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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

You Don’t Really Want a Gift, Do You?

I appreciate you all. I really do. I appreciate all you good people in the world that strive to make this world a better place. I appreciate you under-appreciated – you teachers, you bus drivers, moms, dads, all service professionals. I do. But do we have to have a day to show our appreciation? Does it make us feel more appreciated? Do you really want a flower pot with my child’s finger print on it? Do you want a cute picture of my kid in a homemade picture frame? Do you want that spread of food you shouldn't eat two weeks before the start of summer?

We should do better at showing appreciation every day. It’s a shame that as a society we need to have appreciation days and awareness months to celebrate the often ignored.

I shouldn't need Teacher Appreciation Day/Week to make my child’s teacher feel appreciated. I should send my kid to school prepared. I should raise my child to value education and respect authority. I should take my family vacations in the summer. I should respect her experience and opinion in conferences. Does he really want my handmade gift to show my appreciation? At Christmas, in May, then again in June – how many coffee mugs does one teacher need?

Are these gifts even out of appreciation or are they just another example of over consumerism? Are we just trying to pin the best picture on our social media walls? Are we just trying to throw a band-aid on a broken limb? I know it sucks to be a teacher in a society that doesn't value education, here’s a doughnut. I know it sucks to be an ignored minority, here’s a month. I know it sucks to have cancer, here’s a pink pin.

You don’t really want a gift, do you? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just an uninspired gift-giver and an unappreciative gift receiver – focusing too much on the stress both cause instead of the joy. After all, nothing is more priceless than the look on a kid’s face when he gives a gift made out of love. Maybe that’s the idea for next year – skip the made-in-China soon-to-be-trash trinket and make a video diary of kids telling the teacher why they love him and appreciate her. I’m gonna pin that! (I mean, I would if I knew how.)


  1. I agree completely!! And we have 4 bus drivers, 4 bus aides ... plus 5 teachers, 10 aides and a speech therapist to "appreciate" as well! At christmas time the school staff alone breaks our bank :)

    1. Right. We should be more appreciative in a way that doesn't necessary involve material things!

  2. I agree. Teachers have a difficult and often thankless job, and they should be respected and appreciated daily. A coffee mug or gift card is a hollow reward from someone who doesn't do his homework, doesn't follow the classroom rules, and doesn't value education. I can't teach my child chemistry, but I can make sure he is dressed, fed and on-time to class. I can check that he did his homework, and I can find a tutor if he is struggling. I can look for ways to supplement what he is learning through conversations at the dinner table and books at the library. Our family motto is clear, "Surround yourself with people who value education." And when it comes to school work, we say, "Do what is expected and a little bit more." Who needs coffee if they are teaching students who are prepared and want to learn?


    1. Thanks for reply. I'm glad you get what I am saying!