Tuesday 16 July 2013

Thank You Teacher

As the end of another school year approaches, we as parents start thinking about what gifts to buy our children's teachers to thank them for what they have done over the school year. Excuse my rant and I know I probably sound harsh, however quite frankly it is another expense I could do without.

It seems to be a struggle every year to come up with something to buy that doesn't cost the earth because I don't know about the rest of you but I don't want to give the obligitory bookmark or magnet, poor teachers must have millions of these floating around their houses by now.

It has become yet another tradition that we have fallen into and I don't know about what other parents think, but I feel guilty seeing other people giving presents that look loads better than what I'm giving, almost feel like I am back at school myself, competing for first prize!!

There is a flip side to all of this though. This year I have been thinking about it even more though.

I love my eldest daughter's teacher, can't fault her, so helpful, always pushing for the kids to do more, the whole class has improved this year.

Then there is my five year old, although doing well in school, hasn't had the best teacher. Many of the parents have complained to her and about her because there seemed to be a distinct lack of teaching going on, there is a curriculum set for a reason and she hasn't stuck to it one bit, the children have only just finished learning their letters, something which should have been done by Christmas last year. Infact the poor teaching assistant seems to have been doing her job for her!!!

Only last week Freya got sent home with a reading book, which you could quite clearly see that she had read only a couple of weeks ago, simple mistake maybe, it just seemed to be in line with many others.

So I guess I'm thinking do we "have" to buy gifts for all of our kids teachers, especially if we feel that they haven't done what is required of them, as in that sense what would we really be thanking them for?

I'm in two minds what to do about this because I don't want to come across rude or ungrateful but in all honesty myself and my eldest daughter have done more learning with Freya at home than she has done at school this year.

Do any of you feel that your kids teachers haven't done the best for you child this year? Are you looking forward to them getting a new teacher?



  1. I have always worked within education, and I have never, even with 7 children, bought a gift for a class teacher. I have sent cards and been in to say thank you. I have bought a gift for a dinner lady who looked after boy no.1 through 2 years of regular tonsillitis. I've sent letters of praise to the LEA for a special needs teacher who was brilliant, but I never joined in the end of term giftathon.
    Teachers are doing their job and they are paid well for it. It used to make me very sad to see parents on the breadline forking out 20 quid to compete in some imaginary contest, when most teachers would respect a hand drawn card more and half the time ended up giving away half the chocolates anyway.
    If you think they did something special then maybe, but don't take part just because they turned up to work most days unless you intend to start giving gifts to the woman on the checkout in Tesco and the guy who sweeps your riad every Thursday.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I like your way of thinking, what you have said is definitely true!!! I have literally just finished saying to the kids that we will make cards for their teachers this week instead buying cards and gifts. x

  2. We haven't been drawn into this game yet, but I agree totally with Brick Castle that you shouldn't feel pressured and get drawn into a game of gifting oneupmanship with competitive parents, or feel that you need to just because others feel the need to do so. At home, there's nothing that pleases me more than receiving a hand-made gift from the kids for my birthday or Father's Day that they've put time, thought and effort into. It means so much more than some chocolates or some other banal gift. We should view gifts for teachers in the same way.

  3. My mother was a teacher. I remember her bringing home a box of what we kids could only describe as "loot" at the end of the year. Back then most of it was pretty kitschy - Hallmark ornaments at Christmastime, or Avon perfume. She usually let us take what we liked. One solution I like is a charitable donation in the teacher's name. A note to that effect can easily be enclosed in an handmade card. The gift does some good independent of the quality of the teacher, and (at least in the states) I get a tax deduction. If you have the time, and the teacher is really worth it, you can personalize the gift even more by finding out what causes are most important to her.


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