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 

6 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.

  5. Norma Mooney says:

    Dear Snarky, I recently saw you on a Kansas City TV broadcast and you read one of your posts from a woman who thought her “friend” was “copying” her….to the point that the “friend” bought the same piece of art for her own living room. Well, guess what? I’M THE FRIEND! The woman (who I’m absolutely positive wrote to you) was a co-worker and I admired her because she was bright, articulate, and savvy. It is said that “it takes a village” to rear a child and, out of necessity, I have been watchful for such qualities as I admire in other women in order to become my best self. Being “friends” with her reminded me of my love for the ocean and art; a copy of one of Monet’s many scenes of sailboats at Argentuile. I was saddened to hear your article because, although we had grown apart over the years I sincerely thought we had been friends. If, however, she truly had been my friend she would have discussed the issue with me face-to-face. I’m grateful for her influence and I hope that over the years she has learned to be more transparent. There’s always more than one side to a story and, in the current state of our nation time would be better spent in encouraging and supporting others around us.

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