Author Topic: Did I overstep?  (Read 7940 times)

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kareng57

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #90 on: February 24, 2013, 07:48:00 PM »
I wouldn't be offended at receiving a thank you note from one of DS's teachers in the mail. I still wouldn't feel good about it though.

I am comfortable with the teacher having our address, but I am not comfortable with them being able to use it for whatever they want. Thank you notes are not school related.

I wouldn't make an official complaint about it unless I had other complaints about the teacher.


How can it not be school related?  The parent is thanking the teacher for being such an awesome teacher for her child.

I agree that if it was a situation where the teacher was helping someone paint his/her house on the weekends, and that person had a child in her class, then a TY for the painting-service would not be school-related.  But that's not what's happening here.

kareng57

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2013, 07:56:20 PM »
As a former classroom teacher, I want to add my two cents.  (I taught upper elementary grades over twenty years ago, in mostly self-contained classrooms.)

Each year I would mail a welcome letter two or three days before school started to each student at his/her home address.  I was not required to do this, but my principal had mentioned that he thought it was a nice idea.  I cannot remember for sure, but I think we could send the welcome letter out through the school's postage meter.

I also mailed a personal thank you note (always using my own postage stamp) to each student who gave me a Christmas gift or end-of-the-year gift.  I thought it was the right thing to do because I was modeling politeness and modeling correct letter writing.  Besides, I thought  most kids didn't receive much mail and would appreciate a personal thank you note.

I was so busy during the school days that I would write those thank you notes after school or at home in the evening.  I still think it was the right thing to have done, but if I had known that an individual child's family did not want their child to receive a thank you note through the mail, I certainly would have respected their instructions.

[I did have mixed feelings about receiving gifts from students.  I was being paid to teach; no gifts were needed, and indeed, I think I would have preferred to not receive gifts, because I wouldn't have wanted anyone to think that there was any preferential treatment (because there wasn't).

When I got married and had kids of my own I did not give gifts to my children's teachers.  What I did do is to write thank you letters to their teachers, mentioning specific things my sons had learned in their classes that I was thankful for.]

So, OP, I think you were fine.


I agree that it might seem like a nice idea, but it wouldn't have worked at my kids' school.  While they did provisional class-lists for returning students at the end of June, they didn't release them to parents, even a few days before school started.  The reason was that, depending on the number of kids who moved away/moved in during the summer, they might have to be revised.  And they didn't want kids spending the whole summer, or even a few days before school, thinking that they'd have Mrs. B as a teacher when it turned out that it would be Mr. W.

The procedure was that (except for kindergarten and new students) the kids all went to their previous classroom/teacher on the first day of school.  It would be a nice chance for her to catch up with them re what they did over the summer, and she would submit a list of which students had not returned.  (Students new to the area went to the library and the librarian would submit a list of how many kids, which grades, etc.)  The kids would be dismissed after only about a half hour, and that gave the staff the rest of the day to do revisions on the provisional class lists.

MOM21SON

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2013, 08:02:26 PM »
Unless the gifts are in hopes that the teacher will work harder because she has received them or that she will give the kids that gifted her better grades.

This is quite insulting.

POD for me and all the other parents who want to honestly thank a teacher for taking care of the most precious things in our life

Thank you.  I couldn't have said it better. 

Sharnita

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #93 on: February 24, 2013, 08:12:52 PM »
Well, I doubt that anybody posting here wanders into a random school and/or classroom to give a gift to a teacher who has never worked or interacted with their kid.    Parents who do give gifts  to teachers give them to the teachers who are/have been teaching their kids.   That seems pretty job related to me.

MOM21SON

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #94 on: February 24, 2013, 08:16:58 PM »
I have been pondering this for the last 24 hours and I still cannot wrap my head around that the OP was wrong.  I just honestly don't get it.

Being a teacher is a gift.  Most teachers get paid very little and we trust them with our children.  Sure, there are "bad teachers"  but out of the millions, the "bad" is very small. 

A question for you that think it is wrong, weird, whatever.  Would you think it was cool if your child got a note in the mail from a athlete?  A actor/actress?  Your childs favorite character?

Think about the activities your child does.  A one time vacation Bible study can get a letter mailed to your home. 


auntmeegs

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #95 on: February 24, 2013, 08:48:43 PM »
I have been pondering this for the last 24 hours and I still cannot wrap my head around that the OP was wrong.  I just honestly don't get it.

Being a teacher is a gift.  Most teachers get paid very little and we trust them with our children.  Sure, there are "bad teachers"  but out of the millions, the "bad" is very small. 

A question for you that think it is wrong, weird, whatever.  Would you think it was cool if your child got a note in the mail from a athlete?  A actor/actress?  Your childs favorite character?

Think about the activities your child does.  A one time vacation Bible study can get a letter mailed to your home.

POD.  People being annoyed about getting thank you notes now?  Really?    ::)
  That's just beyond lame. 

baglady

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #96 on: February 24, 2013, 09:23:47 PM »
My teaching experience is limited to private schools, so maybe it's different for public schools, but I can't wrap my mind around the idea of a teacher not knowing a student's address and home phone number. That is critical information for a teacher to know. S/he may need the number so she can call mom to explain that Junior is failing Spanish. Or she may learn from the address that Junior is failing Spanish because he's sleep deprived, thanks to that long bus ride from Outer Suburbia.

