Do you ever go into school just to say thank you?

(50 Posts)
Izzy82 Sat 16-Feb-13 21:17:38

I have worked in a school as a TA for over 10 years and have noticed more and more parents coming in to complain. I mean, they complain about the most ridiculous things and think they have the right to tell the professionals how to do their job. But rarely do I see parents pop in to say thank you; thank you for giving up a week taking your child on a residential, thanks for giving up lunchtimes and after school to coach the school football team, thanks for giving up a Saturday to paint the backdrop for the school production etc).
Please remember this next time your child's teacher goes above and beyond... Because, trust me, they do it a lot and never feel appreciated!

I try hard to give compliments and show my gratitude to DDs' preschool teachers. Because they are amazing, and I am hugely thankful for what they do. And I let their boss know how great they are too!

I can't really say that I have ever really gone in to say thank you, but isn't that the case for most service industries. Teachers and the TAs do get gifts, flowers and appreciation at the end of the term.

There are ways to approach teaching staff about issues, but sometimes the schools do manage to make some incredibly short-sighted, unhelpful choices.

itstrainingmen Sat 16-Feb-13 21:31:31

At the end of every year our class and all the others send a big card with each family writing a message of thanks, and at Christmas too, plus a present from the collection, and then many send small individual gifts too. That's quite a lot of thanking in itself.

I find your op a bit odd...I bet a lot of parents don't go in and say thanks partly because they know the teacher is too busy to chat at drop off or after school!

None of our teachers seem to do much of the after school or lunchtime club stuff, in fact I don't think any do. Is that the norm?

AScorpionPitForMimes Sat 16-Feb-13 21:37:52

I don't go into school because I work full time and time wise it just doesn't work - but I always, always make sure to make it known when I am pleased. I wrote a letter to the head about the fabulous teacher who realised DD1 was losing confidence in Yr3, and worked with me to relearn to love school. I wrote to DD2's amazing teacher last year, the one who shared her love of reading big and interesting books and lent DD books from her own collection. I send thank you emails to the school admin staff and TAs who have fielded my DDs when there have been scrapes and bangs in the playground.

So far I haven't had to complain about anything, but honour where honour is due is very important to me.

Izzy82 Sat 16-Feb-13 21:39:09

Not sure if its the norm in all school. Every teacher in my school offers both lunchtime and after school clubs - maybe my school is just an exception.
I work with a lovely young teacher who runs one of the football teams. yesterday, after picking the team she had 2 abusive parents at 3:15 accusing her of 'favouritism' because their son's were not picked. It just made me wonder whether people really appreciated the hard work of some teachers that's all. Know I wouldn't have dreamt of doing this when my son was at school- but then again, he never was any good at football smile?

DeepRedBetty Sat 16-Feb-13 21:39:14

I did - twice! Do I get Brownie Points?

Izzy82 Sat 16-Feb-13 21:40:45

Yes- brownie points for you smile

Mogandme Sat 16-Feb-13 21:41:10

I've sent in home made chocolate cake a couple of times for the teacher and ta blush

PoppyWearer Sat 16-Feb-13 21:45:15

I dropped off a box of chocolates to the ladies on reception a while back because DC1 kept falling over in the playground and they are the first-aiders.

I did wish the teacher and TAs a happy half-term. Usually we don't have much contact with them though, they stand at the door and we stand further back, the children walk to/from us.

I always always thank the staff at DC2's nursery at drop off and pick up.

I have written to the head teacher to thank the school when staff have clearly gone beyond their duties (like the teacher who stayed with friends because it was snowing and she couldnt guarantee that if she went home she would be able to get back in for the school show!). I figure its more helpful for the staff if their boss knows how much I've appreciated the effort! I've also personally thanked DS's teacher from last year because she was brilliant and I felt she had a real gift for teaching.

But you're right. Most of the parents at the DCs school only talk to the school if they want to complain. It must be quite demoralising.

sittinginthesun Sat 16-Feb-13 21:46:51

I do. I appear to have struck gold with our local primary - warmest, friendliest place I could have wished for. I help out when I can, have sent the odd email when something really impresses me, and often just stop for a chat.

The Head is so approachable, it filters down to the staff and parents.

Piffpaffpoff Sat 16-Feb-13 21:51:01

I wrote a thank you card to the two P1 teachers after the P1 nativity play because it was so lovely and they had been working so hard on it and I wanted to let them know we appreciated it very much.

MinnesotaNice Sat 16-Feb-13 21:51:01

I made pecan brittle for all the teachers at DS's nursery this past Christmas. Does that count?

