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What were your best / worst end of term presents?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by cakeshop, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. I teach english to primary age children in France. There is no big tradition of giving presents to teachers in France, so if you do receive something, it is very special. Most children, if they do bring presents, bring in small posies of flowers picked from their garden that morning. If you're lucky enough to receive one, they are wonderful. For me as a visiting teacher, to receive one, is like being given a gold bar.This year I received a small hand-made basket of redcurrants and raspberries, which was lovely. Througout the year, the children pass me little hand-decorated notes saying I love you, which I pin up in my office at home and cheer me up when I'm marking at 10pm!
    I've never had a strange present, and am a big fan of macaroni and glitter candle holders, I got several last year at Christmas. My own children give wine and tea to their teachers, I like the idea of starting new traditions here...now onto cricket and fish and chips...
  2. One boy carved me a model surf board, which was touching. Another girl put in here card You're probably the best teacher I've had"...That made me smile!
  3. I work in FE, teaching numeracy and literacy and get very few presents but I have had a few memorable ones.
    A bottle of wine from one lad (who must have got his mum to buy it for me) wrapped up and posted to my office and inside with the wine, was the most beautiful word processed (but personalised) letter. made me cry

    On my board at my desk I have sundry thank you cards containing lovely messages.

    My favourite is the workings out of a formulae done by a student who I had taught one-to-one for a year and who had worked so incredibly hard to pass her Level 2 numeracy.
  4. sajjy

    sajjy New commenter

    I work in KS1 and had the usual pack of presents for which I and my family are very greatful (they get passed around to family members/raffles etc.). I was wondering though as a parent of KS3 child what is the etiquette about presents for secondary teachers? Form tutor? Staff room? Head of Year? Senco? etc. etc.
  5. I have just completed my NQT year so don't have other years to compare it to, but here goes:

    Best - a letter from a parent saying how much her child had flourished in my class. This was so rewarding and brought a tear to my eye! I also got a thank you card from a boy in my class and his mum had written a lovely message inside.

    Worst - out of date chocs. Opened the box and all the chocolates had a white film on them! However, it's the thought that counts, right?

  6. luxio

    luxio New commenter

    My absolute best present was from a little girl who brought in four eggs from her own chickens as she knows how much I like baking (the class have baked 3 times this term - very unusual for most KS2 classes).
    She was a bit embarrassed about the present compared to all the chocolates, wine, mugs and canteen of cutlery (!) but for me it was special.
  7. I work as a Brickwork tutor in FE and don't expect anything from my students, but anything that may be given is wonderfully recieved. It was an especially nice surprise to recieve a bottle of Irish whisky from a very difficult student.
    My greatest gift and most meaningful are the emails I get from the exam department with each students pass marks on them. It means more to me knowing that I've helped the students learn and develop than any gift.

  8. fyefye

    fyefye New commenter

    My funniest present was this year's packet of Chicken Noodle Soup. One of the most annoying was the box of Maltezers to be shared between 2 teachers and 3 support staff brought in at hometime..
    Nevertheless, I really do appreciate the homemade cards and thanks from parents.
  9. My KS3 daughter has taken wine in for her form tutor only. Where would it stop?
    I also want to add that between job-share teachers and TAs (I don't like to leave them out!) that my 3 primary school aged children need 14 presents! I hope the school staff don't think I'm mean but they're all just getting a mini bottle of wine each.
  10. i once got a plastic toilet brush
    i always get mugs, i usually leave them in the staffroom - they don't go with my gorgeous cath kidston range
    my favourites are when the excited child says ' i choose it myself' - doesn't really matter what it is then!

