Giving Gifts to Teachers

by Emily on December 15, 2011

As the semester winds down at schools throughout the country and both students, teachers and parents are preparing for a winter break, you may be wondering should I give my child’s teacher a holiday gift and if so what should I get them?  During this time, many schools will send out notices to parents and guardians about the gift policy. There may be a class parent, who is heading up a collection for a holiday gift for the classroom teacher.  Many parents wonder if they should give gifts to their child’s teachers and the motivation for many to give this gift is different. Some parents feel obligated to give their child’s teacher a gift, while others feel it will show appreciation for the role the teacher plays in the child’s life.

Schools who promote having a class parent may be sending letters home with the children or directly to the parents asking for contributions for the teachers gift. The issue is, within each school there is a difference in the wealth status of each family. How much should someone ask another to contribute to a gift in these tough economic times? Some families may be able to afford more than others, and you do not want to feel as if you are out pricing some families from being able to contribute to the gift. Some parents and guardians may want to contribute to the gift for the teacher, but may not be able to give as much as you are asking. If you are the class parent, you need to consider these factors as well as how many children are in a class. Instead of having a specific gift in mind, rather ask for a range of contributions to the gift and give a deadline. Once all the contributions have been collected, and then decide on an appropriate gift given the amount of money available.

Other schools may have a policy in place, where students and parents cannot give the teachers gifts. While others may not have a classroom parent or someone who decides to organize a group gift and allow people to give gifts to the teachers as individuals. You can choose to get your child’s teacher a gift on your own, and ultimately the monetary value of the gift does not matter. I would like to believe that during this season, it is still the thought that counts.  Personally, I think that if I was a teacher I would prefer to receive homemade baked goods or candies over another mug or picture frame that says, “World’s best teacher”.  One blog called Berkeley Parents Network is suggesting to give the teacher supplies necessary to the classroom. Many parents are aware that at the beginning of year school year and sometimes even a semester, teachers dip into their own pockets for supplies that a classroom needs, but is not within a schools budget. There are all sorts of classroom supplies you could purchase, and the teacher not only appreciate this gift, but also helps improving the learning environment for your child.

Whichever side of the coin you come out on for giving gifts to your child’s teacher, make sure it is a purchase that is within your budget this holiday season. Be creative with gift giving, and you will feel that you have showed appreciation towards another while not breaking the bank. Look online at parenting blogs or even teaching blogs for unique and inexpensive ways to give a gift to your child’s teacher. Do not feel pressured to contribute to class gifts if you cannot afford to do so. Politely explain that the expense is not within your means at the current moment, and offer to help or contribute in a way in which you feel comfortable. Gift giving should not be a source of stress, but rather a way to show your appreciation towards another.

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