Day 4 – Gifts for N’s teachers or not?

It’s Christmas month!!!

Celebrations have started happening in this part of the world. My son N’s school had their Christmas function last week. The kids sang and danced to a couple of seasonal favourites. One of them is the Kiwi version of Jingle Bells. It reflects celebrating Christmas in the summer months 🙂 This is how it goes –

“Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Christmas in New Zealand on a sunny summer’s day, ah!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to have a Kiwi holiday!” 

The kids had made some calendars for 2013 with artwork made by them at school and gifted them to their parents along with a hand-made card during the event.

I had been thinking of doing something for N’s teachers at school much before this event. I believe teachers work very hard and are super patient human beings (after dealing with one handful brat at home, there is a whole new respect for teachers). And Christmas and New Year is a good occasion, among other days, to show gratitude.

But the big question is what should be given to the teachers. I was initially thinking a card, with what N wants to say, to each teacher. He has started writing quite a bit and so he can write some of it himself and I can help him with the rest. And along with that some cookies baked at home, maybe 2 kinds of cookies. But then I discussed this with a couple of girl friends and they expressed their views about gifting to teachers. And that discussion made me think (girl friends are good for the soul I tell you)!

– Do I need to add some gifts (could be cookies, could be anything else) or will a card be just enough?

– What is the aim of this? Teaching N to be thankful or letting the teachers know we (S, N and I) are grateful for what they do?

– If I do this, will it affect the teacher’s relationship with N? In what way? Good or bad?

I am still debating about what to do. In the end I will do what I am comfortable with and makes sense to me. Just that, I am waiting for that moment when things just go “Click” and you know what you want to do 🙂

But I would love to know, what do you fellow bloggers do? Do you gift the teachers at your child’s school at any time of the year? If yes, why and what? If not, why not? If there is a teacher amongst us I would so love to hear your views!!

This post is part of Day 4 of the Marathon Blogging December 2012 event.


27 thoughts on “Day 4 – Gifts for N’s teachers or not?

  1. As a teacher, I find cars and gifts to be really precious. But I do not expect them. My very favorite gifts (if given) are hand written cards/letters. I am a sucker for any baked snack, especially if the kid helped make it. But my very favorite of all are Christmas ornaments with the name and the year written somewhere on it. It brings back such beautiful memories every year of the class and the child.

    Gift or not, if should affect the relationship between the student in no way at all. Teachers do not expect anything, but it such a blessing to receive a bit of thanks. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views mamacravings!! A teacher’s view point is nice to know 🙂 The card is def going to be there and I am leaning towards adding something along with it. The Christmas ornament idea is cute too! And you deserve a big hug and kiss for being a teacher and taking care of and teaching someone’s kids :))

  2. Hola! I just love waking up to read your sunny posts. I remember when I went to Disneyland many many years ago, they had an Aussie theme in one corner and a Santa in shorts (though it was pretty chilly in CA, the poor actor stuck to his role and spoke in the Aussie accent!)

    As for gifts, whatever it is am sure it’ll be beautifully gift wrapped 🙂

    • Yay, thats nice to hear Meera that my posts brighten people’s mornings 🙂 Apparently there is going to be a Santa run in the next few days here with Santas wearing shorts and running. I so want to be there to click pictures!!

  3. Yay!!! And your post goes up. This issue of gifting teachers is always comething that can confuse the parent. If the school permits then maybe you can gift them cookies, for which your son has helped around. It’ll make him feel the love in gifting. And of course the card. Nothing can be more sweeter for the teacher.

    • N loved the idea of helping me to bake some cookies for his teachers when I talked to him about it. I hope he understands why we are doing this. Maybe another of our talking sessions for that 😉

  4. This was an interesting and thought provoking read Simran, as I have never quite pondered on this before. My takes:
    – Giving an apple to the teacher is an age old practice, so I think gifts per se should not be a problem
    – Cards as you mention should definitely be on the agenda, definitely a keepsake when personally made/written by the child. Maybe a short speech to go with it 🙂 ?

    And LOL on the Christmas jingle, never realized the original version makes no sense in your part of the world :).

    • Yes Aparna, I have heard the Santas here come dressed in red shorts too, coz its too hot to wear pants, lol. Will put up pics of Santa in shorts when I get to see one. Thanks for sharing your view point! Appreciate it!! 🙂

  5. well follow the rule of “when in rome do what the romans do”. if gift giving is acceptable and most parents/kids do that in N’s school then why not but if it’s not a norm then maybe you could just carry cupcakes or other holiday goodies for all the teachers and give them hand made cards?

  6. I think a hand-made card by a child is priceless! Not so much cookies by the mom! Have been through the same dilemna you have, and my child’s school has a strict no-gifting policy to disallow parents to influence teachers. So, I’ve sometimes got N (my N) to give his teacher a lil hand-made something when he LEAVES her class as a thank-you at the end of a year happily spent together.

