Do you buy your students gifts?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 26, 2020

    Recently learned that giving gifts far beyond a pencil and a candy cane (examples of current season) is A Thing.

    Like, yikes, who has that money besides @futuremathsprof ?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 26, 2020

    I did when I was a new teacher. I've always worked in really low SES schools and I felt like my students might not be getting much for the holidays. Walmart used to have little toys you could buy in bulk, and I would put together little treat bags for my students. While it wasn't terribly expensive, I obviously put some money into it. The majority of my students didn't seem that excited about it and weren't that grateful, honestly. I stopped doing that after my 2nd year of teaching, and slowly weaned off of spending any money on school at all. I haven't spent any of my own money on school things since year 5 (I'm on year 11 now).

    I also used to buy stuff for my kids to decorate cookies on the last day before break (side note- I've never had a student who didn't celebrate Christmas), and that also stopped with the "not spending money on school" thing. Over the last few years I've gotten away from a lot of the "special activity" type thing. My students honestly do better with their regular routine. The last two years, the day before winter break I did our regular lesson routines, but with review content so it was a little lower stress, and added in a couple of academic games like word bingo. This year we're remote through January, so I'm just going to make it a regular day.
     
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  4. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Yes.
     
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  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    No. I have over 100 students a day, so no gifts.
     
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  6. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Nov 27, 2020

    The occasional chocolate bar for my home group at Christmas and Easter. My school always had a Form captain (as sort of p.a. ) who was chosen from the group. I would alsways reward them at the end of a year with an appropriate gift. One 'Rock chick' who did the job for me loved her Alice Cooper 'School's Out' T shirt.
     
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  7. Teachingtoo

    Teachingtoo Rookie

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    I did when I was kindergarten teacher. Candies and lollipops, that's it.
     
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  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I think I'm going to this year. I haven't normally, which (now during covid I'm reconsidering all of my interpersonal interactions with others). I also feel like I want to give something to fellow staff too... all of this might cost a lot, but like I said, I'm now reconsidering the way I interact with others (using this as a learning/growth period).
     
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  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 27, 2020

    The districts in NJ, by and large, don't allow us to hand out food treats anymore. Similarly, one needs to be very careful about not playing favorites, or giving the perception of playing favorites. What now seems like "long ago", we gave out goodies, but I haven't in what seems like forever. I recall the youngest children seeming to enjoy getting something that was totally unexpected, but times have changed, and I would be hesitant to gift in this age due to perceived "playing favorites." It is a different landscape than it was when my son was little, so I strive to add enjoyment to what we do during the holidays, mostly geared towards encouraging students to reach out to others in the seasons of giving, hoping they will find comfort and pleasure in reaching out to others who may be in need or lacking in the creature comforts. My sincere belief is that whenever they can perceive need in others, and reach out with feelings of generosity and fond wishes, it builds character and a belief in helping others who are in need. I think of it as character building, and think that learning to show kindness to others who may be struggling to make ends meet or are having to do without should be something we can do for any person who is struggling during these holidays. If at all possible, I like to encourage students to give of themselves during the holiday seasons, because it is personal, and creates real bonds between the students and their community. I try to enhance what I can share with my students so that they can recognize that we can all make a difference in someone's life through our actions. Hope this isn't too far removed from your original question - I hope to show students the beauty of generosity, and help them feel that any person, large or small, rich or poor, can make a difference in someone's life.
     
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  10. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2020

    Last year, the middle school did a program around Christmas where the kids could request a book and one of the teachers/staff would get it for them. *note- the school had no library* It worked out because there weren't a ton of students and not all of them chose to participate. No "playing favorites" since it was open to all. Teachers opted in as well, so no pressure to spend.
     
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  11. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    Nov 29, 2020

    I live in a relatively blessed area. Therefore, I spend my money donating gifts to needing families and just use free rewards with my class at large. I swear they enjoy game time or extra recess more than any gift I've tried.
     
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  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Nov 29, 2020

    I have always taught elementary, and typically gave my students a book from Scholastic, a new box of crayons which I had purchased during summer sales, a candy cane and a new pencil and eraser.

    We did an activity called The Peppermint Post Office, where each day we wrote a kind note to a different student in the class (we did everyone, just over two to three weeks), and then they got all of the notes to themselves on the last day before break. This was a huge hit with kids and parents.
     
