Parenting

Cash as group gift to preschool teacher?

I am coordinating a collection for DS' preschool teachers holiday gift, which I pretty much can pick myself as the class will give money but the parents suck at giving suggestions/participating. The initial plan was a gift card of some sort.  My sister, a preschool teacher herself, suggested buying each of the teachers a cute change purse and putting cash directly into the purse, with a note calling it 'Teacher Mad Money'. While I would love to get cash (and it should be about $150 per teacher), is it innapropriate to give it to the teacher? It would be in a Vera Bradley bag, either change purse or wristlet.  It is a private school.  I may ask the director tomorrow when I cross paths if it is ok to give.  For some reason it feels different to me than a gift card, which is pretty much the same thing.
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Re: Cash as group gift to preschool teacher?

  • While I will be giving my son's preschool teachers cash for a Christmas gift, I would be highly annoyed if another parent asked me to pony up money for a gift. 

    Having said that, I think CASH is a better way to go (over gift card).

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • image ridesbuttons:

    While I will be giving my son's preschool teachers cash for a Christmas gift, I would be highly annoyed if another parent asked me to pony up money for a gift. 

    Seriously? You have never had a kid in a class where parents coordinated a group gift from those families who wanted to participate for the holidays or end of year? You sound like a bill was put in their mailbox. Out of 18 kids, only 1 family declined b/c they had already bought a gift.

  • We have been doing exactly that (minus the Vera Bradley) for years in both my kids' classrooms. One parent in each room organizes the gift, we divide the money equally between the teachers and either give an AmEx GC or cash. I'm typically the organizer in DS1s room and another family does it in DS2s room. In the 5 years i've organized ice gotten negative feedback from 1 parent. She basically told me she hated all the teachers and wouldn't be giving. Eveyone else gives the amount they feel is appropriate (generally $75-$100 per family) but we don't suggest any particular amount. A few do their own thing.
  • I know in my particular district we are not allowed to except cash from parents and holiday gifts must be under $25 value.  Obviously, there is no real way to monitor this and I'm sure that I've been given gifts that were over this amount.

    I would feel a little weird getting this much cash, I have no idea why it seems different to me than a gift card.

    Also, I know that the room mother in my classroom is setting up a class gift for me (I got one of the emails about it by accident) this year and I feel bad for the students that either can not contribute or parents who did not have email (it was all done through email).  I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it when they give it to me because I know some students will know they did not participate.  I don't know whether to write a quick thank you to everyone (will this make the parents that did contribute upset) or do I just thank the ones that did contribute and not worry about the feelings of the kids that were not able to.

     Clearly in pre-school they haven't developed those feelings yet, but I know my third-graders have and it definitely puts everyone in a weird position.

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • Group gifts are very common. The room mom asks for about $5 or less from each kid, but it is stressed that it is not mandatory. Much easier and cheaper than going out to find a gift.  In my experience, the card has been signed by all the kids, not just those who gave money.
    imageimageimage
  • Interesting. I do not know of any classes at our school, this year or last, that didn't do group gifts. The school doesn't encourage it, but it is definitely the norm. We don't ask for a specific amount, and I imagine I would just sign the card from the class if not everyone participated.  the family who is not participating, I know what she got for them, and would have no issues not being on the card. I helped someone do it for the year-end gift last year, and then had 4 people (at least) ask if I was going to do it for Christmas this year. 

  • image JCS2007:

    Interesting. I do not know of any classes at our school, this year or last, that didn't do group gifts. The school doesn't encourage it, but it is definitely the norm. We don't ask for a specific amount, and I imagine I would just sign the card from the class if not everyone participated.  the family who is not participating, I know what she got for them, and would have no issues not being on the card. I helped someone do it for the year-end gift last year, and then had 4 people (at least) ask if I was going to do it for Christmas this year. 

     I do think it's different in a private-school setting.  Also, if it's the norm and parents are use to being asked to contribute to gift groups I don't see anything wrong with it.  I would just check if there are any rules on giving cash.

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • image Cbidt's girl:
    Eveyone else gives the amount they feel is appropriate (generally $75-$100 per family) but we don't suggest any particular amount. A few do their own thing.

    Wow!  I guess each school is different.  I'm giving 25$/gc to each teacher and I've been told that is being generous.  Most people I know do 10$ and maybe some food item.  I cannot imagine 100$ per teacher!  Guess I'm just cheap! Lol. 

    image image image
  • image buffalo_buckeye:

    image Cbidt's girl:
    Eveyone else gives the amount they feel is appropriate (generally $75-$100 per family) but we don't suggest any particular amount. A few do their own thing.