Of course it's all kinds of wrong for the teacher to use that info to woo clients for his/her side business, but to mail a thank-you note to a student? Not even in the same ballpark.

BTW, when I was teaching I never did have occasion to mail thank-you notes to students, because I thanked them in person. I did, however,  get (snail mailed) thank-you notes from ex-students for the graduation gifts I gave them.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 10:12:58 PM by baglady »
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Sharnita

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #97 on: February 24, 2013, 09:29:33 PM »
I've taught in public and private.  I would say that the difference in my experience is that many of my kids moved frequently so when you tried to mail grades or call home the address or number had changed.  Of course, that is an inner city school so it doesn't represent all public schools.

jmarvellous

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #98 on: February 24, 2013, 09:38:48 PM »
I think it's far easier (and not worth worrying much if the parent *might* not see them) to send a note home with a student -- that's what my and my siblings' parents always did, and what my mom, a teacher of 20+ years' experience, has always done).

But that's not to say it's in any way wrong or intrusive to mail a note.

(FWIW, my mom always has notes ready to go in the week of a holiday or occasion. Makes it lots easier to finish fast. But she does teach elementary school; I imagine it's harder in upper grades.)

sammycat

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #99 on: February 24, 2013, 09:51:27 PM »
and i am curious - don't teachers visit their students homes, as least once a year? I don't live in the US so I don't know what the norm is there.

My experience with the Australian and New Zealand school systems is that teacher home visits are unheard of. 

What are the regions where this takes place? Is it only for primary school, because I'm just trying to work out the logistics of high schools with 1000-2000 students trying to accomplish this?

MOM21SON

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #100 on: February 24, 2013, 09:54:53 PM »
and i am curious - don't teachers visit their students homes, as least once a year? I don't live in the US so I don't know what the norm is there.

My experience with the Australian and New Zealand school systems is that teacher home visits are unheard of. 

What are the regions where this takes place? Is it only for primary school, because I'm just trying to work out the logistics of high schools with 1000-2000 students trying to accomplish this?
There is a very small private school in my area that does do home visits.  I am in the US.

sammycat

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #101 on: February 24, 2013, 09:58:07 PM »
I am stunned that some are appalled.  I admire the OP.  She took the time to acknowledge the gift in a personal manner.  I would be stunned, but happy if more teachers acted in the same manner.


You and me both. It's a pretty sad day when a 'thank you' (note) is seen in a bad light.

The only personal mail I can recall receiving from a teacher was for my younger DS when he was about to enter grade 1. She introduced herself, welcomed DS to grade 1 etc. The teacher was also going to be new to the school, so unlike previous years with older DS, we had no idea what this new teacher was like.  The other parents I spoke to and I all thought what a lovely gesture the letters were. It also served as an ice breaker when we did meet the teacher.

OP, I think you are totally in the clear.  :)

sammycat

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #102 on: February 24, 2013, 10:01:51 PM »
I've always known where my teachers lived. Well, in primary and intermediate school anyway, which is what we're talking about here.

A few years ago DS's then current (and absolute favourite) teacher moved in about 4 houses from us. We had no choice but to know where he lived then, especially as going past his house was the only way out of our street. ;D  He moved a couple of years later, but his new place was close by.

sammycat

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #103 on: February 24, 2013, 10:11:33 PM »
I am uncomfortable with her using it for things that are not related to my childs education and/or related to school events.

She could have easily handed the TY note to the child like the child handed her the present.

I've tried to work out how this interaction between student and teacher is not related to school events but am failing. If it weren't for (the) school the teacher and student would be strangers to each other, so giving a present and receiving a 'thank you' are most definitely school related.

It's not always possible to hand out thank you notes. In some parts of the world (mine, for instance), the last day of the school year occurs in December, so giving out a thank you note for the combined Christmas/end of year gift simply isn't doable. For a lot of children and some teachers that is also their last day at the school. Mailing a thank you is the only possible alternative for a paper/hard copy 'thank you' note.

I don't see how gift cards to Starbucks and mini cheesecakes are related to his education. Unless the gifts are in hopes that the teacher will work harder because she has received them or that she will give the kids that gifted her better grades.

Wow.  Do you realise just how insulting that is?

SiotehCat

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Re: Did I overstep?
« Reply #104 on: February 24, 2013, 10:40:57 PM »
I wouldn't be offended at receiving a thank you note from one of DS's teachers in the mail. I still wouldn't feel good about it though.

I am comfortable with the teacher having our address, but I am not comfortable with them being able to use it for whatever they want. Thank you notes are not school related.

I wouldn't make an official complaint about it unless I had other complaints about the teacher.

.

How can it not be school related?  The parent is thanking the teacher for being such an awesome teacher for her child.

I agree that if it was a situation where the teacher was helping someone paint his/her house on the weekends, and that person had a child in her class, then a TY for the painting-service would not be school-related.  But that's not what's happening here.

I thought it was a Christmas/Holiday gift and not a gift a Thank You gift. The OP said that they were given at Christmas time, so I assumed they were Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts are great and all, but they are not related to my childs education.

If I want to thank someone by giving them a gift, I usually don't send it at Christmas time. Then it becomes confused for a Christmas gift.