too.

No gift other than this (their time and kind thoughts!)

Blimey, it hasn't got that out of hand in my DCs school

Might send in some chocs for staff room on Monday as it's my youngests last few days at primary - but have never felt under pressure

Make a nice card and be happy about it ! Will be just as much appreciated.

I think the parent whose child was upset that they 'only' had a card handled it badly - when the other kids asked "where's your present?" I'd have replied for him "his present is this lovely card that he made all by himself". That child had probably put more effort into the card than the kids whose parents had bought a present! As for parents going without food to buy a present - well you can't legislate against stupidity.

Slight thread hijack here but I am really worried about the present I bought my DS's teacher now. I bought her a little silver charm of her initial. It's really small and subtle and only cost me £3 but do you think it could look showy and like I'd spent £20 on her or something?! I wouldn't want to embarrass her. Expensive, flash gifts are awful and mine really isn't but I'm concerned that it might look like it is confused

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 10:58:37

Oh FFS surely people can make up their own mind without another bloody ban on something.

I LIKE teachers, the ones I have come across do a fantastic job, despite the governments insistence on making it as hard as possible for them. If there was one I thought made little effort I wouldn't contribute to the collection. In many many jobs there are small perks such as hampers from clients/suppliers, discounted shopping, free tickets to this and that. There seems to be such bitterness towards teachers.

Collections can be simple economics. The suggested amount in our school is usually about £10 but the absolute rule given to reps by the PTA is any money goes blind into an envelope (ie reps look away, its a bit of a joke), no-one is chased, no list is kept of who has and hasn't contributed and everyone is invited to sign the card regardless. The pot is split between multiple teachers and support staff and ensures the teachers get the very small perk of choosing something they might not buy themselves at the end of the year.

Part of parenting is to explain either your circumstances or beliefs to your children, not to rely on constant rules to enforce these for you.

pussycatwillum Fri 19-Jul-13 11:04:01

I was a Primary teacher for 27 years. DiL asked me what to give DGC's teacher and I said a card or something written by her, with a picture she has drawn.
After I retired I did Supply at DGC's school. I know what they did with their World's Best Teacher mugs. There was a cupboard full of them in the staffroom for use at breaks.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 11:06:16

See chilly I would have no issue with your schools method.

In old school when they did a collection names who paid in full where ticked off a list, parents were chased and only those ticked off were allowed to write on card.

Your schools way is fine, no pressure on those that can't afford.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Fri 19-Jul-13 11:06:37

I am a class rep and at the end of the year I send a note to all the parents saying I am doing a collection and if they wish to put in they can. Some do, some don't but if a few parents want to put together then I don't see a problem.

I never chase people for money so no-one is made to feel bad if they don't put it. I would say about one third of the class put in and the others do their own thing whether it be small gifts, cards, homemade cakes etc.

BeCool Fri 19-Jul-13 11:13:55

But she doesn't have to buy for them - as others have said there are plenty of options.

So the child wasn't crying about the competitive present parents was he?

He was crying because he didn't have any gift to give. The child would be happy with any kind of gift to give his teacher, including something home made. For the child, it's simply about giving a gift.

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 11:15:35

Also, anyone who has worked in an office will be well used to endlessly dipping into their pockets for every person's birthday, leaving, wedding, new baby, regardless of whether they like them, whether they make their working life hell etc. Is this to be the subject of a ban too ?

orangepudding Fri 19-Jul-13 11:18:17

We did a collection yet most people seemed to bring in presents on top of that! It's out of hand.

KirstyWilks Fri 19-Jul-13 11:22:36

We always do class collections in a big envelope so donations are anonymous - we are a state primary so some people give notes and others give coins - we then spend them on vouchers so the teachers can buy what they want - seems to have worked well for years at our school

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 11:22:40

At work we are allowed to give gifts to each other for leaving do/new baby but we aren't allowed to receive gifts from customers/clients.

It is in our contract.

if we do receive a gift we have to go through loads of crap to actually get it but it happens rarely as all our clients know its not allowed.

I do think there's nothing more pathetic than the "you can't right in the card unless you contributed" mentality - especially where someone maybe just didn't get a real chance to make a contribution but just gets left out. Anyway it can be really horribly petty. I think if you organise a group gift/card you should make the effort to be inclusive and not leave anyone feeling bad about it all.

madamginger Fri 19-Jul-13 11:24:30

My sister is a teacher and this year she got 15 worlds best teacher mugs, I nicked 2 to give to DDs teachers blush
I gave 4 year old DS preschool 3 bags of play sand as a leaving gift, they were thrilled!

write in the card obvs - blimey I'm getting worse at these typos - dyslexia really kicking in in my old age !

NoSquirrels Fri 19-Jul-13 11:48:24

It's a bloody minefield, though.

I ended up organising something this year. I stressed that it was NOT compulsory, but in order to be inclusive you do have to approach everyone with the blinking envelope. And then they might feel obliged. . . It is awkward.

I also stressed there was no "suggested" contribution. But most put in a fiver.

Because I am not world's most organised person, I didn't buy the card before I started the collection, so I ended up signing people's names for them. I did say in the card that the present was from the whole class in appreciation.

The collection wasn't my idea, but I ended up with it. Lots of people were relieved not to have to bother with getting their own stuff.

Hard to know, really, what is best.

I did make my DC write note/draw picture too, for the personal thank you.

gazzalw Fri 19-Jul-13 11:49:44

I think it's okay to do it a few times but it gets beyond a joke with multiple children and a span of about 22 years of education for them....And TAs to consider too......

Fine if you have lots of money but most of us haven't had pay rises in years, less disposable income and with the summer hols upcoming, really need every penny for holiday activities.....

Quenelle Fri 19-Jul-13 11:51:30

DS starts Reception in September and I've made up my mind I'm not going to get involved in presents and class collections.

It's the sentiment that matters to the teacher, and that can be expressed perfectly in a homemade card that DS has signed and I have added an additional note to. I don't believe anything else is needed.

I don't think there's anything wrong with schools asking parents not to give teachers gifts. Many professionals are not allowed to receive them.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 19-Jul-13 11:52:44

Yabvu to want to ban it.

It's a way of children learning to show thanks and appreciation to people that deserve it. It's a nice thing.

It would be really sad if children weren't allowed to give token gifts to their teachers just because a few parents choose not to do it.

EldritchCleavage Fri 19-Jul-13 11:54:06

It is definitely possible to ban it. My nephews' school did this. Parents were invited to contribute (giving cash or their time) to a PTA thank you event for teachers instead. It worked very well.

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 12:03:01

The child can just make a home made card with their own message - much the best thing. I don't know why people decide on class collections.

McNewPants2013 Fri 19-Jul-13 12:03:27

I bought 2 cards ( have 2dc) and put a thank you letter inside.

SillyTilly123 Fri 19-Jul-13 12:12:38

I usually buy the teachers, but i have 3 dc in school now (though dd3 will still be in nursery in sept) so just bought (5) cards. Dd1 and 2 wrote theirs out but i put a special message in one of the TA's card as she's done a wonderful job this year as dd2s class went through 3 different teachers so I'm guessing she picked up a lot of the slack. Plus she helped dd2 overcome her hatred of PE. (had a tantrum every wednesday morning hmm)

The amount of flowers i saw being brought into the yard this morning was ridiculous. How many flowers can a teacher actually display?

gazzalw Fri 19-Jul-13 12:12:39

Personally I think the class collection at least affords the option to donate less than one would have to spend on a pressie if 'going it alone'.

Mind you, DW has gone off the idea of doing a class collection after she had one of the Mums being 'shirty' last year, with the Year 6 teacher's pressie, because she'd spent some of the money on a bottle of champagne....

brackengirl Fri 19-Jul-13 12:17:38

The two best things I have had were a book made by a mum of a child in my class but was also a TA in the school, she got each child to draw and write a message and stuck them into a paperchase type book. It was lovely and as it was small and hardbacked it lasted brilliantly.