    • I did that year-end-gift-for-the-teacher along with a card while I was in India when N moved through, day care and nursery/M1. That was nice and the gesture was appreciated by the then teachers. The no-gifting policy is good at times I guess or else some parents might start the I-can-outdo-your-gift thing!

  7. I think hand made cards make a lovely gift of gratitude. Even I have been thinking of gifting R’s teachers something for all the efforts they take. Loved the new jingle version..
    Go ahead with the sure having a creative bone helps in these things..I’ll be at sea to make and gift cards :-0

  8. well as we discussed, I think if I were a teacher I would happily take the hand made card by the child and if words were expressed by the child would be heart felt. I feel the same when my kids write about me in some school essay and i have tears in my eyes. Cookies and gifts will not have as much effect as much as a note with love with words from the child. For so much time the child spends I think the teacher will surely deserve this. Now thinking, i have never done this for my teacher, I should make my children thankful to all those around them who help them. Hmm….this is some trait we Indians lack, sharing and giving thanks and praise. Mostly self centered and not concerned about others around us. Looks like I will end up blogging my thoughts here. Simi, you are a fantastic mom. Miss you for the shortest time we spent together.. that bond is special.

    • Aww , hugs Archie. I miss you too and really want to get back soon and spend more time with my girl friends!! I so look up to you as a mom (just today was going through your post and thinking that). You seriously are one of the amazing women from my secret-list-of-inspirational-moms 😉 Love ya!
      I have always wanted and tried inculcating in N, a sense of being thankful to everybody around us who makes a difference to our lives. Be it the apartment cleaning person, our maid and cook back in India or teachers, neighbours, friends or family. Hopefully someday he shall be able to do that without any prompting from me 🙂 Here’s to mommyhood and raising good human beings!!

  9. I remember baking cakes myself (by the time I was 10-11), making bouquets and cards which were always appreciated. I think a handmade card and bouquet (mine used to be messy) always does the trick! 🙂

  10. Hey Simran, I see you have pretty much made up your mind..I followed you here from your comment and I see we are on the same frquency!!:)
    But I am confused,when does the school year end in NZ? Here the school year ends at Christmas,so,there is no chance of any influence or anything..and anyway,most teachers are really thats good.We love A’s teacher..sometimes I feel,I love her more than even A!LOL!So we have given her occasional treats..during the year..and I have seen other kids bring flowers,cupcakes etc..
    That being said,I was a teacher in another lifetime and little tidbits did brighten my day..I didn’t expect anything,but even a single flower,pressed eagerly in my hand,made me smile!:)

    • 🙂 I love N’s teachers too, they just make life so much better! In NZ formal school with a start and end date starts when the kid turns 5. They can join as soon as they are 5. Till then they are either at home or in day care/kindys (short for kindergarten) but with no structured education mostly. Some kindy’s do a small period of structured learning every day.
      I think I want to do something for his teachers and express my own gratitude in addition to teaching N to be thankful to them 🙂

  11. Hey Simi I think its a lovely idea to encourage Neil to make something on his own to gift his teachers. Why not let him decide the gift Sim? 🙂 Ask him what he would like to make or give them!

    Now that Tanisha has turned old enough to choose & decide, I let her pick her own gifts for her friends – we first talk about what she would like to get her friend – and it makes more sense since she knows them better. We then either go out and shop n pick the ‘right’ gift or I let her make one at home.

    Yes I completely agree with you on the thought that teachers work hard and play a big role in our children’s life, so a little bit of love back as a token of thanks is totally worth it. It could even be just a painting or drawing N makes or a bunch of flowers from your garden…whats more important is to let him be the one to choose the gift 🙂 If you plan to add in a gift to the card like cookies, muffins or cupcakes get N to help you bake it so that he understands that a little bit effort to make someone happy is a good thing 🙂 Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look perfect, I’m sure any teacher will love just seeing that her student took that effort for them! And yeah, in a way by baking or adding in your efforts too to the gift you are also saying your own “thank you-s” to those teachers who care and guide N all year long.

    I feel one thing every mom should teach her child is that its good to express love and show thanks to others who touch your lives – whether there is an occasion for it or not. I love the way your raise N and no wonder like you he is already is a very caring person 🙂 I’m sure you will both have fun planning & making the gifts special! 🙂 Enjoy the season of giving! ❤ PS: Miss u tons!!


  12. I’ve been doing a card along with giftcard for Christmas at my son’s preschool. And then over teacher appreciation week which usually is somewhere in March-April we do small goodies each day of the week just to let the teachers know how much we appreciate their job.

What do you think? I would love to know.

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