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is it " virtue signalling" or just a good thing?

(199 Posts)
PECS Wed 05-Dec-18 09:26:50

Some schools are suggesting donations to the town foodbank rather than gifts for teachers...

annsixty Wed 05-Dec-18 09:33:00

I think it is an excellent idea.
Our friends asked for the same for their Golden Wedding celebrations and the guests were delighted and a very large package went to the food bank.
Win win all round.

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 09:38:58

I think it’s a brilliant idea . We have a large ( much relied on) food bank in our town . Not sure how to go about making the suggestion though. I suspect some of the families at my DGC’s primary probably use the food bank themselves .

GrannyGravy13 Wed 05-Dec-18 09:47:00

I think the whole thing could be used as a learning tool for the children, "the true spirit of Christmas" Brilliant idea 🎄🤶🎅🏻🎁

Maggiemaybe Wed 05-Dec-18 09:49:04

True, gillybob. I worked in a school in a very deprived area and some of the letters sent out asking for donations made me very uncomfortable. Then parents who had next to nothing would sometimes prove the most generous.

NotSpaghetti Wed 05-Dec-18 09:50:02

Yes, I agree, good idea. Teachers can still have cards and good wishes.

NotSpaghetti Wed 05-Dec-18 09:51:02

And is it really “virtue signaling”?

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 09:52:57

Who would call it virtue signalling? The vast majority of teachers say a home made card from the child is treasured and really really don’t want gifts. This is an excellent solution if parents feel they simply have to give a gift. I hate the phrase btw

Bathsheba Wed 05-Dec-18 09:53:26

I think it's a marvellous idea.

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 09:53:55

Those letters asking for donations are a huge problem Maggiemaybe . £2 -£3 might seem chicken feed to some people but to those relying on a food bank it is impossible to find.

TerriBull Wed 05-Dec-18 09:54:18

Really makes sense, I've got a friend who was a teacher, very similar gifts at such times, how many boxes of chocolates can one person consume grin

On a similar note I think I read recently, a directive from a private school to parents "try to keep teacher gifts to a maximum of £50" shock I mean why would you, shocking amount! Much better to donate to a real need, than waste money on gesture friperies that often aren't wanted.

NotSpaghetti Wed 05-Dec-18 09:54:42

Exactly maryeliza54 - it was the question in the heading. I certainly don’t see it that way.

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 09:55:37

Any idea how I could put this idea to the head of my DGC’s primary ? She’s retiring at Christmas so will undoubtedly be inundated with small gifts from those who have very little to give .

grandMattie Wed 05-Dec-18 09:55:59

I think it is a bit of both - depends how it was said/done. I do think it is a good thing though.

NotSpaghetti Wed 05-Dec-18 09:57:19

It also means that even children in struggling families can participate in the card giving as equals - even if they are having to use the food banks themselves.

Oakleaf Wed 05-Dec-18 09:58:02

An excellent idea. I'm retired now but was still teaching when giving gifts to teachers was starting to become a thing. I am sad to say parents were starting to compete. Also, for many hard pressed families, it's just one more thing they feel they have to buy. It made me feel very uncomfortable and any move away from this trend would be welcome. A handmade card from younger children is a nice thing to receive. A thank you and happy Christmas, Miss from the older ones is enough.

NotSpaghetti Wed 05-Dec-18 10:00:32

Gillybob I would just speak to her directly and say you’ve discovered other schools are doing this. You could suggest she raise it with staff as an idea. I expect retirement gifts are inevitable but Christmas ones may be diverted this way...

Rosina Wed 05-Dec-18 10:04:21

This should be the whole point of Christmas surely, to look around and try to help those who are in need. Even if you are hard up you can make a sandwich or give a hot drink to someone who is living in a doorway. Makes so much more sense than giving teachers masses of stuff that they either can't make any use of, or will never eat.

knickas63 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:04:40

I think teachers in particular are in a unique position to see real poverty and its effect on thier pupils. I think it is an excellent idea! Born from reall knowledge and feeling.

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 10:07:03

Yes I think retirement gifts are inevitable NotSpagetti and I wasn’t meaning that she shouldn’t get any ( before anyone has a go at me ) . It is a large primary in a high density LA housing estate where a lot of people rely on benefits to get by . I think k this is a brilliant idea and a letter home to parents saying the teachers have requested no gifts but to bring a small donation to the food bank ( worded better than that obviously ) would be amazing . I would be more than happy to help coordinate if they wanted me to . Will telephone the school today . Im quite excited .

Nonnie Wed 05-Dec-18 10:07:04

I'm with GG13

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:09:43

Just send an email to her or is it possible to have a word?I Or is there a PTA that would be organising this you could have a word with? I’m just a bit hesitant about the whole issue of being hard up and not being expected to give.I’ll try and explain why - one of the effects of poverty is is being denied so many of the opportunities that others take for granted, of lack of hope, a loss of dignity and feelings of low self worth - a type of social exclusion. If you are hard up and you really want to say thank you to your child’s teacher/ retiring headteacher through a gift ( and you know that this is what happens these days right or wrong) it can be very affirming to be able to give a gift - the food bank idea isn’t individually identifiable, the letter sent out could give examples of a tin of beans or tomatoes and stress how every contribution counts. Don’t know if I’ve ecplsined this very well - I forgot to say that giving a small contribution helps the child to feel included as well in ‘normal’ life

Mapleleaf Wed 05-Dec-18 10:14:52

No, not virtue signalling. It's a good idea, but it needs to be suggested carefully, for, as gillybob says there are, in many schools, Parents who will be in need of the food banks themselves, and the last thing schools would want to see would be people struggling out of a sense of obligation to give, when in reality, they can't afford to.
A nice home made card (nothing elaborate, either, a drawing is enough) would be appreciated rather than boxes of chocolates, mugs and notebooks. It's a tricky one, though, as children like to give something, but competition does sometimes creep in and also, some of the children who don't have anything to give can feel upset about it, despite assurances from the teacher that it doesn't matter.

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 10:15:50

I can ring her secretary and ask to be put through . She’s very approachable and will take my call if she’s not too busy . My 3 older DGC have all gone / go there and I’ve helped out quite a bit over the years so she knows me anyway . Easier to say no over the phone than face to face I think .

Marelli Wed 05-Dec-18 10:17:17

At a primary school in Inverclyde a teacher had given the children a letter to take home, suggesting that instead of giving her a gift, which while it was appreciated she would really enjoy receiving a handmade card from pupil instead. She suggested that if wished, a little bit of money could be put in an envelope and handed in by the child. Or perhaps nothing in an envelope would be OK, too. Who's to know?
The class would then do a shopping list deciding amongst themselves what might be needed by families who need to use the Foodbank. They would shop for the food and be involved in handing it over. I think it's a great way of raising awareness.