The Times is reporting a survey of the best and worst Christmas gifts teachers receive from parents and pupils and claims that, despite professing a wish for home-made simplicity, many like to be pampered…
…The survey was conducted by the Good Schools Guide and covered teachers in state and independent schools. Unsurprisingly, teachers in private schools reported that gifts from overseas parents could be extremely lavish.
Time and again, teachers protested that what they wanted most were simple signs of gratitude. “The most welcome gift is a nice note of appreciation,” one teacher said.
“Home-made gifts are best,” said another. “The best gift one can get from a pupil is a thank-you letter,” a third said. “There is nothing more rewarding than to get some recognition of what we do for them.”
In spirit, many teachers appear to agree. In practice, grubby materialism often nudged its way into the equation.
Alongside thank-you notes, favourite gifts were John Lewis vouchers, theatre tokens, spa days or pamper sessions, and wine, whisky or even champagne.
One teacher at Ardvreck prep school in Perthshire declared herself delighted when she received a jeroboam of vintage red wine from grateful parents.
Elsewhere, teachers said that their most prized gifts included a whole freezer-ready lamb, a hamper from Fortnum & Mason, silver bracelet from Links of London and £250 in shopping vouchers.
Janette Wallis, editor of the Good Schools Guide, said: “Many families from outside the UK are particularly generous with the largesse that they show to teachers. We’ve actually had to talk down some overseas parents from giving gifts too frequently or lavishly.”
…Teachers also get some pretty unusual presents. What to say when you are given an alarm clock in the shape of a mosque which, instead of a ring tone, could wake you in the morning with a muezzin’s call to prayer? Or what about a mummified whippet, a lavatory roll holder decorated with a wooden sheep, a bearded dragon or a paperweight sphere of Hawaiian shrimps?
What are the best or strangest gifts you have received from parents or pupils at Christmas? Please share in the comments or on twitter…