Room mom letter help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-04-2011, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As room mom I'm supposed to organize some kind of Christmas gifts for the teachers (I really prefer everyone just do their own thing and I really dont want to send this letter to the parents, I hate asking for money!) The other room mom has flaked out on me, so it's all on me :(

 

Here's what I came up with... but I don't care for it. I picked Target because I know both teachers like Target. Before I send this letter out I plan to ask the teachers if there's anything for the classroom that they can use, then maybe I can ask for specific amount(smaller then it would be for a giftcard, 2-3$ or something) to cover whatever they need/want.

 

 

 

"Hello Parents,
It's hard to believe the holidays are next month. I am sending this letter because I wanted to organize a group gift. This is completely optional, perhaps you have another idea or you have already bought the teachers something. With the money we collect, I plan to buy a gift certificate for each teacher to Target.

If this is something you are interested in, please send any amount that you wish in the attached envelope, please have the money to me by December 15. Thank you!"

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#2 of 12 Old 11-04-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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Okay, I'm coming from the perspective of someone who prefers group g.c. gifts for teachers (mostly b/c I have teachers in my family and THEY prefer it). I think you have good bones there -- here's what I would change it to:

 

"Hello Parents,
It's hard to believe the holidays are next month. I am organizing a group gift for our amazing second grade teachers.  With the money we collect, I plan to buy a gift certificate for each teacher to Barnes and Noble.

This is a completely optional donation, but if you are interested, please send $5 in the attached envelope. I need all the money by December 15. Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions."

 

 

A few notes: Is this public school? Private? I would straight up ask for $5 or $10. How many kids in the class? I find people have a harder time with a suggested donation than an exact one. In many communities $5 for two teachers isn't too much to ask, I don't think. But best case scenario, how much money does that give you? Enough?

-e


Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#3 of 12 Old 11-04-2011, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is 15 kids, and it's a private preschool, but not a fancy one... Should I say $5-10.00 ? Let them decide which? I know most likely would end up giving just the 5, but then some might give more???

 

Thank you for the help!!!

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#4 of 12 Old 11-05-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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15 x $5 is $75 which seems like a good amount to me (for where I live anyway).

 

I agree on giving a specified amount.  I find these open-ended things so stressful as I usually have no idea how much is expected.  Then I usually spend more than I can afford or give what I can but feel guilty.  $5 per teacher sounds very do-able, and even $10 per teacher sounds fine. 


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#5 of 12 Old 11-05-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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I would say either sliding scale of $5-10 or suggested donation of $5-10 (any amount appreciated).
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#6 of 12 Old 11-05-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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I would suggest $5 or $10 because otherwise you will have some people sending in $1 and others sending in $20.

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#7 of 12 Old 11-05-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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OP, I think I "know" you from another message board.

 

I like the wording of your first message but I would live a sliding range. Having been a Room Mom and Co-Room Mom, I've learned that a lot depends on the culture of the school. Some schools typically have parents sending money for a group gift others do a small group gift and then interested families also do their own gift and some don't do anything. When I was teaching, I appreciated any gift. It didn't matter to me how it was done.

 

As a parent, I usually do a small contribution to the group gift (or sometimes not at all) and then do a gift that my kids choose.

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#8 of 12 Old 11-05-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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As a parent I prefer a group gift, and I think it's more useful for the teachers. I agree with the pp that is depends on the culture of the school but I think a sliding scale amount would be helpful.

 

We've been in both private and public school settings and in our private school no mention was ever made as to amount, I always felt bad giving 20 bucks!!! Like the other parents were giving loads more...but 20 was more than we could afford; it would have been helpful to have an amount on the table. Maybe I needn't have fretted so much?!

 

At the public school there is much more mindfulllness about economic differences and disparities so there is often a sliding scale mentioned and the amounts are reasonable. I appreciate this.

 

All this to say I count on the room parent to organize a gift and I'm always grateful for a timely letter and a specific amount. NOT ALL PARENTS will be grateful for this... it seems like no matter what a room parent does someone always has an issue with it. That is not your problem!! You are doing a very difficult job to help the teachers, parents and kids make your school environment as positive and productive as possible. Most parents really appreciate this and are grateful for it. So don't stress too much about the letter or about the complaints from whichever parent...

 

Ok got a little off topic there...just wanted to send a big THANK YOU to all the room parents!! You do great work for our schools and we appreciate it.

 

ahem ...ok...Back to your regularly scheduled thread.

:)

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#9 of 12 Old 11-06-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

OP, I think I "know" you from another message board.

 

I like the wording of your first message but I would live a sliding range. Having been a Room Mom and Co-Room Mom, I've learned that a lot depends on the culture of the school. Some schools typically have parents sending money for a group gift others do a small group gift and then interested families also do their own gift and some don't do anything. When I was teaching, I appreciated any gift. It didn't matter to me how it was done.

 

As a parent, I usually do a small contribution to the group gift (or sometimes not at all) and then do a gift that my kids choose.



You do, I've always wanted to say "hi!" but didnt' want to look crazy. I posted both places to get more opinions. I'm so thankful for all of the help I've had with this, I'm so worried about upsetting a parent. I never should have signed up for the task of being room mom. I thought I would have another room mom helping me, but she has flaked out. I had hoped she would have been the one to write this letter. This is preschoool and I know for a fact none of the kids will be going to her elementary school, so I guess I shouldn't worry to much if I upset someone, lol!!

 

 

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#10 of 12 Old 11-06-2011, 02:40 PM
 
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Whew, it was either that or someone else wrote almost the exact same post on the same day.  Feel free to PM me some time if you want.

 

Being a room mom is hard. Just go with your gut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kibba View Post



 



You do, I've always wanted to say "hi!" but didnt' want to look crazy. I posted both places to get more opinions. I'm so thankful for all of the help I've had with this, I'm so worried about upsetting a parent. I never should have signed up for the task of being room mom. I thought I would have another room mom helping me, but she has flaked out. I had hoped she would have been the one to write this letter. This is preschoool and I know for a fact none of the kids will be going to her elementary school, so I guess I shouldn't worry to much if I upset someone, lol!!

 

 



 

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#11 of 12 Old 11-06-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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I think asking directly is better too.  I hate agonizing over how much to give...I always feel like such a cheap skate and we usually give the equivalent of 10 USD in our school (also private but 24 kids in the class).

 

I usually do so with a clear conscience because DS and I make and decorate tins of cookies for them, too, but the pressure from the other moms can be a bit embarrassing.  I would definitely appreciate a suggested amount with the option to give more.

 

Also as a teacher, I think it is really nice to GET a group gift.  The individual gifts are lovely, too, but it's a nice idea that everyone got together and collectively appreciated your efforts.  Plus now that my kid is in school I can see how much of a hassle it is and I appreciate it even more...just in case you think all of this is for nothing. :-)


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#12 of 12 Old 11-19-2011, 04:53 PM
 
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I'm dealing with the same thing this year as a room parent in my son's class. It stinks asking parents for money, but I know how much the teachers appreciate the gifts.

I second what everyone else said about it being a suggested amount. 

For my son's class, I give a suggested amount of $20.00 at the beginning of the year. I will put that money towards holiday, birthday, and an end of the year gift for the teacher. That way, I'm not constantly asking for money.

 

I would add to your letter a way that parents can get the money to you. For me, I'm comfortable using my home address so I just give them that. You could suggest that, or have parents put an envelope with money into your child's bag to go home with him or her.

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