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Sat 16-Feb-13 22:26:39

I have. I thanked the teacher who ran an after school club that my boys absolutely loved.

And when the school got a bad ofsted I told one of the teachers that I thought she was great and my son had made great progress at the school.

I thank them at the end of every year for putting up with my lot!

numbum Sat 16-Feb-13 22:29:15

We have a 'comments' box on reports where I always write appreciative comments if they're deserved. I wrote a letter to the HT when DD had a fantastic year in (school attached) nursery and the teacher in question cried when she told me she'd worked there for 20 years and NEVER had a letter praising her before. I've made a concious effort since then

EvilTwins Sat 16-Feb-13 22:37:01

I teach secondary drama. We did the school play just before half term, which is a massive amount of work for all involved. When I got home from the final performance, exhausted and emotional, I found an email from a mother whose daughter had been in the show and whose son had done backstage, thanking me for the fun they'd both had doing the production. It meant so much.

kennythekangaroo Sat 16-Feb-13 22:37:12

I've taken 40 children on 3 night residentials many times. On average about 3 parents thank us at the end.

1 parent organised a whip round one year sending the teachers off camping with chocolate, cupcakes , paracetamol and earplugs! She couldn't believe it when we said it was the first time anyone had done that.

mintyneb Sat 16-Feb-13 22:43:53

I always say thank you to both the teacher and TA after every class or year assembly and Christmas production for all the hard work they've obviously put in. Plus a thank you any other time of year as and and when appropriate.

But then I like to thank people in any profession if they've done a good job or worked hard on something for me. I guess it was the way I was brought up!

Startail Sat 16-Feb-13 22:50:13

I do try to say thanks, it's not always easy at secondary because the DDs go on the bus.

I certainly did thank the primary teachers for things because you could just wander in and say hi.

And yes I confess I complain too, sometimes.

School must have been quite glad when my socially inept, dyslexic DD1 went to senior school. I don't think I complained once in the three years DD2 was there in her own.

Because of the way the job shares and split years panned out the Y5/6 teacher had 3 years of DD1 and 2 years of DD2, she did get a thank you gift.

Level3at6months Sat 16-Feb-13 22:53:21

As a parent, no I haven't blush

Last week we had a lovely chocolate cake and a card thanking us for helping a child settle in - totally unexpected and very appreciated.

steppemum Sat 16-Feb-13 22:59:24

yes, I do.

I make a point of regularly saying positive things, even trivial
'great display'
'dd is really enjoying your new topic'

When my kids have come home excited about something, I mention it in passing 'ds has been telling me all about you new space ship reading corner - he thinks it's great'

and last year when I got their reports I wrote a card for each teacher, thanking them for their work with specifics relevant to each child. 'thank you with your patience with ds, your calmness has helped him to settle more this year'

After every evening performance/concert/nativity play I make a point of saying thank you to the organising staff (and the TAs who were there in the corner trying to make the dodgy cd player behave)

The thing is, I have also complained. I do it politely but expect to be taken seriously, even if the final answer is no.

noisytoys Sat 16-Feb-13 23:00:49

This thread reminds me I must say thankyou to DDs teacher after half term. She always goes above and beyond, treating DD as an individual, differentiating work for her, even photocopied pages from her favourite workbook to do in the holidays because she knows DD can be a handful and it will give her something calming to do. She is a bloody brilliant teacher

BooCanary Sat 16-Feb-13 23:04:42

Dcs give teachers and ta's gifts at Xmas and end of year. I thank them when appropriate.

How often do you thank public sector employees who provide you with a good service, OP?

Cos I work in the public sector, and no one in my dept gets cards and chocs from the general public.

Grockle Sat 16-Feb-13 23:04:47

I sometimes take a cake in on a Friday - if I've had time to bake & loads of spare eggs, I'll make something extra and drop it off at the school office to say thank you for their hard work. And they have worked hard with my DS.

Haberdashery Sat 16-Feb-13 23:18:15

Um, not being difficult but it doesn't matter what the parents think. I imagine you can tell if the children like you and appreciate your hard work.

Izzy82 Sat 16-Feb-13 23:23:45

Boocanary- I must certainly do thank public sector workers for good service. And if one of them was kind enough to give up a week to take my child and his classmates on a residential ( instead of seeing their own children) I wouldbbe sending over a huge thank you!

steppemum Sat 16-Feb-13 23:27:52

thing is Boo, I don't see other public sector employees on a twice daily basis. I am polite and nice to people I do see.
eg doctors receptionist, smile and say thank you. (unless she has been a right cow)
and same in a shop, smile and say thanks.