  11. You are all lucky the kids think enough of you to even buy or make anything at all. 10 years grades 6-8 inner city school (USA) and 1 at high school, and I've only ever received 1 end of year gift. A verbal thanks from a girl who told me she'd/hated the course the year before I came, and that I made her actually want to learn! I would love a cheap plastic cat or handwritten note from time to time. A simple "thanks, you're appreciated" like she gave me that first year. Like your kids give you each year...
  12. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I agree with all of the I hate teacher tat brigade. My fave would be vouchersJohn Lewis, M&S, nex, hmv, i-tunes .....
    My worst this year was deffo our final assembly. One of the boys in my class was leaving (as the parents don't like me and don't want me to teach him for another 2 years) and his brother was leaving as he's Year 6. In front of the whole school and most of the parents they gave a big box of chocs to the other teacher and huge bunches of flowers to the TAs but nothing for me. How ridiculously and pettily pointed! Despite trying to rise above it I felt very upset and even more upset that they were getting to me.
  13. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I wish that I could type. I've never heard of a shop called nex, I meant next obv. Who says that we don't need a 6 week break - my fingers will start moving properly in about mid-August! Brain takes a little longer to catch up and, left to its own devices might function properly by mid-Sept!
  14. I know I'm not going to be popular here but I'd like to comment from a parent's perspective, as well as someone who works with children. When my eldest began Reception class I expected him to make a personal card for his class teacher at the end of term - perhaps with a small hand-picked bunch of flowers from the garden or home-made cookies. I can still remember thinking it was a joke when, 3 months into his first school term, I was emailed by a parent 'representing' the class to ask for a contribution towards the teacher's Christmas present. Not only that, but the minimum suggested contribution was a rather substantial £10 per child (a double whammy for the parents of the two pairs of twins in the class!). When I approached the class PTA rep about this and explained I thought that this was a bit steep and offering £5, I was told that my fiver wouldn't be accepted and unless I coughed up the full £10 then my son wouldn't be allowed to write his name in the card! Suffice to say my son made his own card for the teacher on that occasion despite plenty of nagging from him thanks to peer pressure.. and the teacher enjoyed just £290 of M&S vouchers that Christmas. (How personal. And what a pleasure that brought to the children watching their teacher open an envelope with a voucher inside.. hmmn. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.) This is clearly the insanity of today's parenting and not the fault of the teacher, but I do feel that both teachers and school heads should clamp down on the craziness of gift-giving as it is an enormous pressure on parents. Of course I appreciate the hard work that goes into teaching (I can see it from both sides) but the salary should be the financial reward for the job and the children should be the ones making the effort to thank their teacher at the end of the year with a handmade, personal card or similar. What on earth are we teaching children when they are simply told to hand cash over and sign a shop-bought card? So please, please, can you think a little before you mock the gifts you are given - or boast about the 'best' ones. If you don't appreciate them, then hows abouts you let parents know that you only wish to receive a card made by the children and save us all some money - or at the very least ask for materials for the classroom instead? And if anyone was thinking of asking, no - I won't give you the name of the school my son attends where the teachers get over £500 in vouchers per academic year in teachers gifts! Incidentally, the best gift I've ever received is a child saying to me that I had inspired him. Money can't buy that feeling.
  15. Well said. I did consider asking the children to give charitable donations instead, but this should probably be done by the whole school, rather than just one teacher, if at all. I got mainly cards this year, which was really nice because, although not home-made, they had lovely messages in about how much the children (year 6) will miss me. The best presents apart from that were a couple of book tokens.
  16. From a teachers point of view I completely agree with much of what you say Gekopr. The amount of money you describe in your post is ridiculous and being forced to put in that, or any amount of money is unacceptable. Unfortunaltely I have seen it happen in some schools. However, many children like to get you a little something at the end of the year and regardless of how we feel about it it makes them feel good. I think its difficult for the school to do anything about it as it is something voluntary and not really anything to do with the school. Asking parents/children not to give a gift if they want to is no different from being asked to give £10 towards a gift voucher, just the other side of the coin. If parents wish to make a donation to the school instead I'm sure they would be most welcome to do so but you can't dictate. I always tell my children that I don't expect anything and it is a pleasant surprise if they do, even if its only a little card from the scrap paper drawer, the best present I got this year was a lovely letter from one of my kids! In addition whilst it does seem that moaning or boasting about presents is a little silly, can anyone honestly say they have never done that at Christmas? Really?
  17. I got a lot this year as I was leaving the school, but when children asked me 'Do you want...?' I constantly said 'Please don't feel you have to get me anything.' I had so much stuff that I was very overwhelmed with everything. I really appreciated it but hate that it has become so 'expected' that teachers get a present at the end of the year. Shouldn't it be that a present is bought if the child/parent actually wants to not because they feel they have to?
  18. I've been on both sides- as a parent and a teacher.
    As a parent, I've done collections for each of my children's teachers so they dont end up with lots of tat. The parents in the class have usually appreciated the fact that they just have to hand over some money and dont have to trawl around for chocs, wine or similar so they are very good at contributing to the teachers' collections. I usually collect around £5 for the teachers and also do a small collection for the TA's. I buy vouchers for the teachers- I ask someone in the school to find out which shops they prefer vouchers for as young teachers don't always appreciate John Lewis vouchers.
    If the teacher is an NQT, we have done a special gift such as decorated a plate/vase with all the children's names on it so they remember their first class. It has usually generated tears and I hope it hasn't ended up on the 'special shelf'' though I do understand how lack of space can lead to these decisions!.

    This year, as a teacher I had lovely presents from the children - vouchers,really lovely necklaces, chocolates and flowers.
    I've been lucky and had really sweet presents over the years- the ones that touched me the most were the ones from the children on the inner city estate I first worked in as the children and families had so little- still brings a tear to my eye thinking about it.

  19. Just read your comment after I'd posted my comment and I feel I sound very clinical talking about vouchers and collections etc.
    I do agree that as teachers we never expect gifts and the best present you'll ever receive is a child or parent telling you how much they've enjoyed having you that year- that's why I'll always remember my first class because it wasn't the gifts they gave me that touched me, it was the thought.
    As a parent rep, I collect from parents but I never force parents as i'm aware that not everyone has lots of money to spend and as you say, if you have more than one child, then it can become expensive. The worst thing is for the class rep to end up as some sort of collection police haranguing parents who don't contribute. Crikey-it's meant to be a positive moment for all not unpleasant!
    I know it is lovely to get personal presents but we are aware that in certain more affluent areas, parents do like to express their gratitude by buying the teacher something and it does become easier if they do just get vouchers- less personal, I know but far more practical.
    However, i'd love to know the school where teachers get £200 plus at the end of the year!! WOW!!!
  20. Jimi_Jimi

    Jimi_Jimi New commenter

    I got 3 raw hens eggs. I don't think the mother likes me...

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