Teacher’s gifts: this time I’ve failed….

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Looking back to my 2015 posts I realise it was this time last year that I wrote about my own struggle with teacher’s thank you gifts (see here). In the past we have hand made gifts, carefully sourced plastic free ones and also bought a bulk hamper for all teachers and staff to share.

But this year due to a lack of time and money I have put the brakes on and we will not be giving out thank you gifts. Although my eldest is now at secondary school and doesn’t hand out thank yous, my younger two still have nine teachers and teaching assistants between them.

While I have bought some simple cards for each member of staff, and the girls have personally written in them,I just can’t manage the time (or commit the money) to either making or buying gifts.

Which is something I feel really bad about. Quite a few of the teachers and assistants are personal friends and I know how hard they work to create a very special, caring school environment.

But if I can’t afford to buy the gifts, or even the time to make them, then I’m afraid this is one thing on my ‘Summer to do’ list that will have to slip by. I’ll try and be better organised for Christmas….

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What do you think? Do you make, or buy thank you gifts to hand out at the end of the year? Are you a teacher or TA and do you really appreciate these gifts?

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Do you write Thank Yous?

It must be the back to school vibe that we are currently experiencing in our home that’s making me think about putting pen to paper. The washing and unpacking from holiday is finally finished (blog post to come soon on our amazing car free travels) and the kids are back at school. So in a scholarly way I, too, have put out the pens and paper this morning and have decided to write to a few friends.

Writing Thank Yous

I picked up some gorgeous cards from bookshops in Bath and Corsham to write:

  • A ‘Thank You’ to a lovely friend and her family who let us stay with them at the beginning of our holiday.
  • Another ‘Thank You’ to some dear friends in Holland whom we visited at the end of our trip. After nearly four days of travelling it was lovely to stay in their house and, as my eldest was unwell with a migraine, even better to have a comfy bed to rest in. My friend also presented us with one of the best gifts ever: she had rented a small holiday cottage across the road just for me and hubby to stay in while she had the kids!
  • A ‘Thank You’ to an old school friend and her family.They stayed in our house for a few days while we were away. They left the house even cleaner, she had brought me a gorgeous charity shop dress AND they gave us a gift voucher to eat out at our local favourite pub!

Having had a run of birthdays last month (and my middle daughter’s birthday this weekend) I have also been stockpiling Thank You cards for them to write.

Spending the time hand writing thank you cards this morning has really made me think about the people who have given me something over this past month – be it their time, their hospitality or something more material. I often text people to thank them for doing something for me, ie picking up the kids, hosting a meal or a party, organising a day out. However putting pen to paper somehow has more meaning  and when a friend has looked after us, bought us a gift etc it seems only fitting to spend the time sourcing a card, writing and then posting it.

This term I will really try harder to write more ‘thank you’ notes to friends and family. I may even think about handwriting letters again (!)

Do you still write letters and how do you say ‘thank you’?

(On another related note: I must add to my ‘to do’ list some reviews on TripAdvisor of some of the places we stayed, visited, ate at on holiday – another way of saying ‘thank you’)

Teacher’s Thank You Presents?

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Since my eldest started school in 2006 I’ve seen a big growth in the end-of-year presents for teachers and teaching staff. At this time of year it’s impossible to set foot in any card shop (or even our village post office) without seeing a rack of ‘thank you teacher’ cards and accompanying gifts. While I think it’s a lovely sentiment to say thank you to the people who educate your children I struggle with the idea of presents. It’s not that I don’t think the teachers and TAs aren’t worth a thank you gift. It’s just the type of mass-produced presents that are out there and the pressure I feel as a parent to purchase these gifts.

Some schools have a policy of asking parents to donate a certain amount of money to purchase one larger present for the teacher which is a nice idea but can be a struggle financially. A group of my friends get together every year to make scones and homemade jam for their children’s teachers which is a lovely sentiment – and a joy to eat!

As you would imagine there are whole pinterest boards devoted to these gifts (okay I confess I created one too and at one point was convinced I was going to make loads of apple shaped gift boxes out of plastic bottles). In the US it seems even worse with ‘back to school’ gifts and a whole teacher appreciation week.

In the end I copied what I did last year and created some simple thank you cards online which I wrote with the girls. I also blatantly stole my friend’s idea and made a hamper of tea, coffee and biscuits for the staffroom so that all the staff and teachers who have helped my girls through the years could receive a thank you too.

What are your thoughts on teacher’s presents?

Teachers' thank you