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Oh joy, it's another Teacher's Present thread!

(96 Posts)
DrSeuss Sun 14-Jul-13 09:41:44

So, I stupidly said I'd do the collection. I informed parents via slips in book bags, no sum was mentioned. I deliberately kept no record of who donated and how much, that's up to the individual. Our catchment is very mixed and I don't want to know people's financial situation. Some gave a lot, some a little, some didn't give. My way of collecting was just to stand in the playground twice a day as usual, never asked anyone directly for money. So far, so what, right?
Except that two mums now want a card attached to the present, listing who donated. One says it is "important" that the teacher knows who gave. Er, why? We are buying a gift to say thanks for being a great teacher, not for a pat on the head!
Abui to just send the gift with a card saying, "From the families of your Y6 students"?

phantomnamechanger Sun 14-Jul-13 20:36:34

tell them most other parents want it to be anonymous and next yr they can do their own thing instead

ApocalypseThen Sun 14-Jul-13 21:19:36

Back in old god's time when I was a teacher, I didn't want anything at all, but was deeply gratified and flattered that some if the parents felt kindly enough to send in some chocolates.

This may be disappointing, but to be honest, five minutes after I had gotten them and put them away to take home and get on with the day's work, I didn't remember particularly which child had given me what, or which child had not given me anything. It didn't matter very much - it was lovely to get presents, of course it was, but it was the children themselves who mattered.

I'd have been mortified to get anything more than a small box of matchsticks (love them!) or something along those lines. A group gift which made it clear that some did/did not participate would have been difficult. Because you'd always be left with the question of why. Were some parents under pressure and humiliated to have their child's name omitted? Had you unwittingly done something to hurt a child that left the parents ready to make a public, obvious statement? That'd be the gift that just keeps taking.

puffinnuffin Sun 14-Jul-13 21:40:20

I always write thank you letters to the children. I either wrote them on the same day in my lunch hour or posted them in the holidays.

I loved getting little cards/small gifts but didn't expect them.

DrSeuss Sun 14-Jul-13 23:52:28

Exotic, I am never doing this again!

exoticfruits Mon 15-Jul-13 06:13:23

I am not surprised - it is generally a thankless task!

teacherandguideleader Mon 15-Jul-13 06:31:14

I prefer a note than a present any day. I've kept them all and read them after a bad day when I feel like packing it all in.

My tutor group wanted to get a gift from our class to a teacher. One child who is quite well off insisted that only people who contributed could sign the card. I refused and said that if we do a class thing, it's from the whole class and we are not excluding children as there may be many reasons why they can't contribute.

ThePowerof3 Mon 15-Jul-13 06:36:11

If need recognition for giving then you shouldn't give at all. A card with a little message from all the children would mean the most to me

cantreachmytoes Mon 15-Jul-13 06:49:07


If the idea of mentioning "families" doesn't work, just write "children". The teacher is going to know that it was the parents who contributed anyway.

And I really like the way you went about it. I've read so many awful stories on here about people being humiliated and your way of collecting was really kind spirited. I'm going to keep it in mind for the future!

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 15-Jul-13 06:57:59

It's a bloody minefield.
This year I am not getting DDs form teacher a present. it will be the firs time since she began school that I haven't.
He has been so wishy washy and wet he doesn't deserve anything <miserable cow>

TheFallenNinja Mon 15-Jul-13 07:02:22

Times have changed substantially since my kids left school, there was no collection or gift. Now I have DD 8m I suspect that in not to many years this will crop up.

It's difficult for DD but I'm really not inclined to participate in it.

I tend to agree with Don Draper. When accused of never saying thank you, he replied, that's what the money is for.

I do understand though, that as it is now the done thing, peer pressure will mean DD will want in on the action and I guess I'll not have much choice.

chimchar Mon 15-Jul-13 07:07:05

firstly, well done for offering to do is indeed a thankless task!

in my kids school, the collector of money gives the child a large white sticker (printer label type ones) who then writes their name and message (if any) on the sticker and returns it to the collector of money.

she then sticks all of the names on to one big card.

I think your idea though of just from the children is far nicer....

I am not donating this year for various reasons (but am making a small gift from kids) and i'm really stressing about the fact that the teachers and TAs will know I haven't donated.

as an aside, I work in a school where poverty is rife. staff don't get gifts from families at all, but will often have a very heartfelt thank you in person from a family member, or a hug from a child who tells you you have made a difference to them. this is what it's all about for me.

but, I would be very thrilled to get a john lewis voucher for £100 at end of year and Christmas too like the staff in my kids school get

bitter? me?!


Hulababy Mon 15-Jul-13 07:09:38


Who cares if some children who's parents couldn't afford or didn't want to contribute might be given credit? Really? Is it that important to them that they want to exclude children in this way? It's a class gift surely? Therefore from all the class.

Hulababy Mon 15-Jul-13 07:11:57

As a TA and previously as a teacher I always send thank you notes to the children or parents I have received gifts from, usually written ones. I also give each child I teach a small gift too.

