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View Full Version : A little OT - Do you buy gifts for all your child's teachers?


CrzyforPiglet
09-06-2008, 10:23 PM
I love all the gift idea threads and can't wait to get started for the holidays but like most folks we are on a strict budget this year and really have to watch every penny. In addition to our buying for our families, my 3yo son just started preschool this year. The way the room is set up there are 4 teachers in the room for 28 children but my son doesn't have an assigned teacher - they rotate on bathroom duties and small group time. Should I get a small gift for each teacher or just the one he seems most attached to? I don't want anyone to feel left out so I'm thinking I should get something for each of them but I really need to keep costs down. Would I offend his teachers buy just giving a $5.00 gift card and maybe a homemade treat or small candy? This is all new to me - please help!

kadesha
09-06-2008, 10:25 PM
I would get them all a little something. I have been an assistant in a classroom and I did feel a little left out when the teacher got a lot of gifts. Everyone in the classroom is doing a lot of work with the kids, it's good to feel appreciated! :)

daisyduck123
09-06-2008, 10:33 PM
Would I offend his teachers buy just giving a $5.00 gift card and maybe a homemade treat or small candy? This is all new to me - please help!

:thumbsup2
A $5.00 gift card for each teacher is exactly what I was going to suggest before I even finished reading your post. The gift cards will be greatly appreciated. I teach 1st grade & really appreciate a gift card in any amount...even the $5.00 ones.

I would just skip the candy...the teachers will get PLENTY of that anyway.

PrincessTanyuhKaypoo
09-06-2008, 11:06 PM
I'm a teacher's aide at a small school and I know we all appreciate any sort of gift we receive from our students. Also I think it would go over better with the 4 teacher's if everyone received the same type of gift. HTH!

luvsgrumpy
09-06-2008, 11:09 PM
I think that idea is great also. Not a teacher, but a parent of three. For Christmas at school, we give the kids elementary school homeroom teachers a big plate of homemade cookies (I know that's taboo to some but I've had at least one student in the same school now for 10 years, they all know our family well and are comfortable with food from us) and to all their "special subject" teachers as well as all the boys MS teachers, we just make a big batch of the Hershey kiss, M&M, pretzel treats and give each teacher/secretary/principal/etc. a little goodie bag of them. That way they are all remembered and it costs me pennies.

CarrieR
09-06-2008, 11:11 PM
Yep... I'd do something small for each teacher. Or, something that could be shared (like a plate of cookies,) but that can be hard to pull off.

Some good 'small' cards are Starbucks or something similar -- with something like Applebees, you have to put a decent amount towards it to use it. I also had a parent give us cute ornaments one year... that was fun and different.

It's really hard as an assistant (who usually does less at planning, etc, but just as much in the classroom and with the kids) to get left out constantly... just speaking as someone who's worked in daycares and preschools for most of her adult life. :)

disykat
09-06-2008, 11:12 PM
I'm a teacher and I'd say that in our area, less than 20% of the kids give gifts. I thought maybe that had changed while I was out of the workforce based on what I heard on the DIS, but I've been back to work for a few years and it's still the same.

In general, my kids don't give gifts to their teachers either - although we have given some end of the year presents to teachers they had a special connection with. My kids generally just made cards for them at Christmas, Valentine's Day, and the end of year. As a teacher, I prefer support in other ways (volunteering etc.) so that's what I've always done for my kid's teachers.

lisadr
09-06-2008, 11:13 PM
Not a teacher, but sharing an idea. I too was on a budget when my DD was in preschool(and still on a budget actually:laughing: ) and she had a teacher, 2 aides, and her plus program teacher. So I purchasedpretty photo frames from A.C. Moore(a craft store-don't know if you have one by you) each week with the 40% off coupon and gave them. The frames were clear glass with pressed flowers between surrounding the place for the photo-very pretty. I paid $5 (give or take a few cents) for each one. I was worried that it would be looked at as cheap or insignificant, but every one mentioned them to me later on, saying how much they liked them, or they put their childrens' picture in them and have them in their living room, bedroom etc. So it went over pretty well:)

Just an idea.;)

PaulaSue
09-06-2008, 11:13 PM
I love all the gift idea threads and can't wait to get started for the holidays but like most folks we are on a strict budget this year and really have to watch every penny. In addition to our buying for our families, my 3yo son just started preschool this year. The way the room is set up there are 4 teachers in the room for 28 children but my son doesn't have an assigned teacher - they rotate on bathroom duties and small group time. Should I get a small gift for each teacher or just the one he seems most attached to? I don't want anyone to feel left out so I'm thinking I should get something for each of them but I really need to keep costs down. Would I offend his teachers buy just giving a $5.00 gift card and maybe a homemade treat or small candy? This is all new to me - please help!

