Can we share ideas for teacher gifts?

(45 Posts)
DewDr0p Tue 20-Nov-12 11:24:10

I like to get them a little something and include the TAs in that too. With 3 dcs at school now (and one being taught by a job share too!) that means 8 pressies to buy! So I need to keep the unit cost down. Running out of ideas as one of the teachers has taught one or other of them for 4 out of the past 5 years!

In the past I have done wine, pretty tealight holders, personalised notebooks from Funky Pigeon, real ale for the male teacher. Last year I got them all handwarmers (picked up in a sale for about £4 each).

I try to steer clear of chocolates usually as I am guessing they get tons of it (dm was a teacher and she always did!)

Would love to hear any other ideas.

jeee Tue 20-Nov-12 11:32:04

I have four children, who all have at least one teacher + 2 TAs. I get a cheap box of chocolates (e.g. half-price After Eights), and the children write a christmas card thanking all their teachers. I think chocolate's fine - it's just a token.

If you do want to do more though, the best idea I've heard of (though I can't be bothered to do this) was the parent who got her children to draw pictures which she then put in poundland frames. Cheap, but personal. And too time consuming for me.

I reckon that any teacher who'd give preference to a child because of fancy presents doesn't deserve a gift.

I do (occasionally) buy better presents if I think a teacher has gone beyond their job description.

DewDr0p Tue 20-Nov-12 11:53:41

I don't buy the gifts in the hope that my dcs will get preferential treatment! shock I just think they all work hard and want to show that I appreciate that.

3bunnies Tue 20-Nov-12 11:55:35

We make christmas tree decorations for them. They are well recieved. For me I guess they are small, they can be brought out each year to remind the teacher of my dc (maybe not always a bonus!), but don't gather dust the rest of the year, and the dc enjoy making them. Doing button snowmen + trees this year. Usually give them a few truffles too.

insanityscratching Tue 20-Nov-12 12:09:48

Dd makes something so like 3 bunnies she's doing a tree decoration this year and she'll stick it to a Costa coffee gift card. She did [[ http://www.thebubbleemporium.co.uk/blog/read_7516/soap-and-flannel-reindeers.html these]] one year that her teacher loved (it had a lush soap in)

insanityscratching Tue 20-Nov-12 12:10:42

these link fail blush

jeee Tue 20-Nov-12 12:53:48

Sorry, DewDr0p, I wasn't trying to suggest that you were bribing the teachers - although reading my post I can see that's what it sounds like. I was attempting to justify my tiny presents, which I only buy so that my children aren't the only ones going in empty handed on the last day of term.

carrie74 Tue 20-Nov-12 12:56:41

Done in the past, and doing again this year: asking for donations from all parents in year (I put it out on a FB group that was set up) should they want to go in on a joint present. As much or as little as they want to spend. It's looking to be 2 parents per class spreading the news and taking responsibility (people usually chuck in £5 or £10). All donations will be split across teachers and TAs. I have quite a few teacher friends and they all say they'd LOVE their parents to do this rather than receiving a variation of 30 boxes of chocs / Best Teacher stuff etc.

But none of teacher friends say they expect anything, and are grateful for any gifts - it's the thought that counts.

jeee Tue 20-Nov-12 13:00:52

carrie74, the thing is, £5 a head ends up as £20 for me. A box of chocolates per class is at most £6. And if I remember to go to poundland and don't eat the chocolates before the end of term it's only £4. It's all very well to say parents can give as little as they want, but in practice it doesn't work like that.

Asinine Tue 20-Nov-12 13:06:01

I don't get them anything. The younger dcs sometimes want to write a card with a message about what they enjoy about being in their class, or what they like about the teacher.

When I was at school in Scotland 70s/80s no one ever brought in presents for the teacher. Is it a recent thing here or has it always been like this?