The other was a mum who gave a voucher a week before the end of term, I spent it on crafty bits that we wouldn't normally have in school and fabric pens and we had a great afternoon in the last week making really nice crafts (googly eyed insects and memory mats.) Win-win as all kids loved it and thought I was the best teacher ever, I loved it at they were occupied all afternoon and required no nagging! I even had time to make an insect myself that hangs on my desk and reminds me of the child who gave the voucher.

runes Fri 19-Jul-13 12:25:36

I don't see why a ban wouldn't work. Gifts of any monetary value to public sector workers is highly inappropriate imo. Only the arse licking brown nosed parents would be annoyed at a ban. If a teacher has really impressed surely a thankyou letter expressing exactly why you've appreciated their work would mean far more.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 19-Jul-13 12:30:48

Yanbu. It is a absolutely horrible to hear that people are going without food to afford to buy teachers a present. You are right in saying that a child would understandably feel left out without a present to give. It is 100% the norm these days and very unusual not to get a gift from each child in the class.

Spinnerbear Fri 19-Jul-13 12:35:29

I usually send the staff room a box of sweets or a box of homemade biscuits at Christmas. That is it.

ubik Fri 19-Jul-13 12:41:02

Don't you think banning presents is a bit joyless? dD2 had an anazing teacher and we wanted yo thank him as a group.
This is very normal in other countries

"very unusual not to get a gift from each child in the class" - am pretty sure that's not the case here - seems entirely optional, as it should remain

arabesque Fri 19-Jul-13 12:45:03

YANBU. I know it's sounds a bit killjoyish but these situations always lead to one upmanship, a child boasting to another about the great present he's bought for the teacher etc.
They got quite out of hand here in Ireland during our economic boom with some teachers being quite embarassed at the presents they were getting - good quality jewellery, very generous vouchers etc.

If you could be guaranteed everyone would stick to a box of sweets or a scented candle that would be fair enough. But it just doesn't always work like that.

- If a school can see parents might feel pressurised (by prevalent culture) perhaps they could include a note in the school newsletter to say that presents are not in any way expected, and to try to take the pressure off parents. Possibly say that an ocassional box of maltesers for the staff room is always appreciated, but they don't need 30 of them - something like that ?!

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 19-Jul-13 12:49:53

YABU. People are NOT all the same. Some people have more money than other people. If that's all children have to cry about then they are extremely lucky.

What about in secondary school when some of the kids have designer shoes and bags? Should that be banned too?

aaaaagh Fri 19-Jul-13 12:50:28

My DTDs teacher has had this particularly challenging year 6 class for 2 years following the school being in special measures. We've done a collection for her and the TA - we said maximum £5 and all the kids sign the card even if they don't contribute. We figured £5 was cheaper than individual gifts. We've never done a collection before but as they are leaving and she's been so wonderful it is well deserved. She should in fact get a medal!

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 19-Jul-13 12:52:14

I am in shock that someone would go without food to buy the teacher a present. So sad.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 19-Jul-13 12:53:08

Class presents (as described by chilly) are fine, if someone is willing to organise it. Primary age kids, I reckon should be encouraged to make cards.

But some sort of competitive, 'expected' giving is wrong. shops flogging 'ideal present for teacher' ... urgh.

For older pupils - DD (yr9) said she needed to remember to take in 62p - they'd totally off their own bat organised a present from the class for their form teacher, presumably paying from their pocket money. The present included a photo of the class in silly poses. I think they got it spot on. smile

namechangeforaclue Fri 19-Jul-13 12:53:59

people feel very pressured to give gifts.....are we not grown ups.
can we not make our own decisions.
do we need to sucum to play ground peer pressure.
wow I feel for those people that are so unable to choose for themselves.shock

pussycatwillum Fri 19-Jul-13 12:54:45

My DSiS worked at a school which put in the newsletter something along the lines of 'We know lots of you like to give gifts to the teachers at the end of the year.We are grateful for your gifts, but please can you make them something simple, such as a card or thank you letter made or written by your child.'
I am not sure if they stated the obvious, which was 'half our parents can't afford it and their children are upset when they can't bring in an expensive gift' but that was the idea behind it.
I have seen notices in hospitals which say that nurses are not allowed to accept inmdividual gifts from patients, so why not teachers.
BTW I still have all the handmade cards from my class when DS was born 18 years ago. I have very few of the other gifts I have been given, although I do still have an ashtray from a child in my first class, but as we don't smoke it hasn't had a lot of use.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 12:56:32

It's totally ridiculous. I am 39. Buying presents for teachers at ends of terms or years never happened at my primary or secondary schools. Just didn't happen. The only time us, as kids, clubbed together for a present was if a teacher we really liked was leaving. Oh, and I seem to recall whip rounds for drivers on school trips.

I am amazed when I hear from my peers who are teachers what they get given at Xmas, at Easter and end of year. All of them say it's out of hand and completely unnecessary and a lot of it will end up being thrown or given away. If I was a school head, I would ban it.

Dancergirl Fri 19-Jul-13 12:57:36

He was crying because he didn't have any gift to give. The child would be happy with any kind of gift to give his teacher, including something home made. For the child, it's simply about giving a gift

Exactly. And that could be a handmade card of drawing, anything!

I think it's the parents who over-think this rather than the children. We normally have a collection for teachers here and buy them some vouchers. You can put in anything you like from £1-£5 and there's no pressure to contribute.

puffinnuffin Fri 19-Jul-13 12:59:08

It is completely out of hand at our school (private). We are told to donate £20 per class for teacher by form reps. I have 2 children so that is £40 each class. Parents are hounded by e-mails until they receive the money. On top of that people also bring in individual presents as well. There is always a big present giving ceremony so if you haven't contributed you feel rubbish as it is at drop off time in the classroom.

It is all completely ridiculous and out of hand. (I am a subject teacher at the same school but part time so invisible! £40 is a lot on my salary).

I don't think present giving should be banned as I like giving personalized gifts/cards to the teachers (not just class teachers). However I hate being forced into giving to a class collection. If a teacher or member of staff is leaving after many years service then fine.

As a teacher of 20 years I have kept every single letter/card from all the children I have taught in a memory box. I treasure these.

Souredstones Fri 19-Jul-13 12:59:15

I said this on a previous thread but my MIL is a teacher and DH And I love end of term and Christmas because she only keeps the one special card or handmade item from a child that got to her that year. All the smellies, chocolates and wine come our way and everything else is recycled either through the school raffles or to charity shops.

I say keep buying gifts until MIL retires grin

puffinnuffin Fri 19-Jul-13 12:59:58

Sorry meant £40 for both classes! (Obviously not a maths teacher).

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 19-Jul-13 13:01:22

"wow I feel for those people that are so unable to choose for themselves"

Right. To the extent that they go without food. What would banning presents help people like this? What if their neighbour got a bigger car? Would they sell their kidney? Go on the game?


Ive never bought a teacher a present, hasn't occurred to me. I don't send my GP a Christmas card either

Dancergirl Fri 19-Jul-13 13:02:17

Buying presents for teachers at ends of terms or years never happened at my primary or secondary schools

I'm a similar age to you and it did at mine! And even worse, each child took in a wrapped gift on the last day and put it on the teacher's desk and the teacher opened each one and said who it was from! Talk about competitive parenting.

nurseneedshelp Fri 19-Jul-13 13:02:21

I've never bought a present for the teachers

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 19-Jul-13 13:03:09

Puffin they do that at my daughters private school too- although they don't specify the amount. In some ways I quite like it as I think the teachers probably like getting a couple of hundred pounds worth of John lewis vouchers and it saves me having to worry about what to get them. The only thing is- they only put your child's name on the card if you contribute.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Fri 19-Jul-13 13:07:37

Not read the whole thread but a ban on personal gifts would be simple enough and IMO very appropriate. I work in the NHS and we are not allowed to accept them, which I completely support. A thank you note does the job just fine at no cost.

A teacher acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook expressing joy at the £20 John Lewis gift voucher she had received from a student with "that's the kind of student I like" hmm

StaticSockMonster Fri 19-Jul-13 13:08:09

I have made the cards and gifts for my DSs teachers again this year. It's cost me about £2.50 each present plus about 50p for each card. I enjoy doing it and want the teachers to know that their work is appreciated.
I am also going to write a small letter for the head teacher (on my nice paper grin) to thank her and all of her staff for their time and patients in helping my son to grow.

