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Thank You Teacher

(31 Posts)
dorsetpennt Sat 23-Jun-12 12:09:54

I've just returned from M & S Simply Food, whilst waiting at the checkout I noticed thank you cards for teachers.. This started a conversation between a mother and a grandmother and myself. Apparently it isn't just a card giving occasion, not even a box of chocs or a bunch of flowers will do. Actual presents like books,accessories such as scarves,shop gift tokens, glassware etc . The G'mother went on to say her G'children go to a local private school and the donations to teachers have got completely out of hand. Amongst the really expensive gifts given are: a laptop,a two week holiday in the parents' home in France,a spa weekend for the teacher and a friend. The young Mother said she would love to opt out of this altogether, however the children are aware of what each child is giving to the teacher and she doesn't want her child to feel left out. Explaining to the child that this is wrong doesn't help as children don't like to be different do they? I suggested a word with the PTA and the Head to see if this habit could be stopped, hopefully other parents would back her up. I had a friend who had 5 children in the same school, could you imagine the expense she would have had .

j04 Sat 23-Jun-12 12:21:42

Think my daughter teaches at the wrong school. hmm

whenim64 Sat 23-Jun-12 12:24:57

My retired teacher friend said this started to escalate in her school just as she was about to retire a couple of years ago. The teachers and head nipped it in the bud and put out a request to children and parents, saying that they valued the families' appreciation, and if they wished to express it it any way, a home-made card from the pupil would be fabulous. It seemed to do the trick. smile

MrsJamJam Sat 23-Jun-12 12:32:04

I have two presents remaining after 30 years of teaching - a shrub in the garden grown from a cutting given to me by Douglas in 1982 (he'd grown it himself) and a bookmark made by Sarah in the late 80s.

The chocs always got eaten by my own children, and they looked forward to the end of term for a feast. Always disappointed if I came home with bath salts or hand cream instead.

But I never taught in a private school!!

Annobel Sat 23-Jun-12 13:13:22

What did I miss by being a teacher of adults? I once had a poem written for me - when they learnt that I was being made redundant. confused

Mamie Sat 23-Jun-12 13:16:24

I knew someone who forget until the last minute and sent a bottle of bath lotion she had stashed away. Her husband came home and was horrified as he had emptied all the lotion out because it smelt so horrible. Often wondered what the teacher made of the empty bottle.
I think at my GDs school the parents tend to put a fiver in each and get a voucher.

Annobel Sat 23-Jun-12 13:21:30

A fiver would be quite out of the question for many families, especially when there are several children from one family. It would be an embarrassment for those parents (and their children) who couldn't make this donation. And what if it's a teacher that all or some of the children can't stand?

MaureenM Sat 23-Jun-12 13:31:57

I'm about to retire from teaching in a few weeks. Small gifts or cards are appreciated, especially if home made or with a special message. I have never been given anything extravagant, nor would I wish to receive that. I don't work in a private school though. Instead of it escalating, I have noticed less children giving presents in the current recession and I am happy with that. I would hate to think anyone struggled to give a present and anyway many parents probably think that teachers are better off than they are.

dorsetpennt Sat 23-Jun-12 14:25:45

MaureenM I think a retiring teacher deserves some sort of recognition of the years they have put in to educate our children/G/children. When my son's primary school teacher for the last year in primary school retired, a party was held for her, organised by the PTA. Former children were invited as well as her present class. We had a whip around by the PTA plus parents of the last class and gave her garden vouchers as requested. I'm glad to hear some schools are putting a stop to this. As Annobel says a fiver per child if there were also siblings in the school would be far too much, that would have been £25 for my friend with 5 children.

Mamie Sat 23-Jun-12 14:56:14

Well I don't think anyone had to give five pounds. AFAIK people were just asked if they wanted to club together or they could choose to do their own thing. Some did and presumably gave something (or nothing) worth more or less as they wanted. It is a pretty affluent area. My daughter was pleased that the teacher would get a decent voucher and the girls made cards as well.

