Am I the only person who doesn't buy teacher a present??

(78 Posts)
nurseneedshelp Sun 14-Jul-13 20:53:57

I'm shocked by all the threads about buying the teachers a present, I'm very grateful for their input but its their job and they get paid!

carolthesecretary Sun 14-Jul-13 20:55:14

It's ridiculous.

I'm very glad I don't have kids to be honest!

lljkk Sun 14-Jul-13 20:57:34

Me neither, I feel overwhelmed by the thought of it. So hard to find something I could be sure they'd like. Right now we're skint anyway, but even before, for yrs, it just felt like I was sure to get it wrong and it was a kind of pantomime.

Friend who worked as a TA said the teachers never share, not even their unwanted leftovers, that seemed wrong too.

Caboodle Sun 14-Jul-13 21:00:11

As a teacher I can say present absolutely not needed or expected (but a thank-you card is always received with a smile and kept forever).

morethanpotatoprints Sun 14-Jul-13 21:00:23

I didn't send dc with presents because where do you draw the line? Teacher academic and extracurricular activities, TA, more than one teacher?

stargirl1701 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:01:10

We don't want them. A lovely hand made card means so much more.

Rowanred Sun 14-Jul-13 21:01:59

We do xmas presents but not in the summer.

peteypiranha Sun 14-Jul-13 21:05:24

I have 6 bottles of wine for the teacher, stand in teacher, and all the tas. Dd has wrote a card each for them. I think its a nice thing to do.

Periwinkle007 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:23:16

I think it is a nice thing to do - It isn't the monetary value and to be honest if the teacher gives it away or whatever doesn't bother me, it teaches my children to say thank you by having written a card and made a small present and then a small present from us as parents.
HOWEVER I am not saying I will do it every year, I have been particularly impressed with the teacher and TAs in reception and I want to thank them for the way they have handled my daughter this year. Yes it is their job, yes they get paid for it but I feel they were even better than I could have hoped and I want to say thank you.

Morebiscuitsplease Sun 14-Jul-13 21:33:54

My girls have loved their teachers, they have both had great years and one has made excellent progress. I am full of respect and admiration for their teachers. It is a tough job so I want to thank them. I will make book covers for a chunky exercise book. Girls will help design it. Hopefully a bit personal and useful. I will make cakes for support staff and give little flower pots to one TA who is always helpful. OTT, everybody likes to know they are appreciated. I and the girls will write a thank you note too.

AlienAttack Sun 14-Jul-13 21:37:36

I do a handwritten thank you card, as does my DD, for the teacher. I also contribute to any class collection for Vouchers. Hopefully they appreciate both but in different ways!

pollywollydoodle Sun 14-Jul-13 21:39:21

dd will usually make a card
we usually say our thanks at parents evening


NaturalBaby Sun 14-Jul-13 21:42:13

I didn't, but did put money in for the collection to buy them vouchers as a thank you present.

tanfastic Sun 14-Jul-13 21:45:14

No. I won't be buying a present. I may get ds to make a card but that's about it.

The only thing I'm bothered about is him feeling the odd one out if all his classmates turn up with armfuls of chocolates flowers and gifts.

Violetroses Sun 14-Jul-13 21:58:29

I wasn't going to give in to this last year, but at the last moment made a gorgeous big chocolate cake with DS a few days before the end of term, for all the lovely reception staff to enjoy. (I've done some professional cheffing so it was pretty respectable-looking)

I was a bit shocked to see the disappointed, slightly miserable expression on his teacher's face as she made herself say thank you to DS - she looked utterly fed up of unwanted bloody chocolate cakes! Think she may have been on a diet.

Will be getting DS to make a card this year...

