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Old 09-05-2011, 06:50 PM
 
9,492 posts, read 15,096,410 times
Reputation: 15512

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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Marylee, there is no shame in choosing not to participate. It's okay. Really!

I doubt anybody is going to ask you about whether or not you have donated, and, if they do, you can simply answer that it's not possible for you to participate. No need to explain.

Wrapping yourself around the axle about this simply feeds your anger. Take it from someone who has experience expending energy on the wrong things: focus your time and attention on that which is important, your children and their learning. Let everything else go. Your life will be much better for it!

Ummm....what are you lecturing me for? I didn't start this thread and plenty of others feel the same way about teacher gifts. Just FYI, I have never felt "shame' on not doing teacher gifts, on the contrary, I usually gave some of the nicer gifts, and when I didn't it wasn't seen as "shameful" Perhaps you fell "shame, shame on those parents who don't suck up to the teacher?"

I've just never seen a profession that seems to expect gifts on an ongoing basis, just about every month if you include all the holidays, birthday, teacher appreciation day, yadda, yadda. Get over yourselves! Don't they think perhaps they expect a bit too much, especially with families with more than one child, and multiple gift days?
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,764 posts, read 7,715,484 times
Reputation: 1743
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Ummm....what are you lecturing me for? I didn't start this thread and plenty of others feel the same way about teacher gifts. Just FYI, I have never felt "shame' on not doing teacher gifts, on the contrary, I usually gave some of the nicer gifts, and when I didn't it wasn't seen as "shameful" Perhaps you fell "shame, shame on those parents who don't suck up to the teacher?"

I've just never seen a profession that seems to expect gifts on an ongoing basis, just about every month if you include all the holidays, birthday, teacher appreciation day, yadda, yadda. Get over yourselves! Don't they think perhaps they expect a bit too much, especially with families with more than one child, and multiple gift days?
I think Formercalifornian was trying to be helpful and nice with his or her post. I didn't get the sense that there was a lecture intended.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:00 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,529,136 times
Reputation: 4494
I just thought I'd point out that both my my mother and my husband's mother were room mothers in the early '70s, both while maintaining full-time employment. Like me, my MIL worked in the school library, because those books don't shelve themselves, you know! My mother, a nurse, volunteered her time to teach a health unit in fifth grade when my teacher took a short leave of absence and also volunteered as school nurse when I was in third grade. This is not a new thing!

Last edited by formercalifornian; 09-05-2011 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:03 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,529,136 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
Ummm....what are you lecturing me for? I didn't start this thread and plenty of others feel the same way about teacher gifts. Just FYI, I have never felt "shame' on not doing teacher gifts, on the contrary, I usually gave some of the nicer gifts, and when I didn't it wasn't seen as "shameful" Perhaps you fell "shame, shame on those parents who don't suck up to the teacher?"

I've just never seen a profession that seems to expect gifts on an ongoing basis, just about every month if you include all the holidays, birthday, teacher appreciation day, yadda, yadda. Get over yourselves! Don't they think perhaps they expect a bit too much, especially with families with more than one child, and multiple gift days?
Never mind.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:53 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,987,505 times
Reputation: 1850
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
Maybe having a Room Mother is a regional thing.

But wow. Just wow. They need someone in the role of "Room Mother" to bring in cookies and punch for a class party?

When I was a kid, we decorated for parties ourselves, and if a class trip was coming up, the school asked parents to volunteer as chaperones on an as-needed basis. And, I would think it's up to the school to distribute contact lists (if doing so does not violate state privacy laws). I know we had a PTA but I don't recall anything they did.

I know my sister and I never once gave a teacher a gift. And I never saw any other kids do that, either.

The world has certainly changed, with Room Mothers doing what teachers should do, teachers spending their own money for things the school should be providing, and parents feeling obligated to give teachers gifts. Something's definitely twisted there.
I think it probably has something to do with socio economical factors in the school. I don't remember all this growing up, but I was in a less privileged neighborhood, parents probably struggled just to get the necessary supplies.

As much as I would love to just pass on all the requests (and I mostly do for my son, because he could care less.... as long as I bring in FOOD), my daughters would be mortified if they didn't bring in a gift like everybody else, and miss out on the attention and praise.

I don't do all the fundraisers thought.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
624 posts, read 1,292,429 times
Reputation: 625
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc0789 View Post
. . . my daughters would be mortified if they didn't bring in a gift like everybody else, and miss out on the attention and praise.
You mean the students give their gifts to the teachers in class, front of everyone else???!!! How absurd! No wonder kids feel pressured, and in turn pressure their parents.

I would think that is something to do after school, quietly, one-on-one. To do otherwise is just crass.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:20 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 13,831,000 times
Reputation: 18791
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
I've just never seen a profession that seems to expect gifts on an ongoing basis, just about every month if you include all the holidays, birthday, teacher appreciation day, yadda, yadda. Get over yourselves! Don't they think perhaps they expect a bit too much, especially with families with more than one child, and multiple gift days?
You know what? I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop lumping all teachers together.

I've never ASKED for gifts and certainly don't EXPECT gifts. The two or three times I've received something from a parent, I've been extremely grateful and appreciative, and let them know that.

