Teacher's Gift: Should We Put A Stop To The Thank You Christmas Present?
December is expensive for everyone, but especially for parents. In recent times, there has been an influx of gift guides specially tailored for teachers - with every year more expensive than the previous!
It’s already the most expensive time of the year, so should parents really feel the pressure of buying Christmas presents for their children’s teachers?
Well, one group that does think we should stop feeling like we need to buy presents for our kids' teachers is Scottish parents’ organisation Connect. In fact, the organisation is calling for local parent councils and PTAs to put an end to this expensive trend once and for all.
Connect is highlighting a growing online trade in bespoke gifts for teachers - with some items costing over £100 - as it calls on local parent councils and Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) to discourage gift-giving this festive season.
Connect’s executive director, Eileen Prior, said: “We understand that families are really keen to show their appreciation and gratitude to their child’s teachers at Christmas but this year we are urging parents to think carefully”.
Prior said expectations around Christmas put pressure on both children and parents, exposing financial differences between classmates and leading to clashes between parents over attitudes to appropriate gifts and affordability.
“We hear from stressed parents who are being asked for £10 contributions to a class teacher’s present and told that if they can’t or won’t pay, their child’s name doesn’t get put on the card,” Prior said.
Two mums appeared on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ last week to talk about the issue. Mum-of-four, Ursula Hirschkorn agrees with the ban, and can’t understand why anyone would buy a teacher a present for “doing their job”.
However, on the other side of the fence is fellow mum Naomi Isted, who thinks it’s important for parents to show their appreciation, and spends up to £100 on gifts for her children’s teachers.
The organisation has joined forces with the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) – Scotland’s largest teaching union – and Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) Scotland press parents to think again about buying Christmas presents for teachers which, it points out, mainly happens in primary schools.
What do YOU think, parents of children in school? Have you felt pressured to buy a teacher an expensive gift? Or pressured into contributing money towards a teacher gift/voucher?