Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't TELL me what to buy you!

So I get home today and The Boy gives me his papers to look over and sign. I ask The Girl if she has any for me and she says yes - she has two. The first is on VERY BRIGHT fluorescent green paper and it informs me of my "three options for the [local school] PTA Holiday Teacher Gift Program." Um...WHAT?! Are you serious? Option 1 is "no participation," option 2 is "individual family participation," and option 3 is to "consolidate and contribute" so someone else can purchase something. Again...are you freaking kidding me? I need you to tell me what to do for my kids' teachers for the holidays? Who the heck are you to tell me such a thing?!

The second paper is filled out by the teachers; it tells me their favorite restaurants, stores, flowers, hobbies, foods, candy...etc. This is the "Holiday Teacher Gift Guide" because, apparently, we parents need help in this department.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I resent all of this. Whether or not I choose to purchase a gift for my kids' teachers for the holidays (or any other time) is entirely up to me. We have come to this place where, for whatever reason, the holiday gift and end of year gift are expected. A gift is just that - a gift. Teachers do not deserve gifts simply because they are teachers. I wish I could find the amazing article I read last year on this subject. I believe it was in Woman's Day. Despite my best search efforts, I am unable to find it now. Regardless, it was a great article about how parents should not feel "forced" into giving gifts to teachers...especially if you or your child is not particularly fond of the teacher. Giving a teacher a gift should be left entirely up to each individual family and should not be pushed. If you want to get together with other moms and purchase a larger gift, ask the class mom; it should not be she who asks you.

Now, before anyone goes bashing me, I will step up and say I am a teacher. It is a tidbit of information I have, until now, kept to myself. I am sharing it now because I don't want a bunch of people telling me I don't know what I'm talking about or that I have no idea how hard it is to be a teacher. I do know how hard it is - and one of the biggest, most meaningful rewards is seeing a student comprehend something he or she didn't when you met.

OK - I'm done now...and feel much better getting that off my chest! Now, maybe some of my readers will understand how I can get so darned busy with work some days and have plenty of time to post others! This past week has been super busy but with Thanksgiving coming, I'll have a few days off to catch up!


  1. OMGosh. I can't believe the nerve.
    You are totally right about this. I get so fed up with this bow down to me I'm a teacher attitude (I'm an education major as well) so I'm allowed to criticize.
    What other profession has people/parents kissing their butts - I mean feet all the time??
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. My mom was a teacher. And principal for years. Pretty much her whole Christmas tree is filled with ornaments she's been given over the years. I know for her what's important is the spirit behind the gift... whether it's a home-made ornament, or some cookies or a gift certificate. And it's by NO MEANS expected. That's disgusting.

  3. Wow that's pretty ballsy!! If I do anything for the teachers, I do ball point pens and sticky notes. I figured they can always use those and I don't need a list of their wants/likes either!! sheesh!!


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