Dear Snarky – Teacher Gift Drama

Dear Snarky,Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 10.12.57 AM

It’s time for the end of the year class gift for my son’s fourth grade teacher and the class mom is adamant about not buying the teacher a gift. This mom thinks she is Miss Manners and since the teacher has never acknowledged the birthday present, Christmas or teacher appreciation gifts that the kids gave her we should be quote “officially finished with gifts for this teacher.”

I agree that the fact that the teacher couldn’t even bother to send a mass thank you email to all the parents is kind of lame, but it just seems petty to me to not give her an end of the year present and I kind of think I need to cover my ass because what if my next kid gets this teacher. I don’t want to leave on a bad note. What do you think Snarky?

Signed, Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

First, let me share that if the only problem you’ve had with this teacher is her lack of thank you note writing acumen than count your blessings. 

That said, there’s an easy fix for this problem. Instead of collecting money for a gift have each child write a thank you note to the teacher that shares what they liked best about her and the school year. Then take those notes, tie a big ribbon around them and present them to the teacher. The teacher will love reading them and bonus – nowhere in any etiquette book do you have to write a thank you note for receiving a thank you note. 

P.S. I also suggest that some of these moms get a life outside of their children’s elementary school. Yes, it’s gauche the teacher never did any kind of thank you for her gifts, but as I’ve said a million times your child’s K-12 journey is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself and carefully pick your battles.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky “21st Century Advice with an attitude”;). Email 

4 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – Teacher Gift Drama

  1. BJ says:

    Maybe I am an outlier, and I am ok with that, but when did this teacher gift thing begin? I sure know I have never been given a gift for doing my job. Now, I have given school supplies, because I know that teachers spend a huge amount of thier money on supplies. But some little gift or even a class gift seems like a worthless gesture.


  2. Aly E says:

    I love the passive aggressive tone of this suggestion. She never writes a thank you note, so have the kids write thank you notes. Brilliant!

  3. Linda Ramos says:

    Teachers probably get enough tchotkies….doo dads….junk to fill up a room. Make a pact with the moms next year to get supplies. Teach can make an amazon wish list and moms tick them off. Problems solved!

  4. Grumpy Cook says:

    Great response. To criticize a teacher for not writing a thank you note is crazy…teachers are so over burdened with high-expectation parents, government regulations, and security fears, I’m surprised that they even show up for work.

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