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To resent being pressurised into forking out £10 for a present for the teachers?

(91 Posts)
Spidermama Fri 17-Jul-09 08:27:01

I was just pondering whether to bake somethng for the teachers this year or buy some wine when another mum marched up to me in the playground yesterday and said, 'Hello Spiderboy's mum. We're organising a collection for the teachers so that they don't get a load of rubbish Everyone's giving £10'. shock

Of course at the time I said, 'Yes OK. I haven't brought money today but will bring it tomorrow.'

I've had rising irritation ever since. I have four children and we're pretty hard up. We're not having a family holiday this year (unless you count visiting DH's family in Birmingham) and given that I have 4 children, all of whom have teachers to buy presents for, I really wasn't planning to fork out this much.

However, as I was asked in public and told 'everyone is giving £10' I felt too embarrassed to say 'no thank you'.

Would it be unreasonable of me to change my mind and tell her today I'm making my own arrangements?

Now I regret it not just because of the money but because of the public way I was asked. I feel pressurised. Last time I was this short of money I baked them all a loaf of bread and it went down really well.

southeastastra Fri 17-Jul-09 08:28:20

thank gawd we're all poor at our school

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 17-Jul-09 08:30:32

Not at all. Are you expected to pay £10 per teacher? Bollox. Say you are making your own arrangements and go find a three for £10 deal on wine at the supermarket grin

belgo Fri 17-Jul-09 08:32:24

YANBU. I often wonder about the motives of people who organise these collections, pressurising everyone else into giving a specified donation. Many people cannot afford to give the money and should not be pressured or bullied into doing so. They are plenty of cheaper ways to express genuine gratitude eg. the loaf of bread that you make, or the thank you cards my children make.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Fri 17-Jul-09 08:35:02

someone tried to organise a collection this year, but to be honest I haven't enjoyed having this teacher, she hasn't been very kind to DS1 and we are pleased to see the back of her,
I went to M&S and bout a mini box of continental chocolates for the teacher and 2 ta's and DS1 has written them cards.

Do what you want!

scienceteacher Fri 17-Jul-09 08:35:30

Give £5 if you can't afford £10.

It really is a lot better to pool the gift money so that the teacher gets a decent present that they can use.

My DD's teacher asked for some really useful stuff to use in the classroom.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Fri 17-Jul-09 08:38:08

sorry your DD's teacher has requested a pressie?

AppleandMosesMummy Fri 17-Jul-09 08:39:04

Just give a £5 she won't dare say that's not enough.

Spidermama Fri 17-Jul-09 08:45:32

They want to get the teachers a trip to the spa. Nice idea. I'd like one meself! Fat chance though.

They're all pretty loaded around here. They all pop off to Italy in half term and have shiny cars.

I want to tell her I'm making my own arrangements. The problem is it'll mean their figures don't add up for the spa thing and they'll probably resent me.

Spidermama Fri 17-Jul-09 08:49:23

I was going to bake bread. Last time I did that the teacher was so pleased she mentioned it in assembly.

I understand it's nice to pool the money scienceteacher. I would love it if people would pool my birthday or Christmas present money so I can choose a present, but it's not exactly in the spirit is it?

nickschick Fri 17-Jul-09 08:54:11

Ive worked in schools and this last day pressie thing has really escalated- the teachers arent that many worlds best teacher mugs can a teacher have?

As the nursery nurse in school the teachers quite often used to give me a lot of their stuff purely cos there was so much of it all on one day.

I knowing this,get teachers I like and have been kind to my dc 'thoughtful' gifts at xmas,these might range from things I know they will appreciate - these range from bought gifts I know they will enjoy to homemade treats that are so popular staff offered to buy them off me!!

(my home made tia maria truffles were such a hit with 1 teacher we suspected shed be over the limit to drive home grin.

One gift greatly appreciated was a pair of pinking shearshmm the teachers were stiff and blunt and I knew she would like new ones.

I think if you are giving a 'big' gift then it needs to be attatched to the classroom but then that defeats the 'teacher present'- one year a collection was made for a bird table for the nursery - my dh was able to get one for pennies from work so I literally 'gave' the gift and we got vouchers for the nursery nurse and nursery teacher to eat at the local restaurant with the collection money.

MagNacarta Fri 17-Jul-09 08:54:24

We have a collection going here, but make it clear that you give what you can, parents can put the money in an unnamed envelope and plop it into the A4 envelope we use to collect. That way we know that the parent has donated (so mentioned in the card) but not how much. Tis much better.

