How Much Should I Spend on a Teacher's Gift?
It’s great to give your child’s teacher at the end of the school year. But your gift of appreciation shouldn’t break the bank. How much should you actually spend on a teacher gift? Or should you get your child’s teacher a gift at all?
The amount of money spent on teacher gifts increases year after year. There appears to be competition between parents who can buy the class teacher the most expensive and luxurious gift. With some parents spending up to £30 on gifts for their child’s teacher at Christmas and at the end of the school year. This is unnecessary and places great pressure on other parents and pupils to do the same. Buying a teacher a gift shouldn’t be a competition. It should be thoughtful and genuine.
On average, a parent spends £8 on a gift for their child’s teacher. This means that the teacher may end up with £240 worth of gifts! With the number of duplicate gifts including mugs, teddy bears and chocolates, there are a lot of unwanted gifts. To prevent this and reduce expenditure, you could coordinate with other parents to buy the class teacher a thank you hamper or well-needed classroom supplies. This will reduce the spend to a more manageable £2 to £3 per pupil. This will also stop other pupils from feeling left out because they cannot afford a gift for their teacher.
A lot of teachers encourage parents to not give them gifts because watching their pupils grow is a teacher’s greatest reward. This is a gift that money simply cannot buy. Many 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. But exceptions to this rule are gifts that don’t cost anything. These include personal tokens of appreciation such as a handmade card or drawing, a heartfelt letter or even just a simple conversation with your child’s teacher to say thank you. These gestures are often more meaningful than shop bought gifts.
Instead of spending money on a single teacher, a lot of teachers would appreciate the money being spent on more important things. For example, money towards school or sports equipment which would benefit the whole school and not just the teacher. Or stationery supplies that will restock the resource cupboard for the next term. You could also use the money to donate to a charity.
But you don’t have to buy your child’s teacher anything at all. With the culture of gift-giving, many parents think they are expected to spend on their child’s teacher year in, year out. If you have more than one child, this can become an expensive tradition. So, don’t feel pressured into buying your child’s teacher a gift.
The amount of money you spend on a teacher gift is totally up to you. But before you hand over the cash, think about the effect the spend will have on other parents and if an expensive gift is really worth it. A heartfelt, personal gift that doesn’t cost anything is often the best gift of all.
Next Up: Do You Have to Give Teacher Gifts?