Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Gifts For Teachers

Joanne (see blogroll at left) has the story of parents and/or teachers being more than a little competitive with Christmas gifts. I commented on her site, but thought I should post that sentiment here on my own site.

I wish *I* had the problem of receiving overly expensive Christmas gifts!

Actually, I don’t. I’m overwhelmed with the generosity that comes with a plate of homemade cookies, an American Chocolate Bar (the wrapper has a US flag on it), my favorite candies, a calendar depicting a tv show I watch, a Christmas tree ornament from the White House (the student’s parents worked in the Reagan White House and still order the annual ornaments). One student’s parents own a Chinese restaurant, and they gave me some certificates for meals there. I received all of these gifts this year, and several others.

At my school we also have Parent Secret Santas, where a parent (sometimes one of our current students, sometimes not) “adopts” a teacher and gives gifts periodically throughout the school year. Our PTSA runs that, and the good will it engenders is significant. My Parent Secret Santa gave me a gift card to Chipotle, along with another wrapped gift addressed to my son–”from dad’s Secret Santa”, the tag says. How good a heart must someone have to do that?

I don’t view this as soliciting bribes–although the situation in Joanne’s story certainly sounds like that was the case. It’s great when people show genuine appreciation for each other. For my part, I (hopefully surreptitiously) wrote down which student gave me which gift, and each of them will receive a hand-written thank-you card the day we return to school in January. Even in generosity, there’s a teachable moment.


Anonymous said...

I was given a bag of sweet potatoes (still dirty!) this year as a gift. I'm not sure how I can use this as a teachable moment.

Sweet gift but come on. Sweet potatoes?

Darren said...

That's a very interesting gift =) The teachable moment comes when you write a thank-you note!

I've heard more discussion from my past students about my thank you notes--you'd think they'd never received one before. Maybe they hadn't.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a very odd Korean colleague who would for no apparent reason bring me things like a container of mushrooms from the store wrapped up with a ribbon.

Very odd. Korean. That's redundant.

Darren said...

Odd and thoughtful aren't mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

Reduntant: xenophobic rightwingprof.

Darren said...

I'm not quite sure how stereotyping a specific group of people as "odd" is xenophobic.

Anonymous said...

You're right Darren. Rightwingprof is simply racist. I was trying to tone down the criticism in light of the holiday season. Sorta hide it in a big word. But you done flushed me out! Nicely done, I must say.

If RWP chooses to color Koreans as odd, he colors as himself as a racist.

I'll try not to make that mistake again.

Oh, and I'm sure he can defend himself or choose not to. It's OK to let him twist in the breeze on this one, even if he is your pal.

Darren said...

I'm certainly not going to agree with you there, Anonymous. You paint with a pretty broad brush sometimes yourself.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You leftists are hilarious. Now, I need to get my KKK sheet out of the washer and put it in the dryer.