I worry about families whose finances are stretched feeling social pressure to buy gifts when they cant afford it.

carrie74 Tue 20-Nov-12 13:09:22

Fair enough, Jeee smile horses for courses etc. Personally, I wouldn't blink if people wanted to donate £1 or £20 (well, I'd be pretty surprised if someone wanted to donate that much lol). I haven't always been organised enough to sort this out (nor have any other parents initiated it), and last year took in a tin of biscuits for each class. It's just in my youngest's class, we had 1 teacher take ML, 1 FT TA, the ML cover teacher and 1 PT TA (unpaid). So if I took in biscuits, the teacher on ML gets nothing (and I really value how she's helped us so far this year). I also struggle to find time to get to shops as it is around Xmas (work 4 days, and live and work rurally), so a collection works brilliantly for our area where lots of parents are in the same boat.

DewDr0p Tue 20-Nov-12 13:16:00

Sorry Jeee I now think I was sounding overly touchy! grin

I should add that when DM was still teaching, she appreciated the sentiment behind any gift the most, especially if it was obvious the child had helped make/choose it.

And no I don't think anyone should feel obliged to buy a present. That wasn't the point of this thread! Just to share some ideas between those of us who would like to get something.

Badvocsanta Tue 20-Nov-12 13:23:31

Just been on the whittards website and they have a free hamper with a £45 spend.
So I got sil, 2 teachers and TA gifts and a lovely hamper for ME!
I will out their choc, marshmallows and mini biscuits ina cellophane bag and tie it with Xmas ribbon.
Got dh some hot choc and coffee too.

Badvocsanta Tue 20-Nov-12 13:23:56

Their hot choc rather!

anja1cam Tue 20-Nov-12 13:25:36

So far my DDs have written cards and recently we taped a pretty Christmas chocolate to it. I agree with Asinine though. If DD decrees we need a present then I make sure it is just a small token (I think they cost 75p/1£)

I did not go to school in UK but it was not done (by my parents) at my school 70s/80s. I can imagine that / it is quite possible others did but I never found out/noticed! AFAIK it is a more recent thing here too. There are plenty of mumsnet discussions on this every summer too!

For the end of year - last summer - I baked some biscuits and sent in a big tin for the staffroom, and that went down really well, I got comments back in person. It was a way of getting round the problem of 'who to include' - one DD has lots of classroom assistants, some are there for just one pupil but deal with the class as well of course and get mentioned a lot by DD, and the other DD was in pre-school and there were different teachers / assistants and helpful peripheral staff involved all over the place. The main named class teachers got cards (as decided by DD) and every one else got a share of the biscuits :-)

So might stick with that from now on.... I think I can squeeze in one evening of baking, that's all it takes.

Asinine Tue 20-Nov-12 13:28:30

Sorry my post was a bit miserable, but I thought it might help someone to feel ok about not sending anything in. It's lovely if people want to and can afford it. If I was doing it I'd send nice coffee and tea for the staffroom.

BalloonSlayer Tue 20-Nov-12 13:39:31

Funny how views differ. jeee thinks the parent "who got her children to draw pictures which she then put in poundland frames" had the best idea ever, I think that's the WORST idea ever. grin It sounds like the most PFB thing I've ever heard, imagine being the teacher presented with some ghastly scrawl - in a bloody FRAME! Did the parent seriously think the teacher would hang it on his/her wall?

From experience I have found that a large tin of chocolates/biscuits/other delicious edibles brought in a couple of weeks before the end of term, to go in the staffroom always goes down well because people can have a chocolate with their coffee or lunch for as long as the box lasts. Make sure there is a big un-fall-offable sticker on the lid which says "With many thanks, The SoandSos" - then everyone knows it was from you.

YummmyMummy Tue 20-Nov-12 14:24:33

I tend to go a bit overboard but I really adore our teachers, nursery staff and extra curricular coaches. This year I've got the nursery staff (about 15 of them, we don't have key workers, just whoever is in on the day and I have 3 children in nursery) a cupcake each from the local facebooky type business down the road. She makes lovely cakes and I prefer to support local businesses where I can. I've also got them all a lipgloss from next (picked up in the summer sale). Have 4 teachers/ta's to buy for so they have all had a pack of 2 cupcakes and also a lovely mug each (think classy stoneware, not worlds best teacher!). Finally the kids rugbytots coaches will be getting cupcakes to (what on earth do you buy for men) but they are rugby themed!? They might think they're pants but they were in my budget and who doesnt like cake. I've probably spent about £100 in total but have covered a lot of people and they're all people who really help and support my family so I love to show them that we appreciate them. Per person it probably isn't a lot so never feels to extravagant on one person iykwim.

