Thongs, spuds and lube: teachers’ worst gifts ever

They are popular, tasty and economical – really, who would not want a bag of potatoes as an end-of-year gift? Tes reports.

And while there are some teachers who may wonder what impact they have made on a child who presents them with a kilo of King Edwards, there are others who will look at such thoughtfulness with envy – those are the teachers who have received gifts far, far worse.

A stolen car radio in a carrier bag, a part-drunk bottle of wine and (look away now) lube, these are among the all-time worst gifts mentioned by teachers and teaching assistants in a survey by parenting site Mumsnet.

And there is more. While 64 per cent of teachers and teaching assistants said what they really wanted was a personal note from pupils, among gifts given were:

  • Jewellery “which I’m sure was stolen for me”
  • A regifted reed diffuser from the Christmas raffle (“I know because I’d put the raffle ticket on it”)
  • A thong
  • A box of half-eaten chocolates

The survey of more than 1,200 staff found 47 per cent said they valued any present, with 77 per cent saying they worried that parents or carers may feel pressured into contributing to a whole-class gift and 68 per cent worrying that children may feel left out if parents can’t afford to contribute.

Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of teachers who have received unwelcome gifts said they gave them to charity, while 42 per cent have re-gifted items. Just 11 per cent put unwanted presents in the bin – although one person admitted they forward unwanted gifts, without postage, to a former partner. Roasted.

Read more Thongs, spuds and lube: teachers’ worst gifts ever

What have you received that has left you rather puzzled? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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