04 Jun
Does a Bad Teacher Deserve a Gift?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Do I have to give my kid’s teacher an end of the year gift if I hate her?


She Doesn’t Even Deserve a Crappy Gift Certificate to the Dollar Store


Dear She Doesn’t Even Deserve a Crappy Gift Certificate to the Dollar Store,

I’ve never hated one of my kids’ teachers but I have hated lots of other things. Like trying on bras in some snotty department store. Eating eggplant. Sitting in traffic. And don’t even get me started on the trifecta of trying on bras while eating eggplant in traffic. That is the worst. So I understand your feelings.

You could give her something that she clearly already has a million of – like a frame or a mug. Even better, get one with an apple on it! She can stew over that annoying gift. Or how about an expired gift certificate. I know you have one in your wallet. Or maybe a Yankee Candle in the scent Mmm… Bacon. Nothing says, “Thanks for being a jerk to my kid” like a bacon scented candle.

Another option is to “accidentally” forget to give her a gift all together. Kind of like how she forgot to be nice to your child all year long. But your class might be doing a group cash gift. If that’s the case, suck it up, throw in your $20 and be done with it. Think of it as putting good karma into the universe. And hopefully that means none of your younger kids (if you have them) will get this rotten teacher.

Good luck,

Kelcey, TMH

8 Responses to “Does a Bad Teacher Deserve a Gift?”


Comment by Cate8.

Or the high brow gift…. a classroom gift of paper, pencils, crayons etc…. then at least next year’s kids will have it and maybe suffer less under her authoritative rule

Desperate Dietwife Reply:

I like this suggestion! 🙂

But if it’s a class gift and you really have good reasons for not joining, then don’t join and explain why to the other moms.
I sure as hell did it once for a former boss of mine who was leaving, and it was a great satisfaction not to get my signature on the card, so that he knew for sure that I hadn’t joined. 😀


Comment by Melanie.

I am living this situation right now. And as much as I’d like to “forget” to give the offending teacher a gift, it’s not fair to my child. Even though this teacher has been the crappiest we’ve ever had, my daughter does not want to hurt her by not bringing a gift. Especially a crappy one. So, we are taking the high road and giving her the same caliber gift we give every other teacher. We’ll let karma deal with her in the future.


Comment by DG.

Whatever you do, don’t give her chocolate Exlax in a Godiva wrapper. Things could get litigious and that gift is obviously more appropriate for the PTA President…or so I’ve heard.


Comment by Stephanie.

My kids have had their fair share of crappy teachers over the years, definitely several who didn’t deserve a gift other than a dog turd and/or a swift kick in the behind. However, as a school employee (not a teacher), I’d like to offer this perspective for consideration: we may never know what battle another person is fighting. And, like your daughter seems to think, sometimes it’s better to fight fire (or incompetence) with kindness. Not that you have to spend a bunch of money or time on a gift for this particular teacher, but maybe just a little something and/or a card saying thanks could make a difference for her – which may, in turn, improve her outlook and have a rippling effect on others around her – her future students, or even someone who will teach your child in the future. (I’m not really that nice of a person, but somehow this line of thinking makes sense to me.)


Comment by scrapdoll.

Gifts are optional. When did it become a MUST to give a gift every year to every teacher? I taught for years and sure it was nice but I didn’t “keep track” of who gave me a gift and who didn’t. I wrote thank you notes and let it go. I preferred a drawing made by the student or a group gift and people gave what they wanted, not what they “had to.” A thank you card is more than enough. It gets to be too much sometimes. Even a heartfelt verbal thank you means so much more than a gift given under protest.


Comment by deathstar.

Mmmm, birthday gifts, valentine’s day gifts,school supplies, snacks, fundraising and now giving a gift to a teacher at the end of the year for doing their job? Sadly, as the end of preschool nears, I am faced with the same dilemma, except I actually like my kid’s teachers. They do get paid, right? If I hated them, I would opt out and wouldn’t explain a thing. It’s probably already obvious. I’d rather give out pretty pencils or stickers to all the kids.


Comment by Brenda Dion.

That petty person inside me wants to think of something crappy. I would like to give her something to decorate the walls because they were all white and bare and the place looked like a crappy dentist’s waiting room with a smartboard. But…I like the comment about class supplies to benefit next year’s kids.

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