So, when did it become the done thing to buy teachers end-of-term presents?

(52 Posts)
HuwEdwards Mon 07-Aug-06 13:38:50

Have been meaning to post this for ages.

I had no idea this was the 'done thing' and DD therefore turned up with a home-made card (one she'd done off her own back) on the last day, to find the classroom swimming in presents. At home-time, all the kids traipsed out with (obv prepreared) 'thankyou' notes from the teachers.

When did this happen? I mean ok, so am old, (in fact my first class had a real coal fire). But I don't ever recall presents for the teacher.

And most of all why??

hulababy Mon 07-Aug-06 13:40:50

I don't remember ever giving presents when I was at school.

However when I started teaching in 1996 (secondary teaching) I did recieve Christmas and End of Year presents.

PigeonPie Mon 07-Aug-06 13:46:40

Do you know, I was only thinking about this the other day, and also wondering about what on earth the poor teachers do with quite a lot of the tat that's given! My DS isn't old enough yet, but I do hope it's calmed down by the time he goes to school. A home-made card is fine, but there's an awful lot of stuff I wouldn't want to buy or give. I'd therefore also like to know!

glassofwine Mon 07-Aug-06 14:29:14

I wondered this too, this year we clubbed together and all donated whatever we could afford. The teacher is getting married so we gave her vouchers for a dept store, it came to about £180 she was over the moon, much better then candles and mugs. Nonetheless with three children, it all added up.

KTeePee Mon 07-Aug-06 14:46:42

Didn't do it when I was at school either but it was already the "done thing" when my dd started. I have noticed that her ballet teacher also gets lots of cards and pressies too but that seems a bit OTT for me....

katierocket Mon 07-Aug-06 14:48:12

"Why?" just to show appreciation for their hard work surely

jenkel Mon 07-Aug-06 14:49:35

We had it this year, but I decided not to buy anything. I dont mind conributing to a fund for one large present but surely most of the presents arent worth very much or much use to anybody, surely there are only so much smelly stuff you can have.

And the teachers do get paid to do the job, they dont go out any buy birthday presents for all the children out of their own money.

HuwEdwards Mon 07-Aug-06 14:53:41

Jenkel, my sentiments exactly.

Katierocket, I just think that I can (and do) tell the teaching assistants and the teachers that they do a good job - give them positive feedback when asked to etc.

hulababy Mon 07-Aug-06 14:55:33

I recieved a letter from a parent once, in a card at the end of year. the letter was to say thank you, etc. It meant so much more than any present could have.

However I always appreciated the effort and thought when I recieved any presents from my pupils, and I always said thank you.

HuwEdwards Mon 07-Aug-06 15:22:11

Oh Hula, you've made me feel all mean and miserly now....

cupcakes Mon 07-Aug-06 15:29:22

If I didn't think the teacher had done a good job or if ds hadn't liked them I wouldn't bother. But so far we've been lucky and I wanted to show how much we appreciated them.
Not everyone expects presents with their jobs but there are loads of careers where tips are acceptable and even expected. My dh often receives presents (usually something nice like a home made cake or fruit and even wine) when customers are grateful for his work.

Jackstini Mon 07-Aug-06 15:36:48

Huw - I asked my friend who is a primary school teacher and she says it has be happening for a few years now. However, she also said she would be really impressed with an individual heartfelt home made card (& it has a lot less calories than the 30 identical boxes of quality street she got at the end of term!)

hulababy Mon 07-Aug-06 15:38:09

Home made card is definitely well thought of when recieved. Presents don't have to be something expensive - a home made card or piece of cake are always gratefully recieved.

cupcakes Mon 07-Aug-06 15:42:33

I should add my ds is not a teacher - hence 'customers' - he prints photos.

jenkel Mon 07-Aug-06 16:37:59

I did just send a card to the teacher with a little message of how pleased we are with dd's progress and what a positive impact that the teacher has made on dd and to thank her for all her work.

I intend not to buy presents, but if I am impressed with a teacher I will always send them a card/note etc thanking them.

daysoftheweek Tue 08-Aug-06 00:46:39

ds not yet at school but bizarre IMHO hope I'm some way off doing this when he does go.

psychomum5 Tue 08-Aug-06 01:07:53

I always have bought something for the teachers of my kiddies, but too wonder when and why it started.

I never buy choccies tho....normally a nice scented candle (for them to go home and relax to, which after a year almost of 30 lively kiddies any teacher needs), or something I know the teacher likes.

for instance, one year one of the teachers loved anything snoopy, and was due a baby in the summer hols. I found and bought a baby snoopy bib and hat and got that. she was so chuffed and I think it is nice to go for something personal (IMO only understand). One of mine also found pictures of wombles for another teacher who was wombles mad....she also loved that!