I don't think people should feel pressured to buy gifts but if they want to I don't think they should be stopped.

It's each to their own.

Its like keeping up with the jones'!

AidanTheRevengeNinja Fri 19-Jul-13 13:10:17

Sorry, I meant a ban on accepting personal gifts - just put it in the newsletter, tell teachers about it, and parents will surely get the concept very quickly.

Souredstones Fri 19-Jul-13 13:10:27

A friend of mine is friends with one of my kids teachers. Due to Facebook showing up people's 'likes' on friends of friends walls I get a termly bragging picture from him appear on my wall... 'The haul for this Christmas' or 'lots of chocolate this term, shame about the lack of beer'

Another argument perhaps for not buying presents (or perhaps for more discretion on his part!)

StaticSockMonster Fri 19-Jul-13 13:12:16

*patience!! Stupid brain

JerseySpud Fri 19-Jul-13 13:18:10

Eldest and i baked fairy cakes and she took them in with pride today.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 19-Jul-13 13:22:24

I have given a gift in previous years to outstanding staff. I did it off my own back and it was never anything expensive, a box of biscuits / chocolates and a card made by DD. I gave it after everyone else had left so DD could say a proper thank you.
This year I have not bothered, as I feel my DD has been left to struggle and the teacher has failed her. Also my previously school loving DD has been saying she now hates going in to school on the days a certain teacher is in charge as she doesn't teach them anything (they job share - and it has been detrimental to the whole class with regards to learning).
In our school though most parents don't bother with cards and gifts, no one does a collection.

My sister is in charge of collecting for DN class, they do a maximum of £3.50 for donations. That seems more reasonable for everyone concerned than a set amount of £8+ like I have read on here. It means you can put a penny in and still sign the card. She has had enough donations to get the teacher a nice card, a gift voucher for Next, and some nice chocolates.

That said though I do think it should be toned down at other schools, back to individuals giving when they wish to. I would have hated being pressured in to giving this year.

I don't think they should be banned, you want to gift a present if you don't then obviously don't!
I do not understand or even fathom why parents feel under pressure if they simply don't want to or don't have enough money.

What happened to a box chocs, flowers or an apple, it doesn't have to cost a fortune if you do want to gift the teacher!

Those that spend a fortune are just flush or stupid, there really is no need to compete!

I currently have chocolate orange fudge setting in the fridge for the DCs' teachers and keyworker.

A ban seems joyless but I can see that it could be necessary.

I am capable of thinking for myself - actually, I'm the one calmly "not putting in collection, already making something but thanks for asking" - but I do consider how my actions impact on my children. I may think gifts are stupid, but there's absolutely no way I'd let DS be the only child not bringing anything.

As it happens all the staff this year deserve a personal thank-you, but if they don't another year I don't intend to just go through the motions for the sake of it.

noobieteacher Fri 19-Jul-13 13:26:09


It's absurd. Most teachers give the packs of soap / pot pourri / cheap chocolates to the school fair anyway.

Our school (well-heeled) would donate money for a voucher for the teacher - this was more useful and parents could put in what they wanted to. Children would put their notes on a sticker which would be stuck inside a big card. Well heeled usually means well organised. PTA was run like a major international corporation. However they were always aware that not everyone was well heeled and adapted things to allow for this.

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 13:37:42

I don't think it should be banned. I can't see why class collections started ,but I have always liked giving presents.

I don't know which part of the country you all lived in when you said it never happened, but as a teacher I got presents at the end of the year in 1970's.

There was however not this fuss- people gave or didn't give. They didn't feel obliged and they didn't want to stop it for everyone else and they didn't do impersonal collections and get ridiculously expensive presents.

You can just pick a bunch of flowers from the garden, go strawberry picking and give a very small punnet , grow a sunflower from a seed- etc -all teacher much prefer a home made card anyway.

southbank Fri 19-Jul-13 13:38:51

I remember a customer that I served at work a few years ago came up to me demanding a refund on the bag of items she was bringing back.
I asked her if she had her receipt,she said no so I explained I could exchange them.
She was very unhappy,made a huge scene about not wanting the stuff and demanding I give her the money.
I told her I couldn't refund but would exchange or put the value on a gift card,current selling value,when she realised current selling price was less than the price originally paid she continued to rant at me.
She asked me why the fuck she should lose out on money for gifts she didn't want,I suggested if they were gifts then she wasn't really losing out on any money!big mistake,she told me she was a teacher and got 'a load of shit I never want'
I have never forgotten it and thought how upset the kids who actually chose that 'shit' would be if they could see her.
I realise this is not typical of teachers though!

sherbetpips Fri 19-Jul-13 13:45:15

I agree one year we were asked to put in £10 each for a class of 30! A £300 gift for teacher!!! sod that.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 13:45:28

exotic - Gloucestershire. Primary school of 90, grammar school of 250 and then comprehensive of 900. And it just didn't happen. When I first heard about this mass present giving about 8 years ago, I asked all my friends and none of them ever gave presents to teachers. One or two said they did a card but usually it was for a particularly favourite teacher.

Quenelle Fri 19-Jul-13 14:20:46

exotic - Hertfordshire. Never happened at my primary or secondary school in the 70s/early 80s.

I'd never heard of this until I joined Mumsnet.

Every teacher on here says they would rather receive a homemade card and I like that sentiment. And it seems such a waste when they often end up giving or throwing gifts away.

There is pleasure in giving gifts but it's good for children to learn that it's the sincere expression of thanks that's important. They don't have to give, and shouldn't expect to receive, things or money to show appreciation or gratitude.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 14:21:39

I live North, went to school in 80s and 90s and no one gave presents.

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 14:25:55

Think the teaching children gifts equals thanks is a bit suspect. This is one reason I actually prefer collections, they are invisible to the children. My children make their thank you cards and have no idea about the contribution to the collection which is from DH and me because we would like these teachers to enjoy a treat - because at the moment we can afford it and want to.

Have no problem at all with those who don't want to, but think its unfair to talk of banning nice gestures when there are so many other things to be concerned about.

willyoulistentome Fri 19-Jul-13 14:29:57

It was totally out of hand in Reception and Y1. By Y2 we all wised up a bit. Now Class reps collect a fiver from everyone who wants to donate and get a nice 'littl'e thing for each teacher / TA and then uses the rest for John Lewis vouchers for them. They get the kids all to sign a card or write a little note to stick in a card. Not so much unwanted crap for the teacher to cart home, and they can actualy choose what they want.

DD's nursery has a parent's council who ask for a fiver at the start of the year (voluntary, although I think everyone pays). Out of this, they get the teachers end of term and Christmas gifts. It's enough to buy fancy chocs, or a bottle of plonk, or a couple of cinema tickets or something. I think it's a great idea - the teachers don't get buried in a mountain of crap, the parents don't feel pressured, and everyone is on an equal footing.

Children are welcome to make cards, bake biscuits etc if they want, but nothing is expected.

willyoulistentome Fri 19-Jul-13 14:31:51

..although, I really don't see why presents should be given. Nobody gives ME a present for doing MY job.

Sirzy Fri 19-Jul-13 14:32:18

I live in the north went to school in the 80s and 90s and always took presents for teachers at the end of the year. Nothing massive but always something - one teacher always lost her pen so I took her a pen on a string to wear around her neck. Small things like that.

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 14:38:01

Willyoulistentome - see I did get a present from my boss each year and I did feel appreciated and enjoyed spending it more than birthday/xmas vouchers.

I think threads like this probably are making teachers feel less appreciated and more awkward about genuine gestures though which is a shame.

EstelleGetty Fri 19-Jul-13 14:39:57

Excellent point, chillybits. We're on risky ground when more money is seen to equal more graditude. When I was a child, we'd give the teacher a box of After Eights or similar at the end of the year but how the fuck does a class of children get to know when a certain teacher's birthday is?

