No more teacher’s dirty looks

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week at my kids’ elementary school.  I think teachers are great and I am ever so thankful that they agreed to do a difficult job for very little pay.  I do appreciate them.  Very much so. However, Teacher Appreciation Week is too much.   Let me just give you a little hint of what we have scheduled this week: 

–Every day a parent brings the teacher lunch (a couple of days it’s catered).  
–Chocolates and/or beauty products are left each day in the teacher’s box.

–Monday is “bring your teacher more supplies” day.  We sent paper towels, band-aids, Expo markers and Clorox wipes.  In other words, things I had around the house.  Not such a big deal.

–Tuesday was “give your teacher a new book for the classroom” day.  Hmmm. Not so cheap.  I have a few nice books stashed in my closet for birthday emergencies, so I gave those.  I put a big inscription in each book, so the teacher will be forced to think of my child every time she opens it.  

–Wedensday is “give your teacher a fancy dinner” day.  We all sent along a dollar or two to buy a gift card for a nice restaurant.  OK, I can deal with giving $2.  But then a little note came home saying a few of us might want to send bottles of wine to go along with the nice dinner.  A bottle of wine? Seriously?  Am I just supposed to put it in my kid’s backpack and send him off to school?  (“Be careful on your way to school, Arabella, or you’ll end up with Pinot Noir all over your homework!”)

–Thursday is “make a scrapbook page of your child” day.  Oh, I just love to scrapbook so much! (can you see the sarcasm dripping off of your computer screen?)  Fortunately this isn’t Utah and there aren’t many seriously competitive scrapper moms in my kids’ classes.  Still, I can’t show up with just anything.  It has to look good because I do have certain standards.  I just really don’t want to go to the trouble of doing this.  Can’t I just make some cookies or something?

–Friday is “gift card” day.  I’m not a fan of gift cards.  I love to receive them (An excuse for free shopping!  Hooray!), but I hate to give them.  There is no question how much I did (or did not) spend.  I took Finn to the store to pick out his gift card for the teacher.  He picked out a $50 Starbucks card.  What a laugh!  $50???? Yeah, right.  Let’s make it $15 and call it a day.

–Each child also has a student teacher that gets a special handmade scrapbook page as well as supplies for her very own classroom next year (more expo markers, paper towels and Clorox wipes). Heaven help me!

The thing that kills me about all this is that it gets very expensive.  Last year we were unemployed during Teacher Appreciation Week and I simply couldn’t afford gift cards and books for all three teachers. It’s all supposed to be “optional”, but obviously the kids are going to feel bad when they show up empty-handed day after day.   Last year I ended up skipping the gift cards and giving the teachers the books off of our bookshelf that looked the newest.  Kind of pathetic.

The PTA president happens to be my visiting teacher so I believe the two of us will be having a little chat very soon about Teacher Appreciation Week for next year.

| Filed under Bad Things, Kids, School

17 thoughts on “No more teacher’s dirty looks

  1. Wow. Good luck with talking the visiting teacher out of this — once people think they’ve had a great idea, they tend to cling to it. But the talking-out-of really needs to happen. What you described is just wrong on so many levels — as you said, it puts way too much peer pressure on the kid, and hence on the kid’s family — etc. I love the idea of appreciating teachers, too, but being told just how to do it is way over the top (and tacky.)

  2. In my world, teacher appreciation day is the last day of school, when you write your teacher a nice note, maybe send in a little gift, or someone organizes a group gift from the class. The end. Your world is over the top. AND expensive! Yikes.

  3. I thought we had it bad over here…but you win! How come none of this happened when I was a teacher?

  4. Wow! I can’t believe that! But wait, don’t you get a Teacher Appreciation week since you homeschool India? Hmm…sounds good to me!

  5. That being said, I did drop a serious wad of cash at the silent auction for a playground this weekend. Let’s just say I’m grounded from doing any more silent auctions. I feel your financial pain.

  6. I’m feeling whiny about teacher appreciation week, but reading that I realize that we are underplayed by comparison. We have fruit day, flower day, treat day, school supply day, and thank you note day. I wish we just had one day, bring whatever you want.

    But then again, I have not helped much in the class this year (due to injury) so maybe gifts can make up for that a little…–Emily

  7. We’re having teacher appreciation week this week as well. You caught me off guard when you talked about sending a bottle of wine–Oh, living in Utah–I forgot you are in Texas? They could really end up with quite a stash of bottles, I suppose, if 25 little students bring wine to school. Hmm. Interesting. Hilarious.

  8. It is SOO expensive. I know many people have just a few kids at the primary school, but when you’ve got FOUR KIDS in school, all of these dictated acts of appreciation start adding up fast! From what I hear, too, things are so over the top at some schools and other schools the teachers get nothing. I happen to think my kids’ schools are on the over the top side of things. It’s crazy! It’s not that I don’t appreciate my teachers. What I don’t appreciate is being told five different things that I have to do for four different teachers. That’s TWENTY TIMES I’m being asked to shell out for Teacher Appreciation week. I can’t even keep track of it all, let alone do it all!

  9. I can see maybe honoring them one day of the week, but the whole week long?! You are a trooper to even do this with three teachers to support! It makes me irriatable even thinking about it! I would go on strike. I am really appreciative of teachers too, but for the teachers or the school to expect these gifts from the kids/parents is way out of line in my way of thinking. Yikes! Vent all you want!

  10. Howcome I never got even a Teacher Appreciation DAY at my school, and it was a private school?? A few of my students in each class who really liked me, or whose parents really liked me, would bring me a gift. But it was maybe 15% of the class. I would have loved just one day dedicated to apprecating me, especially considering that we made no more money working at a private school than a public one.

    HOWEVER, I think a teacher appreciation WEEK is ridiculous, excessive, and quite taxing on parents with more than one child in school. And I think the idea of telling them what exactly to give is super tacky. It seems so money grubbing. Where is the sincerity in demanding dinner and gift cards???

  11. Appreciation is not necessarily gifts. Especially forced gifts. I would feel uncomfortable with your situation on the teacher end of it.

    We get a few things at my school, but it’s not that big of a deal. The PTA put out some snack food in the teacher’s dining room, student council did sundae’s during lunch one day, and we’ll get something small from the administration before the end of the week. Hopefully it won’t be another insulated coffee cup. What I really envy is that the teachers at another high school get to wear jeans all week.

  12. What a hefty schedule! I believe that my son’s class did several things this week and the room mother asked people to bring things in.

    Well—heck—I had my mother-in-law for most of this week and there’s no way that I have time to do anything else—well, besides work and cleaning, and uh—life. And I am a teacher (voice) also–and I got nada!

  13. I think this is scandalous and outrageous! Maybe you ought to just send a note to each teacher saying
    “I appreciate your work, and know you are underpaid. Enclosed find $15 for electric bills or sexy lingerie. Have fun.

    Then stop it dead.

  14. Ok that is way overdone! I say it’s just all the more reason to homeschool! Tell your kids for your teacher appreciate week you’re going to a spa retreat!

  15. Where was teacher appreciation day when I was a teacher??

    Actually, though, appreciation is so much more appreciated when it is sincere and unforced.

  16. Our PTA Board is very sensitive to the needs of the community. Our Appreciation week was cheap (mostly because I forgot to do anything) and more meaningful? The board would not even accept my teacher is a superstar wear your favorite jersey suggestion, as some of the kids who don’t have a jersey may feel bad. on flower day most of the students picked (stole) one from a random yard on the way to school. There should be a major revolt at your school. That is ridiculus!!!! And I really don’t think you should participate in future appreciations if the revolt fails. Show appreciation on your own time, in your own waY!!!

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