Yet another controversial subject. Nowadays, gift giving is a trend among parents. I don’t necessarily approve of it, even though I enjoy presents in general, because I already feel I have been rewarded for my work in my last paycheque. And an honest “Thank you!”, a general appreciation of my work and a respect for my process just seems enough to keep me going.
But if you really have to show your appreciation towards a loved teacher in a practical way, my first advice would be to never give an item that you yourself wouldn’t like receiving. Even though teachers have a modest lifestyle and rarely indulge in luxuries, keep in mind that we are an educated crowd, culture-knowledge-arts oriented crowd and we do have the ability to perceive and appreciate value.
So if you’re keen on spending your money on a present for a teacher, here are a few tips on what not to give, in order not to be wasteful and to actually brighten up a teacher’s day.
- Never give items from your home, used items or repurposed presents. It’s insulting and humiliating!
- Never give ultra-expensive items. However beautiful or unique they are, they might create a sort of discomfort for the teacher.
- Unless it’s a simple candle holder with a discreet scented candle in it, don’t give home decoration items, like paintings and porcelain, that can only match to a specific home style. They are pretty much useless.
- Clothing items can be so tricky…different taste, different size…better safe than sorry.
- Don’t give money!
So I do know it’s probably considered inappropriate or even rude to have a list of requirements for receiving presents, but because of our most special appreciation of money, we’d rather you didn’t spend it at all, than to spend it on something no one can enjoy. I mean why make a present in the first place if it’s not meant to be of any use?
While parents and teachers make an effort to be as professional as possible in their everyday encounters, try to remember the teacher is taking care of your child. When giving a gift, treat him as you would a beloved friend.
…When in doubt, just give flowers, smile and sincerely give thanks.