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Would It Feel Icky to You . . . Teachers' Gifts - Page 3

post #41 of 61
Wow. I think I would return the envelope with a note saying you had already planned a gift/gifts, like pps have suggested. What kind of gift are they getting for that much money? We are very lower working-class so maybe that's why, but I can't fathom what kind of gift she/they are/were planning for that amount. And that the mom gave a specific amount that you are to give *and* that she wants you to put your name on it! I don't think she's trying to steal anything, but that's just crazy, IMHO.
post #42 of 61
just tell you already got a gift for the teachers.
post #43 of 61
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate the validation that others would feel pressure and an "ickness" in having envelopes to return with our names on it. I also really appreciate the validation that the amount seems rather shocking, if not inappropriate.

I loved the suggestions given. My children and I are going to pick out a gift for the teachers, write a card with quotes from teh children, and make some treats. I'm telling the room parents that we already have gifts for the teachers and won't be participating in the group gift.

I really appreciate the validation and suggestions.
post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post

At a time when many are trying to figure out how to provide even a few gifts for their kids it is ridiculous to expect someone to spend a chunk of money on a gift for someone outside their families.
:
post #45 of 61
Quote:
Seriously, I've done the math and if the class has 15 students then asking parents to donate this amount of money would mean she is purchasing a gift valued at atleast $200 for EACH teacher. There's no way I believe that. She's likely buying something around $20 and keeping the rest. I'd have serious issues with it and would bring it up with the teacher or head of the school.
really? You honestly think that? Gosh our preschool class mom coordinated a class gift card for our teachers. I thought it was a great idea, and even suggested maybe $10 or so per teacher. Which means the each teacher will get a $150 gift card. I guess I just really appreciate the teacher that spends 20 hours with my child each week. Ours was simply a suggestion and voluntary - I would have issue for something that was 'mandatory'. But I have no problem with gifting the teacher a nice gift.

I also give my school age children's teacher a gift from my business. The retail value of this gift is very high ($500+) but it is something that I love giving and they appreciate so much. Of course it dosen't cost me that out of pocket.....I obvioulsy wouldn't spend that much on a gift.
post #46 of 61
I think you can apreciate a teacher spending time with your child with out spending money on a gift you can't afford. I think the op and everyone else here does apreciate their childs' teachers.
post #47 of 61
I agree, no one should feel like they need to contribute if they can't. And I agreed with that from the begining. I just felt like I needed to address the idea that was coming across in some posts that the teachers gifts shouldn't be substantial (when someone wants to and can) or that the mom in charge was really trying to scam them out of $$$. It simply isn't unheard of to gift a teacher in that way. Again NO ONE should ever feel 'forced' into it, and at our school that is never the case.
post #48 of 61
At my school, we send a letter telling parents that gifts are not mandatory/expected/whatever but if they would like they my give money to the director who coordinates gift cards for us.

That being said, I did not donate to my dd's class - I made cinnamon ornaments with her, tied that to a bag and then put a homemade sugar scrub and goatsmilk soap for each teacher. That made more sense to me with our budget - and my sensibilities - we did handmade for EVERYONE this year - why NOT handmade for teachers.

In my class, 3 out of 17 students participated in the larger gift card, and I received 2 things so far of homemade goodies, a box of chocolates, and a couple of gift cards. It is nice to receive cards - something written by the kids/handwritten just to show you were thought of.
post #49 of 61
I organized something similar for DS's classroom a few years ago, except you didn't have to participate and you could give any amount you wanted. We used the funds to buy a large piece of play equipment for the school (we collected more than $400 total). Some parents said they were buying a gift themselves, some gave $3, one gave $150 ! I think the way your school is handling it is not appropriate. It shouldn't be mandatory. There shouldn't be a set amount. And they should tell you what they're planning on buying with the cash collected.
post #50 of 61
You may want to spare future parents this turmoil and speak with the school administrator about drawing up some guidelines or rules for room parents to adhere to. I'd honestly be rather surprised if they don't have something like this already, but perhaps it is needing an amendment regarding group gifts.

I find the fact that it wasn't optional and not anonymous in very bad taste.

However, keep in mind that you may have another 12 years with this parent or parents, and so handling things as peaceably as possible would be high on my list. Just stating that you already purchased their presents because you had no idea she was planning a group gift would certainly suffice if you feel it would be best to NOT broach the subject with her directly.
post #51 of 61
I have been a room parent a few times and also organized donations. In our case it was not mandatory and $5-$10 was suggested but not required. The money was used to purchase escrip that the teachers could redeem for whatever gift cards they chose. That way the teachers got a nice gift and the school was able to receive a percentage. I also gave individual cards signed by the kids. Frankly, the $5 contribution to the gift card was better than what I could purchase for $5 and I saw an awful lot of mugs and notepads sitting in corners of the classroom gathering dust....Same with hand lotions.

Many people contributed and many people didn't and that was okay! I got emails saying, thanks but we have other plans and emails saying, this is great! I was struggling with a class gift, thanks for organizing!

I sure hope no one thought I was skimming a little off the top
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
Seriously, I've done the math and if the class has 15 students then asking parents to donate this amount of money would mean she is purchasing a gift valued at atleast $200 for EACH teacher. There's no way I believe that. She's likely buying something around $20 and keeping the rest. I'd have serious issues with it and would bring it up with the teacher or head of the school.
I am really sorry you think this way about someone who is spending her time to coordinate gifts for the kids' teachers...

