buying into… Christmas

This is a slightly tricky post.  In fact any post, where I feel a rant coming on, can present itself as a little tricky.  There will be readers out there who feel I am inappropriate, out-spoken and a downright axe-grinder.

teacher appreciation issues

But I feel the need … so do bear with me.

I am thankful to the Smalls’ teachers.  Really, honestly, utterly thankful.  Not only do these saints take them off my hands each and every day but they teach them well and make learning fun.  However thankful I am though, I do not impersonate a more-money-than-sense Santa at this time of year by showering these teachers with over-the-top gifts.  Instead, contributing to a joint class fund in a sensible fashion allows the class rep to buy John Lewis (or the like) vouchers as an appropriate teacher thank-you.  And, my reliable sources inform me that all those recipients HUGELY appreciate this.

a Harrods delivery

Nevertheless, we don’t all follow this approach.  Some of us hurry off to purchase elaborate gifts from Harrods (their van was seen delivering to local prep school this week) and – allegedly – teachers have, in the past, been offered Louis Vuiton handbags, brand new cars and even… holidays!

louis vuitton gifts

What does this say about the parents?  Are they trying to bribe the teachers?  Do they think that their little darling would simply not get into the secondary school of their choice without this ‘leg up’?  Or do they simply have too much cash to burn?

It seems that many teachers find this extravagant behaviour plain humiliating. And, according to those willing to discuss these teacher appreciation issues, the bottom line seems that the best presents are the homemade ones, made by the children themselves.  The gifts that no money can buy.



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2 Responses to buying into… Christmas

  1. Sue Fuller

    As a teacher in a bog standard school in the West Midlands I was showered with gifts at Christmas and the end of year. However, these gifts tended to come from less iconic shops. Even so, I was most grateful for the thought put into them. Some children made me a present and it is these that I treasure to this day. Teachers working in ‘posh’ schools tend to expect good presents. ‘Normal’ hardworking teachers are grateful to be wished Happy Christmas as their pupils leave for the holidays. These teachers understand that most families can’t afford presents for their own children and family. A simple ‘thank you for all your hard work’ is sufficient.

  2. yablon

    Thanks Sue – a great comment! x

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