Advanced search

To think people should buy presents for volunteers before teachers?

(98 Posts)
SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Sat 15-Nov-14 14:19:00

I'm an assistant cub scout leader in a naice part of Surrey. My 'colleagues' and I run a very successful pack and put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that the children have a full and varied experience. Although I know that our parents buy presents for teachers and TAs at Christmas and at the end of other terms, we very rarely get anything. Please don't think I'm grabby, obviously I don't volunteer in order to get anything ('cos obviously I don't anyway!) but AIBU to think that parents should give us the odd token?

WinnieTheBitch Sat 15-Nov-14 14:22:55

I helped out at a rainbow/brownie pack and we used a to get Christmas cards from about 90% of the girls and then get cake/chocolate/biscuits/wine from about 50% of them so maybe your group just doesn't?

LokiBear Sat 15-Nov-14 14:28:49

Yabu. It is down to the person buying the gift to decide who they want to buy for. They gave there own reasons.

LokiBear Sat 15-Nov-14 14:29:07


Pointlessfan Sat 15-Nov-14 14:31:11

I think people should buy gifts for whoever they choose!

MaudantWit Sat 15-Nov-14 14:34:06

You are right that it is, shall we say, an interesting distinction that parents very often buy for teachers and TAs but far less often buy for volunteers at youth groups. I see it at our Brownie group, too. So YANBU to notice this but maybe YABU (a bit) to grumble about it or start a thread about it. That's life.

SilentAllTheseYears Sat 15-Nov-14 14:34:14

YABU because,as you said, you don't do it to get anything. Presumably there are advantages for you/your family or you wouldn't do it?

ooerrmissus Sat 15-Nov-14 14:40:24

I agree with you OP. I always give a little gift to the leaders at the DSs cubs and beavers packs and they are so pleased as they rarely receive any recognition from the parents. Seems strange. If they didn't give up their time these things wouldn't happen; it seems only right to show some appreciation.

Camolips Sat 15-Nov-14 14:40:49

Teachers/TAs have children for 30 hours a week and build up a closer relationship with the parents and the growth and the influence on the child is more tangible. But as others have said, it's up to the giver. I've always sent a thank-you card and box of chocs to the leaders of groups when my children move on or after a particularly stressful guide camp shock

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 15-Nov-14 14:44:26

I get what you mean and don't think yabu.

A tin of biscuits or something would be nice

madsadbad Sat 15-Nov-14 14:45:09

I understand and do actually agree with what your saying (but showing your appreciation can be done in more ways than with buying gifts), but it is peoples choice to buy for who they want.

Presumably there are advantages for you/your family or you wouldn't do it? I don't see what the advantages are in this case? People do things for others to provide services and support others, not all people go through life looking what the advantage is for them before doing something.

madsadbad Sat 15-Nov-14 14:48:16

Teachers/TAs have children for 30 hours a week whilst true this is also paid employment, volunteers in these clubs are not doing this for monetary reasons.
There is also extra time put into planning, purchasing items for the group etc not only the time that is physically spent when the club is run.

CatOutOfHell Sat 15-Nov-14 14:52:09

As a current teacher and former scouting volunteer, I don't think you are being unreasonable to at least wonder about this! As a teacher, I receive many gifts at Christmas and, whilst a sincere small gift/card is extremely touching, I think a lot of parents feel obliged and even resentful that they are 'expected' to, which makes me feel so embarrassed.

When I was a scouting volunteer, I can remember a few Christmas cards from the children, but that's about it. I certainly wasn't fussed about gifts but a card from the parents with a few kind words would have meant such a lot to me - just an acknowledgement of the time I'd given to weekly meetings, planning, week long camps, special events, etc. I had come through that group myself as a cub & scout and I always made my leaders a special card/gift at Christmas. I saw one of my old leaders a couple of years ago and she had brought them all to show me - she'd kept them all that time!

LynetteScavo Sat 15-Nov-14 14:53:03

If your child is spending 25 hours a week with someone who is responsible for educating them, plus sorting out every other little thing your child needs, you are going to be more likely to give them a gift, than the brownie leader/swim/gym/piano/ballet teacher.

