I don't really know the etiquette for teacher gift giving (my children are only in preschool), but I love their teacher so much I buy a gift & write a little note expressing my appreciation for all she does. I have given a book store gift certificate & a restaurant gift certificate.
At my dd's Waldorf school we collected (whatever you could afford) from all the parents and gave the teacher cash (about $150.00 each for 4 teachers, 2 in each class). Teachers at our school have to pay for their own training in the summer (they all have to go) and it's not cheap, and the pay is not the best (they truely do it for the love of children). Some parents also gave direct gifts in addition to the group gift, like homemade holiday cookies, knitted items, gift certificates, wine, wool for knitting (knitting is big in Waldorf, lol).
We also have specialty teachers (languages, gym, handwork, claymolding, eurythmy, music, etc. These teachers got about $90 each, all the parents in the school contributed to that gift. There was also a basket full of homemade cookies for every teacher and administrator.
Those who have very little $$ to spare bake, knit, do something, it's jsut the way Waldorf is, community.
I was thinking of make a dontation of class supplies or cook up
a batch of homemade essential oil playdough for the class to share.
Something where the teachers don't have to augment classroom
supplies out of their own pockets. However, I do see that something
more personal would be appreciated too.......
we made gingerbread men for our teacher. teaching is very hard work. this time of year it's nice to show our appreciation for what they do as well as teaching children that this season is about giving as well as receiving.
My son is in the special needs preschool program so we have 4 classes (2 amd and 2 pm) and have 6 teachers between the two for the classes and OT and Speech. We throw a special lunch. We collected money from all the families and have a catered lunch at the school for the teachers. We use fine china, crystal, silverware, nice linens etc. It has been a big hit the last few years. It takes some coordinating to get it together at school between classes. They get less than an hour for lunch and we have to setup, let them eat and come back to cleanup. They love it! There is always enough food for lunch the next day too!
At my son's other preschool, they collected money and bought chicks in our schools name thru heifer.org.
There was a wonderful article in my local paper last week about just this subject. They interviewed many teachers, principals and school admins. Ever one said the "appreciated" the gifts but would much rather have books donated to the library, school supplies, etc. They didn't like the feeling of competiveness between so many parents and felt the spirit of the holiday was shown more by parents who got together as a group and did something for the school
The thing that hit home with me the most was a principal that was interviewed. He had just made principal after years of teaching. He was quoted as saying that he loved the mugs, frames and gift cards that he received but what he really took to heart was the letters he received over the years from both parents and students. Ones that said thank you for all he had done, how much he was appreciated. He said he that he really didn't have many "things" he was given over the years (mugs break, food gets eaten, etc) but that he still has every letter he had ever received and that those letters were a great source of inspiration/encouragement to him.
Reading this made me feel kind of bad yet good at the same time. In the rush of the holidays I just popped my sons teachers gifts in a gift bag with just a gift tag. I verbally thanked them when I gave them the gifts but it was busy and the kids were crazy. I was inspired to sit down and write them personal notes and I just got them in mail yesterday.
This year was my son's first year of preschool and we gave a gift to his teacher and to the administrator. DS made them each a card, I wrote a note inside the card thanking them for all that they do, and we gave them each a fleece throw that DS picked out. I wasn't sure what to do for them, but they both seemed really pleased and surprised by the gift.
Well the holidays have come and gone and I admit I didn't
bring a gift to the teachers. I am however working on a magnetic
board for them to use in class - I hope they like it. At
this rate they may get it in May..........
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