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Class Chanukah gifts to teachers
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:06 am
I’m sitting on my couch crying. All these super sweet mommies arranging class gifts to the teachers just asking $40 or just asking $25 without realizing that not everyone has money to spare. Hakaras ha tov is beautiful but why oh why do I need to be mortified in front of my kids friends mothers that all these “justs” add up and no I wasn’t planning on spending that??? Why can’t it be done individually or by the PTA so no one has to know who gave what or better yet not even be a standard! I just got a call from the two mothers in my kids class who are organizing and was put on the spot and I’m so embarrassed and feel bullied into giving away money I don’t have. Of course they meant well! They are so nice! Just oblivious that not everyone can afford extras. Then I got a text from another kid’s class “reminder to send the money for the class gift” umm reminder? How about would you like to participate in a collective gift? I’m so embarrassed and it hurts so much. I really don’t want to share my personal financial struggles with the neighborhood.
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salt




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:21 am
That is a ton of money, you're right.
I'm not sure it will help you for this time, and I don't know how schools really work in the US, but could you approach the school management and ask them to come out with some rule - teacher's gifts are not allowed to be more than $10 per child. It's an unnecessary extra cost and a strain on many parents.

Alternatively, could you say to the mother collecting that you are giving your own gift this year, therefore you're not participating. Then send in a nice small box of chocolates or a note with your daughter.

$40 is TONS (especially if you have more than 1 child in school).
I am often involved in collecting money for Purim and end-of-year gifts in my kids' kindergartens and schools in Israel, and we debate whether to ask for 15 shekels or perhaps 5 or 10, because 15 may be too much!
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:33 am
salt wrote:
That is a ton of money, you're right.
I'm not sure it will help you for this time, and I don't know how schools really work in the US, but could you approach the school management and ask them to come out with some rule - teacher's gifts are not allowed to be more than $10 per child. It's an unnecessary extra cost and a strain on many parents.

Alternatively, could you say to the mother collecting that you are giving your own gift this year, therefore you're not participating. Then send in a nice small box of chocolates or a note with your daughter.

$40 is TONS (especially if you have more than 1 child in school).
I am often involved in collecting money for Purim and end-of-year gifts in my kids' kindergartens and schools in Israel, and we debate whether to ask for 15 shekels or perhaps 5 or 10, because 15 may be too much!


I’ve been thinking about speaking with the school to set rules about gifts. Honestly, the mothers collecting for the class gift thing should be abolished to spare the embarrassment and pressure on those who can’t afford. I was planning on sending a baked good with a nice card until I was so sweetly told that I was the only one not on the class card.
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salt




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:40 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I’ve been thinking about speaking with the school to set rules about gifts. Honestly, the mothers collecting for the class gift thing should be abolished to spare the embarrassment and pressure on those who can’t afford. I was planning on sending a baked good with a nice card until I was so sweetly told that I was the only one not on the class card.


That's just downright mean. The class card should just read "...from class X"
But anyway, so what. So you're name won't be on the card, because you gave your own gift.
Do yo think the teacher goes down the list and checks off comparing with the class list to see who is and isn't there?
Well if she does, then she doesn't deserve the gift either Smile
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amother




Green
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:42 am
I feel really bad. I was assigned class mom and I did do such calls today! I wonder if I spoke to you.🙈
I thought I was being nice and sweet for offering to do it but didn’t notice that it can truly hurt some moms. It’s a headache for me in such a hectic time but someone’s gotta do it. For those saying $40 is crazy I’m pretty sure that’s for 4 teachers in the same class. So $10 per teacher isn’t much less than the ingredients for baked goods. I feel terrible for those moms who can’t give. I think you should call the school and explain your predicament maybe they’ll change things in the future. The idea of pooling all money together is because when you give separately you feel obligated to give more. I’m not sure what the solution might be but I do feel very bad for you!
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amother




Green
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:44 am
Oh of course we write on the card that it’s from the entire class. No need to list names and embarrass one mom. That’s really mean.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:46 am
It shouldn’t be a standard. Period. If a gift is needed let it be done through the school. And $40 is crazy even if there are 3 assistants in the class. To many people $40 is a LOT of money.
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amother




Green
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 1:52 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
It shouldn’t be a standard. Period. If a gift is needed let it be done through the school. And $40 is crazy even if there are 3 assistants in the class. To many people $40 is a LOT of money.

