A woman has sparked a heated debate after she suggested families should stop giving Christmas presents to teachers.
The discussion was started on Mumsnet by a woman who wrote, “Please stop with teacher and tech support freebies.”
She said: “As someone who has worked in schools and knows lots of people who give gifts, it’s an unnecessary pain.
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“It’s just stuff bought for the sheer joy of buying it and needs to stop. Environmental protection is very high on students’ list of concerns. Flooding people with unwanted things in their name is not not respectful.
“Please, more mugs, teddy bears, chocolates, weird decorations… how many teachers, teaching assistants, nursery staff do you really think you want?
“You just offer them a trip to the charity shop and/or the need for more trash bags.”
She added that she understood that it was the thought that counted, but that she worked with a lot of children whose parents had low incomes and that she “wished so badly for them to keep their money”.
“I think if parents know that other parents are getting gifts, they feel compelled to do the same,” she added.
“Now a card made by children is a real treasure, especially when they sign it themselves and it’s not long since they learned to write their own name. It makes my throat ache. J I still have it.
“When I was supporting older kids, I also got cards with their brand new handwriting attached. I have a box full of cards. I might take a look at them this Christmas, head down memory lane. “
However, response to the suggestion has been mixed. A number of mums agreed that families, especially low-income ones, shouldn’t feel pressured into giving gifts.
Some said they donate money to charity instead, with schools encouraging charitable donations.
Others, however, said the custom was a good way to thank teaching staff and several had gone around buying vouchers so teachers could buy something they liked.
Meanwhile, a number of people working in schools said they appreciated the gifts.
One said: “I’m a teaching assistant and I love gifts. It’s good to thank people. I thank the garbage collectors and the postwoman by giving them a card with a five. It makes me happy to thank people.”
Another wrote: “Teacher here. I love getting gifts. Even the ‘Best Teacher’ mugs.”
And a third said: “I also love all the gifts – I have the magnets on my fridge, I treasure the mugs, I savor all the food and drink. In my very first class I was given a set of metal bowls – over twenty years later I still use them and think of the little girl whose family bought them for me even though they didn’t have much money. a matter of gift is a matter of thought and I appreciate everyone.
However, some teachers felt that giving gifts was not necessary.
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One commented: “I’m a teacher and would appreciate a gift but I would honestly prefer a handwritten note to a lot of the tat that’s bought for the hell. How many mugs, teddies, bears key among the best teachers a person need?”
And another added: “As a teacher, I feel very strongly that this is unfair to pupils whose families have very low incomes and cannot afford to buy gifts.
“It’s morally abhorrent, tacky when there are people struggling to pay for heat, food and clothes. I get paid for my work, none of us need a freebie.
“I make it clear in advance that I would prefer not to accept gifts. Many local charities collect gifts for children in care. These are collected by local charities. . Much more appropriate and celebratory than a gift to a teacher.”
Some mothers said their children’s schools had banned individual gifts and instead donations were made to charities or relief funds.
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