Periwinkle007 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:58:34

I don't think he will be alone Tanfastic - I have organised the collection from parents and there are enough little things for every child to give the teachers something whether or not their parents contributed. although now I think about it some parents might not like that as they may not have given because they don't agree with it.

oh I wish I hadn't bothered now.

exoticfruits Sun 14-Jul-13 22:10:56

Of course you don't have to get one and not everyone does. I sent mine with presents because we wanted to give one- I am never keen on the attitude 'they get paid'.
Everyone should just do as they wish and not try and get everyone to do the same.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 14-Jul-13 22:19:24

Teachers do not expect presents. It is fine not to give one.

Mintyy Sun 14-Jul-13 22:20:44

No, I've never bought one. I am so surprised this has become the norm!

Flojobunny Sun 14-Jul-13 22:24:21

I have spent over 100 pounds on thankyous this year. Totally ridiculous, but I got so stressed about what to buy and who to buy for, I thought sod it I'll get everyone something then its done and I can relax.

mikkii Sun 14-Jul-13 22:28:36

Last year DS did not like his teacher and did not want to give her anything. DD's class did a collection which I prefer.

This year both DC love their teachers and I have bought a small personalised gift for each of them, total cost (for the two teachers) £26.

CircassianLeyla Sun 14-Jul-13 22:29:32

I write them a note and this year one teacher will also get a letter to the Head as I have been hugely impressed.

Jinsei Sun 14-Jul-13 23:24:23

I think it's nice to give a present if you are that way inclined, but fine if you don't want to/don't agree with it. My own dd gets a lot of pleasure from giving something to her beloved teachers, and I think it's important for her to learn to thank people who have helped her.

I am sure that a nice "thank you" card or letter is more important than a present. I am a bit hmm about people who think that teachers don't deserve thanks because they get paid. No need to buy a gift if you don't want to, but surely you should be teaching your kids to say thank you!

timtam23 Sun 14-Jul-13 23:29:16

We will not be buying a present but will give thank you cards to the 2 reception class teachers and the TA - I had hoped DS1 would do a drawing or a hand made card but he is balking at the suggestion, although he's agreed to write in shop-bought cards

BackforGood Sun 14-Jul-13 23:44:56

I've generally put a tin of chocs or biscuits or something in the staffroom with a nice homemade (by dc) card. There are just too many staff who go the extra mile to make it such a fab school - my dd has a class teacher, and they set for maths and English so that's two more, then there's the people who go above and beyond what they need to do, in that they give a lot of time to running the sports teams she plays in, then there's the lovely Receptionist, and of course the PPA teacher. Then there's the teacher that runs the choir and the one that runs the chess club. that's before you get on to the 5 lovely ladies that run the excellent breakfast club.

Then there are people like her Scout Leaders - all volunteers and all wonderful people, and the chap that runs the football team she plays with on a Saturday, oh, and her piano teacher, and what about her Sunday school teachers....... you could just go on and on if you felt compelled to give to all staff who 'go the extra mile' just for that one dd alone...... and I've got 3 dc!

NoComet Sun 14-Jul-13 23:56:45

No, I'm a sporadic forgetful, disorganised teacher present buyer. Sometimes I do, often I don't.

Only once was I very organised order a special, slightly pricy present, but that was for the teacher who had taught both the DDs for five years (combined classes) and been endlessly patient stopping DCs picking on DD1 and generally making life at school tolerable for her.

louisianablue2000 Mon 15-Jul-13 00:03:02

Nope, not buying anyone anything. Never gave presents when I was a child, not going to now.

Shesparkles Mon 15-Jul-13 00:09:24

I only give a gift when the teacher has been particularly good with ds, his teacher this year has been brilliant, has totally "got" ds and how he works, and has made his, and in turn, the whole family's school year very positive. I'm delighted that she's going to have his class again next year.

Last year's teacher, on the other hand, the less said the better!

nurseneedshelp Mon 15-Jul-13 00:29:08

My children's teachers are all fantastic and I always make a point of thanking them at parents evening etc.

I just think how daunting it must be to receive all those gifts and its where to draw the line, even the lolly pop person has dozens of flowers and chocolates!

I've never heard of a class collection either?
Not sure how I feel about that.