Yes, I have a job and not all my students' parents do, and that's why I provide supplies -- which I pay for out of my own paycheck. For the past two Christmases, I've also (anonymously) "adopted" a student from my school, providing upwards of $150 in gifts each time, because otherwise they (and their babies) wouldn't have had anything.

I make arrangements to meet before and after school if necessary, for the parents of my caseload kids who simply can't take time off work. I've made phone calls from home as early as 7:00 AM and as late as 8:00 PM, because sometimes that's the only time a parent has time to talk.

One of my previous positions was in a "behavior" classroom, in which I was hit and slapped by students on a regular basis, had items (including furniture) thrown at me, was called names that would make a sailor blush and had to put myself in physical danger to protect the rest of the class from students when they became violent.

Two years ago, I kept a stash of low-carbohydrate food in my classroom (that I paid for out of my own paycheck) for a diabetic student whose mother didn't care enough to make sure that he packed appropriate food for lunch. I've also kept extra clothing on hand (that I paid for out of my own paycheck) for students who didn't have season-appropriate clothes, or who had "accidents" -- so they wouldn't have to wear dirty clothes the rest of the day.

Why do I do all this? I do it because I think I'm making a (positive) difference in students' lives. Sometimes I'm the only adult person who shows any interest in a kid's life and the only person who really cares about them.

And you know what? I'm not alone in this.

So, yeah, we get it -- the teachers you've encountered are rotten.



Thanks.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 09-06-2011 at 09:16 AM.. Reason: removed a comment..
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:51 PM
 
15,339 posts, read 16,930,433 times
Reputation: 15069
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
Maybe having a Room Mother is a regional thing.

But wow. Just wow. They need someone in the role of "Room Mother" to bring in cookies and punch for a class party?

When I was a kid, we decorated for parties ourselves, and if a class trip was coming up, the school asked parents to volunteer as chaperones on an as-needed basis. And, I would think it's up to the school to distribute contact lists (if doing so does not violate state privacy laws). I know we had a PTA but I don't recall anything they did.

I know my sister and I never once gave a teacher a gift. And I never saw any other kids do that, either.

The world has certainly changed, with Room Mothers doing what teachers should do, teachers spending their own money for things the school should be providing, and parents feeling obligated to give teachers gifts. Something's definitely twisted there.
They generally don't bring the cookies and punch, they organize who brings what.

I'm a lot older than you are and we had PTAs that did many things when I was a child and when my kids were children (in the 70s)

Our elementary school PTA did many of our after school activities. We had a chess club that a dad started. We had parents (mostly moms) who went through the Great Books Training and taught kids in that program. Our PTA parents volunteered at the science fairs and math nights too. The PTA moms at my grandchildren's school volunteer in the lunchroom, the playground, the teacher workroom. We help to lighten the load by making copies for teachers, laminating things for bulletin boards, cutting out various things teachers need for their classrooms. We volunteer on campus clean up days (often with our children). Our PTA also organizes fundraisers at local businesses.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:21 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 8,834,762 times
Reputation: 5865
There are 3 main occasions when we send teacher gifts in and/or contribute to a group gift (many thanks to all who coordinate group gifts, btw!): Winter holiday, teacher appreciation day and end of the year gift, although we may miss one of the occasions every now and then.

Contributing to group gifts is 100% optional, no pressure. All children in the class sign the card for the teacher, so every child gets "credit" for giving the gift. The people who coordinate the gifts have never talked about who does/does not contribute $.

If we don't contribute to a group gift, we'll pick up something little for the teacher, have our child make something or send in a card just to show our appreciation for the teacher's work. Gifts don't have to be elaborate - I've seen people send in fresh cut flowers from their garden or a small pot of fresh herbs.

Other than that, we try to do some light volunteering at the school(s) every year just to help out. And we participate in some of the fundraisers.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:22 AM
 
12,460 posts, read 27,162,077 times
Reputation: 6952
Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
Maybe having a Room Mother is a regional thing.

But wow. Just wow. They need someone in the role of "Room Mother" to bring in cookies and punch for a class party?

When I was a kid, we decorated for parties ourselves, and if a class trip was coming up, the school asked parents to volunteer as chaperones on an as-needed basis. And, I would think it's up to the school to distribute contact lists (if doing so does not violate state privacy laws). I know we had a PTA but I don't recall anything they did.

I know my sister and I never once gave a teacher a gift. And I never saw any other kids do that, either.

The world has certainly changed, with Room Mothers doing what teachers should do, teachers spending their own money for things the school should be providing, and parents feeling obligated to give teachers gifts. Something's definitely twisted there.
I agree with the posters that have suggested that just because one teacher out of the million teachers out there, suggested that parents donate money to her co-worker for her birthday, it does not mean that it's normal anywhere else. I think this one teacher messed up and a gentle note pointing that out would not be remiss.

I was a homeroom Mom and they had them when I was a child long ago too. It was pretty much just an organizational kind of job. Volunteering in classrooms and schools is not a new thing. My mom worked in the classroom and in the library when I was in elementary school in the 1960's.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 09-06-2011 at 09:31 AM..
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