I teach (university, not school) and I keep the cards students have given me to say thank you for helping them in a special box. I am absolutely touched every time. Receiving full-on presents would make me feel very awkward.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 14:41:03

Chilly - but as some of us have said, most teachers say they don't want this stuff, they throw or give a lot of it away, and if they would like something, they would like a handmade or handwritten card. The teachers I know feel more awkward about getting ridiculous amounts of gifts three times a year than threads like this!

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 14:52:32

Yes they might not want the actual stuff (I seem to be in the minority which prefers collections) but there is obviously a lot of very genuine appreciation shown and if I was reading this as a teacher I would start to doubt this appreciation!

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 14:56:46

chilly - a handmade gift or card comes with thought and effort and genuine appreciation. Going round insisting people put in a fiver or a tenner or people turning up with ridiculously large bouquets or stupidly expensive bottles of wine tend to be more about one upmanship or a feeling that one MUST, rather than genuine appreciation

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 15:00:21

Yes ofcourse they do - as far as my children are concerned all we do is given a handmade card with thank you message inside. I'm not anti anything other than total bans on what can be an individual choice. My last message just meant that if I was a teacher reading this I'd start to think any gift I did receive was given under pressure and was causing a lot of angst which obviously is not the case!

Dancergirl Fri 19-Jul-13 15:03:20

What are we actually giving gifts for? To say thank you for doing their job? I could understand it if you wanted to show your appreciation for a truly outstanding teacher but dd2's teacher this year has been very average, I don't really feel like giving him a present but I have contributed to the class collection to show good will.

likesnowflakesinanocean Fri 19-Jul-13 15:12:48

yabu and I'm skint but the dc got some Cadburys thankyou choc which were one pound for teacher and ta then made cards. I didn't feel pressured that people spent more I just did what I could to show our thanks

pussycatwillum Fri 19-Jul-13 15:14:19

Jessica yes, I too felt embarrassed about getting a lot of presents. I got PAID and I did my job to the best of my ability because it was my JOB. I also got plenty of reward from watching the progress the children made throughout the year. A thank you letter, in whatever form it takes, is thanks enough.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 15:15:02

I actually think a no pressure collection of say £3 each would be a great idea if everyone got to sign card even if parents couldn't afford to contribute.

Most people could find £3 with notice and £90 would get a lovely gift.

Kahlua4me Fri 19-Jul-13 15:23:17

£1 per child is probably enough really. We bought Dds teacher some coffee this year as the staff have to buy their own so thought this would he them all. Also dd made a card and wrote a lovely message in it.

Lizzids Fri 19-Jul-13 15:45:01

I'm a TA in a private school and am constantly amazed at the number of gifts I get. There's always a whole class gift at Christmas and the end of the year (which is usually vouchers) and a lot of the children give personal presents as well. I try and open the presents there and then so I can properly thank the kids (they also get really excited when I do this) and I give them a thank you card as well.

I so much prefer it when the gift has been chosen by the child (even if I don't personally like it), because it shows that I mean something to them. I would rather have nothing at all than the generic gifts I get, especially when the child doesn't know what it is before I open it!

However, the teacher and I also give each child a gift at the end of each term. At Christmas and Easter its just like giving gifts to friends and at the end of the year its like a 'I've enjoyed our time together' present.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 15:56:13

We'll be buying presents for the guy that serves us with a coffee in Costa once a week next.... wink

SueDoku Fri 19-Jul-13 16:26:49

I'm in Worcestershire and had never heard of giving a teacher more than maybe a card for really special support in a particular year - until my DC became a teacher and started to report what presents arrived at the end of the year..! I was shock at first, but now it seems endemic - as has been said over and over, a handwritten card or message is appreciated more than anything else.

courgetteDOTcom Fri 19-Jul-13 16:51:45

My girls usually "make" fudge. Of course as I make it properly they don't do much! Mostly they pose with the ingredients for the back of the ingredients label to make it look like they do grin costs £1 a kilo plus the small amount of alcohol etc I add to some batches. We do both classes and heads for a fiver and the kids are cuffed they did something.

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 17:02:09

I definitely got presents back in 1970's but nothing like today.

I don't even like the idea of £3 for a collection because it stops me doing something I simple like a pot of homemade chutney or a bunch of sweet peas from the garden or something personal DS once chose a whistle because he knew his teacher had lost his. £20 a child is ridiculous!

Homemade card is best.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 19-Jul-13 17:03:50

I don't think they should ban it. Its perfectly possible to thank people without spending money. Children can understand this too.

My dd1 8 drew a lovely card today-it said

'World's No 1teacher' (on a medal!

You're the best teacher ever

I will miss you when you're not my teacher any more


We got a bag of jelly beans to put in a nice bag with the card.

In the car park we saw people with big bunches of flowers, cards, chocolate boxes etc. I said to dd 'don't worry about people with big presents, Mr X will love your card because it's from you-it's not about spending money.'

She was perfectly happy. I don't normally buy presents but she wanted to today. I've had three dcs go through that school and only ever sent cards.

She came out with some sweets from the teacher.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 17:04:14

I wonder how many parents/children send presents three times a year to the leader and assistants of their Scouts or Guides or Cubs or Beavers or Brownies or Boys Brigade or Sea Scouts etc etc? They give up their time for free, of evenings and/or weekends, to provide something for kids to do and to learn from. They don't get paid for it, like teachers. But I bet very few of them get thank you presents three times a year.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 19-Jul-13 17:04:20

YABVU, people can decide for themselves if they buy something or not.

Yes teachers are paid a salary but the ones i know work far more hours than they are paid for, run clubs for the children unpaid and do much much more. We do christmas and end of term presents for the teacher, ta and other staff to show appreciation for a great job.

People tip in restaurants, the hairdresser, taxis etc yet when it comes to the influentual people in their childrens lives its just moaned at.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 17:17:07

happy - I've never understood people tipping hairdressers. I don't 'tip' a taxi driver. They are providing a service I am already paying for. I will tip in a restaurant where I KNOW the tip goes to the person who served me, and are not shared out, and because the wages for waiting staff are lousy (far worse than hairdressers and taxi drivers). I gather men almost never tip their barber/hairdresser.

blanketban would be good

Sirzy Fri 19-Jul-13 17:45:27

Jessica - actually when I ran a badger sett (st John ambulance 5-10 year olds) I often got Christmas and birthday presents from the badgers.

Now I no longer run a specific group I get less but still have cadets and badgers who give thank you gifts after special events or if I have helped them a lot through the year.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 19-Jul-13 17:53:32

Sirzy - am very glad to hear it. But I suspect - and from the volunteer leaders I know - I suspect you are in the minority, sadly.

themightyfandango Fri 19-Jul-13 17:53:46

I see where the OP is coming from. I do tend to buy my DS' s teachers a nice gift sometimes with a handwritten
letter as he has SEN and can at times be challenging to teach. I do feel it's important to acknowledge this especially those teachers who have gone beyond what is expected in helping him.

Mia4 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:11:56

I said before my friend loves homemade gifts but one thing I will say is if you're making food please make sure the teacher knows you've made it, or they've made it under your supervision.

One year my friend was gutted to have to throw away a load of biscuits the kids made for her but they all made them at their child minders house and the child minder herself had pretty dubious hygiene-didn't wash her hands at all after using the bathroom and everything, much like a lot of really young kids don't without prompting. My friend smiled and thanked but regretfully had to throw away later because with 5 year olds you never know where their hands could have been if not supervised but coupled with a grim hygiene cook-grim.

The other biscuits she got from a lovely little boy in which his mum covertly said 'I made them, they're okay' were enjoyed thoroughly. So just from that POV, make sure they know you've made with them, otherwise there's a possible issue, however lovely the thought my friend wasn't going to eat something cooked by someone who didn't wash her hands after bathrooming.

sonu678 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:14:04

class rep collecting a pound or two per parent gives a fabulous present/gift vouchers for something the teacher actually wants, and doesnt cost the earth.
presents are just pants.

skyeskyeskye Fri 19-Jul-13 18:47:57

it hadn't even crossed my mind to buy her teachers a present, but this thread just reminded me that I bought some cheap "thank you teacher" cards in M&S for 25p, so I must go and dig them out!