    Wow!  I guess each school is different.  I'm giving 25$/gc to each teacher and I've been told that is being generous.  Most people I know do 10$ and maybe some food item.  I cannot imagine 100$ per teacher!  Guess I'm just cheap! Lol. 

    It is drastically different in each setting depending on the school/cost of living/etc.  You are definitely not cheap, the "big" gifts I get would be a $25 gift card which is usually given at Christmas and maybe the end of the year.  Out of my 23 students, I probably get 6 or 7 gifts at each occasion and I live in a very middle class city.

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • I am in charge of DD's kindy class gift.  The other mom and I sent out an email and put a note in the backpacks of the kids who did not have an email address listed in the directory.  We've gotten amounts from $5-$30 from families.  I, personally, think it would make people who felt strapped feel better that they could contribute $5 and knock out 2 teacher gifts with it.  We didn't ask for a specific amount and made it optional.  I would say that 80% of the class has participated.  We are going to buy each teacher (a teacher and an aide, split 70/30) a poinsettia plant and a giftcard.  We have a really cute downtown and you can purchase giftcards to the entire downtown.  So, they can be used on dining, shopping, etc.  I can definitely see the appeal of giving cash...it's so easy to spend.

    ETA: We will sign the card from the families who contributed.  It's the only fair way to do it, IMO.

  • image JCS2007:
    image ridesbuttons:

    While I will be giving my son's preschool teachers cash for a Christmas gift, I would be highly annoyed if another parent asked me to pony up money for a gift. 

    Seriously? You have never had a kid in a class where parents coordinated a group gift from those families who wanted to participate for the holidays or end of year? You sound like a bill was put in their mailbox. Out of 18 kids, only 1 family declined b/c they had already bought a gift.

    I've got a kid in kindergarten and a kid in preschool.  Nobody has ever asked me for a gift/contribution.  The kindy teacher sent out a request for NO gifts to be sent excepting homemade cards and to think of her when making a charitable donation.

    I give $50 cash to each of the 6 preschool teachers for my younger son.  What other parents do is private and up to them.  I don't know what they do and they don't know what I do.

    Gift giving is a personal decision.  I would be very annoyed if someone came to me and asked me to contribute to a group gift.  It puts too much pressure on those families unable to participate. 

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • image j*w*:

    I am in charge of DD's kindy class gift.  The other mom and I sent out an email and put a note in the backpacks of the kids who did not have an email address listed in the directory.  We've gotten amounts from $5-$30 from families.  I, personally, think it would make people who felt strapped feel better that they could contribute $5 and knock out 2 teacher gifts with it.  We didn't ask for a specific amount and made it optional.  I would say that 80% of the class has participated.  We are going to buy each teacher (a teacher and an aide, split 70/30) a poinsettia plant and a giftcard.  We have a really cute downtown and you can purchase giftcards to the entire downtown.  So, they can be used on dining, shopping, etc.  I can definitely see the appeal of giving cash...it's so easy to spend.

    ETA: We will sign the card from the families who contributed.  It's the only fair way to do it, IMO.


     

    See, I don't think that is fair at all. It's not really a class gift if you leave out the children whose parents didn't give you money. These kids do not have a cash flow of their own from which to draw from, so to leave them off the card over something they really have no control over, is just kind of gross to me. And if any of the parents who did contribute have a problem with the gift being from the whole class, they are pretty much missing the whole point of the spirit of giving.


    imageimageimage
  • image buffalo_buckeye:

    image Cbidt's girl:
    Eveyone else gives the amount they feel is appropriate (generally $75-$100 per family) but we don't suggest any particular amount. A few do their own thing.