Periwinkle007 Mon 15-Jul-13 03:37:10

i hadnt come across class collections either. mind my first yr this yr but we always just did individual presents when i was at school.

trinity0097 Mon 15-Jul-13 06:56:47

I would say that about half my form didn't get me a present, and a few of the children who I teach who are leaving got me a present, probably about 15-20 presents from a total of 14 in my form and about 55 children that I teach. I don't mind either way, it's nice to be appreciated, but I don't expect it. I buy gifts for all my form and tutees at the end of every term.

mrz Mon 15-Jul-13 06:57:26

A simple thank you or a handmade card from the child is more than enough gifts aren't necessary

Maybe I'm weird but I give all sorts of presents to people who get paid - binmen for example. Because recognising their extra effort is, erm, good manners.

Anyway I'm not buying a present but making/writing one.

FadedSapphire Mon 15-Jul-13 09:51:40

Cards here. Maybe handmade if ds makes the effort [few to do] but probably not. Will have personalised message [however odd] from him in each one. He is a reluctant writer so this will be huge effort.

Pyrrah Mon 15-Jul-13 10:03:44

I think it's a nice thing to do if you want to.

DD's teacher and TAs have been so lovely to her this year, she's also leaving and so we want to give them something as a thank you.

I think in the younger classes, the staff are almost substitute mummy much of the day. Lots of hugs and cuddles and making sure she's happy and wiping away tears when I leave or she gets hurt. To say nothing of the fortune in stickers that the teacher must have handed out this year!

Was actually wondering if a large box of stickers would be a good gift?

CircassianLeyla Mon 15-Jul-13 11:16:12

DS2 has planned what he is going to write. In his class there is another TA who works with an autistic child and he had decided he is going to write "thank you for looking after X" which I thought was nice.

(little sob at "thank you for looking after x" - that's beautiful)

Pyrrah as suggested on another thread I've just ordered some stickers from ebay. "Miss Lacey says I'm a star" type things. DD1's teacher (not Miss Lacey!) loves a sticker smile

Fuzzymum1 Mon 15-Jul-13 12:03:25

I do if I think the teacher has gone above and beyond. This year my DS3 has an amazing teacher who really 'got' him and he has made amazing progress. I am doing a small (partially hand made by him) gift from DS and will write her a heartfelt thank you card - I really really do appreciate her and although it's not necessary I know she will appreciate it and I want her to know how much we really do appreciate how much she's done for him.

nothingnew Mon 15-Jul-13 12:31:04

I didn't buy presents for teachers before until I realised almost every is doing it and I don't want my dcs feeling left out so I start doing it. But I only buy something like chocolates or biscuits something cheap and cheerful. However I ve seem some parents even bought flowers and things for teachers birthdays...... a bit ott imo and it made me feel quite humble at the same time. Although I believe majority of teachers are fair minded I do feel that in some cases this can create favouritism. It was the culture in my own school days.

nothingnew Mon 15-Jul-13 12:33:04

Sorry I mean it WASN'T the culture in my own school days.

Floggingmolly Mon 15-Jul-13 12:48:47

Flowers for the teacher's birthday is arse licking gone wild, nothingnew.
I've never even heard of this shock

nothingnew Mon 15-Jul-13 13:44:06

Yes.............. Flogg.......... especially being a state school. The teachers are public employees. But perhaps I read into it too much!

CircassianLeyla Mon 15-Jul-13 13:46:03

HorryIsUpduffed - it was my proud mummy moment.

GW297 Mon 15-Jul-13 13:55:26

Card with a nice message in it is fine, plus taking the time to say thank you and goodbye at the end of the last day.

GreenSkittles Mon 15-Jul-13 15:13:26

Can anyone recommend a decent but cheap bottle of wine to give? I don't drink it, and I don't want to gif something undrinkable, but my ds wants to buy gifts for four teachers, plus another gift and card for his autism mentor.