DamnBamboo Fri 19-Jul-13 18:57:43

Oh FFS there's always something to moan about.

Gift-giving, an act of appreciation for someone who spends huge amounts of time with your DC and people are saying no gifts, show-off buy them etc...


If you don't want to give one then fine, don't.

I give gifts, inexpensive ones always accompanied by a thank-you card specific to the individual saying why I am grateful for what they in particular have done. It was different for my reception DS teacher and TA and then different again for my year 3 DS. I do not tell other parents I am doing it and do it discreetly, my kids pay no attention to it and they too make a home-made card just from them saying thanks.

Teachers do not earn a huge amounts, the good ones do an amazing job and spend many more hours above and beyond the 32.5 hours per week they are paid for very little,

If I want to buy them a bottle of cava, I bloody well will and I will not feel bad about it.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 19-Jul-13 19:11:44

Bugger! I meant to make ds make his teacher a card but I forgot.
I don't think he was really that into her tbh.
I didn't contribute to the collection either, as I am skint. I didn't feel any pressure though. I was asked, I said "no, I'm too skint. I'll get ds to make something"
Er......Sorry Mrs A!

DisappointedHorse Fri 19-Jul-13 19:12:28

I've never given a gift to a teacher and I don't intend to start. The DCs are more than welcome to make something if they want to though.

I don't generally agree with banning things though and it's up to the individual.

I think its a bit unprofessional to accept such gifts really, I mean drs are not allowed to accept such gifts
I bet a lot of teachers hate being given all these gifts, I know I would

DamnBamboo Fri 19-Jul-13 19:17:33

Why would anybody hate a gift, that is given in the right spirit.

Something that is as a genuine thanks for making a difference to my child's life? I know many teachers and don't know one who would hate it!

A disproportionately expensive one would embarass I'm sure, but a less costly one should not ...

primarymonkeyhanger Fri 19-Jul-13 19:19:35

I am a primary teacher and work in a school where there isnt really a gift giving culture, sometimes we dont even get a thank you. Parents dont seem to realise I work a good 12 hours a week out of school plus free after school clubs and I am a govenor. Yes I love my job but a thank you really goes a long way.
A note, card or homemade gift is always appreciated. I honestly would not know what to do/say if I was even given an expensive gift. I have never heard of collections, £10 per child is sheer madness! Goodness surely a pound or 2 is enough for a card and a bunch enough?

primarymonkeyhanger Fri 19-Jul-13 19:20:33

Bunch of flowers, posted too soon.

isitsnowingyet Fri 19-Jul-13 19:32:14

Oh dear - have failed to get a thank you card or a gift or anything! How dreadful. Is this just the done thing in primary schools or does it continue on to secondary?

I have given presents in the past, when my DS was at primary school, as he was hard work for teachers, and I thought they'd need a bottle of wine etc.

I'm surprised that so many seem to expect a gift and thank you's as surely they are in a caring profession because they like it?

sparklekitty Fri 19-Jul-13 19:32:57

The school I currently work at we get a few small gifts, flowers, chocolate, wine, home made food of some sort, home made cards/letters. Very lovely and much appreciated.

My previous school, at christmas I got over £100 in vouchers (all parents clubbed in and got a big amount) and at the end of the year I would routinely get a huge amount of money in vouchers (I actually bought most of a Lulu Guinness bag one year). It actually became embarrassing, plus individual parents would by a 'small' (i.e. Molten Brown gift set) present as well! It was very competitive.

I much prefer my current schools gift ideas. However, saying that, a sincere thanks, possibly a little card/note saying I've made a difference somehow is much better.

I've just finished ML and spent half a term covering classes PT so no presents for me, tbh it didn't cross my mind till I saw this thread.

Here you go monkey flowers
How many days to go ? smile

chillybits Fri 19-Jul-13 20:12:26

Do you know what ? If it really makes teachers and other people this uncomfortable then maybe I'll suggest the reps rethink next year.

Really, I had never thought of it the collection in a negative way at all. I thought it was a bit of well meaning appreciation for people who spend a lot of time helping to nurture our DCs and who by all accounts sometimes find themselves dipping into their own pocket to supplement resources.

However I honestly hate to think they are home tonight after a long year feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable.

GoodTouchBadTouch Fri 19-Jul-13 13:01:22

"wow I feel for those people that are so unable to choose for themselves"


Ive never bought a teacher a present, hasn't occurred to me. I don't send my GP a Christmas card either

GoodTouch MN'ing ATM to keep my mind distracted, but your post caught my eye on two fronts.

My DC are at what a previous poster called a 'well-heeled' school, but also mentioned that that does not necessarily mean the parent is 'well-heeled'. My younger DC's class rep sent an 'open' group e-mail - so not 'From her e-mail' then 'to her e-mail' with all parents BCC'd, but with ALL individual parents e-mails listed and spreadsheet attached with each child's name. Requested donation of £20 per child, and a group card - but the child could only sign if the £20 was given. And the mail kept being re-sent out with the spreadsheet updated with all who had 'given' thus far. I thought it was nauseating, esp. the 'open listing' of parents who DIDN'T give their £20 in, and the fact that if a parent didn't or couldn't do the £20 then the DC was not 'allowed' to sign the card.

As it happens, said DC's teacher is the first any of them have had that has not been outstanding or simply very lovely - bluntly, he is a total dick (first 'dick' of a teacher in about 30 school years in total) of so I didn't give a toss about not helping him get his £360, but I did give a major toss about the fact that DC was 'excluded' from the 'classhmm card'

GP on the other hand has been just amazing on a weekly basis for a long time now, as have all the reception and admin staff (15 in total, all female) so at Christmas I got a a wholsale batch of Omi Nail Varnishes, wrapped them in one large box with tissue paper etc, and stuck a handwritten gift sticker on outside of box addressed to all of them, and with a thank you and a 'why' re grateful etc. All of them said they had never ever got anything other than maybe boxes biscuits etc and were over moon. And it cost me about the same as the £20 for dick teacher which I couldn't afford now anyway.

So, OP, that's a long way of saying YANBU...

I doubt many would be feeling uncomfortable _ i should think most are just looking forward to the hols.
Maybe MNHQ could consider whether this thread has run it;s distance though - and leave everyone to enjoy the last few days of term next week in peace, and saying thank-you to teachers however they think best. Not a bad thing though to put a check on ever increasing commercial pressures IMHO

BreadNameBread Fri 19-Jul-13 20:40:44

Seriously shock people are daft if they go short just to buy a teacher a present.
Does that really happen? I would get the kids to send a picture or a homemade card. (With supplies from school before any says that some people can't afford paper etc)

MerylStrop Fri 19-Jul-13 20:41:32

It's inappropriate and unnecessary

Yep, ban it

MadeOfStarDust Fri 19-Jul-13 20:43:25

YANBU - some people go over the top... there must have been 10 bunches of flowers for DD2's Y6 teacher today...

but she was very effusive of DD's present of a freddo frog (bought with her own pocket money) in a card full of thank you's - literally FULL of thank you's........

complexnumber Fri 19-Jul-13 20:45:47

As a secondary teacher, I would be thrilled by a card/letter of appreciation.

I get them every now and then, I keep them all.