    Wow!  I guess each school is different.  I'm giving 25$/gc to each teacher and I've been told that is being generous.  Most people I know do 10$ and maybe some food item.  I cannot imagine 100$ per teacher!  Guess I'm just cheap! Lol. 

    we are still in PS and toddler rooms and our typical donation is exactly what you do, $25 per teacher which comes to $75-100 per FAMILY. My kids are at a very expensive, well respected private facility with a clientele mostly made up if ivy leaguers (we are the rare family at the center without this pedigree). I would assume different centers have different traditions and I do nit expect to be handing out $100 to DS's kindy teacher next year!
  • image cristiana:

    image j*w*:

    I am in charge of DD's kindy class gift.  The other mom and I sent out an email and put a note in the backpacks of the kids who did not have an email address listed in the directory.  We've gotten amounts from $5-$30 from families.  I, personally, think it would make people who felt strapped feel better that they could contribute $5 and knock out 2 teacher gifts with it.  We didn't ask for a specific amount and made it optional.  I would say that 80% of the class has participated.  We are going to buy each teacher (a teacher and an aide, split 70/30) a poinsettia plant and a giftcard.  We have a really cute downtown and you can purchase giftcards to the entire downtown.  So, they can be used on dining, shopping, etc.  I can definitely see the appeal of giving cash...it's so easy to spend.

    ETA: We will sign the card from the families who contributed.  It's the only fair way to do it, IMO.


     

    See, I don't think that is fair at all. It's not really a class gift if you leave out the children whose parents didn't give you money. These kids do not have a cash flow of their own from which to draw from, so to leave them off the card over something they really have no control over, is just kind of gross to me. And if any of the parents who did contribute have a problem with the gift being from the whole class, they are pretty much missing the whole point of the spirit of giving.


    Maybe this is a matter of semantics.  We said that if anyone wanted to make a contribution to a group gift, we'd do xyz with any money received.  Maybe using the word class gift in my OP was the wrong wording, IDK.  But, I do not feel bad about only putting the names of the families who contributed because that is accurate.  And, like I said, we didn't ask for a specific amount and we had families give $5.  So, really, everyone was given the option and if they chose not to participate, then it's not big deal, but I'm certainly not going to act like the gift is from them as well.  The notes went to the parents, who have the cashflow, not the kids.  The card is being signed on behalf of the families, not just the kids.

  • image cristiana:

    image j*w*:

    I am in charge of DD's kindy class gift.  The other mom and I sent out an email and put a note in the backpacks of the kids who did not have an email address listed in the directory.  We've gotten amounts from $5-$30 from families.  I, personally, think it would make people who felt strapped feel better that they could contribute $5 and knock out 2 teacher gifts with it.  We didn't ask for a specific amount and made it optional.  I would say that 80% of the class has participated.  We are going to buy each teacher (a teacher and an aide, split 70/30) a poinsettia plant and a giftcard.  We have a really cute downtown and you can purchase giftcards to the entire downtown.  So, they can be used on dining, shopping, etc.  I can definitely see the appeal of giving cash...it's so easy to spend.

    ETA: We will sign the card from the families who contributed.  It's the only fair way to do it, IMO.


     

    See, I don't think that is fair at all. It's not really a class gift if you leave out the children whose parents didn't give you money. These kids do not have a cash flow of their own from which to draw from, so to leave them off the card over something they really have no control over, is just kind of gross to me. And if any of the parents who did contribute have a problem with the gift being from the whole class, they are pretty much missing the whole point of the spirit of giving.


    This, I appreciate people wanting to give something to their child's teacher but if this happens it will honestly just give me a yucky feeling.  Like I said, I'm really not looking forward to getting one large gift from some of my students.  I would rather not get anything then to be put in a position where some of my students feel left out because of something completely out of their control. 

    However, I understand that this was not what the OP was asking and it appears to be the common process in this school.   Not to mention the private school setting is very different from the public school setting.  It's apples and oranges.

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • See and I would never expect my name to be on a gift that I was not a part of...also messes with the spirit of giving.

  • image j*w*:

    See and I would never expect my name to be on a gift that I was not a part of...also messes with the spirit of giving.

    Right, you as the parent.  But the children in the class truly had nothing to do with the gift and whether their parents read the note or have the money to participate.

    So should I read the card out loud?  Or do I not acknowledge anyone in order to not make the children who were not able to participate feel bad?  

    WWYD as the teacher?

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • image j*w*:

    See and I would never expect my name to be on a gift that I was not a part of...also messes with the spirit of giving.

    Then why name names at all?  Why not just sign the card "from your grateful 4th grade students and their parents"?

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • image ridesbuttons:
    image j*w*:

    See and I would never expect my name to be on a gift that I was not a part of...also messes with the spirit of giving.

    Then why name names at all?  Why not just sign the card "from the grateful 4th grade students and their parents"?

    I guess I feel like if people made the effort, it's ok to recognize it.  I imagine the families who did not contribute to the group gift are doing something on their own.  That's what happened in preschool.

