or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › ugh - room mother and suggested giving amount for christmas gift to teachers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ugh - room mother and suggested giving amount for christmas gift to teachers

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 

ugh.  not really looking for any advice, i just want to vent!  feel free to add any advice anyway, or comments on how you've handled anything like this.

 

the room mother of my son's daycare (there are 3 infant rooms, each has a mom that is the voluntary "room mother") put a note in all our cubbies today saying she'd like to get together on a gift and how hard the teachers work every day caring for our children, blah blah blah (like i don't know this) and then suggested that we each give $15 + to get them nice gifts.

 

now, don't get me wrong, i don't necessarily think that $15 or even $20 is excessive to spend on each teacher since that's about what i'll spend on other gifts anyway. what really rubs me the wrong way is the, i don't know, commandment kind of tone in the letter. 

 

she's done this before, when two of the teachers left, asking us to give $ so she could get a nice gift.  for one of them, the day the $ was due i forgot about it and i only had $5 on me so i put it in the envelope.  for the other one, i told her that i had already gotten something for the teacher and wouldn't be participating in her combined gift.  both of these instances went over like a fart in church, judging by her reaction to me.

 

and i have 18 more years of this, huh?  bleck.

post #2 of 58

Wow, yuck. I notice a lot of this required extravagant gifting coming from people in the northeast, must be a social thing there. Really rubs me the wrong way, to the point I wouldn't want to live there. I have about 25 people to gift to outside my household and my average investment in each is $3 (a few get up to $12) plus 3-10 hours of work making something. I do feel required to give *something* to most of these people but it hardly matters what and how much it costs.

post #3 of 58


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post

ugh.  not really looking for any advice, i just want to vent!  feel free to add any advice anyway, or comments on how you've handled anything like this.

 

the room mother of my son's daycare (there are 3 infant rooms, each has a mom that is the voluntary "room mother") put a note in all our cubbies today saying she'd like to get together on a gift and how hard the teachers work every day caring for our children, blah blah blah (like i don't know this) and then suggested that we each give $15 + to get them nice gifts.

 

now, don't get me wrong, i don't necessarily think that $15 or even $20 is excessive to spend on each teacher since that's about what i'll spend on other gifts anyway. what really rubs me the wrong way is the, i don't know, commandment kind of tone in the letter. 

 

she's done this before, when two of the teachers left, asking us to give $ so she could get a nice gift.  for one of them, the day the $ was due i forgot about it and i only had $5 on me so i put it in the envelope.  for the other one, i told her that i had already gotten something for the teacher and wouldn't be participating in her combined gift.  both of these instances went over like a fart in church, judging by her reaction to me.

 

and i have 18 more years of this, huh?  bleck.


the good news is you don't really have 18 years.  there usually aren't room mothers after grade school (so beyond 5th grade :)

post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post


the good news is you don't really have 18 years.  there usually aren't room mothers after grade school (so beyond 5th grade :)



No, after that a perky teacher's pet (usually a girl or group of girls) does the organizing and YOUR CHILD will feel the pressure!

post #5 of 58
Thread Starter 

there does seem to be a vibe here in the northeast that it's more important to spend a lot of money (and make sure folks know you spent a lot of money) vs actually just getting a nice gift.

 

as for it ending ... i was thinking i'll still have this if he's on team sports or part of a club or whatever.

post #6 of 58

DH still gets this at work! Every time someone leaves, has a baby, has a family member die. It's not like we are cold and un-feeling, but as he says "some people weren't here long enough to miss." Besides, I prefer to do the gift buying & giving myself rather than give money over for someone else to pick out something.

post #7 of 58

Wow.  I have never gotten this.  $15 for a group gift seems excessive.  The most I have spent on a teacher is $15.  And thats because my dd had a great idea for a wedding gift (a mug from starbucks that she snuck around and had everyone sign.  we popped in a $5 gift card.  It was from the class but I didn't ask anyone to pitch in).

 

At work several times we have been asked to chip in for a gift but the suggested amount is $2 to $3.  And that was for funeral flowers and a christmas gift for our boss. 

 

If it makes you feel any better though I have three kids and have never ever been asked to chip in for a gift for a teacher so it is possible you won;t get this every year.  and we have had, in our short 2 1/2 years in school, two marriages, 6 babies, 30 teachers, 3 long term subs and have experienced school in grades k through 8.  and not once have we been asked to chip in.

post #8 of 58

Well, I'll be the dissenter and say that I have organized plenty of these group gifts, and I am relieved when another mom does it. We always collect for gift cards. However, it does sound like her approach stinks. We often suggest an amount, but then say we welcome any donation. (And I am in the Los Angeles area.)

-e

post #9 of 58

$15?!  That seems crazy high for a group gift.  Maybe I'm just poor but that would never work for me.  We recently did a group bday gift for my dd's kindergarten teacher and an email was sent out asking for $3-5 or whatever you could afford.

post #10 of 58

$15 doesn't seem all that bad to me (sorry) but I'm from New York where gift giving is a big deal. When my daughter was in preschool each parent was asked to give a minimum of $25 for each of the two teachers. This was in a class of 18 kids at a private school. She was only there three mornings per week with another class there the other two days. So, now that I add it up, the gifts for both teachers was a total of $900 at a minimum (although some of the gifts were items for the classroom meaning my child benefited from the gifts of previous classes). But, as I said, this is common for the east coast/northeast. 

post #11 of 58

Last year ours was $5 each for my DD's preschool teacher. And it was more of "do you want to buy something together?" instead of a demand.

post #12 of 58

I'm not in the northeast, but we got the very same letter from our room mother-- right down to a not-so-subtle affirmation of a $15 minimum for each (teacher and teacher's aide) with the warm welcoming of any amount (which I read to mean, "Of course we'll accept larger amounts if that's what you want to do").

