Teacher's Gifts

The other day I was lined up at Target. (BTW, does anyone else find the new queing system irritating, I know it’s a fair way to organise things, but it seems I wait longer now…) The two women standing behind me started a conversation discussing the merits of giving their child’s teacher a gift. The two of them were favouring a no gift policy.

The ladies spoke loudly that they felt it was ridiculous how many people bought teacher’s presents these days. Why should teachers get gifts for doing their job? They get paid to work after all. Why should they need anything when they collect a pay check each week? One of the women went on to comment, “No one gives me gifts for doing my job well.”

Now, I don’t think for a moment that teacher’s are automatically entitled to gifts. As a teacher, I don’t not think less of the parents or children who have not given me gifts. Alternatively, I don’t favour the students who do give me gifts.

What the gifts do is make me feel appreciated. It is a form of acknowledgement to me that, “Yes, you are doing a good job.” It makes me feel that all the extra hours work I have put in preparing lessons, resources and activities has not gone unnoticed. It gives me encouragement that I am making an impact on that child’s life and provides inspiration to keep doing my job as well as I possibly can.

To the ladies in the que, I simply turned around and said, “As a teacher, I really do appreciate a gift I am given.” At which one of the ladies looked amazed, (and slightly embarrassed) and gasped, “Really?” She was so completely incredulous it astounded me. I wish I had said, (you know how you always think of good things to say after the event…), “Well if your boss or a client gave you a gift as a token of your great work, wouldn’t you appreciate it and wouldn’t you feel appreciated?” 

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  1. Hi Caitlin! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting!

    I don’t know what I would’ve done/said had I heard the conversation you did about teachers and gifts!!! I cannot BELIEVE that more kids/parents don’t do more for their teachers!!! I taught for several years and appreciated every little gift, card, etc!

    In the US we don’t normally give all the kids in a class a gift…but a goodie bag, usually filled with candy is pretty common. I’m so over all the candy….I wanted to do something different!

    Thanks for taking on one of the hardest (and unappreciated) jobs in the world! 🙂

  2. I use to love the gifts that the
    children had been involved in making, all gifts were appreciated. Most teachers also spend money out of their own pocket for their class I know I did. Easter eggs, christmas goodie bag, lucky dip box, stickers and stamps plus to name a few.

    It is so lovely when a family gives a teacher a gift always a great pick me up after writting all thoes report cards 🙂

  3. I think it’s important for the kids to give their teachers something, to make them realise their teachers are of high worth!

    There sure can be too much chocolate going around at the end of the year, though. One year I got co-ordinated enough to get my kid to give his teachers small bowls of fruit, which was perfect.

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