Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teaching is a Gift

I mentioned last week that I had heard from a total of three people about donating for the year-end gift for Youngest's second grade teacher. The number is now up to four. Four. Out of a class with 19 kids. [The 20th child, whom I had dubbed future serial killer, has moved back to his native India. As an aside, do you think I need to warn the authorities there or assume they'll figure it out soon enough?]

It got me thinking about a situation three years ago when Eldest was in fourth grade. I wrote about it at the time. My proposal, in my opinion, was spot on. Here's what I said about how to figure out how much to donate for the year-end gift:

And it was during that encounter that I stumbled upon how parents should assess what they should pony up for the end of the year gift. This is my top-of-mind thinking. I’m more than happy to take suggestions on how to improve it.

Everyone should start by assuming that the bare minimum they give toward the gift is $10. That’s the bare minimum. We’ve always done a lot more than that, but I realize everyone’s budgets and lifestyles are different. Here’s how the amount changes:

1. Volunteering in the class bi-weekly = Subtract $5
2. Only volunteering in the class at parties = Add $5

3. Volunteering to chaperone for cool field trips = Add $5
4. Volunteering to chaperone for crappy field trips = Subtract $2

5. Never volunteering to help in class = Add $15
6. Never bothering to respond to repeated calls for help in class = Add $10

7. Well behaved child in class = No change
8. Mischievous child in class = Add $10
9. One of the five worst behaved children in class = Add $50

10. Child prepared for class at least 90% of the time = No change
11. Child prepared for class between 75% and 90% of the time = Add $10
12. Child prepared for class less than 75% of the time = Add $25

How do I fall out on this? For both Eldest's and Daughter’s, my contribution should be $3.


mayberry said...

Uh oh - $30. But I want some credit for moving those dang pianos twice a week, EVERY week.Although that's for the music teacher...

Patois42 said...

Of course, special dispensation is given to parents who have younger siblings still at home and who work. As for moving those darn pianos? Someone should be gifting YOU.

Jomama said...

Ugh, my total is $95 for younger child, and more for older child. Hmmm, as a parent with a paid job that prevents me from volunteering, I don't think I need dispensation. I feel it is right to tithe from my paycheck since I am relying on the volunteering parents to help with my kid too.

Then again, I disagree on points 10,11,12 for kids over 4th grade. At some point,they need to start being responsible for themselves. I nag plenty, but assignments still get left home, at daycare, on the playground, etc.

Patois42 said...

But remember that the gift is from the "family," including the kids. Or maybe, particularly from the kids. So if they're not prepared, they should get dinged.

And I still think there should be some dispensation for the ones who work: they shouldn't be penalized by not being in the classroom as often. So maybe it's a net of $0 on that point for worker bees. Or we could always count stuff parents do at home. God knows, I've graded enough spelling sentences and math worksheets to count toward something.

Tara R. said...

Fortunately my kid left school, so his teachers should be gifting me. =)

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tiff said...

i love this...

i sure do hope in the end you get enough donations. parents can be a funny breed for sure!

happy almost summer break!

MommyLisa said...

I was gonna say - what about working mamas who don't get much vacation as it is?

I give my daycare provider a lovely gift...I really put thought into it each year. And she takes off two to three weeks a year where I need to make/find/create other arrangements for her. I get TWO weeks vacation and one is reserved for our family timeshare up north.

I cannot imagine when I have to juggle school AND daycare schedules.


Patois42 said...

Three emails to everyone, and I was still putting reminder notes in NINE of the 19 kids' Friday folders. I busted two of them at the family picnic last night. So my email Monday afternoon is, individually to the offenders:

Clearly, you won't be donating to the teacher's gift. I'm sure you are annoyed with me with constantly asking for an answer. But I'm going to bet that your annoyance doesn't come close to matching mine.


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