We've done group donations for teacher gifts many times. I have been in charge of that, and I've donated when other moms were in charge. I would be really offended if someone thought I was STEALING money meant for a teacher gratitude gift!!! One, this is (or should be) voluntary. If you can give, this is a suggestion. Clearly if you aren't able to give that amount - or any amount - then don't. At our school, some people gave the recommended amount, some gave double that to cover those who couldn't donate, some didn't donate any. We don't keep track of who gave or how much. Everyone's name goes on the card. And the teachers open them in front of the class - "wow, tickets to the Fifth Ave AND my favorite restaurant TOO?!? You guys are so generous! Thank you!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannahsmummy View Post
What I think is icky is the suggestion that the parent organizing this is stealing some of the money.
I agree. If anything, when I organized, I put in MORE of my own money to get to the next even amount. So if we ended up gathering $180 (of which I'd already donated into), I'd put in another $20 to make the next "even" amount. Plus buy a card and gift wrap if necessary, plus gas money and time to get it all pulled together. None of that is paid time. You do it because you appreciate the teacher.

Almost never do you get 100% participation with group gifts. I do think if is kind (to the person doing the coordinating) to reply that you are doing your own gift though. 'Cause if you don't, how are we to know if you meant to but just forgot or aren't going to for whatever reason? I don't want to bug people who already have another gift planned, and I certainly don't want to make anyone feel bad for not being able to afford to go in on a group gift!
post #53 of 61
i would not give $60. no way. i'd write a note & say my children purchased their own gifts for their teachers. i wouldn't feel bad one bit!
post #54 of 61
Kristen, why did you resurrect a 6+ month old thread to be nasty to someone?

As for your comment, I've never seen any teacher get a $200+ gift - ever. So suspicion is the correct name of the game in this situation.

Jenn
post #55 of 61
Ah, I miss the teacher gifts. Anyway, to counter the information that teachers never get expensive gifts, I used to. I taught eighth grade in a public school, in a largely affluent small community. I frequently received decorative bowls, gourmet chocolates, and overly generous gift cards. One year a graduating eighth grader gave me a picture frame from Neiman Marcus. It was very appropriate to my subject matter and had obviously been carefully selected for me. I looked it up online--$250.

I also got lots of homemade food and soaps and candles and handwritten cards, which were also lovely. All good; it was nice to be appreciated in any way.

I almost never contribute to group gifts, although it's nice to have someone organize something if buying my own gift slips my mind. The end of DD's preschool crept up on me and I was buying gift cards at the last minute. I wished someone else had organized a gift-giving thing!
post #56 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabrog View Post
As for your comment, I've never seen any teacher get a $200+ gift - ever. So suspicion is the correct name of the game in this situation.

Jenn
It is not at all unusual - it is more common than not, in fact - for preschool teachers to be given $200+ group gifts around here, or the equivalent in separate gifts. My sister and her co-teachers have all been given gifts of that magnitude many times, either for Christmas or for the end of the year. The people who live in the community in which she teaches love her, appreciate her, and have the ability to be very generous (and thoughtful) in their appreciation. I don't agree that suspicion of the parent who is organizing the class gift is warranted.

My sister also really appreciates home-made gifts (thoughtfully made edible and other kinds of gifts) and cards. One of her favorite gifts was a little bottle of home made maple syrup the family had made together, and a storybook the kids wrote and illustrated together to explain the process of making syrup. It didn't cost the family anything more than time.
post #57 of 61
I am in N. California and $200. is not at all uncommon for a group gift for a teacher around here.
I have collected for a couple and the accusation that this woman is skimming some of the money is offensive.
That said, it is optional to contribute and I have never asked or been asked to donate close to $60. dollars.
post #58 of 61
Wow, at schools around here, group gifts for teachers are often $500 gift cards - or more. I wonder if all the accusations of stealing come from people living in areas where the traditional gift is a mug or plate of cookies?
post #59 of 61
That's over the top. When my son was in preschool, we all just gave our own small gifts for Christams. We might have done a class gift at the end of the year, but I don't remember putting in more than $10, and that was for two teachers and a director. (This was at a preschool in a ritzy San Francisco neighborhood, so the cost of living was about as high as it gets.) $150-$200 per teacher is ridiculous.

Our homeschool parent co-op gave our teacher a cash gift at the end of this year. We all passed around an envelope and just put in whatever we felt comfortable giving, and it was anonymous. That way no one had to feel embarassed about their donation. I think that is a much better way to go.
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
Wow, at schools around here, group gifts for teachers are often $500 gift cards - or more. I wonder if all the accusations of stealing come from people living in areas where the traditional gift is a mug or plate of cookies?
Wow, $500 would not happen around here, it just shows how much these things vary. Maybe because the school tells us yearly that tuition must jump to keep the teacher salaries competitive; parents feel that the teachers are supported by the school, and are more likely to do thank you cards/notes/drawings than buy yet another thing for someone. You can also do a classroom gift off their wish list, $5-$50 usually, that's what ppl do at Chrstimas. (I mean, a gift FOR the classroom, not from... like books, map, art- for the room, not the teacher him/herself)
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