Many parents know that teaching is not an easy job. That is why at the end of each term, gifts of appreciation pile up on every teacher's table. But in this day and age when consumerism is at an all-time high, a teacher's effort is most likely to be thanked with exorbitantly priced gifts.
Many parents know that teaching is not an easy job. That is why at the end of each term, gifts of appreciation pile up on every teacher’s table. During my time, a bar of chocolate was one of the most common, not to mention the most expensive, gift a teacher will ever receive. However, in this day and age when consumerism is at an all-time high, a teacher’s effort is most likely to be rewarded with expensive gifts like gift vouchers, designer bags and jewellery.
Dailymail UK reports that in a survey conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in the UK, many parents have turned this simple end-of-term gift giving tradition into a serious competition. Parents lavish teachers with extravagant presents in an attempt to gain favours for their little ones. The association revealed that one teacher was even offered an all-expense paid vacation but he refused. It was later discovered that the parents were hoping for a music scholarship for their child in exchange for the lavish gift.
Parents have become very competitive, turning this tradition into something that has become far too commercialised. Before, giving gifts to teachers was just a simple act of appreciation. A simple card or a jar of cookies used to be enough. But now, it has become a competition – the parent who gives the best gift (i.e. most expensive) wins; although nobody quite knows what the prize is. Gift shops are blamed for encouraging this kind of competition among parents.
Despite this trend, it’s interesting to know that some teachers are not blinded by the pricey stuff. One teacher in particular said that he makes a point of praising students who give him hand-made gifts or cards.
What’s the trend in your child’s school? Are the parents trying to keep up with each other when it comes to giving end-of-term presents? What do you think of parents who try to gain favour for their kids by giving expensive gifts to teachers?