YummmyMummy Tue 20-Nov-12 14:25:47

Oh and Balloonslayer. Totally agree. That sounds horrendous. I might love my childs scribbles (not really, they mostly end up in the bin) but I don't expect a staff member to!

PiedWagtail Tue 20-Nov-12 14:26:20

wine, or this year have bought them Christmas tree decorations smile The kids will draw/write cards for them too.

Halfling Tue 20-Nov-12 14:32:00

This year I have bought scarves on sale (I think £3 each) from H&M. Mostly it is chocolates or gourmet jams etc.

piprabbit Tue 20-Nov-12 14:34:52

I'm getting wine for the teachers and TAs this year. I've never gone down the wine route before with DDs teachers - but I figure that DS's teacher is going to need and deserve a large glass of something nice having coped with my DS and 22 classmates for his first term at school. I know I do and I only have the two to organise.

doglover Tue 20-Nov-12 14:37:17

As a teacher, I genuinely don't expect anything. If I could choose (!) though, I'd opt for wine , biscuits or chocolates. Pet hates of mine - and my colleagues - are 'smellies', mugs, photos, etc. The tin of biscuits/chocs for the staffroom is an EXCELLENT idea. Yuckk to the pictures in frames, I'm afraid! We really don't judge children/parents by their giving, or not, of gifts.

Cahooots Tue 20-Nov-12 14:37:38

I am not getting any teachers any presents but I will thank them and send thank you notes at appropriate times.

Every time I've seen one of these threads in the past I've said something along the lines of 'I'm a teacher, no presents required, cards are lovely because they can be kept.' Which is true. But now I have DD and she's at nursery and every time I see a giant box of chocolates I think, 'oh her key worker would like that!' or 'maybe I should get a couple to share among the staff'-I'm so bloody grateful to these saints who keep her happy and entertained and educated and clean and fed while I'm at work, there is no present big enough IMO!

MrsJohnDeere Tue 20-Nov-12 14:49:25

I get either a nice box of biscuits in a tin, or panettone, or wine (the latter only if I know that they're keen drinkers). Almost all of the teachers and teaching assistants we give to have teenage sons so I'm confdent that anything edible will get eaten by someone.

Pyrrah Thu 29-Nov-12 22:59:34

I would imagine that things that can be eaten, drunk or regifted go down best!

jojane Fri 30-Nov-12 00:15:03

Last Xmas I gave the teacher, head teacher an 3 class TAs a funky pen from wilkinsons and a chocolate. Pens were £1 for 6 I think and had different cupcake patterns on. Teachers always need pens don't they? Figured wasn't even more chocolate or another mug or coaster to find room for but something practical and pretty

AnitaManeater Fri 07-Dec-12 08:01:17

The worst teacher gift I have seen is a keyholder with 'reasons for teaching - Easter hols, Christmas hols and Summer break' in a twee shabby chic style. Horrible and it suggests that the teachers actually down tools during this time!

Might go for the Costa Coffee voucher this year.

Goofygoober79 Mon 10-Dec-12 11:38:59

I'm a teacher. I'd like PENS! Most teachers spend a fortune on pens because they can't get them from school / school won't give them free. So, get the teacher some nice pens. Not cheap ones! Bic biros are great - green, blue, red, black combos. Or some nice pens in the colour that your children's books are marked with - that would be thoughtful. But it has to be Bic / Stabilo / Staedtler - good pens!

Otherwise, get them whiteboard pens, paracetemol or chocolate.

tristessed Mon 10-Dec-12 18:44:47

at my dds school we all pay around £20 (10 for teacher, 5 each for TAs) and the money is spent on John Lewis vouchers. I know if I were a teacher I would rather treat myself to something I really want than get 30 boxes of chocs/ framed scribbles/ tacky keyrings etc!

spookysal Mon 10-Dec-12 19:01:49

I was going to get some soaps from Lush but might just tape a Lindt chocolate inside the card now I've read this

Tactifer Thu 20-Dec-12 12:24:20

Bit late for a suggestion now, but for those of you who are in a last minute panic perhaps not! As a teacher, the one gift I appreciate above anything else is a simple, genuine note of thanks, especially if it comes from the student. We spend much time, effort and emotion during the time the students are with us, and, at the end of it, they often disappear off into the world and you never know how much you are appreciated (if at all!) Remember - positive feedback motivates teachers as much as it does the pupils! We can buy chocs, wine, smellies etc, but not thanks.

chandellina Thu 20-Dec-12 20:33:37

How do you pass on the presents? I only do the school run once a week for my reception son and don't really know the TAs by name and scarcely by sight.

