General Etiquette > general

The extra thank-you gift

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This is the situation;

At the end of the school year all the parents from this class put in together to buy the teacher a gift.  Everyone gave generously and it was a sizable gift.  The whole thing was organized by Tess, Olive and Lily.

The gift was presented to the teacher and after he opened it and gave his thanks, Tess and her friend Tracey walked up and gave the teacher another gift, saying "this is just from us, to show our appreciation".

Some of the other parents in the class were upset about this, they felt that it was unecessary and possible "one up-manship".

I was just wondering, what are peoples thoughts about giving the "extra" gift?

I feel they are free to give whatever personal gift they want; maybe the teacher did something extra special for their kids or they have a close relationship with him because they are homeroom moms or whatever.  That being said,  it sounds like they presented their gift in front of the whole class, possibly including parents?  That seems a bit rude as it sounds like showing off.   In my kids' classes, gifts that are personal are usually given as you drop off or collect a child with a quick "thank you", not an elaborate presentation.

That would really bother me.

We experienced something similar at my MIL's last birthday. DH and I had decided to go in with BIL and his girlfriend to get her something nice. We gave her our present... and then BIL and his GF gave her an extra present. I know there was no ill intent (we have a great relationship typically), but it bothered both DH and me.

As a teacher I have to say that it does sound like an attempt at one upmanship, although I would probably be vastly amused at the blatant act as opposed to impressed.  I think the public showmanship makes it seem unlikely that it was doen because of a close relationship or special help.

Certainly giving the gift where it could be seen by everyone else was taking it to the "rubbing it in your faces" level. A privately-given gift wouldn't bug me as much.

When the boys were in elementary school, the gift giving got so out of hand that the school said that it had to be done through the parent's association. The association would solicit funds and buy gifts and/or gift certificates for the staff. The reason was that some very popular teachers were getting extravagant gifts, like a trip to Europe. The inequity was very bad and causing a lot of friction. Plus that helps eliminate the dozens of apple earrings and "World's Best Teacher" mugs that were given as gifts. My ex has been a teacher for 20 years and had she kept all of the teacher-themed tchockes she received over that time, there wouldn't be any room left in her house!


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