Getting Schooled in Gift Giving


Our friend Shelley has been teaching grade school for years.  And while she loves her job, as we all know, a teacher’s pay isn’t exactly a king’s ransom. Traditionally, for the winter holidays, the parents would give Shelley and the other teachers gifts – many of which were in the form of gift cards or cash – and were greatly appreciated – particularly around holiday shopping time!

Well, this year the school decided to make a change.  Because some parents were concerned that teachers’ favoritism might be “bought” via monetary holiday gifts, this year the school forbade parents from giving money, and told them they could only give actual gifts with a dollar value of maximum $10.  Not to sound ungrateful, but besides the fact the Shelley has more note cards and scented candles than she knows what to do with, she was really counting on the extra cash she usually got at holiday time.

Was it the right call for the school to equalize the parental gift giving playing field, or should parents be free to give whatever they like to teachers at holiday time?  Tell us what you think!

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3 Responses to “Getting Schooled in Gift Giving”

  1. CelloMom says:

    Our school has a policy that has worked very well for both parents and teachers: the parents pool our holiday gifts. The coordinating parent is versed in discretion. So the teachers receive a monetary gift from “The Parents” in general, and not any one parent in particular. You are welcome to bring an individual gift, as long as its value is less than $15.

  2. Aimee says:

    Does the school really have a problem with teachers accepting gifts in exchange for favoring the children of generous parents, or is the problem cheap parents who don’t want to look bad for not gifting and want to put the kibosh presents for teachers all together?

    A good policy has to address the question at hand. If they have a problem with favoritism towards students who give money or gift cards, the response has to be discipline against those teachers because they are not teaching, not penalizing good teachers who earned the support and generosity of their students and their parents.

  3. Sally says:

    I think I am so tired of someone telling me what or what not to give as a gift. Teachers have been receiving gifts for a couple hundred years, why now is it hard for the other children??? I was a teacher and the gift was appreciated whether it was a picture drawn by one of the kids, or an expensive gift. It is a gift, let the parents decide what they want to give!!

Any Thoughts?

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