Teachers! You know I love you, but…




It’s teacher appreciation week! Don’t you love teachers? I do. (You know I used to be one, right?)  Teachers have one of the hardest jobs on the planet. It feels wonderful to know my kids are in SUCH great  hands when I send them off to school every day. Teachers are amazing! I have the deepest respect for them.

But! (yep, here’s the big but) But, there’s something that just hasn’t been sitting well with me this week. As part of teacher appreciation week I got letters sent home with ALL THREE of my kids asking for gifts or monetary donations for Teacher Appreciation week. One school is asking us to turn in money to the  teachers, so the PTA can have a teacher appreciation banquet at the end of the week. The other school sent home a schedule for the week with a different suggested small gift for each day of the week! Um, am I crazy? Or does this seem a bit…I don’t know…much?

Wanna know how students celebrated teacher appreciation week  back when I was teaching? They brought  us coffee that they had made themselves, and they said those magic words, THANK YOU. And it was perfect! Can you imagine that? Bitter tasting coffee and thoughtful, awkwardly delivered words…direct from the kids.  Not the parents, or the parents’ pocket books. What could be better? When did it turn into “gift schedules” and asking for yet another monetary donation?

And why are parents being expected to give gifts on yet another occasion during the year? If you’re on Pinterest, you know that giving gifts to teacher on the first day of school is now a thing. (A freakin’ ridiculous thing in my opinion). Giving holiday gifts is pretty much the norm. And it’s not out of the ordinary to give a gift at the end of the year too.  Ready for a math lesson? I have three kids. If I work hard to keep up with the Jones’s on all this teacher gift giving…that makes 12 teacher gifts per year!

I should clarify that the teachers themselves are not the ones asking for gifts/money…it’s all been arranged by the PTA and booster clubs. And I realize they mean well. But here’s a thought. How about if we show our appreciation by sending our kids to school well rested and ready to learn, with their homework done every day? Or maybe by sending out a kind e-mail every now and then? What about chaperoning a field trip or volunteering our time?  Hand written thank you notes do wonders too. I speak from experience when I say that these are the things teachers REALLY want.

 I’ll be honest. As I spent the evening dragging my three kids to two different stores looking for gifts so I could stay within the suggested gift giving schedule, I felt bitter and obligated. Not appreciative. Call me a curmudgeon (I probably deserve it),  but can we please appreciate our teachers in our own way? And can we please stop pressuring parents to shell out yet again?  And can we please teach kids that we can show our appreciation in ways that don’t involve presents? And can I please start my own “suggested gift schedule” for the week surrounding Mother’s Day? Wait. What?  Sorry, I got a little carried away. It’s been known to happen.

Happy Buy Teachers Another Gift Teacher Appreciation Week!


  1. Agree, it’s the PTA not the parents. And trust me, they don’t ask the teachers for what they would like, they just choose a theme. I was a teacher before I was a mom and I can tell you that the best gift you can give a teacher is a thank you. Oh sure the gifts are great but one year a mom wrote me a letter thanking me for all my hard work and pointed out some of the ways I had helped her daughter that year. It was amazing!!!! I still have her letter.
    Allison B recently posted…Mother’s Day Gift IdeasMy Profile

    • See? My point exactly. Nothing says thank you like actually saying thank you! What ever happened to that?

  2. Whenever I read stuff like this it fills me with dread over the days I send my daughter to school. I think teachers deserve recognition. They work their bums off! But the PTA seems to be overstretching.. blech!
    itzybellababy recently posted…Have we done enough to #BringBackOurGirls?My Profile

    • Who knows? Maybe the time it’s your daughter’s turn, the PTA will have it all figured out. (They mean well, they really do. It’s just out of control.)

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