Not all heroes wear capes.
But the heroes I’m talking about, do this: patiently put up with kids, teach them constructive stuff, feed them if they’re without food, appreciate them in ways that parents often just don’t have the time for, and on top of all of that, listen to parental concerns and demands.
That’s right, I’m talking about TEACHERS.
All parents would agree that teachers are marvellous, and an inherent part of our kids’ childhoods. But not all parents agree with the idea of giving the teachers of their children gifts – not even end-of-year Christmas gifts. It’s the subject of much debate every December; to give or not to give?
It seems that the majority do believe in tokens of appreciation for the adults responsible for their angels/ratbags for much of the year. Most parents find parenting hard work even when it’s their own kids and there’s just one of them (ahem, this author, for example), so multiply that by twenty and you can see why many of us think teachers deserve a small gift – if not a gold medal.
There are also the parents rely on the school more than others for assistance and advice on their kids, and so naturally develop friendships with teachers – or are appreciative of any extra efforts made for their family.
So if teacher gift-giving is about gratitude, does this mean that the parents who don't give teachers gifts are ungrateful? Of course not.
Here are the reasons why some parents don't play School-Santa:
1. They don't know that teacher gift-giving is a thing.
The custom seems to be highly dependent on personal experience and traditions. There are people who are genuinely surprised that other parents give presents to teachers and school staff. Ask anyone at the school gate (as we did) and there will be a number of parents who didn't know it's something that many do. It also varies from school to school - with some schools actually banning the practice. So giving is not a given.
Listen: We talk to a teacher about the things every parents has always wanted to ask. Post continues after audio.