Hulababy Mon 15-Jul-13 07:13:17

Oh and at school all staff cards are signed by everyone too.

MidniteScribbler Mon 15-Jul-13 07:15:58

Tell the other parents that they are welcome to give a card to the teacher from their own child if they feel strongly that one must be provided. Being petty about who donated how much goes against everything we've spent a year teaching the students about working together, being fair and inclusive.

I'd personally rather a whole pile of handmade (by the children) cards than one big impersonal card anyway.

Iwaswatchingthat Mon 15-Jul-13 07:27:22

A parent at our school did this a few years ago. If you put a donation in then you also signed the card. Other parents did not want to contribute as they did not like the idea. Other ones wanted to choose their own present for the teacher and therefore did not contribute to the collection.

TBH it made sense to me that if you were the parents giving that gift then your name was in the card. I would not want my name (or even the implication that u contributed when I did not) on a card/present I had not contributed to. It does not seem petty to me. These parents probably are just worried the teacher does not think they have forgotten her. The OP has said that any value of contribution was great - so no one was excluded.

OP well done for organising a

Iwaswatchingthat Mon 15-Jul-13 07:27:40

Whoops......organising a lovely idea.

Iwaswatchingthat Mon 15-Jul-13 07:28:52

MeAnt 'that I contributed when I did not'

Half asleep this morning!

Sleepyfergus Mon 15-Jul-13 08:00:28

Goodness, I had no idea this went in! My eldest dd will start school next year mind, so guess I've all this to look forward to. Having said that, we do do little pressies for the nursery staff when she moves from one room to another, but its something little like a little plant where we decorate the pot or handmade biscuits at Xmas time (never again, the gingerbread would have broken teeth...!)

I'm against collections in the whole, esp if people start insisting a note of who gave and who didn't is included. Why not ask each child to complete an a4 piece of paper with whatever they want - a picture, a photo, a collage, a poem, a joke an insert into one of those folders with clear sleeves. Surely a teacher would find that touching, inspirational and more meaningful than a box of chocs, perfume etc?

jamdonut Mon 15-Jul-13 08:01:11

I'm a TA. I always seek to thank in person for any gifts I receive. My favourite things ,though, are the hand-drawn notes or drawings from children.

Parents may not know that ,at Christmas and Easter,I usually give each child a little gift (probably sweets or chocolate). We tell children not to eat them before they have asked their parents,but I think things get eaten before then!!

I don't have to do it, I do it because I want to.

That is what a gift is.

Sleepyfergus Mon 15-Jul-13 08:01:14

Oh and OP, YADNBU. can't believe the brass necks of those women...

exoticfruits Mon 15-Jul-13 08:29:42

I think that I must be missing the point( thankfully never having had one) but I thought the collection was for the children to give a present from the whole class and it would be the children who signed the card? Therefore it seems petty to miss a child out because the parent didn't contribute. If you simply pass a collection tin around and have no idea who put in and get the children to sign there is no problem.

musicposy Mon 15-Jul-13 08:33:55

I'm a teacher. I would NOT want it pointed out to me who gave and who didn't. I would find it very uncomfortable having a card or present with only some names on. I can guarantee you there will be some children in the class with terrible circumstances only I know about whose parents could or would never give. I would want to thank the class as a whole because the same children will have been left out all through primary.
A present as a thank you is a lovely thought but saying who donated is crass, unnecessary and just snobbery.

WentOnABearHunt Mon 15-Jul-13 10:40:33

There is a collection going on at my child's school at them moment for a class teacher who is leaving the school at the end of term, organized by another member of staff. I feel genuinely miffed that the children have been asked to contribute to this collection!!! A staff member is leaving... staff should do a collection... perhaps I just have a very strange opinion!

I didn't send a card or present last year (my child's reception year) and i was gobsmaked at the fact that nearly every single child rocked up with a card and present for their teacher. This never happened when i was in school! I just dont understand it. Fair enough if that teacher was AMAZING etc etc... but its seems mandatory and expected. Tesco and card shops are full of teacher cards and presents (complete marketing con to get you to spend money).

Most professions are not allowed to accept personal gift. I don't know why it seem acceptable to promote the buying of gifts for this profession!!!

viewwitharoom Mon 15-Jul-13 11:22:59

I would really like to think that there is no expectation from a teacher regarding end of year or leaving presents but you are right that there is some trade in cards and gifts these days.
I have had cards and small gifts from classes and individual pupils over the years but certainly nothing on the lines of gift vouchers/spa days as is mentioned in other threads. Expensive gifts like this make me feel uncomfortable and lead to situations where families feel obligated etc etc
If you really want to show appreciation then really a thank you is sufficient whether in a card or said face to face.
My children do not give their teachers presents or even cards but they do say thank you especially after any extra activities which I know have taken extra time etc from the staff. I know from experience that this simplest way to show appreciation is becoming rarer all the time.

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