If I saw you on a daily basis as you went about your work, I hope I would be the same.

I see teacher twice a day, and so not to interact in a positive way seems to be strange.
And evening performances/residential trips and not in the contract, they are voluntary, so yes they do deserve a thank you.

It just makes life run a bit smoother

GingerbreadGretel Sat 16-Feb-13 23:37:48

I try very, very hard to say thank you and send emails, chocolate, whatever makes sense. I would say I have a good relationship with my kid's teachers and the wider staff. Actually lots of parents at my children's school do, and I think it really helps the whole thing run more happily and smoothly.

I see less of it where I work, and it is a shame. When people are working very, very hard it does start to eat away when all they get is the negative comment and never positive.

GingerbreadGretel Sat 16-Feb-13 23:45:12

Haberdashery, I do think it matters what parents think. If you work very, very hard to run lessons which will be good for the children and then all you get is complaints about something totally unfair or trivial, it takes its toll eventually - especially when you see a mismatch between the children's positive experiences and the parent's moans.

I complain to my children's school when I need to, of course I do. I personally think that because they know I will also compliment things when compliments are due, they take my complaints more seriously.

I think it is disingenuous to compare it to other service professions. It is a very intimate relationship, your children spend a lot of time with these people. If your children spent a similar amount of time with, say, a nurse or a doctor you would be very likely to thank them with some kind of token - you often see thank you cards in hospital wards.

lougle Sun 17-Feb-13 00:01:57

I often write thanks in DD1's home-school book and comment on what she's said, etc. (special school)

Harder in MS, but I always say 'thank you' as I collect her. It's half-term next week and I knew the Teacher wasn't feeling well. I made sure I said 'hope you get better' and 'have a lovely break'.

It's just a little recognition that they are people beyond their jobs and their input is appreciated.

RaisinBoys Sun 17-Feb-13 07:44:35

I must certainly do thank public sector workers for good service. And if one of them was kind enough to give up a week to take my child and his classmates on a residential ( instead of seeing their own children) I wouldbbe sending over a huge thank you!

Let's not get this out of proportion Izzy82

Teachers take the job voluntarily and there is an expectation that some of their time beyond the 9-3.30pm wll be spent on running clubs. There is also an expectation that teachers will accompany school journeys. And for this they get paid (and yes we know they're all underpaid blah blah).

I'm not sure "kind" is the adjective that applies her. "Dedicated" & "conscientous" might be more applicable.

I think your assertion that all parents do is complain may be just a feature of your school. At mine parents are tripping over themselves to give teachers Christmas gifts and end of year gifts. I also write to the teacher and cc. the Head to say thank you for their hard work and time spent nuturing my DC.

I also complain when I have to because schools, like all institutions, get things wrong. Even "professionals" make errors, some of them hugely detrimental to the children in their care.

Acknowledging great teachers and complaining when necessary are not mutially exclusive.

RaisinBoys Sun 17-Feb-13 07:46:48


I thank the staff at ds1's special school a lot. Both informally & durung reviews etc. We work very closely together anyway. I also mention when they have fine good things on my blog ( which I know they read).

I don't thank the staff at DS2 and ds3's school so much because a) they don't do as much b) we have a much more formal relationship. They do get given a gift at the end of each term & I did make a point of verbally thanking a teacher who had helped ds2 with a tricky time last year.

teta Sun 17-Feb-13 10:31:51

I always thank teachers/ta's running after school sports clubs as thats only polite.I give bottles of wine at christmas and at the end of term to the same [and other school professionals that my dc's nominate for extra special care].At the same time if my dc's say so and so is not nice to them,they are justifially excluded.I am amazed at the number of ta's that see me frquently and don't say thank you after christmas though.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 17-Feb-13 19:10:09

I send cards and biscuits or chocs into the staffroom every term, I used work as a TA so know how nice it is to get little treats and cards in the staffroom, every now and then.

I really do appreciate what the staff team do to support Dd3.

I sent a few letters and emails to the secondary schools that the older Dd's went to, especially when the staff went above and beyond the call of dutysmile

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 19:28:52

I have always done it.

VioletStar Sun 17-Feb-13 19:40:20

I make a point of sending in emails if my own kids do something great and that they love at school. I always give Christmas and end of year gifts. I know some people think they are only doing their job but my kids are thriving and loving school and that is thanks to these people doing their job well. Also my kids are the most precious, most important part of my and DH's lives so their teachers input is massively important too as they spend much of their days with them.
As a secondary school teacher I rarely get gifts/cards etc but I love how my students thank me at the end of lessons, and how sometimes a lovely kind email comes through to my Head saying how brilliant I've been. At the end of school trips I find lots of parents collecting their kids come over to say thanks. I really appreciate it. Yes its part of my job, but they are invariably very long days where I don't get to see my own kids and enjoy my own kids company so a bit of thanks goes a long way.
Thanks to all who see this as extra and deserving of thanks. Makes it worth doing.