I remember giving something when I was at school tho.....normally flowers. not while in senior school, but certainly in the middle school!

mind...it does get pricy tho when I have five, and all have a teacher and an TA who they also want to buy for!!!!

twinsetandpearls Tue 08-Aug-06 01:15:59

I teach in secondary and we tend to only get presents from our form tutees and the odd child. I woudl say a card is fine and probably welcomed. WE sometimes get cards addressed to all the staff from parents which always get displayed proudly in the staffroom.

The oddest present i ever got was a smelly porcelain cat whihc I think the child had nicked from her mums fireplace.

anniebear Sun 20-Aug-06 20:21:49

I know a Teacher that gave a lot of the presents she got to charity

she obviously got lots of smellies and chocs!!

It made me think hard when I bought my DD's teacher a present!!

I wanted something a bit different and I knew she would like

so if you do buy pressies, be careful they might end up in the bin or Oxfam!!

Not sure when it started. I remember taking a card into school when I was younger, but not presents

ends up being a fortune

One of my dd's has a teacher and 2 assistants

the other also goes to a SN School with a Teacher and about 6 assistants and she has a helper at mainstream

I was looking at 10& presents


As it was my Daughter was seriously ill in the last week of term and was in hospital, so I just about managed to give cards

Bit drastic lol

AbbyLou Tue 22-Aug-06 09:08:11

I teach in infant school and have done for 8 years now. I always get loads of presents at Charistmas and end of year. I also got wedding presents and when I left to have ds the parents of my class clubbed together and gave me £100 of Boots vouchers and a card made and signed by all the children. I usually get chocolates, smellies or wine - 7 bottles this summer!!! (They obviously know me well). I would never expect presents but nonetheless it is lovely to receive them. I have also had many beautiful home mdae cards and some very heartfelt letters from parents and I must admit it is these that touch you and make you think you're appreciated. I always make sure every child gets a thank you card too. I also always buy the children leaving my class a small gift at the end of the year and send them a card congratulating them for their efforts during the year and wishing them good luck at Junior School - I teach Y2.

Joanie Thu 24-Aug-06 16:17:44

This bugs me too. I don't get presents for doing my job, even at christmas! I think xmas cards are ok for teachers. Now end of term and year presents and cards seem to be expected. In that case it is not really a 'present' it is more of a duty and therefore means nothing. If you child had problems and the teacher went that extra mile then that would be a good reason to give a present though.

The ritual giving of cards and presents by the kids followed by the ritual giving back of thank you cards from the teachers is ridiculous.

I saw in tescos 'thank you teacher' cards and cutsy/sickmaking cuddlies for 'the best teacher in the world' - mad. Clintons must be laughing their heads off.

It all seems like another example of the current praise culture where everyone has to get a prize.

Rant over

I suppose an apple wouldn't be a good present would it?

Pamina3 Thu 24-Aug-06 16:21:34

Joanie, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the vast range of Teacher presents in Woolies!
At Xmas I gave the teacher and 2 teaching assistants a bottle of wine each, and most parents gave something similar. At the end of the year, we were asked to give to a collection and the staff were given vouchers. I guess I'm used to it, as I have been giving presents to nursery staff for nearly 6 years! At least there are fewer staff at the school to get presents for!

Gem13 Thu 24-Aug-06 16:26:22

I used to give a present at infant school - this was the mid 70s. About half the class did I think.

Why not though? They spend a lot of time looking after our children. I was doing some research at my friend's school a few years ago and by the end of the day she had dispensed numerous hugs, sorted out friendship crises, and was covered in snot from teary children with runny noses. All this and she managed to teach them too.

Olihan Thu 24-Aug-06 16:26:56

As an (ex) teacher I'd say if you want to give a present, wine is usually a fairly safe bet, otherwise, just a little note saying thank you for everything you've done for x this year, s/he's loved being in your class, etc. I found those much more satisfying than half of Boots and 15 boxes of chocs. Not that I'm an ungrateful old cow, it's just nice to have it in black and white that people appreciate what you've done for their child.

susyb Thu 24-Aug-06 16:31:17

Fully agree with you, my main niggle (changing tack here) is why is no one allowed to win on sports day either. My DS`s team won every race on sports day yet didn`t get so much as a sticker in recognition. He came home saying "why did I bother" and he`s only 6. Schools seem so keen to make every child appear good at everything that we are breeding a generation that have had every ounce of competitiveness knocked out of them.Not going to stand them in much stead in the employment market is it!! rant over

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