Author Topic: Did I overstep?  (Read 8755 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

GSNW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 557
Did I overstep?
« on: February 23, 2013, 01:10:04 AM »
This year at Christmas, I got quite a few gifts from students.  This is the norm.  I got everything from movie gift cards to homemade mini cheesecakes (nom!).  One student gave me a $25 sbux gift card.  I wrote thank-yous to everyone that gave me a gift.  I've been doing this for years, as I think it's really nice that some parents take time to share holiday cheer with educators.  The cards go something like:

Dear StudentName and Family,
Thank you so much for the SpecificGift.  Specific statement about gift.  I hope you have a great holiday break.  See you in the new year!

Sincerely,
Mrs Teacher

As most of these gifts are given on the day prior to break, I write the notes and mail them home over break.  I use the school's address as a return.  There was a year I sent notes he with students, but a few didn't reach their destination.

This last week, my admin let me know that a parent complained that I should not be sending personal mail home to a student's house.  My admin disagrees and I'm not in any trouble.  The fact that the mom waited two months and threw this in with a litany of other complaints against the school doesn't give it a ton of credibility (for example, she is also upset that her child was not placed in accelerated classes next year).  But it's been bugging me all week, so I thought I'd get some objective feedback.  Would this bug any of you?

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 01:13:12 AM »
Yes it would.  Teachers using school records for personal use ( and did ) drive me batty. But I would have complained the day it arrived, not two months later.

chmac

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 101
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 01:16:34 AM »
I wouldn't have a problem getting a card sent to my home, I'd be quite impressed!  Another option might have been to give them to the students at the school, after the holiday break, but I'm assuming you didn't get gifts from all your students, so handing out cards personally to only a few might look awkward.  I think privately sending the cards out to their homes was fine, and using the school as the return address was a good idea. Not sure what the mother's concern was, I would think she would be glad of the thank you!

mechtilde

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5586
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 01:19:46 AM »
I don't see this as personal use- the gifts were received in the course of GSNW's work, and she sent the thank you letters as a result of that.
NE England

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3801
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 01:32:21 AM »
Yes it would.  Teachers using school records for personal use ( and did ) drive me batty. But I would have complained the day it arrived, not two months later.

Really?  Was the sort of personal mail you received similar to that in the OP, or other stuff?

I think for 1 piece of mail a year, it probably wouldn't even occur to me to be bothered by it, personally.

delabela

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 589
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 01:49:56 AM »
I do not think you overstepped and I think it's over the top for her to have complained.  You are an employee of the school and not some random person using the directory, and the gifts were given to you in the course of your job. 

To this day, almost 25 years later, I have the memory of getting a thank you card from my favorite teacher for a christmas present - it was very special because she took the time to say something she appreciated about me, and because I got it in the mail - getting mail is awesome for a kid (not sure what grade you teach, but I think even adults enjoy getting things like thank yous by mail).

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 01:55:44 AM »
If they don't want to get personal with the teacher, why voluntarily give her a gift?  It isn't as if they were sent random letters, the mail sent to them is a direct response to a personal overture they made to the teacher.

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 01:57:30 AM »
Yes it would.  Teachers using school records for personal use ( and did ) drive me batty. But I would have complained the day it arrived, not two months later.

Really?  Was the sort of personal mail you received similar to that in the OP, or other stuff?

I think for 1 piece of mail a year, it probably wouldn't even occur to me to be bothered by it, personally.

One of my teachers used our records to send out a survey about certain medical conditions.  Another used the info to call and ask about our neighborhoods and if there were any houses in the area for sale. it does not help that I live in a small enough village that I still run into the first teacher  almost 40 years later.  I had one teacher do the thank you note thing...hated that too,  they could have just given them out in class or placed them in desks or something of that ilk.  It was really odd knowing this teacher could know where I lived - but I wasn't supposed to be able to know where they lived. If that was protection for them - why was the same protection not afforded to the students? 

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3801
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2013, 02:03:18 AM »
Yes it would.  Teachers using school records for personal use ( and did ) drive me batty. But I would have complained the day it arrived, not two months later.

Really?  Was the sort of personal mail you received similar to that in the OP, or other stuff?

I think for 1 piece of mail a year, it probably wouldn't even occur to me to be bothered by it, personally.

One of my teachers used our records to send out a survey about certain medical conditions.  Another used the info to call and ask about our neighborhoods and if there were any houses in the area for sale. it does not help that I live in a small enough village that I still run into the first teacher  almost 40 years later.  I had one teacher do the thank you note thing...hated that too,  they could have just given them out in class or placed them in desks or something of that ilk.  It was really odd knowing this teacher could know where I lived - but I wasn't supposed to be able to know where they lived. If that was protection for them - why was the same protection not afforded to the students?

Yeah, I wouldn't be impressed by your other examples, but the TY note I wouldn't be bothered about.

Would it have made any difference if the actual addressing and mailing was done by the office so that the teacher was not privvy to the records?

m2kbug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1495
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 02:06:07 AM »
There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending a card to the home address.  My kids are thrilled to get their own mail, especially when they were little.  For years, some teachers will write their new students a little note during the summer prior to school starting saying how much they're looking forward to meeting them and it's going to be a great year!  It's really special and personal, not just "the teacher," but someone who cares...not that teachers don't care, we know they care, it's just an added little touch and we have appreciated the thank-you's and looking forward to meeting you notes.  Don't stop doing what you're doing. 

Marbles

  • I'm lost
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1811
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »
If you were in any other profession, it wouldn't be odd to use the customer database to send thank you notes to customers kind enough to give you gifts. I don't see this as being significantly different. You are responding to a gesture that was given to you in your professional capacity.

Also, I think writing and mailing thank you notes to your students right away provides the kids with an excellent example.  :)

GSNW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 557
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2013, 02:09:20 AM »
Those other examples are pretty vile.  How would anyone think that's appropriate?

There was a teacher in our district a few years ago that landed in hot water for sending home tutoring flyers for summer to all her students, about 200 in total.  Major bad idea.

petal

  • Dancing Queen
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2662
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2013, 03:45:50 AM »
I dont think you overstepped at all GSNW.  In fact, i think the thankyou notes were a lovely idea and very nice of you.



gollymolly2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2670
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 03:53:54 AM »
I tried to think of a situation in which I'd be mad about receiving a thank you note. It strained my brain.

You did the polite thing. Anyone who would complain about this is ridiculous.

MariaE

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4681
  • So many books, so little time
Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2013, 04:09:09 AM »
There's a huge difference between sending unsolicited spam, and replying to a nice gesture by sending a TY note.

You were fine.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice