Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teacher Appreciation and Some Questions

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I was going to with the standard (yet, unimaginative) gift card but then I suggested to Lucy that we buy one of the Folkmanis rabbit puppets we got at work around Easter time.
I know it's a silly and impractical gift but Lucy's teacher loves rabbits. She has a pet rabbit that she brings to school when the class has been exceptional, and she's been known to dress her bunny in special outfits. (This makes me love her even more.)

I brought the rabbit home and we tried wrapping it, but no matter what box we chose, or how we laid the bunny, it always looked sad and dead, as if it had been hit by a car.

I think this is a perfect time for a gift bag.

So now my question: If you have older kids (middle school/high school age) do you still actively participate in teacher appreciation week? I admit to pretty much having sucked at it since the boy's been in middle school for a number of reasons:

1.  More classes means more teachers. If I do something for one, do I have to do something for all of them? Would they discuss it in the teacher's lounge, "Monty got me a gift card." "Really? Monty got me jack shit."

2.  Some of his teachers I just simply hadn't liked and I didn't want to do anything nice for them. Sorry, sounds awful, but it's the truth.

3.  Laziness on my part.

4.  Cost. If I were to get something for all of his teachers, even if I only spend $10 a teacher, that's $70. So I'd really have to work hard to make the gifts be meaningful and within budget. (See #3.)

I guess as I'm writing this, I'm seeing that my main issue is that I don't want to get something for everyone. The teacher that has had the most impact on my son this year has been his Algebra teacher. He's taught the subject in a way my kid has understood, plus, he's a bit of a hard ass and is constantly pushing Monty to do more. Is it inappropriate to just get something for that one teacher? Would it be lame to send notes to the other teachers thanking them for what they do? Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oh Tammie how I love,love,love that bunny.
And yes it did look like road kill in the boxes.
It reminds me of the white cussing bunny on Craig Ferguson.

I can not contribute to your issue since I don't have kids it would be out of line.

I am sitting in the hairdressers chair while my roots are being cooked under this light. I laughed out loud when I saw your bunny. I think they think I'm nuts. Ok. I am.

Michelle said...

Hmmm, I have no idea what to do. You may find a nice cup with a lid for under 6 bucks that they can put their drinks in. I'm not so sure I will be getting 6/7 teachers a gift when M&B hit middle school. I'm pretty bad about this kind of stuff though. This is the first year I have gotten M&B's teachers an end of school year gift... and I bought it at the beginning of the year knowing I'd forget or not want to spend the money after our income tax got spent. Monty prolly has an opinion about what to do, let him decide if he wants to give a coffee gift card or something to his favorite teacher(s). He may not be into it.

Tammie said...

peggy: i think it is the same kind of bunny as crags.

michelle: you've hit the nail on the head: monty ISN'T that into it. in fact i think if i did give him something to give to a teacher he'd probably try really hard to do it without anyone seeing. which i guess is another issue- should i let monty keep me from paying a bit of respect to the occasional decent teacher?

Michelle said...

If you give a gift/hand the gift to the teacher, so it is from you, I think that would be different, and a different experience for Monty, too. He may not mind that so much. And I'm sure the teacher would appreciate it very much coming from the parent and totally understand that it is uncomfortable for the student to give a gift. I know if I was a teacher I'd be really grateful for parents like you. :)

Daphne said...

I love that bunny!!

Is this Teacher Appreciation thing new? I have no recollection of this when I was a kid. Getting more than one teacher a gift seems like craziness. Unless you can find something small for everyone. Or make a batch of yummy jam and give everyone a jar? Something like htat?

Clearly I am not helpful for this one.

kraftykash said...

I quit at middle school. This is Korby's 1st yr in middle school Korby's teachers are REALLY good about sending progress reports through email and I ALWAYS email back telling them thank you for doing what they do. I occasionally ask Kalen if he wants to do anything nice for teachers and he looks at me like I am insane. LOL My emails to his teachers are usually to apologize for his behaviors. LOL The bunny is super cute!

Me said...

Ok, I howled at your "dead" bunny - very funny!

I would think if you gave this teacher (or teachers) a thank you card that would be ok. Trevor was a teacher and from what I gather I think when dealing with middle school age and older just acknowledging what the teachers are doing is appreciated. I'm sure homemade cookies or something would also be well received if you felt you should give something more than a card! (or is that cheesy?)


Meyser said...

I'm a teacher myself (15 to 17 years old - don't know what that's called where you live), we don't know a thing called Appreciation Week up here. But as other commenters mentioned: I think that if Monty wants to choose his appreciation, he should do that in the way he prefers. For me a kid staying a few minutes after class, basically telling me (not in those words) that what I'd learned them made a difference, makes me feel appreciated. If you want to let a teacher know you think good of him, that's your call... and can feel as good. Don't feel obliged to do the same thing for everyone. Not everyone makes a difference. Different teachers means different things to different kids - and their parents. That's why having a lot of them can be good...

DysFUNctional Mom said...

OMG I love your header.
Anyway. What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Teacher gifts.
I usually do them in elementary school. No way am I trying to buy one for all the teachers in the higher grades. I don't have the money to kiss that much ass. If they're awesome, though, hell yes buy them something. Screw the rest, they should aim higher. (only kidding, I have great respect for teachers, but you can't kill yourself buying gifts for all of them.)

Maria Rose said...

We haven't gotten to that point yet, but I think it is pretty standard to leave off the gifting in jr. high unless there is a special teacher/occasion.

On a separate note my 1st grade teacher had a bunny named Pebbles that she brought to class regularly. It pooped everywhere and she just told us it was good luck if Pebbles left us some magic pebbles by our desk....

Jessie at Luna Pacifica said...

The teachers that impact your child (or you) can be recognized how ever you'd like. Words in a card or from the mouth are always a nice thing.

Sharing/gossiping about gifts is rude and unprofessional. I hope teachers would understand that. :)

Run Lori Run said...

I am the wrong person to ask... I never actively appreciated my kid's teachers...