BreadNameBread Fri 19-Jul-13 20:55:59

I used to organise the class present in an small overseas school where there was an existing culture of giving extravagant gifts even though there were a mixture of rich and poor students.
We did a very polite, letter to all class parents saying that there was an optional collection for a gift certificate. This would be given by all the children along with a card signed by all the kids in the class. Inside the gift certificate was a list of parents who had contributed to the gift.
I ended up doing it right through the school for each of my kids classes.
Everyone knew what was happening and seemed happy to have the hassle taken out of the end of year gift giving. The amount 'suggested' was low, probably the equivalent of £4ish . Sometimes parents liked to do their own things and some parents didnt contribute but none of the children were made to feel uncomfortable. Usually all the parents joined in the collection.
Since that school I have never given any teacher presents but have written to teachers (copying in the headmaster or mistress) when I have wanted to thank them for going 'above and beyond'

davidjrmum Fri 19-Jul-13 21:20:49

YANBU - As others have said, most other public sector workers are specifically banned from accepting gifts. My mum was a teacher and was much more delighted by a card of thanks than a gift.

parkin2010 Fri 19-Jul-13 21:28:30

I'm a teacher and feel uncomfortable about it. The nicest thing I got today were a hand made card and a lovely comment in it and "thanks miss, you've been a great teacher" verbal comments. I have a desk full of chocolate from students already and we don't break up til Tuesday. I would never refuse a present as I find that rude, but the thought that a kid has spent pocket money etc also upsets me sad either way it makes me feel in the wrong and I hate this new 'thank you teacher' card shop trend too .

jamdonut Fri 19-Jul-13 21:34:01

Today I had a bouquet of flowers,a box of silver covered chocolate stars, a box of chocolate flowers, a big bar of Cadbury's with nuts in, a little tray with "Keep clam and carry on" (!!) printed on it,a "Best teaching Assistant" key ring and several homemade cards and a letter, from children. I think I have been amazingly lucky,especially the homemade cards.They mean more than anything.

Cocoachops789 Fri 19-Jul-13 21:36:22

I have three children in same primary school. A mum from each class has been collecting contributions for gifts for the staff. That includes teachers who job share and the assistants. Therefore £15 was required from each child! With three children in school that amounts to £45! I definitely consider that over the top. It is a nice idea to give each teacher/TA a substantial gift or gift voucher instead of lots of boxes of chocs or bottles of wine. However, as a teacher myself I can only say it is the thought that counts and a personal card is very much appreciated.

mamaduckbone Fri 19-Jul-13 21:49:20

How absolutely bizarre. I feel very sorry for children / parents at schools where this is the norm.

Fortunately, both at the school where I teach and the school that my children attend, there is no pressure to buy expensive gifts - those that can / want to do, those who can't / don't want to don't. I couldn't care less whether I get presents from my students, but appreciate those that I do get (as do my family, who attack the chocolate like vultures!) For DS1's teacher we bought a lavender plant as she's just moved house, and smallish chocolate bars with handmade cards for the TAs.

It would be ridiculous to ban giving presents - and those that say 'but teachers get paid' are missing the point entirely. What a pity if parents can't see beyond keeping up with the playground mafia to realise that feeding their children is more important.

pudding25 Fri 19-Jul-13 21:59:14

Well, I love getting presents and cards!!! Obviously, I don't expect a present, but I do think a card at the end of the year to say thank you after I have worked my guts out teaching and caring for the kids, is just good manners.

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 22:00:33

The whole thing is mad! You do not need to ban- just give or don't give. FoundAChopinLizt, earlier, gave a perfect response - a home made card and a bag of jelly beans- you don't have to miss meals to pay for it. The teacher is happy and the child is happy.
It seems to me to be the usual - someone makes up their mind and wants it to apply to everyone.

We couldn't afford gifts for teachers (pocket money is on hold for now so they couldn't have spent that anyway), but both my DCs made cards for their teachers, and spent time composing thoughtful messages, and illustrating them. Glad to hear lots of teachers/TAs commenting that personal cards are appreciated!

I don't think that there should be a ban on gifts though, isn't it natural to want to express thanks for this kind of thing? Circumstances dictate however and I pity the children of parents who think that it is more important to spend on a gift than to feed those children......

Viviennemary Fri 19-Jul-13 22:05:16

I could hardly believe it when I read on MN that somebody was collecting £10 per person and people were feeling obliged to pay up and could hardly afford it. A box of sweets or plant is OK but anything else isn't.

Hulababy Fri 19-Jul-13 22:07:31

I finished today and got a range of gifts, from a class collection type one to a handmade card by a child, and of course from some no gift. You know what - whilst every gift and card was thoroughly appreciated and said child thanked, it did not register with me that some didn't. It wasn't important when I said goodbye to them. I gave them all a gift and a thank you for being so lovely note and I got hugs from many - means just as much. But it doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the lovely chocolates, flowers and other gifts I received.

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 22:10:04

I expect someone will want to ban the teachers giving children presents next!

LadyBryan Fri 19-Jul-13 22:10:51

YABU - how about people choose for themselves whether they want to give gifts/how much, if anything they want to spend etc.

It is completely unacceptable to feel pressured into giving to a collection. But it is equally unacceptable to stop those that want to giving gifts.

LynetteScavo Fri 19-Jul-13 22:15:12

Last summer I bought gifts for 8 members of staff.

This year I didn't buy any. Partly because I have more important things to spend the money on.

I did make a point of personally thanking my DC's teachers/TA's though.

cherryblossoming Fri 19-Jul-13 22:15:28

This week I have seen parents carrying bags and bags of gifts for teachers. It makes me feel uncomfortable and awkward. I have had to spend money on gifts as well just not to be rude. One young shop assistant told me how lucky she was to have a teacher mum because of all the gifts. She said her mum would bring a big bag full of presents.
I do think it is a good idea to ban the gifts. I am already fed up to give money for this and that. No end to it and what about my children? Some people do not have enough money to spend even on their own needs but feel they have to.

We have the opposite problem. Everyone here is skint and only two kids managed a present out of two classes. Problem solved hmm

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 22:22:40

You really do not feel you have to- the homemade card and handwritten message is the most treasured.

ElephantsEye Fri 19-Jul-13 22:23:06

We used to send in a book for the class library along with a thank you card for the teacher - only occasionally a personal gift, eg if a teacher was particularly supportive.

girliefriend Fri 19-Jul-13 22:24:26

I don't think banning them is necessary.

My dd (7yo) wanted to paint her teacher a mug at 'art to art' I was going to say no as thought it was too expensive (£8) but then reminded myself how much time and energy dds teacher has spent with her this year and I thought actually thats very cheap!!

She has also made her a beautiful card which is lovely.

RoaryMouth Fri 19-Jul-13 22:26:16

Speaking as a teacher, I would be quite happy for my school to put an end to gifts. Although it is lovely to receive presents there is only so much chocolate one person can eat (and I do try hard to get through it!). Some children do feel embarrassed that they don't have a gift even though I always say I don't need them. I have been given a kid's nail varnish from a child's own stash, an old teddy and this year a child kept leaving me their biscuit that they had brought for snack on my desk each day saying it was a present (it did keep disappearing again at breaktime). I also know that families who could ill afford it have sent in gifts at the end of term. A thank you and nice note/card really does mean a lot.

cherryblossoming Fri 19-Jul-13 22:26:40

Not all teachers accept their gifts gracefully. Yesterday, a girl from Y2 opened her bag in the school yard to give one teacher her special thank you card and a box of chocolates. I could see the card was made by the girl. The teacher did not express any excitement. She just thanked and that was it. Why could not she say something nice about the card? She just collected the gift...

SolomanDaisy Fri 19-Jul-13 22:27:09

I thought teachers were on local government contracts, which usually specify not accepting gifts. Although what the average teacher gets in gifts is nothing compared to what a bin man with the right round gets at Xmas...

larahusky Fri 19-Jul-13 22:27:29

I live in a small town and have felt no pressure.

I always make cakes because that is what I like doing for friends, family etc. it is easy for me to do it for the teachers who have been lovely to my daughters.

I wouldn't bother to do more than a homemade card if I couldn't easily make or afford a present.

The teachers are just lovely. I gave my daughter's one a hug this morning and thanked her for the year before she had even seen my present.

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Fri 19-Jul-13 22:31:16

Clearly for some it's reached ridiculous proportions then. Although I've never been aware of lavish presents or felt pressured to give lavish presents (or any at all come to that) where we are.

But there's that increasingly irritating word 'ban' again. So many things need banning apparantly.

How do you actually go about banning someone from giving a present? And why? To prevent them from making the crazy decision to go without food in order to give the present?

I think you'd need to 'ban' then from stepping out of the house every day to save them from a million and one ill considered decisions.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 22:35:52

As I have said, my view is not about no appreciation for teachers, I used to work in schools, I know how hard it is. I sent presents in.

I've also said i have no issue with no pressure collections were every Childs name goes on card.