Annobel Sat 23-Jun-12 15:15:56

My DiL (secondary maths teacher) was fed up with the culture of presents for teachers, but didn't want her DD (5) to feel left out. She hit upon the idea of getting her to decorate a mug in her own inimitable style and had it fired in her own school kiln. Goodness knows what the teacher thought of this, but at least it was unique.

Ariadne Sat 23-Jun-12 17:17:33

I remember my kids waiting for the end of year chocs!

The very best thank you happened a few weeks ago, when an ex student contacted me on FB. She has had a book of short stories published and dedicated it to me, with some lovely words. And she now just got a First. That is thank you enough.

dorsetpennt Sat 23-Jun-12 20:06:50

Mamie what does AFAIK mean? new one to be me.

Bez Sat 23-Jun-12 20:23:02

Maybe - as far as I know -

kittylester Sat 23-Jun-12 21:02:07

When my daughter taught 4/5 year olds the presents were amazing but now she is a SEN teacher she gets next to nothing - strange. confused

yearofthetiger Sun 24-Jun-12 09:04:56

My children's teachers only got presents if they deserved it, and believe me not all of them did! It wasn't the done thing in secondary school though.

Mishap Sun 24-Jun-12 09:48:03

Gosh - this all sounds crazy - and even cards in the shops! Didn't have any of that when my children were small - the occasional bunch of flowers from the garden when the mood took the, but nothing more.

Mamie Sun 24-Jun-12 09:52:34

I always got them in primry / middle schools. Chocolates, plants, flowers, wine, bath stuff etc
Yes dorsetpennt AFAIK - as far as I know.

dorsetpennt Sun 24-Jun-12 10:38:06

Mishap packets of cards with some with several cards in. Mamie thanks for the explanation of AFAIK - I'll add it to the my list.

Mamie Sun 24-Jun-12 10:41:31

IMHO AFAIK needs adding to the Gransnet acronyms!

susiecb Sun 24-Jun-12 20:31:36

Just before I retired from nursins some jobsworth in admin decided that the nurses could not accept anything worth more than £5 which meant a nice tn of choccs at Xmas had to be refused. I am at loss to know how teachers are allowed to accept expensvie presents given that they are in the public sector.

nanaej Sun 24-Jun-12 20:56:18

It is crazy to have printed cards and for parents to spend money on gifts. I have been given many pressies:chocs, ornaments, flowers wine etc but the most appreciated were the handwritten notes and homemade cards recognising when a child had benefited because I (or colleagues) had gone the extra mile for the child! In my experience teachers do not expect or want anything more than a thank you!
The one gift I have kept was from a Jewish mum who appreciated the effort I put in to make Zoe feel valued by focusing on Hannukah as much as Christmas. I did not think I was doing anything special but it meant a lot to her, especially when she discovered my Palestinian heritage!

As the PTA class rep my DD has an envelope which parents can put a contribution in if they wish and then she buys a token or bouquet of flowers depending on what is collected. No-one has to give and no amount is specified.

Ariadne Sun 24-Jun-12 21:13:15

susiecb I think the expensive presents referred to were for teachers in the private sector! Certainly, by the time I retired from teaching in the state sector, we were restricted as far as gifts were concerned. But, the notes and letters etc., though few and far between, meant a lot, as I said.

nanaej Sun 24-Jun-12 21:39:01

I would not have accepted or allowed my staff to accept anything extravagant like a holiday or high value voucher etc! Cannot imagine this happening in the state sector, just choccies, bottles of wine etc!

JessM Sun 24-Jun-12 22:30:09

In my DGD's school in NSW Oz there was a bit of an escalation going on. Certain type of mum sending emails around suggesting the amount everyone should give, and publicly chivvying.
next year the teacher tried to pre-empt, 6 months ahead, but saying if they really really wanted to give something they could make a donation to charity.
Some dad involved in a charity that gives bikes to children in a third world country. So far so good. This then escalates into "wouldn't it be great if every child in the class could donate a bike each! with their own name on!" (all by email)
am pleased to say that DDIL called em on it and pointed out that not everyone could afford ...
Competitive parenting....
Presumably in the private schools these gifts are a substitute for decent pay and conditions are they?