Gifts for teachers - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-16-2004, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is in his first year of preschool. At Christmas time, a mother (former kindergarten teacher) took up a collection and got the teachers an American Express gift certificate. This was fine with me--I figure they'd rather be able to buy their own thing than get lots of stationary or soap or stuff like that.

Now it was Valentines day and the kids had a party last week. They had to bring in/make Valentines for the other kids in the class and we moms had to bring in a treat for the party. I get there and the former teacher-mom has two gift bags, one for each teacher with a gift for them and another mom had two big Valentine candy hearts for the teachers. : It never even occured to me to get them a gift.

How many gifts are you expected to get the teachers during the year? It's not a public preschool, we pay tuition. And what I really want to know is: will your child get better attention/good vibes from the teacher if you are heavy into the gift-giving? Are there any teachers out there that would be willing to say whether gifts influenced them or not?
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Old 02-16-2004, 11:55 PM
 
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That is a great question Motherkins, and one I struggle with a lot, especially since there have been threads here about what NOT to get teachers! I am very light on the gift giving for teachers. I figure a handwritten note saying what I appreciate about them is worth more than a cutesy gift. We do usually give a gift at Christmas time, but it is something like movie tickets, a book store gift certificate, etc. I have noticed that other moms are more into the gift thing than I am, and I have generally made peace with it, but every now and then it bugs me. I will be interested to see if any teachers talk about it influencing them in some way with the child. I also follow my children's lead about gift giving. There have been some teachers they have just been wild about, and my child has wanted to get them more little gifts. Other years, they have no interest in giving the teacher a gift, so I certainly don't make a big deal of it.

Also, many classes do a gift for the classroom-- like new puzzles, a rug, etc. One year we purchased a mini refrigerator for the classroom by taking a collection. I am never in charge of these things, but I am happy to donate!

 
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:25 AM
 
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In my past life as a teacher, while I appreciated gifts, they definitely did not influence my attitude toward the giver -- child or parent. I always loved getting cards with thoughtful messages, especially those made by the child, more than anything. I still have all of their handmade cards and notes and cards from their parents...but I don't know where all of my "2 Teach Is 2 Touch A Life 4-ever" t-shirts and "World's Greatest Teacher" coffee mugs have gone! KWIM?
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:40 PM
 
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Dh is a public school teacher and I can assure you, he has never been at all influenced by a gift.

If some of the other parents decided to get the teacher a Valentine's Day gift, that's nice, but it was not required. I seriously doubt the teacher thinks anything negative about you because of it.

I agree that if you like the teacher and want to show some appreciation, take a few minutes to write a letter stating how your child has benefitted. Better yet, cc her principal when you send it.
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:43 PM
 
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I am a high school teacher, so it is different, however, gifts do not influence the way I think about students. A nice note is the most appreciated gift, for sure. I will say that excessive gift giving actually makes me uncomfortable, and I would prefer NOT to receive a gift on every occasion such as the original poster spoke of. As a teacher, I would wonder about it and be a bit suspicious, like, does the mother think I will like her child more? I like all the children....
Again, a nice note or small token is best, imo. Nothing at all is fine , too.
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:17 PM
 
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I'm new to this forum but wanted to chime in and add my 2 cents. I am also a public school teacher (6th grade), and while I appreciate gifts, they make absolutely no difference to me in terms of how I treat my students. I don't remember ever giving gifts to my teachers in school, and I would be completely fine with not receiving any now.
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:46 PM
 
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Welcome New04momma and thanks for chiming in your 2c!

 
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your input. I'll stop feeling guilty about Valentine's day. I so appreciate my son's teachers. I had been thinking about writing a note at the end of the school year, thanking them, and I'll still do that.
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:47 AM
 
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As I teacher, I never expect a gift, but I do love anything I get.

I have gifts from my students from 30 years ago...so precious!

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 02-23-2004, 12:38 AM
 
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Same here as the other teachers... I don't think differently of the students who get me the gifts. A note, phone call, or email is what I would LOVE. Or if you want to go to the Nth degree... a letter to the principal about the teacher.
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:57 PM
 
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Before I had my kids I taught kindergarten/1st grade and I agree with all the other teachers here. It has no bearing on my feelings for child or parent whether they give me gifts or not.

That said my ds's LOVE their teachers right now and request to give them little things. I am only too happy to oblige as I think they are super as well. My one friend once said to me about ds preschool teacher ( we have had the same teacher for 3 years) " You would buy her a new car if you could wouldn't you?" And yes I would, she is that terrific. We give nothing big except at Christmas and year end. I do also write notes letting them know how much they mean to my child and our family in turn and they truly seem to appreciate it all

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
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