  • image goofyteacher:
    image j*w*:

    See and I would never expect my name to be on a gift that I was not a part of...also messes with the spirit of giving.

    Right, you as the parent.  But the children in the class truly had nothing to do with the gift and whether their parents read the note or have the money to participate.

    So should I read the card out loud?  Or do I not acknowledge anyone in order to not make the children who were not able to participate feel bad?  

    WWYD as the teacher?

    I'd do all gifts at home...that's what I thought teachers did.  I have never witnessed a teacher making a big announcement to the class...seems tacky with an even greater chance for making people feel left out. 

    FTR, I never ever gifted my teachers growing up and really don't like the concept at all.  However, being one of the room parents put me in the spot that I am in.  Offering to collect money for a group gift was a group decision by the room parents.

  • Leave it to this board to turn something nice into a shiitstorm.

    Donate or not. Who cares? It's a gift, not an entrance ticket to The Good Girls' Club.

    I have NEVER seen a group gift announced, a card read out loud, or anyone made to feel bad if they didn't participate. Our preschool is doing a group gift for the teacher and I am not participating because we already got something small but nice for the teacher. It's not necessary to give a gift at all. Do what you can afford to do-- a nice note is appreciated and free.

    AKA KnittyB*tch
    DS - December 2006
    DD - December 2008

    imageimage
  • Sorry, announcing it out loud was the wrong word.  I often have students who bring me gifts and want me to open them while they watch.  This obviously isn't done in front of the whole class.
    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • image AnnapolisLari:

    Leave it to this board to turn something nice into a shiitstorm.

    Donate or not. Who cares? It's a gift, not an entrance ticket to The Good Girls' Club.

    I have NEVER seen a group gift announced, a card read out loud, or anyone made to feel bad if they didn't participate. Our preschool is doing a group gift for the teacher and I am not participating because we already got something small but nice for the teacher. It's not necessary to give a gift at all. Do what you can afford to do-- a nice note is appreciated and free.

    The thing is, it is very awkward and/or embarrassing to opt out of a gift like this.  Money is not an issue in our household, but it is for many. 

    I remember sitting watching teachers opening presents before Christmas breaks as a kid.  I remember feeling sorry for those kids that didn't have a gift to give, for whatever reason.  The teacher is not the issue, it's the other kids who (one way or another) figure out who is a 'have' and who is a 'have not'.  And the 'have nots' are always struggling anyway.

     

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • image ridesbuttons:
    image AnnapolisLari:

    Leave it to this board to turn something nice into a shiitstorm.

    Donate or not. Who cares? It's a gift, not an entrance ticket to The Good Girls' Club.

    I have NEVER seen a group gift announced, a card read out loud, or anyone made to feel bad if they didn't participate. Our preschool is doing a group gift for the teacher and I am not participating because we already got something small but nice for the teacher. It's not necessary to give a gift at all. Do what you can afford to do-- a nice note is appreciated and free.

    The thing is, it is very awkward and/or embarrassing to opt out of a gift like this.  Money is not an issue in our household, but it is for many. 

    I remember sitting watching teachers opening presents before Christmas breaks as a kid.  I remember feeling sorry for those kids that didn't have a gift to give, for whatever reason.  The teacher is not the issue, it's the other kids who (one way or another) figure out who is a 'have' and who is a 'have not'.  And the 'have nots' are always struggling anyway.

     

    Ah, thank you for putting it into words much better than I have been able to.

    Baby Birthday Ticker TickerBabyFruit Ticker

    PCOS and Hypothyroidism- Successful IUI's- May 2012 and October 2014.  Miscarriage @ 6w3d in December 2009.
  • I would do a gift card over cash.  The teachers in my DD's PreK class put out a wish list (they have this ongoing throughout the year but add more to it at the holidays) and I am friends with 2 of the other mom's and we went in together and got a bigger gift together but there was nothing that went out to everyone.  I would do either a bunch of small gift cards to different places or go to a educational based store like Lakeshore Learning so the teachers can get stuff for the classroom that they wouldn't be able to get otherwise (that is what is on the wish list from DD's teachers).    The daycare my younger DD goes to used to ask people to donate to a group gift if they could and the money was divide up equally for all the staff other than management and they each got a Target gift card.  Names were not listed on the card but the staff knew that those families that were able, contributed.  It was done by one of the parents but no one has done that in years which I prefer as I can then get a small gift for just my DD's teacher and others at the center that she interacts with like the cook.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Money was very much an issue when I was the child of a single mom who was earning $12K a year when I was in middle school. My brother was in elementary school. I don't ever remember a teacher being so tactless as to blatantly open gifts in front of other kids. I certainly never felt bad that I wasn't giving one.