We have a Sainsbury's , M&S and Teso Metro locally. Is it possible to get a nice bottle of wine around £5?

FishCalledWonder Mon 15-Jul-13 15:24:58

All the teachers i have ever worked with, (and i realise that i may just have been lucky) go above and beyond what is expected of them. They work evenings and weekends and look after the well-being of the children in their class, as well as educating them.

When DD is old enough to go to school, i will definitely want to acknowledge this hard work and commitment, even if it's just with a card.

sittinginthesun Mon 15-Jul-13 16:50:44

I am the daughter of a primary school teacher, and I loved the last day of term. Endless boxes of Matchmakers and chocolate oranges!

I always add a bar of chocolate so they can share with their own children. wink

Oh, and to those saying that its their job etc etc, I work in private practise but the odd bottle of wine, bunch of flowers or thank you card is so wonderful. It's the feeling that you are actually appreciated.

sittinginthesun Mon 15-Jul-13 16:51:08

Or were they matchsticks???...

GoshlyoHeavens Mon 15-Jul-13 16:57:43

Scroo'm. Effing pim holes.

Arisbottle Tue 16-Jul-13 00:39:11

I don't and I am a teacher .

PerilsAsinger Tue 16-Jul-13 00:43:03

I don't - I think it's completely unnecessary and adds a lot of pressure to people who really cannot afford it.

libertine73 Tue 16-Jul-13 01:07:09

oh Jesus, didn't know it was expected?! there's so many though! couldn't leave anyone out, so well have to make loads of handmade cards, no way an I buying 6-8 presents!

mrz Tue 16-Jul-13 06:30:45

It isn't expected!

Lizziegeorge Tue 16-Jul-13 06:35:35

I'm a teacher and I buy my class a little something at Christmas, Easter and at the end of year; that's 90 little presents out of my own money and is in addition to the treats , prizes and extra resources I also buy. I don't have to but I'm fond of my class and choose to show my appreciation and want them to have a good time. Consequently I value my children's notes of thanks - the comments count the most.

2cats2many Tue 16-Jul-13 06:47:20

It isn't expected but its a nice thing to do. The way I think about it is that I'll go into a restaurant or hairdressers and tip £5 without even thinking about. These people are also just 'doing their job'.

Teachers and nursery staff are looking after my children and they are doing a bloody good job. Nursery staff in particular get paid a very low salary. Is it really so ridiculous to want to say thank you to them too?

If people don't want to, then that's absolutely fine by me. My sister is a teacher and genuinely don't expect anything from the parents. However, I like to give something at the end of the year to say thankyou for all their efforts.

teacherlikesapples Tue 16-Jul-13 06:55:36

Yes it's our job & of course we get paid and a gift would never be expected.

Not all teachers are created equal - but our pay is. Teachers get paid the same whether they are rubbish or awesome. So some acknowledgement of a job well done would always be welcome.

There are also days where it can feel like a very thankless job. I work long hours during term time and spend a few days every holidays prepping my class and materials. I earn a lot less than some of my less qualified peers. I am not in the job for the money obviously and I certainly don't expect to receive gifts- but a genuine thank you now & then really helps me feel like the effort is appreciated at least.

If you feel that your child has really thrived with a particular teacher or if you know that teacher puts a lot of extra time & effort in, then a card or genuine thank you even if only through conversation surely wouldn't hurt.

It is always nice to get positive feedback & appreciation, particularly when some of us pour our life & soul into doing it well.

Arisbottle Tue 16-Jul-13 07:48:15

There really is no need or expectations , teachers are just doing the job they are paid for. Most of us are doing it well and that is part of being a professional . We are not low paid workers reliant on a tip.

If they do a good job they get a card . I have 5 children and could count on one hand the gifts I have bought. These have been for exceptional teachers, and that happens exceptionally !

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 16-Jul-13 09:28:18

At our school the PTA reps organise a collection for teacher and TA. There's no obligation to contribute to it and they get vouchers for them. I think that's quite nice. I think if this wasn't done I'd probably get DD to do a card for each of them rather than get a present.