:thumbsup2 Sounds Great to me!

cinnamon-sugah
09-06-2008, 11:19 PM
It's really hard as an assistant (who usually does less at planning, etc, but just as much in the classroom and with the kids) to get left out constantly... just speaking as someone who's worked in daycares and preschools for most of her adult life. :)


I agree. I would either get them all the same thing or forgo it entirely. I am an assistant in a self contained classroom and spend a lot of one on one time with the kids. Last Christmas, one of the moms got the lead teacher a VERY nice bottle of wine and candelabra and got me a tube of dollar store M&M's. While I did appreciate the thought, I have to admit that my feelings were hurt.

It's A Happy Day
09-06-2008, 11:46 PM
I love all the gift idea threads and can't wait to get started for the holidays but like most folks we are on a strict budget this year and really have to watch every penny. In addition to our buying for our families, my 3yo son just started preschool this year. The way the room is set up there are 4 teachers in the room for 28 children but my son doesn't have an assigned teacher - they rotate on bathroom duties and small group time. Should I get a small gift for each teacher or just the one he seems most attached to? I don't want anyone to feel left out so I'm thinking I should get something for each of them but I really need to keep costs down. Would I offend his teachers buy just giving a $5.00 gift card and maybe a homemade treat or small candy? This is all new to me - please help!

That sounds like a great idea! I did $5 gift cards for dunkin donuts a couple times because I figure everyone can find something from a beverage to a snack there.

You could also do a coffee/muffin/bagel basket for everyone instead of seperate presents or something like that ~ fruit arrangement.

I have done a little snack bag or emergency lunch for teachers ~ $1 store mug (not teacher themed, just a solid color), cup of soup, crackers, maybe some kisses or some kind of chocolate goody & a little note of thanks for the teacher(s). Mug, coffee singles, cookies is another combo I did. Then if they are in a rush at home they have a snack at school for them.

Grumpy'sWife4Ever
09-07-2008, 12:03 AM
I am an assistant, and while I always do a little something for all the kids in my class I never expect anything in return as our poverty rate is pretty high. However, I have been surprised with flowers, gift cards....and my favorite things of all are the cards the kids make for me by hand. I have kept each and every one.
That said, every year I take my boys (DD is not in school yet) shopping and allow them to pick out an ornament for their teacher. Nothing expensive, usually less than $5, but they try to find something that follows their teacher's interests - if they like dogs or certain colors or are outdoorsy, we work to find the right ornament. We also send a small box of chocolates (the little $1 Whitmans sampler) and a card. If they have assistants in their rooms we do the same for them. We also make sure to do something special for the boys' bus driver - she has been a constant in their lives since each of them started kindergarten! Last year she sent a "thank you" card explaining that each year she dated the ornaments the boys gave her and put their names on them, so she thinks about them every year when she is decorating her tree. I thought that was very sweet! :)

ptlycloudy
09-07-2008, 01:35 AM
I definately have this problem. My dd's preschool has one main teacher and 10 aides that rotate on different days. She goes just 2 days a week but I am not sure how I would handle this.

Would it be acceptable to make a pizza/salad day and bring in lunch for everyone? I am not sure what else to do with so many. But at least my daughter can participate and make cards for the ones who are there the last day before the holidays.

DVCBELLE
09-07-2008, 02:22 AM
I agree it is so hard to decide who to buy for and how much to spend - I WISH I could do a gift card for everyone but between my kids we have upwards of 10 teachers to buy for. I CAN'T buy that many gift cards.

So they will have to be happy with my B&BW antibacterial handsoap and notepads....I do what I can!

Now last year I won favorite mom b/c I went to the Vera Bradley outlet sale and got totes for $7 each - then at the end of the year EVERYONE got Vera Bradley - I wish I had bought more - I will this year!!

Crystal0608
09-07-2008, 07:11 AM
I'm an odd ball, but I don't give gift cards usually. I do get a gift for every teacher including extraciriculars, library, speech, previous year favorite teachers, usually about 20 gifts not including classmate gifts totalling about 45 for 2 classes, so I'd probably get each one something, even if small. One thing I do is save ink cartridges all year from work. I turn them to Office Depot in at BTS time & at at Christmas & end of school year. $3 for each adds up. I also do the B&BW big June sale, big bottles are $3 & small bottles are $1.