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  13. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Nov 30, 2020

    I used to go all out at Christmas with my team teacher. One year, we shopped and got the cutest watches for the kids. It was back in the day where girls liked pink and boys liked blue. The problem we had was there were not enough pink ones that were the exact same style. We had to buy about 5 that were a bit different. We split the cost. Anyways, after shopping, wrapping, and name tagging these 44 gifts, we passed them out. This was 20 years ago: A girl named Mary ( Yes, I still remember her name) had an absolute hissy fit that her watch happened to be a tiny bit different. She threw it back on my desk and said, " I don't want this kind." You could tell she was assuming we'd get her the other kind somehow. She should not have assumed. I just said, " Are you sure you don't want this?" She yelled, "No." I just said, "Fine!" It took awhile, but she realized she should have kept it.

    I think that is when we scaled back to a Christmas pencil and candy cane. As the years went on, kids just became more spoiled and less appreciative of things, so I totally stopped buying anything. I saved my time, money, and energy.
     
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  14. JaggedLilPilton

    JaggedLilPilton New Member

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    Nov 30, 2020

    I've known kids buying gifts for the teachers and maybe yeah little token gifts like a bookmark or a pencil or something but nothing too much. I think it's also far more of a thing with younger kids. Back when they're actually nice to teachers lol.
     
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  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    When I taught elementary I did. Since I'm in high school now, and have nearly 200 students, I do not. I did get everyone a mini candy cane. I'll give it them as they leave class the last day in person before break.
     
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  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Nope.
     
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  17. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Comrade

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    My school gets gifts donated every year from a non-profit. Teachers pick the gifts for their students. As a high school teacher, I always ask for a gift card and we take a trip to the big box store as a real world activity for students to pick out their own gifts. I make them plan what they are going to buy. They have to determine if they have enough money to cover it including tax and determine how much will be left on their card after they purchase their item/s.

    This year unfortunately, we are going to have to do a virtual shopping trip.

    (This is a class for students with autism. We target real world skills all day, every day)
     
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  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    We have a committee that buys one gift per student at school so I've never had to buy any myself. I do sometimes buy gifts for the classroom that everyone can use (new games, etc.).
     
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  19. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Companion

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    No, I teach HS, and have over 100 students.
     
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  20. tuankiet153

    tuankiet153 Rookie

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    I bought chocopie for my favorite class. That’s it.
     
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  21. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    LOL!
    No, I don't... although I have brought donuts and tiramisu for my advisory for things like Valentines Day or St Patty's Day (before COVID)
     
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  22. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I'm their gift LOL
     
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  23. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I’ve given them books before and I felt they weren’t appreciated much by most students. A few did appreciate them though. Mostly, there’s so much going on during this time of year that they’re already overwhelmed and don’t need anything else given to them. I think, like many of us, they appreciate the activities more than the stuff. A cozy day of sitting on the classroom floor and watching a winter movie usually makes them very happy.
     
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  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    When I taught elementary school, I always used to buy a $1 book from Scholastic. One year The Magician's Nephew, other years it was other books.

    Now that I'm in secondary... yikes, no.
     
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  25. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Up until a few years ago I was not financially capable of giving gifts. When you have 4 kids of your own and 3 of those were in college, plus paying off student loans myself. Now that those 3 are on their own and done with the part of college Im paying for I have a few more dollars to spend. I usually buy a pad of writing paper and some pencils. This year since we were unexpectedly thrown into remote learning from Thanksgiving on I did not get them anything. I will do something for them when we come back.
     
  26. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2020

    With over 100 students, my team and I would often treat our home rooms to a little something. I stopped buying gifts and did a breakfast- donuts and cocoa and stuff. That was much more appreciated than gifts. Not this year. No food allowed.
     
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  27. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    If you wanted to, would you be allowed to do individually packaged snacks, like a bag of chips?
     
  28. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Dec 19, 2020

    I usually bake my graduating students a piece of shortbread with a personalised note, telling them what I’d remember most fondly about them, how proud I am about various accomplishments, reminisce about any fun things we may have done or a conversation we may have shared or any personal shared interests eg sports teams etc. I find that whilst they love the shortbread, they really appreciate the note. It takes a lot of time to personalise these notes but it’s meaningful and costs nothing.
    At the end of the school year I receive lots of little gifts like chocolates and what not but what I really love is the cards they write me, so it makes sense that they love receiving notes from me too.
     
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  29. Limpeto

    Limpeto New Member

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    Never did it and not planning to to be honest. I don't think it's appropriate
     
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  30. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    I think as the years passed, I felt the same way!:rofl::rofl:
     
  31. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The gift that keeps on giving (whether they like it or not).
     
  32. AmberP

    AmberP Rookie

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    Sometimes I do contests, then I buy different cute prizes. But the school has a strict policy, so you have to get permission for that. Now I have almost 50 students, so gifts have become more expensive.
     

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