I can see why collections for vouchers are convenient on both sides, and socially acceptable if genuinely no pressure or expectation exists, but I feel that they miss the point.

"I valued your nurturing of my child so much that I ... stuck a fiver in an envelope" ? There's a disjoint between the intended sentiment and the action IMHO. And that's why I feel that a culture of collections/vouchers puts more pressure on parents to contribute regardless of their actual experience of or relationship to the teacher.

Choosing a relevant/personal gift of whatever value, or writing a note referencing a particular success or memory, is what we do for people we even vaguely care about. The number of threads we get around Christmas time about impersonal gifts or easy/thoughtless vouchers is remarkable. And when we don't feel thankful to people, or don't have any kind of relationship with them, we don't give them gifts.

exoticfruits Tue 16-Jul-13 09:56:44

I think the collection and the voucher misses the point. It is all about the child choosing something they think the teacher would like e.g a little note book with a picture of a cat on the front because 'miss x likes cats'.

The collection and voucher is more 'oh god, we need to get the teacher something- lets just bung some money in the collection'. So impersonal and obligated- you do not have to get a present.
Does anyone bother to ask the DCs what they want to get? Or even which vouchers?

Even back when I was in yr6 and teachers didn't get presents we decided, as a class, that we wanted to get our teacher a present. We collected the money- discussed what we wanted and asked the infant teacher to buy it for us.

I wouldn't want to give to a collection. If I had a DC who wanted to take a present I would use a jar of my chutney this year and let the DC design a label.

nothingnew Tue 16-Jul-13 10:53:49

I have very high respect for teachers and TAs and everyone works or helps in the school all the way to the administors and cleaners same as I very much respect for doctors and nurses in the public sectors. Almost every day I tell my dcs to pay attention to and respect their teachers and value everyone works in the school. For the same reason I feel in general good professionals don’t really expect presents from the people they look after. However I do encourage my children to write thankyou cards or a letter to express their appreciation to their teachers or anyone they feel particularly helpful to them. In the end of the day it really is how sincere your appreciation that matters the most. However I may buy presents for those are leaving or retiring.
One of my friends’ daughter, she is quite bright but quite disrespectful, unappreciative and belittle children who are less able or less cool, however her mum spends over £5 on each teacher and TA every year. What does it really mean?

Jinsei Tue 16-Jul-13 11:56:11

Well said exotic. It is truly the thought that counts, and we should be teaching our kids to think about how to thank the teachers who have helped them, and not just bunging a fiver in an envelope and ticking it off on a list as another job done.

grants1000 Tue 16-Jul-13 13:01:51

I will for all of them, just a little something, and a written note/card.

For both my chidlren, one who is leaving this year, teachers and TA's have been beyond excellent and I want to acknowledge their hard work above and beyond what is expected.

I am happy with them so why not?

Lizziegeorge Sun 21-Jul-13 09:13:33

Just broken up and I am overwhelmed by the kindness of the parents of my class. Many had written long letters of appreciation that brought a tear to my eye. Yes it's my job and I choose to it and it is one that I absolutely love. But unlike most jobs we are responsible for other people's children and that is a privilege we choose to accept and develop in the best way we can. I'm already missing my class and hoping they are all ok. Note to self be less involved next year.

fandoobalawoozy Sun 21-Jul-13 13:35:44

Parents can't win, if they buy a present that's useless - 'yet another' naff teacher gift/chocolates/box of homemade biscuits - then they're in the wrong, if they have a collection for vouchers then they're also in the wrong!

I've usually got something individual for dc teachers, but if someone offers to collect for vouchers then I sometimes do that too.

I think joining together can be quite a nice thing to do, as the teacher ends up with something that's more of an actual treat for them - they can choose something they really like that costs a bit more. It's not just 'can't be arsed bung some money in an envelope'! My kids also always do the thank you cards anyway, even if we're also contributing to a collection.