Let see, in preschool (only 2 teachers) they got movie passes, and ice cream gc since I'd seen them at the theater. Another year daycare/dance got a speciality peach or tangerine candy that my mamas work orders in bulk every year for gifts, so she paid extra to add to the order and got bulk pricing. That went over really well actually, a teacher said its a favorite but she can't find it in stores. Another year all the teachers got some nice winter gloves, from Belks with those awesome $10 off $10 coupons. Another, I actually did $10/$15 Walmart gc's, but my mama helped out with that. I've done the Target merci chocolates/B&BW and the 1.00 big hershey kiss for all other teachers.. Last year I did the main 4 teachers baskets w/ big bottles of B&BW, snacks, and school supplies & all others small holiday cellophane bags with small bottle of B&BW, pack of post-it notes, 1 pen, 1 highlighter, & a few kisses. I ask the kids questions about what the teacher drinks or eats in classes, usually they say "I don't know" but last year dd noticed the little green tea packets used by her asst. teacher so I added those to a basket. Each also gets a photo card of my kids with a note from them. For classmates this year, I hit the 75% section at Tarjay, last year I did Walgreens sale activity pads (6/$1), year b-4 was .33 hotwheels from Walgreeens for the boys & .50 clearance bracelets for the girls.

An_Island_Girl
09-07-2008, 07:58 AM
We had this "problem" in my DD4 preschool class last year too. I organized a class gift for each of the teachers, and parents sent me what ever they could afford. Some families sent in $10 others $50, what ever they would have spent on thier own. Any and all donations were lumped together and divided by the number of teachers so that each teacher got an equal amount given to them.
We decided on local chamber of commerce gift certificates that can be used in any of the 250+ local stores & restaraunts that participate.

I used the class e-mail directory and and sent out a quick letter explaining how the teachers really do not need 15 candles, mugs or 15 bags of candy each holiday, so any parents that wished to participate in our class gift were more than welcome to. I made a note to have all payments received by XX date, and we presented the teachers with their gifts the afternoon of the "Holiday Festival".

LisaInNc
09-07-2008, 08:35 AM
I guess I am in the minority but I give teacher gifts and I usually give the teacher a 50.00 gift card to one of the restaurants in town.

My feeling is this person spends more time with my DD than anyone else besides me, during the day. She is a huge influence on her. I want to show my appreciation for taking such good care of my precious child.

I have a lot of gifts that I have to give over the holidays but this is one that I truly want to give. I have the greatest admiration and respect for teachers, it's a job I could never do! They are America's true unsung heroes.

If I am going to skimp on a gift, I skimp on someone else.

This year it's a little different my DD is in public shcool (not my choice her private school closed) and there is a teacher and an aid in the classroom. I guess I will split it and give 25.00 to each of them and then I might go the 5.00 gift card route for the gym teacher, the gifted teacher, the media
center teacher etc.

kadesha
09-07-2008, 08:40 AM
I am an assistant, and while I always do a little something for all the kids in my class I never expect anything in return as our poverty rate is pretty high. However, I have been surprised with flowers, gift cards....and my favorite things of all are the cards the kids make for me by hand. I have kept each and every one.
That said, every year I take my boys (DD is not in school yet) shopping and allow them to pick out an ornament for their teacher. Nothing expensive, usually less than $5, but they try to find something that follows their teacher's interests - if they like dogs or certain colors or are outdoorsy, we work to find the right ornament. We also send a small box of chocolates (the little $1 Whitmans sampler) and a card. If they have assistants in their rooms we do the same for them. We also make sure to do something special for the boys' bus driver - she has been a constant in their lives since each of them started kindergarten! Last year she sent a "thank you" card explaining that each year she dated the ornaments the boys gave her and put their names on them, so she thinks about them every year when she is decorating her tree. I thought that was very sweet! :)

I have ALWAYS loved getting ornaments! It's also one of my favorite gifts to receive. It's neat decorating the tree every year and having a memory of past students when I hang their ornament on the tree.

I_Know_You2!
09-07-2008, 08:46 AM
No. I've never seen the need to tip a teacher. I don't get them for serving the popluation I serve. Just as necessary and important to the community.

jckdisneybound
09-07-2008, 09:44 AM
I do small $5 gift cards for her specials teacher's (there's 6) and usually $25 gift card to a local restaurant for her teacher.

Aliceacc
09-07-2008, 11:27 AM
As a high school teacher, it's pretty rare that I receive gifts from my kids; they simply have too many teachers.

What some parents do is to send a basket of goodies to the faculty room with "Merry Christmas from the Smith Family" on it. Everyone gets to enjoy it, and the Smiths don't break the budget on teacher gifts.

