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

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

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

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 10:17:41

I was thinking that it could be anonymous so no one needs to know who gave or who didn’t ? Maybe a shopping trolley in the foyer ? I dare phone Asda and ask to borrow one ! Getting carried away now .

Oldwoman70 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:21:46

I always thought "virtue signalling" was when people did something to bring attention to themselves and their "good deeds".

I think encouraging children to donate to a food bank is an excellent idea. When my nieces were at school they were asked that, instead of gifts for teachers, they instead donate a toy, in good condition, which they no longer played with, these were then put in with food parcels. It helped them understand that there were many children without their advantages and now in their 20s they continue to support various charities

Maggiemaybe Wed 05-Dec-18 10:27:37

The PTA at the school of one of my DGS sent round a letter “asking” each parent to contribute £15 per child towards staff presents at the end of the school year. There was no acknowledgement that some people simply couldn’t afford this, or might just not want to give.

My DD thought it was the norm now but I was shocked. Yes it’s nice to get/give a token of appreciation, maybe a few flowers or a small box of chocs, and definitely a card. Anything else seems wrong to me. The school’s in an affluent area, but that certainly doesn’t mean all the parents are well off.

My school had a strict policy about what staff could accept (I seem to remember the typical cost of a promotional pencil being the upper level for a single gift smile).

Blinko Wed 05-Dec-18 10:40:34

MaggieMaybe, had I been a recipient of the request for £15 for presents for staff, I think/hope I would have responded that any donation I made would be heading to the local foodbank.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:41:00

In principle teaching children to donate food to a food bank, or donate to any other charity is a good thing, but unless you also teach them that donations should be made privately and who has given what or how much or and is not to be discussed at all, it can create difficulties for families who cannot afford very much.

However, my experience going round with a collecting box for various charities is that the poorer households are much more likely to give, as they know what it feel like to need help. Some apologise for not being able to give more. In the well-to -do areas I have had doors slammed in my face or been told, "We never give to charity!"

NemosMum Wed 05-Dec-18 10:48:25

Grrrr! angry The gifts for teachers thing makes me see red! IMHO schools should put a stop to it altogether. It's an arms race, with the most nauseating parents currying favour with ludicrous gew gaws. Other parents feel under pressure to provide gifts they really can't afford. Children vie with each other over gifts for 'Miss'. Teachers get paid reasonably, have security of tenure and have decent pensions. Yes, I know they have to work hard (I was one, a long time ago). Someone I know taught in Mexico for a while. The parents used to bring her food-mixers and gold jewellery and just have a little word about their daughter's marks next year! It is a slippery slope. Just encourage the child to make a nice card.

eazybee Wed 05-Dec-18 10:48:27

I find it extremely hypocritical that people suggest charitable giving at the expense of others, in this case, school staff.

Schools already organise many charitable collections and fundraising activities; the child next door to me is collecting for a foodbank via her school, as her brother did last year and I buy food specially for it; my expense, not taken from people I would give gifts too.

The school staff won't have much choice in disagreeing with such a proposition.

eazybee Wed 05-Dec-18 10:49:25

'to whom I would give gifts.'

gillybob Wed 05-Dec-18 10:51:45

Oh for goodness sake “at the expense of others” eazybee ?

eazybee Wed 05-Dec-18 10:51:51

Nemo's mum.
It's an arms race, with the most nauseating parents currying favour with ludicrous gew gaws
What an insulting comment.

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:52:24

It’s obviously essential that the donations are anonymous .Gilly the idea of borrowing a shopping trolley is a great idea - you could decorate it up nicely and I bet Asda or whoever might add a few goodies to start you off. I don’t like the idea of money in envelopes - i think it should be items suitable for food bank - actually your local bank would give you a list probably including Christmas ideas and certainly suggesting very low cost items.

dragonfly46 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:56:13

I think it is a great idea. I too was a teacher and received so many boxes of chocolates at Christmas. It also means that everyone can give what they can afford even if it is just a tin of peas.