SecretSantaMN202 Thu 20-Dec-12 21:00:57

As a teacher I'm delighted to receive any gift that has been chosen for me-wine, chocolates, smellies, slippers, photoframe etc. but my favourites (other than cards/notes/emails of thanks) over the past decade+ have been necklaces chosen by children who notice I always wear long necklaces, and one of those fab friction pens in the colour I marked in.

My own DCs will take in a gift if they ask to, but for the adults who are special to them. DC1 it was the teacher (who received a bag large enough for exercise books so she doesn't have to use a shopping bag anymore <observant offspring cares about these things> whereas DC2 has limited interaction with the nursery teacher-the nursery nurse is the adult of choice and so she was given a small thing of smellies because DC1 thinks everyone does/should like bubbles in their baths.

makemineapinot Fri 21-Dec-12 00:03:48

I'm a teacher and work in a really deprived area teaching infants. Got a gift card yesterday from one wee boy (god knows where he got it from) which he gave as a card with a bit on the back to stick to the wall! He was so pleased he could give me something as he comes from a very hard homelife. I honestly don't expect anything but would love chocs, wine etc if anyone was buying me a gift! Have my own children and also get so many pictures given to me at school that I don't think I'd really want a frame with a picture in it! Sorry... My own kids have taken in wine for their teachers and a big box of chocs for the staff room last week so they had time to enjoy them!

makemineapinot Fri 21-Dec-12 00:05:34

Also I only I've presents when they are deserved!! DS had a dreadful teacher a few years ago and I don't buy her anything!

jojane Fri 21-Dec-12 12:02:54

Well gave in my presents today - cake pops that look like Xmas puddings and some pens with hearts and flowers on

clarasebal Wed 18-Sep-13 19:13:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CaptainSweatPants Wed 18-Sep-13 19:14:46

Raising a zombie thread to advertise

Crutchlow35 Wed 18-Sep-13 19:19:41

Haha!

enjolraslove Thu 19-Sep-13 09:24:15

As a teacher I honestly would say a note/card with a message (not just happy Xmas) about why you like me being your teacher etc is the best thing ever. I keep them all and they still make me cry. Probably one of the first things I would save if the house was burning down type thing.
After that - wine please or gift vouchers are lovely. But really don't worry aside from the notes I can't remember who gave stuff or didn't at all and certainly don't care.

ELR Thu 19-Sep-13 10:43:58

We do class collection, suggested donation of £5 last year teacher got a kindle, hand cream, wine and chocs and TA's got sanctuary gift sets, wine and chocs.
Will do the same again this year too but will prob get top shop vouchers as teacher quite young.
Things I have done in the past:
nice hand cream
Nice umbrella
Posh notebook and pen
Canvas tote bag from hobbs got massive discount due to a friend working there so only paid £4.50 instead of £15

But like others say its the thought that counts.

MERLYPUSS Thu 19-Sep-13 11:11:05

We did a whip round for end of year and gave tokens for a well known shopping centre. We also got a large print Julia Donaldson book from the old class to the new class for teacher to read. I organised a scrap book for the teacher with drawings and thankyou letters from each child. Also photos of days out of the class and when the school won the borough young art award presented by the mayor. (she is head of art) She can chuck it out if it's too twee.

DMCT Thu 19-Sep-13 11:32:47

Wine wine wine - always good. I taught before i had ds1, and wine was great to get. i now buy teachers and ta's a bottle of wine each.

Other nice things are some nice boxes of biscuits from m&s - they are usually on offer in the coming months :-)

Sometimes ive sent in a tray of pastries for the staff to eat at break, not a good idea too close to xmas though as the staff room is usually overflowing with choc.

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