I still buy for each of the teachers and coaches and the bus driver though.

leagirl12
09-07-2008, 12:13 PM
When my two were in preschool I would do a basket full of goodies for all the teachers to enjoy. They seemed to like it and even asked if I would be bringing it by after my kids had moved on to big school....LOL

spaceacewannabe
09-07-2008, 03:03 PM
I agree it is so hard to decide who to buy for and how much to spend - I WISH I could do a gift card for everyone but between my kids we have upwards of 10 teachers to buy for. I CAN'T buy that many gift cards.

So they will have to be happy with my B&BW antibacterial handsoap and notepads....I do what I can!

Now last year I won favorite mom b/c I went to the Vera Bradley outlet sale and got totes for $7 each - then at the end of the year EVERYONE got Vera Bradley - I wish I had bought more - I will this year!!

I am a teacher and I was going to suggest B&BW handsoap as a cheaper (and very practical!) alternative.

kellia
09-07-2008, 04:31 PM
Last year when my twins were in pre-k, they had 4 teachers (1 main + 3 assistants). I saved my "Mypoints" and gave them each a $10 gift card to Target.

How about a card for a Blockbuster rental and a bag of popcorn?

Dd is in Middle School and there is no way I could give all of them a gift, but was going to at least do a card and candy or something last year. Dd however wouldn't even give them a card! She said that is considered being a brown noser in MS. SIGH.....

pakhowe
09-07-2008, 04:58 PM
I would usually buy a book for the school library and have my kids make a card to the teacher saying we donated it in their name. A couple of times my kids had new teachers so we bought a book to help build up their classroom library. I love the idea of giving something that I know the teachers and students will use and enjoy for years to come.

sunshine1178
09-07-2008, 06:25 PM
I would usually buy a book for the school library and have my kids make a card to the teacher saying we donated it in their name. A couple of times my kids had new teachers so we bought a book to help build up their classroom library. I love the idea of giving something that I know the teachers and students will use and enjoy for years to come.

I think that that is a great idea! Even a library that seems well-stocked needs to buy the newest titles!

When my son was in a daycare/preschool setting last year, he had 4 rotating teachers, so I got them each a Clinique lip gloss and a tiny bottle of Happy perfume. I also got the cook the same thing, since she had to deal with my son's food allergies for two snacks and lunch every day! I also got a box of Frango Mints from Macys (formerly Marshall Fields) for the teacher's lounge, to cover the "floating" teachers whom I had only seen in his room once or twice.

Tiffany_MommyOf3
09-07-2008, 06:29 PM
I'd either bring something the class can use or a platter of baked goodies for them to share.

My sons K teacher made it easy for us this year - she's a MAJOR GA Bulldogs fan... even has a tattoo on her foot LOL. Anyways, shes definitely getting something Bulldogs

carj
09-07-2008, 06:50 PM
If they are in a class with a teacher and an aide, I generally give them the same gift. (Usually a $15 gift card each)

This year my daughter has a Kindergarten teacher and my son has 2 teachers. (Those 3 teachers will get a $15-$25 gift card to Target or I will contribute if a class gift is organized.) They also have the following teachers together; PE, PE aide, computer, art, music, science lab. (These teachers will get a $5-10 gift card from both kids to Sonic or Starbuck, depending on if I know their preference.)

I am a teacher too and gifts are definitely not necessary but are certainly appreciated. I wouldn't feel obligated to give your child's teacher a gift if that is not your preference. :goodvibes

JudithM
09-07-2008, 06:57 PM
I have been a substitute teacher in our local public schools for many years. A few times I have been in a long term position at middle schools at Christmas time & have received gifts. I enjoy decorating at Christmas time each year with some of the gifts I have received - some students knew I collected snowmen, angels, Santas, etc. My husband & I have also really enjoyed homemade cookies & other goodies; one year I was greatful for those goodies because I didn't have time to bake :). I have also used the hand lotions & other items from Bath & Body Works that I was given along with the $5 gift cards like to Starbucks & other local places.

3mickeymom
09-08-2008, 11:14 AM
In our school, the class mom(who is assigned by the school)takes up a collection. Everyone contributes what they can and the card is signed from the whole class. Some people give more,some less, but the teacher gets a nice present,usually a gift card, that she can use. When there is more than one teacher in the classroom, the classmom asks how the money is to be distributed between the teachers. A few children give their own gifts. I appreciated the collections when all three of my boys had more than one teacher. It made things easy and I could give what I could afford. We have also taken up collections for student teachers and the bus driver.