The end of the school year is almost upon us. A lot hot summer awaits, filled with days spent playing in the garden, eating ice creams, laughing and basking under the golden sun. Okay then, endless days of drizzle and grey, but that’s not nearly so exciting a prospect.
Before that, though, we have the next week and a bit to get through. Sports day looks like it will be cancelled permanently and the children are already getting grumpy from a long year at school (especially Josh – I think the tiredness has hit him). And with that comes the quandary about end of year teacher presents. My children’s teachers are lovely. The reception teacher is about as perfect as you can get, and she takes time to attend to each child, making sure they are progressing and are happy. Just as a teacher should. So why do I feel obligated to get her a present to say thank you? My husband does a brilliant job, spends time working in the evening and making sure he does things right… but (rightly) doesn’t get a present for doing so. It’s his job – he gets paid for it. In my employed days as an optician I was pretty good at it – stayed late if needed (for no extra pay), spent time finding the right lenses for my patients and made sure they were all happy and satisfied. And I got paid for it. Because that’s how jobs work. You do your job, you get paid. I never expected anything more, and nor do most people I know.
Yet, every year, and often at Christmas too, I see small children taking plants, flowers, bottles of wine and goodness knows what else to their teachers. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is lovely, and it’s nice that the children are appreciative… but do the teachers want or expect it? I’m not so sure. There are only so many teddies, plants, mugs and so on that one teacher can house. So do we do it out of a sense of duty? And why do we feel we have to? And what to take? Any suggestions, especially on this last one, are greatly appreciated!