Would you give a Xmas gift to your child's teacher but not the TA?

(40 Posts)
MayaAngelCool Tue 11-Dec-12 23:34:57

This term I've got to know DS's class teacher fairly well, and she is excellent. I'd like to get her a thank-you gift for the end of term.

This evening I remembered to my horror that there's also a TA in the class - I've only ever seen her once, and we had a brief playground chat. She's not a warm person at all, and I don't especially like what I've seen of her. However, I don't doubt that she does a great job in the classroom.

I'm feeling really bad about essentially forgetting her existence in my present planning, but it seems false to get a gift for someone I hardly know and don't particularly like. At the same time it feels wrong to just get one for the teacher.

I'm interested to know what you all would do in this situation.

Beamur Tue 11-Dec-12 23:36:31

I'll be giving the teacher and the TA the same present. They are both getting a bottle of wine.

GW297 Tue 11-Dec-12 23:49:49

I think it's fine to just give one to the teacher and not the TA in the circumstances you describe.

Greensleeves Tue 11-Dec-12 23:53:41

I think that is mean. Sometimes people who are fantastic with children can come across as awkward or aloof with adults. You don't know what this TA really does.

I would either buy for both or neither.

MayaAngelCool Wed 12-Dec-12 00:02:41

Greensleeves, that is why I said I am sure she does a great job in the classroom. hmm

MayaAngelCool Wed 12-Dec-12 00:03:24

Where has Mumsnet put the old "hmm" emoticon?!

Greensleeves Wed 12-Dec-12 00:03:44

...hence my opinion that not to buy for her as well is mean!

ObiTheChristmasWan Wed 12-Dec-12 00:06:49

I'd buy for the TA as well.

Gifts at Christmas are usually thought of as being from the children, rather than the parents. I'd imagine that your son knows the TA at least as well as he knows the teacher.

Startail Wed 12-Dec-12 00:11:14

DD1 would have done, she didn't like the TA.

I sent presents for both.

Even though I agreed she was an idiot in her handling of spellings for dyslexic DCs.

If you can then buy the TA one. My mum is a TA and she works extremely hard with the children and keeps everything the children give her. Unless it's edible, obviously!

Floralnomad Wed 12-Dec-12 00:21:56

I'd buy for both , it's a bit mean not to and would look like you don't appreciate her contribution in the classroom.

Greensleeves Wed 12-Dec-12 00:29:59

I feel bad now sad I didn't come on intending to be aggressive and cause offence. I'm a new teacher and I suppose a bit overzealous in my opinions. I would be screwed without the fabulous TAs I work with, so I felt a bit defensive for them!

But I should have expressed myself less harshly. Sorry OP x

upstart68 Wed 12-Dec-12 11:57:41

I think if you are going to buy for one, you have to buy for the other. It doesn't have to be the same gift for both.

When they're little it's such a relief to have a teacher who seems friendly and warm. But as they get older, what's important is how they bring the dc on academically and socially. The TA usually plays a huge part in that, but you don't necessarily see it.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 12:03:18

I would get her something small.

Whether you like her or not, whether your DD likes her or not, whether she directly helps your DD or not, she is helping the class teacher to 'be excellent' and help your DD. Without her your DD's teacher probably wouldn't have as much time to do the things she does that make her excellent.

I usually buy for the teacher and then bake something that the teacher & TAs can share. There seem to be a lot of TAs/trainee teachers at our school so I wouldn't know how many to buy for if I bought them gifts.

RaisinBoys Wed 12-Dec-12 12:42:31

Am i the first to say that neither the Teacher nor the TA will be getting nothing but a card?

Clearly really mean in this household but DS will write a card and we'll send our best wishes and thanks for putting up with them for another term!!!

Teachers and TA get a small pressie from us at the end of the academic year.

That's enough, it's a recession...and they do get paid! dives under the table for cover

I see lovely parents who, frankly, haven't got a pot to piss in, worrying about what they should buy for the Teacher. It's ridiculous.

RaisinBoys Wed 12-Dec-12 12:44:40

Goodness, apologies! Terrible grammar! "anything but a card".

Sorry it's late...been on nights!

SunflowersSmile Wed 12-Dec-12 13:06:25

Cards only from my children too- older one will write personalised message to teacher and couple of TAs.

gymboywalton Wed 12-Dec-12 13:11:59

'she's not a warm person at all'.....and yet you've only met her once

so 'in the one brief playground chat we had once, she wasn't at all warm'hmm

MayaAngelCool Wed 12-Dec-12 17:50:49

Yep, I know, I'm judging her based on relatively little direct contact. But then we all do that, don't we.

Part of the problem in terms of how I view her is that DS's reception teacher & TA set an extremely high bar as they were terrific - highly professional and very warm and engaging. This year I didn't even know who the TA was until 2 months into term, and then whenever I've seen her she's looked grumpy and forbidding. Then in the one convo I had with her (btw I should have said above that I've met her once, not "seen" her once) she didn't smile and looked like she didn't want to be there. I imagine just about everyone would come away with a negative impression of someone who behaved that way, right? Also when I asked DS what she was like, he said she was 'sort of alright'.