If I gave a gift to everyone my child spends time with it would get ridiculous.

DD alone has; Class teacher, class TA, IDS intervention lady, another TA for intervention, basketball coach, shadow boxing coach, flute teacher (who also conducts band DD attends) swimming teacher, and three after school staff.

I can't buy them all presents. So we give to the Teacher, TA who works most with DD, and the school secretary (who regularly goes above and beyond for us) only. In previous years the HT has put in lots of work with DS, so they will also receive a gift. Everyone else just gets a card, with special words.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Sat 15-Nov-14 15:00:08

I disagree about gifts but remembering to say a simple thank you, or with a card is very important. And not just at Christmas.

CatOutOfHell Sat 15-Nov-14 15:03:04

Lynette - that's a good point about it being the person who spends most time with your child (other than parents, obviously).

However, most of those people you list will be receiving a salary for those roles so it's not quite comparable to a true volunteer such as a scout/guide leader.

CatOutOfHell Sat 15-Nov-14 15:04:04

Sorry, also meant to add, if you're writing nice cards anyway, then any of the volunteers that I know would be more than chuffed to pieces with that!

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Sat 15-Nov-14 15:04:08

Thanks for the comments. What triggered me was the post where the poster felt obliged to contribute £20 for a teacher's present. I'm a teacher too so not teacher-bashing but we are paid!

Lynette - all those people you list. Any of them volunteers?

ShatnersBassoon Sat 15-Nov-14 15:06:07

As a volunteer leader in a couple of groups similar to yours, my opinion is that none of these people should be receiving gifts at Christmas from the families they 'serve'. It's a recent thing and it makes me uncomfortable, this pressure on parents to spend when there is no need. A verbal message/note of thanks or good wishes is so much better to receive.

Presumably there are advantages for you/your family or you wouldn't do it?
A feeling of being useful is the only reward for most volunteers. There is no benefit to my family by me being away from them to give other people's children a good time.

MaudantWit Sat 15-Nov-14 15:11:49

Yes, I find the suggestion that volunteers are doing it for personal advantage, for them or their family, quite sad. As ShatnersBassoon says, it's usually about feeling useful or "because it's there".

waithorse Sat 15-Nov-14 15:15:53

YANBU, I totally agree with you. Teachers are paid for working. Volunteers at groups such as cubs obviously aren't. They give up time each week and should be appreciated.

ravenAK Sat 15-Nov-14 15:16:24

I'm a teacher & I very seldom get presents - we tend not to in secondary! Plus we have to declare anything above a very notional value. Not sure what that is as I've never been given anything but the odd bottle of wine/box of chocs (usually from GCSE students, core subject).

So you can have all my pressies & welcome! The thing I really appreciate is a handwritten card.

Primary colleagues occasionally get vouchers as the whole class does a whipround rather than each child getting a small gift. Sensible, but £20pp is quite ridiculous. I assume these then have to be declared.

I would be unsure about the protocol of buying gifts for scout leaders, actually. Is it OK if the whole troop club together & get something substantial, or would you only be allowed to accept small, token, individual gifts? I'd probably just get a card for fear of a gift falling foul of the rules & causing you hassle &/or embarrassment, tbh

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 15-Nov-14 15:22:10

I vote no gifts at all. Ever.

3bunnies Sat 15-Nov-14 15:35:55

Teachers, TAs and brownie leaders get gifts here, other teachers (swimming, dance etc) might get a card if children feel like it. I feel that volunteers deserve presents because they do it for free and the teachers are with them all the time. The other teachers do a good job but we pay them well for the half hour a week that they spend with our dc (e.g. piano teacher is paid for two half hour lessons the same as Brownie subs for whole term and she keeps her pay but Brownie leaders get nothing). Don't think anyone else gives Brownie leaders gifts though.

amyhamster Sat 15-Nov-14 15:38:14

I agree op and if money is an issue a hand made card would be lovely

I always remember the breakfast and afterschool club staff at xmas as they never get the whip round that the teachers and teaching assistants get

and the dinner ladies too need remembering

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: