Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Buy the teacher booze.

This year is the first year i've been on the parental end of teacher present buying. I know it is traditional to moan and whine about how you never did it, what's the world coming to and so on, but there is actually no law that says your 4 year old can't like and appreciate his teacher, and in fact, I loved every, single, crappy, or boozy gift I was ever given.
Of course, as a secondary teacher, mine were often less handmade, and more boozy, which helped, but I can honestly say that everything was appreciated. Here are some tips and hints on teacher present buying, from the perspective of a teacher. I'll start with some of the best gifts ever, that I got. You'll note that none of them cost much.
Top Ten gifts received by me, as teacher.
  1. Absolutely best ever gift: a letter from a student thanking me and saying how i'd helped. Also copied to the Head. Thankyou X. 
  2. A huge hunk of cheddar. Probably shoplifted from Morrisons on the way in, and lobbed over with a "Ere you are Miss". Much appreciated by me and the staff party, and a lovely thought from a pupil not much taken with thought for anyone. 
  3. A fridge magnet made by a Year 7 student, consisting of a slab of plastic stuck onto a magnet with "You are my best teacher" written on it in Tippex. I kept this for years until it fell apart. 
  4. Some really large pajamas (my maternity leave co-incided with Xmas) from my form group, along with a note that said "My mum says these will be handy even after pregnancy, because you stay fat and the weight never comes off". 
  5. A sparkly, really, really sparkly pink fake cubic zircona keyring in the shape of a letter "M". Because my name was "Miss". 
  6. Any wine. Really. 
  7. Home made biscuits  wrapped up in paper which had a picture of me on it. Year 7's can be cruel. Yes, my heels were high and my suits severe, but I really didn't think my butt was that big. Biscuits were lovely, I ate them anyway, despite the pictoral evidence,  picture stayed on my wall in class for years. 
  8. Pens. Especially red ones. 
  9. Bath stuff. Yes, I know it's a cliche, but I could keep my bath going for half the year on my Xmas booty and I really appreciated each and every smelly. Although I admit the luminescent ones with no ingredient list went to the PTA raffle. Buy small, cheap, but good and hypo allergenic.
  10. A set of socks to be kept in my drawer because one very observant tutee noticed I always forgot to have spares, and after walking to school from the train station I often had wet feet till break.  Ditto tights.
So, you see, nowt over a fiver, and the top gift was free. I still have the card my form gave me as I left the school.

So, a few tips.
  • Cheap. 
  • Personal. Yes, let them draw the card / gift. This year we made the cards and let son (4) write in them. I've seen some lovely plain baubles that would be great decorated by your kid.  Letters are fab. Something the kid has made is NOT second best, it's the tops! 
  • Useful.  I say to you again: Pens. You have no idea how many pens teachers get through. And how tight the person with the key to the stationary cupboard is. 
  • Self pleasuring. Your teacher is knackered. Anything that involves a small bit of joy for them is heaven. So yes, bubble bath, scented candles, food, wine, chocolate.
  • Genuine. Don't fake it. Don't feel you have to. I never ever expected anything from any of the kids, and every gift was a bonus. I do not subscribe to PTA's that ask for donations for presents. I don't think every teacher deserves one, I know not every parent can afford it. Think simple. Free, cheap, personal, if the kid themself wants to. 
So, what has sons teacher got? A small scented candle, a homemade card, and some hair bobbles "because she has really long hair". She'll use the gifts, but the real gift is the fact that son wanted to get her something, and was desperate to write in her card all by himself. I'll tell her that, and that's the present, really. He likes her. 


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I had to laugh at the key ring with the M on it!
My "official" job title at the High School was "The New Library Miss". Actual name not important.
I meant to ask if your Primary School has CEVC in it's title, because that would explain the over-emphasis on religion. Many village schools still come under the church's influence. You probably already know that but you'd be surprised at how many parents don't.

Fenland Textile Studio said...

Your list brought back many memories. My worst Christmas ever was when about ten parents began to compete with each other.I got some very expensive presents that were meaningless to me as nothing to do with the children. I still use a handmade pin cushion that I was given and still have at least 20 tree decorations made by various children over the years.

Have a great Christmas


Here are some tips and hints on teacher present buying, from the perspective of a teacher.
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