Sunday, May 29, 2011

Teacher appreciation gifts

So, a question from a South African girl who doesn't have kids in school...

I'm browsing the internets (and all my crafty blogs), and I see all these teacher appreciation gift posts.

I have nothing against showing gratitude and there's nothing I love more than a heartfelt thank-you note/ gift, etc.

  1. how many kids are in one class, on average?
  2. do all the kids bring gifts?
  3. do people go ALL out? or are there lots of slacker moms like me?
  4. are they bought stuff or do people do handmade gifts? what's the split?
  5. what does the teacher do with all that stuff?
  6. where do they/ you store it?
  7. how long does this go on? (up until what age, or do all school-going kids bring gifts?)
  8. South Africans, does this stuff happen in our schools too? It didn't when I was at school, um, over 20 years ago!
  9. if you're a teacher (One Rad Mother and others), please share your thoughts. I am seriously curious.
Let's talk in the comments :)

PS pic taken at Legendz Cafe in Dullstroom. Excellent food.


  1. If I am seriously impressed with a teacher (and so far my kid has been really lucky to have the best of the best) then I like to buy something at the end of the year. I usually do flowers, chocolates and a nice card. I once bought a book at CUM books when they had a sale. I write a note inside the card (in my own untidy handwriting) and I also make my son write out his own little card. I think that teachers play a VERY important role in our lives (we would not be where we were without our teachers) and in the lives of our kids. They play a very important role in shaping our kids and I think that there is no harm in showing your appreciation in a small way. I am sure that there are many slacker moms. It's not compulsory. It's something you can do only if you want to. As I said, I only do it if a teacher seriously impresses me. I only started doing it when my kid started preschool and there has been one occasion when I didn't do it because I really didn't like my sons teacher.

  2. My mom was a Grade 4 teacher and she always got loads of presents and we always gave our teachers presents. In junior school we gave to our class teacher and then anyone else special like a sports coach or music teacher. In high school I just remember giving small gifts to the teachers I liked with a thank you note. Zoe is only at play school but we give a gift to the teacher on her birthday, at the end of the year and a monetary contribution to the class assistants' end of year Christmas box. Zoe makes the card and then I generally give something which I know the teacher likes (bought).

  3. ps...Read this post by Kirsty:

    This is why I give appreciation gifts. My son has been lucky enough to have a teacher like that every single year. Except one time.

  4. Okay we homeschool, so I have to say my kids only have two or three extra-mural teachers a year that they need to gift, thats quite enough and a serious budget buster for people that I don't necesarily love and adore!!! Frankly teacher gifting is a pain... to think up something original and something that the teacher would like... and I can hear them mentally screaming "not another mug"... I used to give extra lessons when I was a student and at the end of the year some well meaning moms would gift me... and really I would rather they hadn't... hideous chocolates, endless mugs, notebooks (and I love notebooks) but never a notebook that I liked... most things I couldn't even think of someone to regift them too. Frankly I would rather they hadn't gifted me. Of course there was always the one parent who gave you a book voucher and I would have loved a coffee voucher. Thanks - just thought of this years gifts... everyone is getting a coffee voucher!!!

  5. I have been a "slacker mom" all my life. With favorite teachers my children usually just bought chocolates....but that was only when they were totally crazy about a teacher.

  6. many kids are in one class, on average?

    It probably depends on where you live. I usually have between 17 and 23 2nd graders each year. My school is kind of in a rural area. all the kids bring gifts?

    When I taught at a private school, I got a lot. But in my public school kids' parents don't have much money and some don't value education as much as others. Usually I get about 5-7 gifts. And honestly, if I didn't get a gift I wouldn't at all feel unappreciated. But I do love cards, especially from the kids.

    Our Parent-teacher organization did an AMAZING job a few weeks ago for Teacher Appreciation Week. And they usually do. people go ALL out? or are there lots of slacker moms like me?

    I think there are a LOT of very busy moms out there!

    4.are they bought stuff or do people do handmade gifts? what's the split?

    Mostly bought, 90/10 split? I love handmade stuff! My favorite was a wall hanging with tiles that each student painted.