 

I was planning to spend that much on each of them, anyway, and I like the idea of a group gift, b/c if I were a teacher (or living on a teacher's salary) I'd prefer a gift card for $100 at Target or wherever over 20 $5 gifts of candles and crafts and bath salts. But the tone, and the pressure.... I feel for the families who aren't comfortable enough to give that much -- why do people have to place minimums on these things? Even if every kid only gave $2, the teacher could treat herself to a nice DVD or fancy bubble bath, or a good bottle of wine. Is that not enough??

 

PS - When I worked in Washington, DC, my coworkers threw me a bridal shower. I wasn't close to any of them (never went to lunch, etc. -- it was strictly a work relationship b/c they were my clients). It was a surprise potluck lunch that rivaled Hometown Buffet, and there were the requisite gag gifts and flowers. Super nice, right? Especially since none of these people really knew me all that well. Oh, and there was a nice card, signed by everyone. With over $200 cash in it.

post #13 of 58

OP - are you talking about $15 for all of the caregivers?   That's what I'm "reading" v. 15 dollars for one person.  Even so - the room mothers volunteer.   They've stepped up to try to help out and probably trying to make life easier for ALL of the families - so people don't have to scramble around for gifts for each teacher.  If it's a daycare - I'm gathering a lot are WOHM moms and could probably use a bit of a break re thinking of the perfect gift for everyone teacher.

 

Opting out is fine.  But I think your attitude is really ungrateful.  I've been in the "class mom" role and it involves a lot of very carefully trying to word every....single...communication so some mom out of the group doesn't get pissy.  It's not easy.  (and it's someone who is VOLUNTEERING to help - this bears repeating.) 

post #14 of 58

You should give the volunteers something - they are volunteers and do work hard.  You should give the teachers something.  It does not have to be part of the group gift - although it is often easier to let one person do the buying and get a nice gift versus getting a lot of dollar store or  homemade crafts items.  Not be snotty - but there it is.  You absolutely do not have to give 15$ - I dislike being told how much to put in for a gift.  A note saying the committee is purchasing a group gift for the teacher - would you like to donate?  would suffice.  Then give what you feel is appropriate.  No one should tell you how much to give.

 

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 58

The OP is not against a group gift, just vented about the tone of the message that went out. I would feel peeved, as well, particularly given the reponse in the past from the same person. I have been "the collector" for office gifts and never mentioned an amount, just that there was a group gift if they wanted to contribute. Some people like to do group gifts, some like to do their own, some don't do any gift at all. Gifts are not obligatory, after all. Nobody should feel pressured or put out either way. It is all about tone and messaging. I usually ignore any "suggested" amount and just give what I am comfortable giving or give my own. 

post #16 of 58

That does seem like a lot.

 

I have been room parent for kindy, and collected $15-20 per kid at the beginning of the year--and with that we funded all our parties, hired a bus for an extra field trip (district only pays for one), AND had a ton left over for a very generous gift card plus supplies for the kids to make a joint art project for the teacher at the end of the year.  Granted, there were 22 kids in the class.  If I'd thought about it I would have limited people to $10-15 (I asked people what they wanted to contribute at the beginning of the year, most were like, eh, how about $20).  I mean, I don't know how many people are in your class, but that can add up to a LOT of money!

post #17 of 58
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStateMama View Post

OP - are you talking about $15 for all of the caregivers?   That's what I'm "reading" v. 15 dollars for one person.  Even so - the room mothers volunteer.   They've stepped up to try to help out and probably trying to make life easier for ALL of the families - so people don't have to scramble around for gifts for each teacher.  If it's a daycare - I'm gathering a lot are WOHM moms and could probably use a bit of a break re thinking of the perfect gift for everyone teacher.

 

Opting out is fine.  But I think your attitude is really ungrateful.  I've been in the "class mom" role and it involves a lot of very carefully trying to word every....single...communication so some mom out of the group doesn't get pissy.  It's not easy.  (and it's someone who is VOLUNTEERING to help - this bears repeating.) 



 no, it's $15 per teacher, per child.  there are two teachers in each classroom, with 8 children in a classroom.  that means each teacher would be getting a $120 gift.

 

and, yes, sorry i get ungrateful when i'm getting shakendown by someone.

post #18 of 58
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

You should give the volunteers something - they are volunteers and do work hard.  

 

 

I'm a little confused - are you saying I should be buying the room mother a Christmas gift?

post #19 of 58
15 dollars seems exessive to me as well.
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

You should give the volunteers something - they are volunteers and do work hard.  

 

 

I'm a little confused - are you saying I should be buying the room mother a Christmas gift?

 

I would. I guess I should not have used the words "you should" as it is imposing what I would do on you.  Do what you feel is best.  
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at School
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › ugh - room mother and suggested giving amount for christmas gift to teachers