How to organise your teacher’s end of year gift.
Earlier on this term I found myself volunteering to be ‘Chief Present Organiser’ for Charlotte’s class teacher and teaching assistants.
This task made me realise I knew very little about Charlotte’s class full stop. How many children were in it, what their names were, who their parents were and how on earth I was going to get them all to give me money? I love buying presents for friends, however buying presents using other people’s money, for 5 people I don’t actually know that well, isn’t my forte.
I hasten to add, very quickly, that I did not come up with the joint present idea first, another mum from the other class volunteered herself to sort theirs and no one rushed to offer to sort ours. As time ticked on I was worried no one would and as I have incurable case of volunteeritis I offered up my services.
So, from what I’ve learnt I thought I’d wrote down my dos and don’ts of organising teachers gifts, feel free to bookmark for next year.
- Find someone on the inside. A parent who helps in the class or receptionist…anyone with insider info and access is essential
- Start collecting contributions and thinking of what you will be getting for the teachers as early as possible.
- Use Facebook and PayPal to make everyone’s life easier. Set up a group if there isn’t already one for your class or year and get parents to add everyone. If this doesn’t capture anyone go old school and write notes and get them out in the child’s book bag. (utilise your child or your informant as above).
- Make sure you give yourself enough time for items to be delivered. There’s nothing worse than hovering over the letterbox every time the postman appears and as the last day of term gets closer!
- Loiter around the playground longer than normal to catch anyone you may have missed.
- Make sure you have change on you at all times, or even easier ask for an easy rounded number. We went with £5 each.
- Keep your list on you at all times. Try and commandeer a class list if possible so you know who’s left to pay.
- Try and find out what your teacher likes (even just finding out whether red or white is preferred).
- Let the parents know what you’ve bought and how much you’ve spent – they’ve handed over their cold, hard cash so it’s only fair you let them know that you’ve used it all and aren’t pocketing a hefty commission for the privilege of organising!
- Expect everyone to contribute. They may not know and may not be available to find out, or they may just want to do their own thing.
- Make life difficult for yourself. Make the task as simple or complicated as your schedule will allow and no more.
- Worry about what the other class is doing and don’t get involved in any class dramas. Just get on with what you’re doing for your own class.
- Give the teacher tat. After reading 1000 forums and asking friends, teachers generally much prefer thoughtful handwritten notes, vouchers, wine and handmade items. Personalised mugs and cheap smellies are likely to be binned within the year.
- And lastly, definitely don’t worry about what the other mum’s think, they’re just grateful you’re doing it, not them