    It's only recently that parents have all started one-upping each other to give the best gift or cash (which is plain old tacky, IMO). I taught for years starting in 1992 and if I got 10 gifts from kids in all that time, I would be surprised. They were always things like a small box of candy that the kid paid for themselves or a Christmas ornament they thought I'd like.

    $150 cash is just ridiculous. I don't even know if I would feel comfortable accepting that. A $5 gift card to Starbucks, sure. $50-150, no. And to put it in a purse to emphasize that it's cash is pretty bad, too.

    AKA KnittyB*tch
    DS - December 2006
    DD - December 2008

    imageimage
  • That is what we did in KG last year.  I don't think it was that much, though.  My SIL (her DD was in DS's class too) sent around something for the holidays.  I have no idea who did and didn't contribute.  For the end of the year, a few of us happened to be at a bday party and she asked around then.  Some of us were used to it and had no issues with it.  She knew who her audience was (basically, only the people that cared enough to go to bday parties cared enough to give the teacher gifts) and it was NBD.  I tried to do the same thing this year in DS and DDs class and it didn't go over well in DS's class at all.  There was a bit more interest in DD's class.  But, in the end her teachers asked for something for the class and DS's teacher asked for donations to the school holiday fund for families in need, so that made it easy. 
    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • I haven't read all the responses but I am surprised by the hate for the group gift.  The idea that it makes some kids/parents feel bad is ridiculous.  Wouldn't they feel the same if they see a bunch of kids giving their own gifts? How is this different?

    I am organizing group gifts for both of my older kids teachers.  The reasoning for this is I am a teacher myself, and although I appreciate all the gifts I get, there are only so many mugs/ornaments/bath stuff that I need.  I feel awful getting rid of any of it b/c I know families put thought and money towards it.

    I sent an email out asking for a $10 donation per child.  With this I will buy gifts for the classroom, gym, music and computer teachers plus the teachers aide in my daughters room.  This way everyone gets acknowledged at a minimal cost to the families.  The email was clear that it was in no way mandatory. A couple of kids declined, but no one was upset. I will put the names of the kids who contribute on the card. 

    To answer the OP, I would feel weird getting cash.  I think a gc would be better. Either a book store or target, or maybe even a family restaurant. 

    Rebecca- mom to 3 kids: DS born 2005, DD born 2007 and DS born 2010.
  • Seriously?  I'm totally surprised by this post.  I'm also not 100% sure about cash, though I'm not really sure why you shouldn't give it.  We've always done GCs, but we also get a list of the teachers' favorite stores, etc.

    I am room mom for DD#1's Kindergarten this year and have two in preschool.  From what I understood at this elementary, group gifts are just what's done in 99% of the classes.  We are not allowed to ask for a specific amount and I wouldn't be comfortable doing that.  Right now I'm collecting for three gifts - the teacher's holiday gift, the teacher's birthday gift (her birthday is right after Christmas) and our "adopted staff member's" holiday gift.  The average donation seems to be about $20 - some more, some less - to split between the three gifts.  All the kids will sign the card no matter if they contributed or not.  It's a class gift and families were asked to give what they could/wanted but it's still a class gift.  As for the preschool, DD#2's class is doing a group gift but it's not as organized and DS's class doesn't appear to be, but the room mom is new to the school/area.  We'll do GC for DS's teachers for the amount that we donated to DD#2's group gift and DD#1's.  I also made ornaments and will send those in wrapped with a card from each child on the last day of school as a more personal gift (assuming I finish them).

    I honestly don't understand all this hate of group gifts.  I probably average about $10 per teacher and I'd rather she gets $100 to her favorite store or restaurant than $10 from me that won't even buy her a book or two at Barnes and Noble.  Just makes more sense to me.

  • God, some of you are just so gross. Seriously. Do you not understand that there are truly families who cannot afford one.stinking.dime for a teacher's gift? Is it such a foreign concept that some people struggle?

    The emphasis on gift giving over the last several years is ridiculous. Do any of you remember your families giving copious amounts of cash to your teachers when you were young?

    And to the person who objects to all children's names being on a card even if they didn't contribute, you truly don't get it. Time to think about what's really important in life.

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