Can Teachers Accept Gifts From Parents?
It’s nearing the end of term and you're thinking about giving your child’s teacher a gift to say thank you for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year. But before you commit to buying a gift you need to first find out if your school allows gift-giving and if your teacher will accept the gift.
Although giving your child’s teacher a gift is thoughtful and kind, it can cause a number of problems. Due to the culture of gift-giving, parents feel pressured to buy the teacher a gift, so they can fit in with other parents and their child doesn’t feel left out. A gift should not be given if you do not want to offer a gift and just feel expected to do so. Because of this, some schools have a no-gift policy. This is to prevent resentment from other pupils and reduces the intimacy of the parent-pupil relationship. Some schools believe that gift-giving fuels favouritism as teachers feel they need to pay back the parent for the gift. The no-gift policy removes all of these problems.
However, there are often a few exceptions to this rule. Instead of gifts for a single teacher, schools accept donations and money towards school equipment and activities. This often includes sports equipment, after school activities and school trips. Offering a donation to the school rather than to the teacher benefits the whole school and not just the teacher. After all, teachers prefer a gift to help their pupils develop and have fun.
Alternatively, you could give a donation to charity. There are many different charities to work with but there may be a specific charity close to the teacher’s heart. This is a very thoughtful gift that is appreciated by teachers. The school may also have a specific charity that they partner with in the local area.
If you feel obliged to thank your child’s teacher at the end of the school year. You could always talk to your child’s teacher in person and thank them for everything they’ve done for your child. This is more personal and appreciated by all teachers. If your child would like to give their teacher a gift, a handwritten note or a hand-painted drawing is a great touch that is accepted by all teachers. This is often better received than a shop bought gift.
Some schools allow teacher gifts but have a strict gift-giving policy. Schools often put a limit on how much you can spend on a teacher gift. This varies from school to school, so you would need to check your child’s specific school for details. This prevents competition between parents and resentment between pupils.
Before you buy your child’s teacher a gift, first check the gift policy with your child’s school. Teachers will almost always accept gifts which will benefit the whole class or school such as stationery supplies or donations towards school equipment. But if you really would like to show your appreciation for a specific teacher, a hand-drawn card, note or drawing would put a smile on any teacher’s face.
Next Up: What to Get Teachers as a Gift