VioletStar Sun 17-Feb-13 19:47:09

Oh and BooCanary depends on the part of public sector but anyone involved with my kids does get thanks too eg Dr and nurses.
Teachers I set apart from other public sector because of their importance in my own DC lives. That's why, I guess, they matter to some people so much. Some parents, I agree, see them as just another public sector worker, and therefore forget the important caring and nurturing role in their DCs lives.

BloooCowWonders Sun 17-Feb-13 19:52:34

I went up to a very lovely very experienced teacher about 3 weeks into term to thank her for my dc finally enjoying school. I could see her bracing herself as i I approached sad

JulietAndRomeo Sun 17-Feb-13 19:55:33

Thing is, we mostly don't see what the teachers do for our kids.

We pick the DC up from school and ask them what they did and they shrug. They never rave about their teachers.

How would I know if the teachers are doing a good job or not? Sometimes my kids are happy. Sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they learn. Sometimes they don't.

I used to send in Xmas and end of year presents to all. But now only do so if I'm happy with the teacher.

Teachers do a hard and stressful job and work long hours. Doesn't mean they all do a good job. Some do or some don't.

So, I do thank teachers if I think they've done a good job. But mostly I have no idea if they've done a good job or not.

newgirl Sun 17-Feb-13 19:56:19

Yes eg thanked teacher for running club as dd really enjoyed it, another on her music show, and emailed head to say dd on leaving loved the school and all team there were amazing

Clayhead Sun 17-Feb-13 19:58:38

Yes, I try and pop in a couple of times a year. I think it's really important.

More so recently as we've moved and I really appreciate everything the staff have done to help my dc settle.

Speedos Sun 17-Feb-13 21:01:11

I took in two boxes of chocolates a couple of weeks ago for the two TA's who cleaned up my sons massive poo accident the day before.

kawliga Sun 17-Feb-13 21:11:46

I see dd's teachers at drop-off and pick up so I say 'thank you' twice a day but more in a general polite 'bye, thank you!' kind of way. There's really no time for more than that. I've never sent a thank you card though we do end of term gifts. Rather than gratitude I try to say as often as possible how much dd enjoys school, enjoys her classes, etc and to give specifics (eg 'dd is really enjoying the lessons about xyz') and I've once told her teachers dd is lucky to have such great teachers. I think this is more meaningful than saying 'thank you'. I'm guessing teachers are not in it for the gratitude, but would like to know that the children are happy learning from them? At the moment dd age 5 is always saying that she loves her teacher 'because her hair is so pretty' hmm haven't shared that one with the teacher.

BlueberryHill Sun 17-Feb-13 21:18:05

I've helped DS make biscuits for the Teacher and TA at the end of year to say thank you. I've also said thank you to his teachers for an out of hours talk to parents and because he has been really enjoying school. I've also given really postiive feedback to the HT on the induction process into Reception and how it had fed through right into parents evening and his report.

I think that teachers taking children away on a residential really do deserve a thank you (plus wine), DS hasn't been on one yet but it has to be a great responsibility to look after the children for a whole week away from their normal environment. I know they do it in school but this is an added responsibility.

GingerbreadGretel Sun 17-Feb-13 22:09:49

Speedos - I took in flowers to the First Aider who got thrown up on by my daughter! She was so nice about it too. I mean, OK, it is her job according to some here. But yuck, it was vomit and she was lovely.

Frikadellen Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:00

yes I have and I took in flowers for my dd3s teacher last week when she had the idea dd3 might have toncilitis from her " my neck hurts" she was right/ dd3 was sick for 2 days but on pencillin by the endof the day teacher mentioned because she had.

sausagesandwich34 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:42

there is a newly qualified teacher at our primary (2nd yr of teaching) and she has been getting a hard time from some of the parents publicly on FB

I went in and told her I thought she was doing a cracking job, I could absolutely see where she was going with the changes she had made and I appreciated her modernising the teaching methods used in the classroom

she was nearly in tears, but she's lovely and I wanted her to know she has some supporters out there

MM5 Mon 18-Feb-13 07:24:13

Yes, I thank all the staff often. I even thank the headteacher! That is the one person who is thanked even less than the other staff and only gets the grief. My child adores the headteacher!

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