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Posted by School Run Mum on 29/06/2011. Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageAnd so another school year comes to an end and with it comes the annual dilemma of the ‘thank you teacher’ gift.

Of course, the shops wised up to this growing trend for giving teacher more than just an apple and a homemade card at the end of the school year, and there are now any number of shelves dedicated purely to gift displays for suitable thank you teacher presents.

Which makes me ponder. Is it really necessary to give your child’s teacher a gift? Is a personal thank you not enough? Is a gentle nudge to get your child to draw a picture or write a little note to their teacher not sufficient anymore? And if a gift is necessary, what should I get for my child’s teacher? What does she like? Does she drink wine and if so, is she a red or white kind of girl (personally, I wouldn’t say no to either, but that’s just me). Does she eat chocolates – and if so, does she prefer milk or plain – or even white? What about hand creams and body lotions - does she have dry, sensitive skin or oily perhaps?

In fact, the ‘end of year gift issue’ has just made me realise that I don’t know her all that well, so I’m a bit stumped. Of course, I could get her a plant, or some flowers, but she might have an allergy, or hay fever. Aarrrgghhhh……

So, yes, the ‘teacher gift’ irritates me slightly. It seems that, for many parents, it is now taken for granted that at Christmas and at the end of the school year, a gift will be given. Is it to keep the teacher sweet? Is it genuinely to thank them for giving your child such a fabulous education?

Whatever the reason, I can’t help thinking that a simple picture and the words ‘thank you’ should be enough?

What do you think?



(29-06-2011 11:12)

some home baked cookies (which the kids have fun helping to make), and a home made thankyou card :-)


(29-06-2011 13:04)

In your parents' lifetime, gifts were given to many people who provided a service to you during the year. I recall the postman, the binman, the milkman all receiving some token, what ever could be spared, in the form of a christmas box as a sign of respect and appreciation of their work during the year. What a mean meally mouthed unchristian place Ireland has become that it has become too much trouble to think about a gesture to someone who has been entrusted with your children for maybe 1200 hours per year and who often has shaped their personality and with whom they have developed a bond. The gift is something the child often has great joy in giving and is their not something genuinely Christian about it?


(29-06-2011 11:35)

Jennifer, I don't think you can really equate tipping at a restaurant, where a lot of staff rely on tips to make up their pay with the teaching profession. Would you not consider that there will be (especially in today's economic climate) a lot of parents who having made voluntary contributions, raffles, etc, find that a gift for the teacher rather than a handmade/homemade (low cost) card/gift, is the straw that breaks the camels back and the gift from your child puts pressure on other parents, if you really feel the need for a gift, why not a donation to a local charity in the teachers name & put a note to that effect in with a simple card?
Just a suggestion.


(29-06-2011 11:25)

I whole heartedly agree that a simple picture or handmade card from the child and the words "thank you" should be enough. To be honest, I feel that in the majority of cases, neither the teacher nor the school expect, encourage or endorse the idea of gifts. In my experience the practice is encouraged by other parents.

I say, sense should prevail and the more of us who resist buying gifts or worse contributing to a collection for the teacher, the better chance of stopping this silly end of year expense.


(05-07-2011 15:06)

David, the question was 'what do you think?'. That's merely what I think. I wasn't equating tipping restaurant staff with the teaching profession. I don't do it because they need it. In fact I mostly find it a nuisance. But, for my child I think that it's important that they recognise the work that their teacher has put in towards their education during the year. I would like to think that when my child is an adult that they would be appreciated when they work hard, by whatever means, be it a work bonus, or a thank you card. It's not about the money, it's about the gesture. You wrongly assumed that when I said 'tip well' that I meant expensive. That is not the case.

Dermot - I agree. In fact, we always give the postman something at Christmas (if only for putting up with our dog! :D)


(29-06-2011 11:21)

I give them gifts if I feel they deserver them. If I've not been happy with the teacher during the year, then I don't gift them. Simple. To me it's like tipping at a restaurant. If I'm not happy with the service then I don't tip. If I'm really happy, I tip well!

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