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 Post subject: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 15:17 
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This subject seems to be all over the news this week, after one school asked everyone not to give presents to teachers, to avoid making it awkward for families who can't afford it, and a school in what is presumably a very wealthy area put a £50 cap on presents for teachers! Who spends £50 on a present for their child's teacher?! At my primary school, it was the done thing for every kid in the class to get the teacher a small present, but it wasn't at secondary school – I suppose because you're taught by a different person for every subject then, and don't spend much time with your actual form teacher.

In the early CS books, everyone contributes towards getting a present for Madge on her birthday, and it's made to sound as if this is the norm at British schools, but I can't remember any mention of Mlle or Miss Annersley getting birthday presents. Anyone leaving to get married gets a present – although presumably anyone leaving for any other reason, like Miss Slater, didn't! And I don't think there's any mention of teachers getting Christmas presents. The only other time I can remember any mention of presents for teachers is when Nina buys a box of chocolates for the teachers who've accompanied her form on a half term trip. Have I missed anything? And how come none of the later heads got birthday presents?!

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 16:22 
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And how come none of the later heads got birthday presents?!

Presumably because Madge wasn't just the head but also the founder, perhaps?
They celebrate her birthday even after she has left by going on trips out, for example.

I suspect that most presents bought for teachers are initiated by parents, at least in the early years. This would mean that the CS girls would be less likely to automatically give presents. Gifts are meant to be a thank you. CS parents were already paying fees to have their children educated so perhaps they didn't feel the need to add an extra thank you?

I like Nina's gesture and that sounds very genuine and thoughtful.


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 20:56 
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My sister teaches at a large primary school in Edinburgh. She gets loads of presents at Christmas - wine, chocolate, mugs, candles and scarves. Some items are quite pricey, she got a scarf from Hobbs last year and some very posh smellies from Jo Malone. This year, the parents decided to put money in and she received £180 in John Lewis vouchers as well as many small gifts. She does have a large class (35 at the moment) but it seems to be another competition between the parents. Her friend teaches in a school in a much more deprived area and gets a few gifts, usually home made and, as she says, they mean a lot more.


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 21:54 
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thefrau46 wrote:
I suspect that most presents bought for teachers are initiated by parents, at least in the early years. This would mean that the CS girls would be less likely to automatically give presents. Gifts are meant to be a thank you. CS parents were already paying fees to have their children educated so perhaps they didn't feel the need to add an extra thank you?
Not only that, but at the date of the CS books there was no custom of children giving regular presents to teachers in the UK anyway. That idea seems to have been borrowed from the USA, and I think began to catch on in the UK in the 1980s. There were obvious exceptions - for example, when I went to grammar school, my parents sent a bouquet of flowers to my very first infant school teacher, who had predicted the event seven years earlier. Another isolated example was that the next year, my classmates and I bought our Latin master a box of red biros because he always complained about how much red ink he used up on our work...

Edited for a typo


Last edited by Noreen on 18 Dec 2018, 10:23, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 21:56 
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I've had presents from pupils, but I never expected them'

One dear, sweet girl gave me a copy of 'Far From the Madding Crowd'

It was my third copy, and I don't particularly like the book anyway.

I was suitably appreciative.

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 22:37 
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When David's a baby, the girls give him hand-made woolly animals and balls, which is incredibly cute :D . By the time Kevin and Kester come along, everyone seems to have gone up in the world, and the school gets them some very upper-crust present - I think it's silver napkin rings. Having said which, Madge and Joey probably had enough baby clothes and toys between them to sink a ship by then! But it's nice that the Russells remain the first family of the school, and get baby presents.

I can't remember any mention of a leaving present for Mlle Lepattre, but it possibly didn't seem appropriate given that she left due to ill health.

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2018, 23:31 
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Giving end-of-term gifts to teachers was not a thing at either of my schools, nor any other schools around here that I was aware of. We did have a class whip-round for our Advanced Higher English teacher and gifted her with a couple of baby sleepsuits when she went on maternity leave, but that was a special case. The only educator I've ever given a gift to personally was my Honours project supervisor, I gave him a box of chocolates at the end as a thank you. :D

I like that we see how the idea of celebrating Madge's birthday comes about, borrowing it from one of Gisela's school stories as part of the whole 'establishing traditions' feel of the first couple of terms. Maybe Miss Annersley's birthday always fell during the holidays so it was never really noted by the school?

Probably if giving the mistresses gifts ever became a thing at the CS, it would have been a form effort rather than each individual girl buying something, that sounds more EBDish, and fairer too, as the poorer girls aren't then overshadowed as much by the wealthier ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2018, 01:58 
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Madge's birthday seems to be special - a founder and Madame thing rather than a Head thing. They do special events for Madge's birthday even after she leaves the position, and I don't recall anything special for any of the other mistresses.

In Canada when I was a kid, presents for the teacher was very much an elementary school thing, when you had a single teacher for your class. My mom says that when she was teaching ~50 years ago, she got so many aprons; now it seems to be mugs and chocolates (or, with sensible parents, a gift card to a stationary store for classroom supplies). In high school we had multiple teachers, so it was less practical to buy gifts for eight people a year.