I read there is a school where the head has limited the presents for teachers to £50. Apparently the parents were buying Mulberry handbags. Quite ridiculous.

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 10:58:02

For goodness sake eazy no one would force this on a school - some school themselves are suggesting it and gilly is suggesting suggesting it.What is the matter with you? It’s not hypocritical and if a school goes down that path then parents should respect it.

mabon1 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:12:36

Brilliant idea and the children will learn about less privileged people who are hungry. Anyway I don't understand why teachers have Christmas gifts, they are doing a job and are reasonably well paid, many people who work hard for very little don't receive gifts for what they do. I know for a fact that many of the gifts they receive go straight to the charity shop!!

4allweknow Wed 05-Dec-18 11:12:48

All this about teachers receiving gifts. When I worked with Local Authority I would have been sacked accepting any gift whatsoever. Once had an apple pie handed to me as a thank you and had to refuse. Had a calendar sent as thank you, had to send back. It's called bribery and corruption! This farce should stop, by some of the comments re value of gifts it's already out of hand. Schools should enforce "no presents" rule and save worry and embarrassment for some families and children.

inishowen Wed 05-Dec-18 11:15:48

My teacher daughter in law gets mugs every year as gifts. She doesn't drink tea or coffee so she wouldn't miss the mugs.

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:20:26

I think it’s very sad that giving presents to teachers has developed to such an extent - both at Christmas and end of year. However, stopping it will be very difficult and whilst a longer term aim, this thread is discussing ideas about how to redirect these gifts at Christmas to a food bank which is a lovely idea.

SueDonim Wed 05-Dec-18 11:22:54

I think it's a great idea. It's only 'virtue-signalling' if someone is claiming that they are sacrificing something themselves in order for this to happen.

A large box wrapped in Christmas paper would suffice as a collection point and children could just pop in their gift at any time. It would be anonymous and no one would need to contribute if it wasn't possible for them.

I have teacher-friends and they say that the handmade cards are what they appreciate most and that they can only use so many scented candles a year!

Patticake123 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:26:04

An excellent idea, I do hope it catches on. The teachers won’t mind, the children learn a valuable lesson about people worse off than themselves and best of all, the poor folk whom this government is failing so badly, get a chance to eat. For the fifth richest country in the 21st century, not a lot to ask!

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:30:46

To add to your list Patti I also thinks it gives poorer children a chance to be included in the giving which is a gift in itself.

janeainsworth Wed 05-Dec-18 11:35:11

Virtue signalling isn’t necessarily a perjorative term.

So I think that schools encouraging donations to food banks instead of gifts for teachers is virtue signalling, but in a good way smile

goldengirl Wed 05-Dec-18 11:36:20

I felt very uncomfortable receiving presents from children when I was teaching as I knew a lot of them had little money to spare. I think the whole thing should STOP!

pensionpat Wed 05-Dec-18 11:36:24

Gillybob. If you ask nicely, Asda might start off with a donation if their own. Do they have a Customer Champion? Tesco and Morrison’s do and they are very obliging.

Greengage Wed 05-Dec-18 11:48:55

Many years ago my husband got hold of an electric pencil sharpener which we gave to our child's primary teacher. (In those days, pencil sharpening was a major moan of teachers.)
The teacher was apparently delighted, but not enough to say thank you!

maryeliza54 Wed 05-Dec-18 11:51:08

I think virtue signalling is always used perjoratively these days regardless of how it might have originated. Suggesting a good idea is not virtue signalling. If schools suggest this idea why not just call it setting a good thing?

This last weekend showed the most jaw dropping hypocrisy ( which is what virtue signalling often is) when some Tory MPs showed up at their local food banks to be photographed with smiling volunteers which said photographs were then shared on social media with tweets having an amazing similarity ( almost as if written by Central Office).