You need more than a Granny Smith to be a teacher’s pet these days

BUYING gifts for teachers at the end of an academic year – it’s getting out of hand.

It is the only profession I can think of where people are given gifts on a regular basis to thank them, essentially, for doing a job they are paid to do. Nevertheless, it is a well-established tradition.

However, whereas in my day it was perfectly acceptable to give a teacher a homemade card or cake, end-of-year presents are becoming increasingly expensive and extravagant.

Society has moved away from handmade gifts and towards shop-bought ones, removing the thought and effort which should go into the act, and encouraging an unhealthy competition between parents.

A teacher I know is regularly bought pricey gifts such as aftershave and shirts, and once he was even given an expensive watch.


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The concept is becoming too commercialised, with shops and supermarkets cashing in on the act.

Children often parade their gifts around the playground, and those whose parents can only afford an inexpensive gift, or no gift at all, are no doubt teased by their classmates.

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Over the years, the sentiment of giving gifts to teachers has been lost, as it is no longer a sign of appreciation for the hard work a teacher has put in, or an indication that they are well-liked. Presents are quite simply expected, and are often used by parents as a vehicle to curry favour with their child’s teacher.

The only antidote to the unhealthy competition which has developed is to ban the act of giving end-of-year gifts altogether, unless, of course, they are handmade.

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