    5.what does the teacher do with all that stuff?

    It depends. I will admit that I've regifted some stuff. It's recycling, right?

    6.where do they/ you store it? ? long does this go on? (up until what age, or do all school-going kids bring gifts?)

    I've only taught 2nd grade, so I don't know. That's a good question. Do high school teachers get gifts?

  7. many kids are in one class, on average?

    I live in TX and up until now we had a cap at 22 in grades K-4. Now the cap is moving up to 25 (which is way too many, but that's another post). all the kids bring gifts?

    I teach in a public school that is low-income (small, country town) and get maybe five gifts. Many are from the dollar store, but usually they come with homemade cards, which are always the best. people go ALL out? or are there lots of slacker moms like me?

    I think the majority of our moms are working moms and 1) money is tight for all of us and 2) time is usually short.

    My son just graduated from kindergarten last week and we are getting his teachers a card and a 10 gift card to a local restaurant. He has two teachers, so it works out to $20. We've also ordered stationary for each one for Christmas from vistaprint... very inexpensive and they loved it.

    4.are they bought stuff or do people do handmade gifts? what's the split?

    Usually most are store bought and one or two are homemade. Our last day of school is Thursday and this past week a parent sent a beautiful necklace that she hand-made. Her daughter wrote a very sweet letter to attach to it. Loved them both.

    5.what does the teacher do with all that stuff?

    It varies, some I display in the classroom, some I regift (hey, it happens) and some are brought home.

    6.where do they/ you store it? ?

    Cabinets? long does this go on? (up until what age, or do all school-going kids bring gifts?)

    I imagine it would vary throughout school. I've taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and have gotten gifts in all of those. When I student taught the six graders brought me gifts on Valentine's Day. I guess it probably depends on how much the kids like their teachers!

  8. Oh, forgot to answer how many are in the class. At the moment Zoe is in a class of 10 (1 teacher and 1 teacher's assistant)but next year when she moves to Grade 0 there will be 15 until she goes to Grade 1 when the limit is 20 until Grade 4 when it moves to 25 max. Ava starts next term (2 mornings a week) and there are 10 in her class with a teacher and a teacher's assistant.
    I often meet ex-pupils of my mom's and without fail they tell me that she was their very favourite teacher ever:). I already know she is the best mom and an unbelievable granny but it's good to know I'm not biased! Perhaps that's part of the reason why she always got so many presents and as a teacher you obviously realise how nice it is to be appreciated as one certainly doesn't do it for the money!!! I worked as a physio in a special school for 3 years so I also know just how special teachers are.

  9. My mom is a middle school teacher and still gets stuff from a few kids. I always try to give something useful, because I saw her with the useless crap. Do you know how many apple Christmas tree ornaments she has from the years she taught kindergarten? LOL

    Gift cards are always good, to a coffee place, restaurant, bookstore. Always very appreciated.

    On the years I am not a slacker I try to do something homemade- last year I made these:

  10. At a private school, our class size is about 20 students - elementary through about 7th grade we were "gifted" a LOT...and still receive occassional goodies from parents (and esp. from those who are also teachers). We get a lot a smelly inagoodway lotions, seasonal gifts (towels with snowmen, mugs with easter eggs, etc), and coffee giftcards. At the end of this year I received a pack of monogrammed notecards, two nice letters, two coffe giftcards, and a giftcard to a local resturant - all from my 11th graders. I certainly appreciate it all and I don't think less of students/parents who don't do anything.

    On the other end, I may get a bit carried away with Mellow's teachers. There are three ladies in his class of 18 students - and they often look on the rough side of harried (I suppose 18 two-year-olds will do that). I give seasonal stuff that is "useful" or good: candy and a card for Valentine's Day, a pretty dish for Easter, green soap for St. Patrick's Day. I try to bring a little something for them every time the class has a "party." I want them to be aware that I care about them and recognize that they take care of my child for 8 hours a day - that's how I see it. :)

  11. I like to give a little something at the end of the year - but usually something simple like a box of chocolates or a nice photo frame or such.


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