Monday, June 08, 2009

Small Gripe
Its the end of the school year and I'm once again faced with the task of getting gifts for teachers, aides, therapists, bus drivers and so on and so forth. I really do appreciate all that these people do for my kids. I am so thankful that there are people out there willing to be teachers! Let's give it up for the educators! WOOOHOOOO!!

And now... for the gripe. I've been looking for something to do for everyone and my creative juices have run dry. So, what did I do? I did what any other self respecting (read: a little desperate) parent would do... I Googled "gifts for teachers". Oh how I love Google! Anyway, I got some good ideas but I also read a few things that really irked me.

I came across articles written by teachers about how much they hated lotions, candles, coffee mugs etc. and wished for things like a day at the SPA or season tickets to a local venue... WHAT THE CRAP!?! I'm sorry but be a little thankful that anyone took the time to give you ANYTHING. Teaching is your PROFESSION. That means you get PAID to do it and that we (the parents) don't have to GIVE you anything. I give you something because I want to show you that I appreciate what you've done... but I can't afford a day at the spa or season tickets to anything!

I don't owe you a gift, dear teachers. I give you one because I like you. I try to take the time to make it something worth while that you will like. I may miss the mark, but at least I try.

I do have to say that my kids teachers this year have been really gracious and sweet. Sending home thank you notes and showing they are really grateful for our little gifts. But if we ever end up with one of these "Gimme a spa day" types... well, that will be the year we stop giving gifts!

Do you give gifts for the end of the school year? What are your kids teacher like? Do they seem to expect a gift? Are they appreciative of the things you do? Or do they grump and groan about getting ANOTHER candle? I'm curious...

Anyway.... rant over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program...

15 comments:

Kimberly said...

I was raised by a mum who always gave a little gift to our teachers each year. It was never much, but I don't think it's meant to be. It would be great if we could all afford to show our appreciation in a more quantifiable (read expensive) way, but any gratitude at all in this increasing ungrateful world of ours is a rich gift indeed.

i said...

spa day?!?! anything is awesome!!! good for you!

Holly said...

I give gifts at Christmas: soap from Bath & Body Works and a bag of my handmade star Christmas ornaments. If I could afford to, I'd give a gift certificate to the teaching store or something, but I can never afford that!

At the end of the year, I give each teacher a hand-written thank you note, instead of a gift.

My sister was a teacher and like you said, she got tired of all the little bodaggits as she called them, like the "#1 teacher" things, etc. However, she told me she'd never expected gifts, let alone expensive ones. She did say that the gifts she had appreciated were practical and truly useful: a gift certificate, gourmet hot cocoa/coffee, etc. But, she truly treasured the notes of appreciation more than anything else.

Jodi said...

Ditto to Holly's comments. My mom and my sister are teachers and they really appreciate the hand written thank you notes the most. My sister teaches in a private school and so she does get some of the more expensive things too, but the practical things are always appreciated. One thing I saw this year that was cute was a t-shirt that said, "Third Grade Rocks!" Carson's teacher wore it with pride! Sadly, it wasn't from me. I always resort to giving Scentsy at the last minute because I didn't plan ahead. They always seem to love that. Or at least that's what they say...

diana said...

it's one thing to think "i'd rather have a ...." but another to say something out loud. i can't imagine a teacher saying something like that to a kid or parent after receiving their gift.

i'm way past the 'getting the teacher a gift' thing. i did it faithfully for both kid's teachers through grade 5. once they hit middle school, there were just too many teachers.

but i did write a few thank you cards. and i think thank you cards might be all i'd do nowadays with the way the economy is. teachers have to understand what an added expense it is for a lot of families.

let us know what you do. and it's great to see a post from you!

Yvonne said...

Through the years I have given gifts to teachers--in middle school and high school I don't. I usually gave candy. I never felt any of them expected it--but it's been a few years and things have changed.

Johnson Family said...

It is not in my budget to go crazy with gifts for everyone - but I do want them to know I appreciate what they do especially for my children. This year we just made a homemade thank-you and then I let my son write some things he enjoyed in the school year and to thank her for all that she has done. I think she loved it.

Christy said...

I totally bailed out on end of the year gifts this year. It was mostly because I spent a lot of time and effort making homemade peppermint bark for the teachers we have in elementary school at christmas time. My son brought his bag of bark back home that day telling me that his teacher gave it back to him because she is allergic to mint. HUH? Seriously, maybe her intentions were genuine, but seriously, all I saw was a teacher giving a gift back to a child and telling him she didn't want it. Why didn't she just graciously say thank you and then give it away to someone else or heck, toss it in the garbage. I wouldn't care... I thought it was more insulting to give it back. But that's just me...

Jennifer said...

Hey Melissa, Alysa told me to read your post and I must say, I'm likin' your blog, so I may be back from time to time :) I was a teacher at a Utah Private school and like an above commenter said, I got very expensive gifts. But I never expected anything, just really really appreciated it. I still have many of the gifts I received years ago and when I see the frame or platter or whatever it is, I think of that child that gave it me. Teachers spend so much time with your children and if they are a good teacher, they get very attached... I would cry at the end of every year. I would send home notes with all the students, thanking them for all their efforts throughout the year. I'm getting all emotional now :)

Nancy Face said...

I haven't been consistent with gift giving for teachers. I should really do better! :S

One year when Lauren was in high school she tried to give a teacher a Christmas gift...something from Bath & Body Works. The teacher refused the gift, saying that she didn't accept gifts from students. Very embarrassing. Then she DID accept a gift from another student. Very strange. What's even more strange was that this teacher lived on our same street and attended our ward...not like we were strangers or anything, haha! :)

Jean Knee said...

when I was a teacher my most precious gift was a rear view mirror.


I taught in a very poor area and would get a few dollar store gifts now and then, usually nothing though.

Magirk said...

Sorry, I got nothin'. I'm a little irked about the attitude you said some of them have. A day at a day spa!??? Come on.

Besides that, though, I plan to homeschool. So maybe I'll just treat myself to a day at a day spa! Hahahahaha! ;-)

Anyway. Good luck with all of it. I would hope most people would just be grateful for the gesture of those kinds of things. Or, maybe my faith in humanity is misplaced....

JustRandi said...

I usually made something edible for teachers at Christmas and at the end of the year.
They really seemed to like sweet breads, so I did a lot of that.


When I was a teacher, I didn't expect anything, but I did really appreciate things that were consumable, rather than things I should "display".

Amber said...

Curious what you ended up doing. To be honest I wasn't planning to give a gift this year but when I saw everyone else had, I ran out and bought Target gift cards and made some cookies. Peer pressure!

kailani said...

I usually give Bath and Body Works items to my daughter's teachers and aides. They really appreciate it since we don't have that store in Hawaii.