Monday, 17 November 2008

Present Problem

I've marked a set of tests twice tonight (yes, the same tests) after discovering mistakes on mark scheme. Totally fed up with it so decided to catch up a bit on blogland. Read a few amusing blogs and thought I would blog something that happened this weekend:

So there I was standing talking to Pregnant Mum at yet another birthday party this weekend, when Scary Mum (scary as in Morticia Addams) came over to us.

"I'll be collecting £10 from each of you for the teachers' Christmas presents" she said.

Notice, no 'please' or ' what do you think?' or even 'a contribution'.

No, just 'I'll be mugging you for £10'.

"Oh" I said, in a bit of a state of shock, "What are you going to get?"

Buying time while I let it sink in and decide how I feel about this.

"Just some John Lewis vouchers, it's easiest" she replied.

"That's fine", said Pregnant Mum, "By Christmas I'll be too busy to decide what to get them anyway"

Scary Mum then leaves to accost other mums, not waiting for a reply from me.

Is this normal?

(I feel compelled to point out that I've never received £100 in John Lewis vouchers from my pupils' parents at Christmas)


Sass E-mum said...

Oh that's horrible. My mum always used to give miniatures of homemade sloe gin. Far more festive and fun.

I'll be continuing some homemade version of the family tradition when Peaches gets to school age.

He he. Scary women don't get money out of me so easy.

auntiegwen said...

Me neither !

I wouldn't say no though !

Moannie said...


bollocks to that, a box of chocs..from ALdi!! its the thought not the point scoring bloody hell!!!
.easy way out youve already got your gifts.

saz x

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

oooppps that moannie comment was actually .. from me..FFF l forgot to log out, doing some editing for her..soz as the kids would say..
and its still NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for £10...


Hello WM - Come and be a teacher at my girls' school!! Oh yes, I was accosted my first Christmas there by over-efficient Class Rep demanding same. She was a bit less ruthless about it than Morticia, but it didn't seem open to much debate...does put one in rather an awkward position, I must say.

The autumn term is hellish as a parent - so I can't imagine how much worse it is for you. Actually, I can, since you've described it beautifully! Big respect to you girl, don't know how you do it - and with a 'Four Year Old Just Starting School' to deal with too. (Mine nearly killed me!)


the mother of this lot said...

Just tell her your daughter is looking forward to choosing her own present for the teacher. That's what I always do.

(And remember to swap your user name when you're commenting)!

gigi said...

I've always given teachers gifts but never been asked or TOLD how much by another parent. That is up to individuals what they can afford to give. Growing up my mom would bake homemade cookies for the teachers of her 5 children. We had very little and that was the best she could do.

Mom/Mum said...

Sounds like daylight robbery to me!
Maybe i am just tight, but some of our family don't even get a tenner spent on them at Christmas!
doesn't Robber Mum realise there's a credit crunch on?

Maggie May said...

That happened to my son last July when he was asked for a fiver for the teachers present. That was Reception class, where my granddaughter went. They must have given a substantial voucher.
Gone are the days of a lacy handkerchief!

Working mum said...

Thank you! It's not just me that thinks it's a bit over the top, then?

I had already decided that daughter would make our famous gingerbread biscuits for her teachers and have bought cellophane bags and ribbons for them, so will continue with worthy present project.

Will use excuse that this is what daughter wants to do. Thanks for the tip MOTL. (I only left a comment at yours before I realised I had the wrong username - oh the trials of living a double blogging life!)

Ladybird World Mother said...

Crikey, I have to make do with crap soap (not literally) dodgy looking chocolates (check the sell by date) and the occasional Fun Gift which I wonder what to do with for about 5 years before taking to the charity shop or giving to another teacher. Oh, and wine. (yum) I agree with moannie - NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
(best teacher present I ever got was from some 15 year old boys, yobbih beyond belief, who's every other word began with F... they all saved up and bought me a watch as a leaving present. Or they stole it. Either way, I loved it!)

Mean Mom said...

You're obviously working at the wrong school. Do they have any vacancies?

Male teachers at my lads' schools tended to get 30 pens, or 30 boxes of Quality Street. Female teachers would get 30 small boxes of chocs or 30 small bottles of handcream. As a teacher there are some things you will never be short of. ;0)

On a more serious note, it would just be WRONG for a teacher to accept that much in cash/vouchers. I feel quite strongly about that!

Jacki said...

Wow, I'd have to say no to that. I don't like being told I have to contribute money to something.

cheshire wife said...

What has happened to an apple for the teacher?

Suburbia said...

I have come across this myself and have kept away! With the risk of sounding very mean (but working in a school myself so I feel I can say it) I don't know why people need to give teachers expensive presents at Christmas. I mean, they/we do get paid for teaching their children! If the children want to give a token or something they've made then I think that's really nice, however I have heard a teacher 'coach' her children by saying that she likes presents that are 'bottle shaped'! How mercenary is that?

Claire Sutton said...

We've just been asked by our class rep for AU$10 per child for our teachers end of year present (end of school year coincides with Christmas here) but that's about £5 so I thought that that was OK.

Am I wrong in thinking that teachers may get a little fed up with candles, chocolates and body lotion and would prefer vouchers? If so, I'll have to get out my contribution quickly!

scrappysue said...

not normal for here. it's totally up to the indiviudal parent. i usually make a craft or said child does. it happens in the states tho and some of those mums sound SCARY!!!

Working mum said...


As a teacher myself I have never been fed up with whatever a child had chosen for me: chocs, candles, bubble bath, etc are all used up eventually, mugs go to school and remind me of the child when I have a cuppa, and so on .....

I especially like the things they made themselves, eg cards/biscuits/jam etc. I would feel quite uncomfortable receiving vouchers. It definitely is the thought that counts - I just like a heartfelt "thank you"!

Polly said...

Bah, no thought or sincerity whatsoever - no wonder she's the scary mum.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

ooopppps..just realised I had still signed as Moannie/the view from this end, when it was ME FFF leaving a comment, have just had to email her and say sorry too!! sigh..I was editing her post for her....and just realised..

Working mum said...

FFF Now I understand your comment!!

Funnily enough, I did the same thing at Mother's Pride this week.

At least you've introduced me to Moannie!

Suburbia said...

I have just read your comment to Claire, I'm so glad that as a teacher, you don't get fed up with home made gifts. I used to get my two to make stuff for their teachers until someone told me they saw another teacher throwing things that had been made for them in the bin. It put me off giving homemade. The children put so much time and effort in I would feel sorry to think it had just been discarded instantly