For the last year the teachers and TAs have been key adults in my kids lives and the thank you gift is not just about 'have an extra gift for doing your job' but rather a kind of goodbye as well, acknowledging the significance of that role in their lives.

It's no different to giving a box of chocs to the nurses on a ward after a stay in hospital - the nurses have just done their job, they're not saints, but they have still been very significant for a short time and people tend to acknowledge that.

I think it's a bit different when each teacher individually has a more transient role, like at secondary, but primary isn't like that.

fandoobalawoozy Sun 21-Jul-13 13:39:41

"One of my friends’ daughter, she is quite bright but quite disrespectful, unappreciative and belittle children who are less able or less cool, however her mum spends over £5 on each teacher and TA every year. What does it really mean?"

Eh? Should parents only give gifts to teachers if their children are nice?

I assume the implication is that she doesn't teach her daughter to be respectful or grateful, but sends a gift anyway; the teachers would far rather have polite and respectful behaviour all year than a bottle of wine, and obviously the child's attitude isn't going to help her school career much.

Shinyshoes1 Sun 21-Jul-13 17:40:42

We are not giving a present but dd has spent the best part of an hour drawing and writing out a card for her teacher and TA

fandoobalawoozy Sun 21-Jul-13 17:46:52

Clearly better to have a polite daughter yes but it's not like they are mutually exclusive and you actually have to choose one or the other, or one is caused by the other.

sallyst123 Sun 21-Jul-13 19:23:59

got all the kids teachers a card & a box of chocs they can share with the ta BUT my dd teacher has annoyed me sooooo much tis past week,im considering opening the box & scoffing them myself 2night!!!

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sun 21-Jul-13 21:48:46

I tip the binman, waitress and taxi driver and they all get paid - and i'm sure they don't do as much unpaid overtime as dts teachers have clearly done!
We are doing class collections but also writing personal cards and drawing pics for them

melody1771 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:49:21

i am shocked by this! I have been a teacher for 22 years and have received loads of bottles of wine and boxes of chocolate...all the children go away knowing they gave me my 'favourites' and 'I cant wait to enjoy them'. I dont drink alcohol and I am always trying to lose weight! There is no way at all the teacher should have shown anything on her face other than total delight! Please don;t think all teachers are like this.

My favourite 'gift' this year was a letter written by a parent saying what a difference I had made to her child. She had put examples in it so I know she really thought that. I have shown it to loads of my friends has made me proud to have taught this little boy,


Mosschops30 Sun 21-Jul-13 21:52:41

I don't! Find it ridiculous.

Allegrogirl Mon 22-Jul-13 21:18:47

DD is finishing foundation tomorrow and I have helped her make and ice (and cover in pink sugary tat) some biscuits. They taste pretty good but look suitably home made by little hands. About a dozen each for the teacher and two TAs. Also got DD to make 3 thank you cards.

I hope they don't think we are cheap but these are really from DD's heart as she has loved foundation. I don't like DD's teacher so haven't written a note myself and I'm relieved the year has ended. Hoping for a more understanding teacher next year.

Auntfini Mon 22-Jul-13 21:29:24

I am the daughter of a primary teacher and end of year/Christmas was always amazing!

I'm a secondary teacher and not a form tutor so you don't tend to get anything, especially not at my school. I think it is good as some of the threads on here make me feel embarrassed, I would hate to think of people worrying about what I might like as a gift.

That said, one of my year tens bought me a mars bar the other week to thank me for my help. Just the thought that he had gone to a shop and actually thought (he had asked what my fave chocolate bar was) made me well up! Think he thought I was a right weirdo...

finallyasilverlining Mon 22-Jul-13 22:24:39

I have!....once and I didn't mind at all it was nice to show my appreciation (I say my because Ds doesn't do gifts everyone should know what he thinks smile), I have yet to meet another teacher who teaches my Ds rather than sit him at the back of the room or in an empty room. angry Oh well maybe next year!

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