My issue is with children being upset or embarrassed because they haven't a gift while 29 others parade into school with huge gift bags either because parents haven't money to get something or make something or time or simply parents couldn't be arsed.

There must be a better way to do it.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 19-Jul-13 22:37:09

I need an emoticon which says

I agree with exotic

It would save me time grin

exoticfruits Fri 19-Jul-13 22:37:41

Teachers are not on local government contracts.

ShimmeringBeauty Fri 19-Jul-13 23:11:11

I'm not sure it should be banned, but it sounds like some guidelines and limits would be helpful. Having worked in a role where bribery and corruption was a major risk, I found the rules on gifts there helpful. It was much easier to say "I'm not allowed to accept that", rather than "I don't want to accept that because your boss is trying to sway my decision".

You think no attempts at bribery go on in schools? Imagine finding out that it was happening in your child's school - and that your child was on the losing end because you hadn't provided the £20 contribution. What would you do? Pay up? Or try to fight for your child to get treated the same as every other child? This is real slippery slope stuff.

At schools where each parent puts in £20, doesn't that come to around £600 and wouldn't the tax man be just slightly interested? Even £5 per child is £150 - that's quite some bonus, even if it's given in the form of wine or what have you.

I think I just talked myself into wanting a ban of some sort.

katydid02 Fri 19-Jul-13 23:24:03

A child came to me today and said she had made something for the teacher and was upset that she wouldn't be able to make me something. I explained that all she needed to do was to say thank you on the last day and maybe draw me a picture if she had time. Honestly, a thank you is enough and nothing else should be considered.
I don't practice what I preach though...

Amitolamummy Fri 19-Jul-13 23:28:17

I'm a single parent currently on benefits and one of my sons teachers went off on holiday before the end of term without telling anyone. I have wasted money on a gift for her and my son is very sad that he didn't get chance to give her the card he lovingly made. This was his first year at school and our first experience of buying teacher gifts, not sure we will bother again!

Vickisuli Fri 19-Jul-13 23:30:03

I think a collection which will buy one decent present is better than 30 bits of rubbish eg mugs etc that nobody wants or needs. I've never known a situation where people were forced to contribute. Mostly whoever is organising just says "I'm doing this, if you want to join me feel free, if not that's fine". Also then each person can just put in a couple of quid, which wouldn't buy you anything really as an individual present.

My daughter's wonderful TA left recently and we collected enough to get her a voucher for a massage - as she is a busy working mum I hope that was appreciated much more than material things she doesn't have space for.

The kids all made her cards etc as well though, and I do think that's more important. If there is no collection being organised I usually get the kids to make cookies or similar. Last year we grew a 'friendship tree' for each teacher, with a note saying this tree was grown from a leaf of our tree. The kids decorated the plant pots. The gift cost nothing except the pots.

Awomansworth Fri 19-Jul-13 23:47:48

My dts1 (ASD)... his CT and especially his LSA have done wonders for him during his first year at primary. His progress has been nothing short of remarkable thanks to them both

I have bought them both jewellery. I have also written a short letter of appreciation. I suppose by most standards I am being very showy.

My dts2 is in a different class, and whilst his teacher is great, I won't be buying her the same. He made her a card and I've bought a nice book mark for £3.

Incidentally two of the parents did a class collection, and on the note they sent to all the parents they underlined that only names of children who had contributed would be written on the card... I told one mum I wouldn't be party to that and she started spluttering with embarrassment.

Turquoisehat Sat 20-Jul-13 01:14:40

I don't agree with a ban, because I think people should be able to make that decision for themselves, but setting a monetary limit would be great.
I teach in an expensive private school and parents spend a fortune on expensive tat. I would rather a homemade card, flowers from their garden or chocolate (another teacher here who won't eat homemade stuff - I am with your kids all day - I know their hygiene habits smile )

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 06:41:34

They are not 30 bits of rubbish!

snoworneahva Sat 20-Jul-13 07:07:56

At our last school gifts were brought in for the teacher at Christmas, Easter, summer and even her bloody birthday - she would display them and gush over them in front of the class and the kids felt a real pressure to buy a present for the display - I drew the line at her birthday! I think it should be banned.

Hulababy Sat 20-Jul-13 08:39:47

I would certainly not see tokens of gratitude as buts of rubbish, regardless of what the item is. I'd see them as thanks from a chd.

MammaPo Sat 20-Jul-13 08:44:29

I used to make iced biscuits for all the teachers and TAs, and wrap them in pretty individual boxes that I'd either saved or bought from the hardware store. It kept the costs down but I thought it was also a nice personal pressie. Then I found out one of the teachers was allergic to nuts and although I didn't use nuts in the biscuits, it made me realise that in these days of common multiple food allergies, giving food gifts is wrought with problems. So now, I tend to give a bunch of flowers, potted plant, candle at Christmas etc. Quite often, I'll buy little things when there's a sale on and save them up for the end of term. Or sometimes there are collections and the whole class gives a gift voucher, especially if a teacher is leaving.

I don't feel any pressure to give but I like to. The teachers and TAs do so much and, yes, it's their job and we're paying them for it, but I still like to show my personal appreciation and thanks. So much of the time they go beyond the call of duty and care for my children as I would, easing their passage through school when I'm not there to help. I think the least they deserve is a pat on the back from time to time.

SolomanDaisy Sat 20-Jul-13 08:44:44

Ok exotic, I only thought that because the council were my brother's employer when he was a teacher, so although teachers have different terms and conditions, I assumed general council policies would apply. I don't think they should be banned obviously, particularly since the bans are completely ignored for other groups of staff anyway.

claireindevon Sat 20-Jul-13 09:08:44

I'm just relieved that I'm not on my own feeling that giving expensive bribes to teachers should not be necessary. On last weeks Stepford wives 'what do teachers want for presents thread' I was slated when all I asked was 'is it obligatory to give gifts?'

RussianBlu Sat 20-Jul-13 09:11:40

Amitolamummy perhaps the teacher only works part time in the school and didn't think to mention to others that she would be in from say Wednesday as perhaps she just assumed that everyone knew Tuesday would be her last day. I say this because through the week I said to my children that they would have to get their cards written and gift wrapped for their teachers that night (this was 10 mins before we were due to leave for school and were rushing around) and my lovely child casually said 'oh its miss x's last day today)...major panic as i rushed around getting a present wrapped and card written. I would also have then felt I wasted money and would have been annoyed that we didn't give her something and say thank you!

If a ban were put on teachers presents I would ignore said ban and sneak something little into the classroom anyway! Why should we be stopped from giving a bottle of bubble bath or a tin of biscuits? Nonsense.

Galena Sat 20-Jul-13 09:21:04

DD left Preschool this week. I bought each of the adults a mug relating to what they like, a coaster DD decorated and a pen. She also made them a card each and wrote a message to them. I then wrote inside the card too.

Thing is, she has gone from being a terrified little thing clinging to my leg and screaming if I dared to leave the room and has turned into a confident little girl who is more than ready for school.

jamdonut Sat 20-Jul-13 12:20:28

I would feel very uncomforable receiving an "expensive'" gift (massage...really? I couldn't do that!)

No-one should ever feel obliged to give a gift .

Amitolamummy Why should the teacher let anyone know she was off before the end of term?(I imagine her boss knew). I don't expect for a minute she thought it would affect people...because staff don't expect
to receive gifts.

clam Sat 20-Jul-13 12:24:41

If people truly feel "pressured" to give gifts, then I'm afraid they need to man up and grow a backbone.

clam Sat 20-Jul-13 12:27:16

And I simply cannot believe that people are going without food in order to buy a gift for a teacher. That's insane.

Soopermum1 Sat 20-Jul-13 12:33:54

I very rarely do gifts/ collections, work full time so rarely at the gates. If DS was bothered and asked me, I'd get somethnig or make something with him, but he isn't, so I don't. Similarly, if I was approached to pitch into the collection then I would.

I appreciate what teachers do, I really do, and I tell them at parent's evening, but plenty of people appreciate what I do at work and i never get gifts.

Worriedmind Sat 20-Jul-13 13:09:13

I think its more about the feelings of the child. A lot of smaller children would be really upset if everyone else took a present in and they didn't.