Absolutely. We need a separate mortgage for all the tips. But I find it’s cheaper chanuka when we pool with the class than Purim when we don’t. Btw I collected $20 and that’s for 3 people. We’d never be comfortable giving this little if we’d all give separately. I’m not minimizing your pain though!
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amother




Mistyrose
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 2:47 am
It can be done by the PTA, and it is in many schools. Maybe you can spearhead the project for next year. In the meantime, may you have health and prosperity and a wonderful Channukah.
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amother




Coffee
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 6:08 am
OP, you're not alone. I just shelled out $25 and $33 for 2 different daughters, and received a note from the boys' school reminding us to tip also the bus drivers, besides teachers and rabbeim. Unfortunately, I can't say I give with a happy heart and an open hand.
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sim




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 6:29 am
I am a teacher, and quite a few of the parents don't participate in the class gift. Often I'll get instead a lovely card accompanied by a chocolate bar or a small cake, and I think it's absolutely lovely. Don't worry about it!
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 6:29 am
$10 lee teacher/ assistant is pretty standard. That being said pay what you can afford, even if ifs $5 each and just tell the class mother thars the best you csn do.
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amother




Pewter
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 7:43 am
I have 6 kids. My cell phone does not stop ringing the past few days with calls from mothers asking me for money. I DONT HAVE MONEY. If I am not responding to your calls and texts please leave me alone. It's so embarrassing for me when the message is - you're the only mother I did not get through to. Please leave me alone!!!
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 7:48 am
As a teacher, I have had parents give a chocolate bar with a note. Not every parent contributes to the gifts and it doesn’t have to be something that costs money. Trust me teachers appreciate it of course but arent in teaching for the money.
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amother




Burgundy
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 8:39 am
My kids are in a school where everyone uses email-it is the school's main form of communication. The PTA send out email blasts to the entire parent body-many of them, stating pleas sign up for teachers appreciation gifts. There is an option for if you have one kid or multiple kids (like $40/75) for the holiday which is coming up or to donate now for RH/Chanukah/Purim/EOY and to donate or not is always an option. You can choose to send a check to the chair or not. Nobody calls, nobody pressures. I am sure if you sent a lesser check you would get the sand thank you and nobody would bat an eye. The email does say these are the families that have thus far participated. It is a very long list (maybe there are 5-600 families in the school) and I only check to see if I remembered to send in. Nobody is examining it. If someone is not on the list, not that I would notice, but I would assume they either didn't get around to it or were doing something more costly or special.
I highly recommend this system.

Something I've also always noted/wondered, with so many people on financial need/scholarship are they being show-off/marchers by now being generous donors?
I don't begrudge, just intrigued as I know Hashem is in charge of finances and has plans of all of us, but I know someone who is on scholarship, food..... but their name is on a nice plaque in our new Shul, high on the journal list of Mikva donors.....
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 8:46 am
I think ppl shoukd switch attitudes! Look as those mandatory " gifts" as part of tuition!!
At this point, it's not a gift anymore! School expects it,teacher expect it and class mother do the (dirty!)job of calling parents and collecting!
It's not a surprise but we get those thread every year because it's uncomfortable to get calls when we don't have the money!
Somehow we all manage to pay some money for tuition between September and December !
Think ahead and cheshbon in advance an extra $25/kid that you will have to give come chanuka time!
It's started as a nice idea now I'm not so sure! Nobody wants to be forced to give a gift!
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amother




Royalblue
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 8:51 am
This is my pet peeve. It's been money that is hard to give and I don't feel it accomplishes what I want a gift to a teacher to accomplish. At this point it is just expected by the school and teacher which means there is no way for the teacher to know whether I really appreciate her. I feel we would be so much better abolishing this concept completely. Let everyone give according to their means and let the teacher get the genuine appreciation behind that.
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amother




Beige
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 8:58 am
amother [ Salmon ] wrote:
I think ppl shoukd switch attitudes! Look as those mandatory " gifts" as part of tuition!!
At this point, it's not a gift anymore! School expects it,teacher expect it and class mother do the (dirty!)job of calling parents and collecting!
It's not a surprise but we get those thread every year because it's uncomfortable to get calls when we don't have the money!
Somehow we all manage to pay some money for tuition between September and December !
Think ahead and cheshbon in advance an extra $25/kid that you will have to give come chanuka time!
It's started as a nice idea now I'm not so sure! Nobody wants to be forced to give a gift!


This is my pet peeve. Why are these gifts mandatory!?? They are gifts, and if I want to give a gift that should be my prerogative. Why is the school delegating what when, where and how much to give in regards to a gift?

If they're so insistent that the teachers receive a gift on Chanukah, let the school board, the teachers' employers, do the gift giving and acknowledge their hard work themselves. Acknowledgement from your employers also goes a long way. And then let me decide when and where and with what I want to do my own acknowledgement.
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amother




Beige
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 8:58 am
notshanarishona wrote:
$10 lee teacher/ assistant is pretty standard. That being said pay what you can afford, even if ifs $5 each and just tell the class mother thars the best you csn do.


Why is there a standard to begin with?
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amother




Amber
 

Post Thu, Dec 10 2020, 9:17 am
$25/40 a kid is a lot for large families.

Our schools are asking $7 Hebrew / $7 English. Split if there are multiple teachers. $3 per family for office staff.
$3 if have speech or tutor.

$10 Morah with playgroup in home. $5 assistant.

The teachers aren’t getting a lot but it is too show you care. If anyone wants to give more they can separately.
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