Wednesday, 2 December 2015

School Days, Part 2 - Gifting for Teachers and Caregivers

This is part two of  my posting on gifting for teachers and caregivers.  Last month I reached out to my social network of caregivers including: Teachers (both elementary and secondary school), Early Childhood Educators, Nannies, Babysitters and Special Education Workers to find out more about the good, the bad and the ugly about gifts they've received over their careers and thought I'd share part 2 of the results.  To view part 1 click here

Image courtesy of Image Basket.

What is the most useful gift you've received?  

Without question gift cards reigned as the clear leader in this category with coffee shop gift cards being the number one type of gift card to receive.

"A gift card for Dollarama or other stores where teachers regularly shop would be appreciated.  We end up buying a lot of supplies for our classes out of our own pocket for our classes, not that this is a complaint, but gift cards for those stores would go to good use." said SB, primary school teacher.

"Something the child has worked really hard on, like a drawing or poem that is easy to tuck away and doesn't take up space at home is always on the top of my list." said, AL.

Have you ever refused a gift from a student/client? Explain why and how it went.

"I have refused gifts that weren't really theirs to give or were given to them from their parents.  I had a little girl a few years back try to give me a very special necklace her mother had given her because she loved me so much.  Although I was touched by the gesture, it would never be appropriate to accept that, and her mother would be unhappy about it!  I told her I knew why she was giving it to me, and that my heart felt very happy at the fact she thought so much about me, but some presents are too special to give away.  I then asked her if I could wear it while I was at her house instead, and she agreed happily." said The Stretch for Something Beautiful, nanny and babysitter.

"Since I usually teach adults, I have been offered some pretty strange gifts.  I have been offered personal massages, home cooked meals, and even a sample of medicine from a hospital. I always refuse these types of gifts." said UJ.

"Sometimes kids buy new markers or notepads and get overly excited about it and want to share their new purchases with their teachers.  In situations like this I tell them I'd rather they keep their new set complete. It's their stuff and they should use it and enjoy it!" said SB, primary school teacher.

"Thankfully I have never received anything that I have had to refuse!" said JF, an elementary school teacher.

"I have never refused a gift, I would feel too mean." said MP, middle school/high school teacher.

Do you have any advice, stories, or lessons learned on teaching children about what a generous heart/ giving spirit means that would be helpful to parents and guardians?

"When I was in elementary school I went to a before and after-school program and by the time I hit grade five I really hated it.  I felt like I lived at school, was sick of most of my teachers and found everyone's involvement in my life really invasive and annoying.  When Christmas arrived my mother wanted me to bring gifts to all of my teachers and leaders, but they weren't the people I wanted to give to.  I had been able to get to know the custodian at my school pretty well.  She was a wonderful woman who was always smiling and very positive from morning to night.  I made sure that the biggest and best present I gave out that year was for her.  When I gave her the present she began to cry and told me it was the first time she had received a gift from a student.  To this day I don't remember a lot of my teachers, but I will never forget that one woman's positivity and warmth.  Custodians are there everyday cleaning up nosebleeds, spilled lunches, washroom floors and making sure that paths are shovelled of snow and salted so kids won't slip.  I never had a bus driver, but I'm certain they also have to put up with a lot of crap too....Try giving thanks to those who rarely get it, but often deserve it." said UJ.

"My son went to a friend's birthday party recently and she asked for donations to the Food Bank as her gift.  I thought that was truly awesome.  Kids have too much stuff already and get a ridiculous number of gifts sometimes." said MP, middle school/high school teacher.

"I personally dislike receiving gifts in front of other students as it can make kids feel like they should have bought me something.  I teach students that kindness is free and that it's more powerful to give than to receive, so I really try to model this message.  I also really love students giving to a charity like World Vision in lieu of gifts from students, staff at my school felt that they already have so much and it was important for students to see how good it feels to help others, we are all very proud of what we as a collective can give to those in need." said JF, elementary school teacher.

"Sometimes we get caught up with the notion that being generous means giving things, whether it be donating new/used toys or donating money to charities.  It's important to teach your child how to be generous with their words, giving other people compliments or focusing on and celebrating a person's strengths and talents rather than pointing out weaknesses.  Words can go a long way and the generosity and love shown through your words often reflects on your own character and personality." said SB, primary school teacher.

To read about gift ideas for the pregnant friend or family member in your life click here

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