Fwiw we are also in an afluent area and almost everyone has said they're giving £5 or less.

HollyBunda Fri 17-Jul-09 09:01:09

Do what you like, it is not unreasonable to tell her you are doing your own thing.

I like that people organize a special thing for the teacher, but I'm certain most parents would understand if someone didn't want to contribute and do something (or nothing) else.

Spidermama Fri 17-Jul-09 09:26:19

nickschick I love the idea of home made truffles. So much more personal and luxurious.

MovingOutOfBlighty Fri 17-Jul-09 09:29:33

Just strap a pair on and say you are doing your own thing.
Then at least do something if you say that. The whole home made truffle thing sounds good (although you may find it costs just as much to buy the ingredients!)

Personally, liked the whole £10 as then didn't have to think too much about it. It is spread between 1 teacher and 2LA's and I think they really deserved it. They are getting John Lewis vouchers which is prob more welcome than tons of smellies!

MamaLazarou Fri 17-Jul-09 09:29:37

YANBU. It is much nicer and more thoughtful to give something you have made yourself, and the way the other mum approached you was confrontational and intrusive.

Spa days indeed.

nickschick Fri 17-Jul-09 09:37:13

Dh just looked over my shoulder and told me to tell you this .....

I home ed now so I get a gift each July that dh buys me for my 'hard work' this year I got a pair of birk flip flops lol!!!

ConstantlyCooking Fri 17-Jul-09 09:38:36

We (well I) organised a class present this year for DS's teacher. However, when I emailed/spoke to parents I stressed that participation in the group present was voluntary and said i knew some people would prefer to buy/make their own gift or not give at all. The class gift was vouchers + champagne so no need to raise specific amount.
Would never dream of pressurising parents to contribute.

IKnowWhoYouAre Fri 17-Jul-09 09:42:08

The fault is clearly with the person who demanded the donation - she's probably panicking because there are only a few days left, and most people will have made their arrangements by now.

I have organised a collection like this in the past, and about a third of the parents opted out and wanted to give their own small gift. You won't be alone in how you feel about this - stick with the bread plan, sounds good.

StealthPolarBear Fri 17-Jul-09 09:42:23

"The problem is it'll mean their figures don't add up for the spa thing and they'll probably resent me. "
shock they shouldn't have been so presumptious as to assume they would get £10 from each parent then and book something for the full amount! Their problem!
I take it this £10 covers one of your children for one teacher?

TsarChasm Fri 17-Jul-09 09:43:45


God I hate being told what to do by little Miss Alpha'shmm There are two ways of saying things like that.

It also assumes that everyone will be giving something. I know most people do, but being told to bring in 10quid...

StealthPolarBear Fri 17-Jul-09 09:56:01

and to have made arrangements on that assumption!!
I sometimes do that at work for a leaving present say, if time's really short, but I onl;y do it knowing that I may end up putting in the extra if people don't donate a certain amount. Donations are secret and amounts aren't suggested!!

GeeWhizz Fri 17-Jul-09 09:59:30

£10 is too much for most people to bring in. DD has two teachers and a teaching assistant. We are just putting in £3 ish per family to get some flowers each. We made them a large card each and wrote all the childrens names in. As one teacher is leaving this year we are also going to do a collage of photos in a cheap clip frame.

OrmIrian Fri 17-Jul-09 10:04:06

That is too much IMO! I like contributing to a class present TBH, but we are only giving £2 each. That is still £60 for one teacher and a TA. Seems plenty to me. DS will still make a card for her to give himself.

zeke Fri 17-Jul-09 10:09:42

I had something similar yesterday - a work thing not a teacher thing.

We were all asked, via email, to contribute £10 towards a collection for a spa trip. A co-worker had a moan about it to me as she really cannot afford it, I can but I was still a but miffed tbh. A few hours later it was cancelled - quite a few people has said no apparently and it wasn't us two. Just goes to show you are almost certainly not the only one to be thinking this. I should add that I am not against collections - I gave to another one yesterday, this one was just a bit ott and for nothing really.

We haven't had any suggestions of this in the playground for my son's teacher, thank goodness. I am more than happy to buy my son's teacher gifts but I really would resent being told how much to spend and what it is being spent on.

These things should always be optional and really, in most cases, they are designed to ease the financial buden - not increase it!

Anyway, just say that your children have decided they want to get something themselves and thank them for giving you the option. Dont' apologise though! I would hope that they won't be offended at all and they have almost certainly been turned down by others.

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