In the CS, the students had a lot of mistresses, and vice versa. Twenty year end gifts of mugs and chocolates is overwhelming; someone like Peggy Burnett could get 200+. And as a boarding school, the parents wouldn't be there to fork out the cash - it would have to come out of the money students had left at the end of the term, at the well as money for the end of year sale.

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2018, 08:28 
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Praise be that I went to school at a time when no thought of giving presents to the teacher existed and I am even happier that this applied to my children too....

At the primary school in Bavorov where my friend works most presents are hand made by the children, many with great skill and ingenuity. Or they, at their own initiative, write and perform a song.

But then art and music are still regarded as as key part of every child's education in the Czech Republic, as is a knowledge of the natural world....

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2018, 10:13 
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I remember when I was in one of my early years in secondary school we all clubbed together to buy a present for one of our young teachers. I am presuming she was maybe our form teacher. We gave her a fancy nightdress which we got the female science teacher to buy!

All through my daughter's primary school years we bought a present each year for the teacher - something small - and also something for Brownie Leaders etc.

I do have mixed feelings now. They must have got a heckuva lot of small things such as chocs, toiletries. Regarding each pupil putting in a small amount, who would organise it? Giving to charities and letting the teacher know might be better.

The first year my daughter was in school or school nursery I didn't know about this and bought nothing!


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2018, 15:31 
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This year we had a letter home from our sons teacher - instead of presents the teachers were going to take things to the homeless so would appreciate donations (suggestions of hats. gloves, soap, wipes, chocolate bars etc)


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2018, 16:30 
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claire wrote:
This year we had a letter home from our sons teacher - instead of presents the teachers were going to take things to the homeless so would appreciate donations (suggestions of hats. gloves, soap, wipes, chocolate bars etc)

That is brilliant Claire. And much as I deplore the need for food banks in a country as well-off as ours, that too would be another good destination for teachers to target.

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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2018, 13:13 
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I don't remember buying teachers presents, but classes may have clubbed together to buy our form teacher a present. I'll have to ask my stepdad (retired history/politics teacher) if his pupils ever got him anything. £50 from one person is ridiculous. And wouldn't any kid doing that be seen as sucking up to the teacher?
claire wrote:
This year we had a letter home from our sons teacher - instead of presents the teachers were going to take things to the homeless so would appreciate donations (suggestions of hats. gloves, soap, wipes, chocolate bars etc)

That's a really lovely idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2018, 21:16 
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Lotte wrote:
I don't remember buying teachers presents, but classes may have clubbed together to buy our form teacher a present. I'll have to ask my stepdad (retired history/politics teacher) if his pupils ever got him anything. £50 from one person is ridiculous. And wouldn't any kid doing that be seen as sucking up to the teacher?
claire wrote:
This year we had a letter home from our sons teacher - instead of presents the teachers were going to take things to the homeless so would appreciate donations (suggestions of hats. gloves, soap, wipes, chocolate bars etc)

That's a really lovely idea.

Beautiful idea!


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 30 Dec 2018, 16:22 
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Another idea might be to find a church hall to hold a Christmas day hot meal followed by sing-songs and games, then a nice tea.

When we had a Salvation army church in our town, they used to organise a turkey lunch, games in the afternoon and singing followed by a large tea. I used to make Victoria sandwiches for it, and buy tins of sweets so they had something to pass round.It's not Christmas without chocolates ad sweets.

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Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe pecuniam et exe, celerrime.
A certain edge when she spoke of Mrs Maynard, certainly, but, after all, not everyone could love Joey.
'Life,' said Marvin, 'don't talk to me about life!'


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 30 Dec 2018, 23:50 
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Jennie wrote:
I used to make Victoria sandwiches for it,


I deny that Jennie ever made me sandwiches!
:D


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 10:07 
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Well, it made me chuckle, anyway - never a bad start to the day!


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 02 Jan 2019, 00:19 
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Noreen wrote:
Well, it made me chuckle, anyway - never a bad start to the day!



Me too! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 05:56 
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Jennie wrote:
Another idea might be to find a church hall to hold a Christmas day hot meal followed by sing-songs and games, then a nice tea.

When we had a Salvation army church in our town, they used to organise a turkey lunch, games in the afternoon and singing followed by a large tea. I used to make Victoria sandwiches for it, and buy tins of sweets so they had something to pass round.It's not Christmas without chocolates ad sweets.


For the last number of years, the Church that I occasionally attend has done a Christmas lunch - on Christmas Day - for the homeless or anyone alone. It is personally overseen by the minister - a brilliant minister - and her husband does a lot of the cooking. I know 60 attended in 2017.

I think our local football team did something similar this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Presents for teachers
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2019, 10:42 
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We gave presents to teachers, but very small things like a box of malteasers or a packet of notelets.

I am shocked at a school putting a £50 cap on presents. Is that for individual presents or whole class presents?

No individual should be spending £50 on a teacher's present. In fact, teachers shouldn't be allowed accept expensive presents.


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