We have had an awful year in school and have felt bullying/sen was not fully dealt with or dealt with badly. I was going to quietly give the ta who HAS been wonderful a present. I ended up still sending a present in for teachers too because sen dd was most upset others were receiving presents and she hadn't anything to give and was embarrassed. [hippocrite] sp?

I didn't go without food though.

I have give presents every other year because I wanted to and thought they had been wonderful. This year I felt I had to to not make dd embarrassed or stick out anymore than she already does.

Don't get me wrong I like the teacher and think she had her work cut out with a challenging class. I just don't feel she has handled things the right way with dd/bully.

soverylucky Sat 20-Jul-13 13:30:07

I am a teacher and I think that a handmade card or letter is the best gift of all. I sometimes send a big tin of chocolates in for the staff room and that is about it.

DamnBamboo Sat 20-Jul-13 13:31:02

A lot of smaller children wouldn't notice and don't give a flying fig.

So you want them banned, but have always in the past, and this year too, given them yourself?

You need to manage your DCs expectations, not expect other people to modify their actions

DamnBamboo Sat 20-Jul-13 13:32:06

If people truly feel "pressured" to give gifts, then I'm afraid they need to man up and grow a backbone



DamnBamboo Sat 20-Jul-13 13:33:28

This kind of remind me of the notion that everybody should 'win' at sports day so children aren't upset about not being first.


Worriedmind Sat 20-Jul-13 13:37:41

DamnBamboo if you read what I wrote in later posts I said that it needed to be managed better not banned completely.

DamnBamboo Sat 20-Jul-13 13:41:59

I don't think an act of giving needs to be managed at all.

Give or don't give, it's based on free will.

looseleaf Sat 20-Jul-13 13:49:48

I stressed this as every year there's a collection for vouchers and I made it quite clear it was for those who wanted to contribute ie optional. Also got all the children to write their own note to stick on a thank you card

Gullygirl Sat 20-Jul-13 14:29:38

I am in Australia, our end of school year is December.
I always have a chuckle at the parade of Gingerbread Houses,each one taller than the last,that are lugged in by the lookatmemums.
My two make cards and buy something small they have chosen themselves.

Llareggub Sat 20-Jul-13 14:35:54

I don't bother with a gift at the end of term but I do out effort into the many fundraising things that go on. It gets expensive, we've had 2 bakes sales in the last month and the summer fair. My DCs are pretty oblivious though. This might change.

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 16:03:06

If you can't afford it and you know that your DC is going to be upset then you sit down with DC and make a really special card and tell the DC it is the present teachers like best- it is the one unanimous thing on here- rather than ban it for everyone.

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 16:07:35

The kids in the playground were probably crying because the parent told them bluntly they couldn't afford it. If they told them they couldn't afford it but they would sit down with them and help make a card I doubt whether they would be crying. Some parents are very cruel, I have seen children go proudly out with their treasured junk model for the parent to just moan about 'more junk'!

Suzieismyname Sat 20-Jul-13 16:19:03

Don't ban it. We had a voluntary collection for 2 teachers plus TA in DD1's class. £3 per family so the teachers got 2 bottles of wine each and a small pack of smellies. Hardly over the top! I didn't chase for money and signed the cards from the whole class. I think the teachers appreciated the sentiment!

courgetteDOTcom Sat 20-Jul-13 19:24:32

I hope no teacher believes I let my children make fudge themselves!

The difference between teachers and lots of other professions listed is none of them spend the time that teachers do with us. Someone mentioned SJA, I think the difference between an MIC and leader elsewhere is it's usually not just one night a week and you tend to build more of a relationship than you do elsewhere because even as a 12 great old you're going too be working with and really on your MIC and others in the div. IME anywaysmile ohh and not breaking means you only have Christmas to think aboutgrin

MamaBear17 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:42:37

I am a teacher and I have kept every single card I have ever been given. I have been teaching 10 years. Presents are completely unnecessary (although always appreciated). The cards, however, make my day.

FunLovinBunster Sat 20-Jul-13 20:53:13

Yes to banning gifts.
Just another way for alpha mummies to push other mummies around, and the gift is rendered totally devoid of any meaning....

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 22:19:12

I haven't taught in schools with 'alpha mummies' or sent my DCs to schools with about, thankfully.

clam Sat 20-Jul-13 23:54:58

"Just another way for alpha mummies to push other mummies around"

So what? Fine, let them get on with it. Why would that affect you?

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 00:00:01

Actually, mis-read that. If alpha mummies want to push other alpha mummies around, or play one-upmanship with each other, then let them get on with it. If they're trying to push their weight around to "normal" mums, then just ignore. I'm frankly shock at all the wimpy people on here complaining that they feel "forced" to do things. You want to give a gift for your child's teacher? Go ahead. You don't? Then don't.

Why on earth should schools waste their time "managing" something that should be entirely voluntary. How grabby would that sound? "No gifts valued in excess of £20 can be given to teachers." All that's going to do is make people think "crikey, I can't afford 20 quid."

exoticfruits Sun 21-Jul-13 07:07:35

There is no such thing as an 'alpha mummy' except if someone wants to think of another woman like that- I wouldn't. I also can't see why on earth an 'alpha mummy' should have any effect on me and I certainly wouldn't let her 'push me' around.
I agree with clam- a school can't 'manage' something that is voluntary.
The most they could do is say not over a certain value, which would cut out the class collection ( not a bad thing). In my case it would be a bit silly to say 'not over £20' when I was spending £2!

HenWithAttitude Sun 21-Jul-13 08:04:17

In previous years I have given:
M&S gift voucher
Strawberries and cream for whole staff room
Big tub of chops for whole staff room

I don't feel particularly pressured one way or another tbh. It's interesting to see the comments from teachers who appreciate the hand made cards. We will be doing that most definitely this year rather than buy one. As for a present... Not sure. Probably.

I have a teacher friend who feels like the OP. she works in a deprived school. She does not need or want endless chocs and she knows the families need that money more than she does. A hand made card is what she values

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 08:50:14

ShimmeringBeauty "You think no attempts at bribery go on in schools? Imagine finding out that it was happening in your child's school - and that your child was on the losing end because you hadn't provided the £20 contribution. What would you do? Pay up? Or try to fight for your child to get treated the same as every other child?"

Where on earth do your children go to school? I have been teaching for 27 years, and I cannot imagine for one tiny moment such a scenario where children are penalised or discriminated against by staff because their parents hadn't given a gift. In fact, in primary, how would I even know who had given what the previous year, as it would have ben a different teacher. And I'd be hard-pushed to even remember who gave what at Christmas this year, although I was appreciative and thanked them profusely at the time.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Jul-13 10:30:39

Exactly clam- people never cease to amaze me!

FunLovinBunster Sun 21-Jul-13 11:06:52

Not penalised by staff....who know exactly whats going on re playground politics.
Penalised by the other parents ie they ignore you, they ignore your child, your child doesn't get invited to play dates etc etc.
It is SO pathetic.

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 11:11:22

You're saying that there are seriously people around who remember exactly how much you contributed to a teacher's gift the previous year, and will strike your child off the party circuit if it didn't pass muster?


clam Sun 21-Jul-13 11:12:55

And if there are such women around, then why on earth would you want your child to go to theirs on a play-date?

FunLovinBunster Sun 21-Jul-13 11:41:49

Clam, yes to your first question. Elephants never forget!!
Second question, frankly I'm not arsed about it, but its not fair to drag children into it.

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 11:59:16

Have you ever wondered if there might be another reason why they ignore you? I'm afraid the teacher-gift-thing just doesn't stack up for me.

FunLovinBunster Sun 21-Jul-13 12:08:50

Yes clam it's obviously because I am as charming as your insinuation that I am to blame for other people ignoring me. Here's a biscuit for you.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Jul-13 12:35:33

Maybe we are talking about very young children whose parents choose their play dates, party guests etc- this just doesn't work after about 7 yrs at the latest. They choose their own friends and it has nothing to do with mummy's playground politics - they must be sad women if they think children or other mothers are remotely bothered!

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