Chipping and upstart make an excellent point, that she supports the teacher in being excellent. So I'll definitely get her something as a thankyou.

mrz Wed 12-Dec-12 18:03:45

How well does your child know the TA?

In my opinion TAs do a hell of a lot in class. I had never met dds at her old school apart from once for a few minutes and she wasn't very communicative but I know for a fact she did lots with dd.

So I would buy both as TA often get missed.

MayaAngelCool Wed 12-Dec-12 18:47:03

Greensleeves, don't worry about it! smile

Mrz, I don't know - the only time he ever mentioned her was when I asked him about her! But I assume she does a lot as TAs always do.

Anyway that is the right question to ask, as her grumpiness wasn't the main reason I was querying the present issue; it was primarily because I barely know her. But as you all say, TAs always work hard and DS will know her, so that's reason enough for a Xmas thankyou.

Is the TA a general class one or for a specific child/children? It may be that the TA has little to do with your DS.

MoaningMingeWhimpersAgain Wed 12-Dec-12 19:57:12

I have sent a small present for the teacher only but there have been numerous TAs through the year and I have only seen the current one a couple of times. I will be taking some cakes and chocolate to be shared in the staffroom for anyone too, though.

Hulababy Wed 12-Dec-12 20:02:46

A fair few people do.
I'm a TA and some people do give to teacher and not the TA. Some give to both and some give to neither.

I am always appreciative of any thanks I receive in whatever form - card, letter/note or gift. They are appreciated and def not expected. I work with all the children, plus do PPA cover for the class too (as well as for 3 other classes - but parents would never see me in the other classes, only my main room).

For my DD's school - I ask DD who she wishes to give cards/gifts too.

DewDr0p Wed 12-Dec-12 20:06:41

I would always do both or neither.

Certainly at our school the TAs are very skilled and work very hard - they are a crucial part of the team and don't get paid an awful lot to boot.

survivingwinter Wed 12-Dec-12 20:22:52

I know what you are saying OP. My DS's TA has been less than friendly to me over the last 4 yrs I have had children going in and out of that class but I know she does some sterling work with my DS and has helped him a lot so I will be getting her a present to say thanks!

I am struggling this year with the whole teacher/presents thing because I do think it is nice to say thanks to teachers and TA's (they do work very hard) for families in real hardship I think it causes difficulties because it is the 'done thing'.

Fuzzymum1 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:20:51

I will buy for the teacher and both TAs - one of whom is a one to one for another child, but my son loves her and wants to buy for her.

Snog Wed 12-Dec-12 21:23:09

I wouldn't buy a TA present if I didn't like the TA unless my child really rated them

GW297 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:27:19

I'm with you snog!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 12-Dec-12 22:02:01

I'd love to buy for the TA too but there are so many helpers in the class and I'd worry about leaving someone out.

ninah Wed 12-Dec-12 22:24:47

snog I agree
I'm a new teacher too, greensleeves, and you are lucky - it's not always the way - TAs (as teachers) do vary

Greensleeves Wed 12-Dec-12 22:33:31

I know ninah, I am very lucky at the moment (I am only doing supply, but lots of it in the same school, which is lucky in this area at the moment!)

I did encounter a couple of really disgusting people (teacher and TAs) when I was training. I saw one slap a child with SEN and another pick him up by one arm and one leg and dump him in a corner sad

would still treat my own children's teachers and TAs equally though unless I knew somebody was actually horrible.

ninah Wed 12-Dec-12 22:36:44

oh that's good, it can count for NQT then? I'm on a mat cover (come back lovely new mum, hurry! lol)

ninah Wed 12-Dec-12 22:39:08

for my own dc I just give to the people I think have done a great job really - and I also gave a TA a plant for clearing up dd's projectile vomit across the hall.

suebfg Wed 12-Dec-12 22:39:42

At our school, vouchers are given to the teacher and the TA but the teacher is given s higher value. I am a bit uncomfortable with this - surely they should get the same

GW297 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:49:46

If the TA is shared between 2 or even 3 classes they can end up with loads of gifts. I think the teacher should get more in recognition of the fact that they are the child's teacher. I wouldn't buy nice gifts for school staff I wasn't keen on or didn't rate and I wouldn't write nice things in their card that I didn't mean.

My daughter has made personalised mugs for her teacher and her one to one lady. I've just realised there are 2 TA's as well in her class! (She hasn't been there long). In my defence. Maybe I'll get them some chocs. smile

letseatgrandma Fri 14-Dec-12 20:36:06

I buy for teachers but not TAs. Some of the TAs flit between classes and are only with the children for part of the day-it would get expensive to buy for all of the TAs that work in my children's classes.

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