It’s the thought that counts…

Teachers presents

It’s that time of year again. The school holidays start tomorrow so it must be time to buy a present for the teacher. Or, in our case, presents for six teachers, the lovely school keeper, two classroom assistants, the school secretary and Katy’s favourite dinner lady. I don’t begrudge a single one – especially the school secretary, whose real job is keeping the school running like clockwork and balancing a budget of hundreds of thousands of pounds. All she needs halfway through drafting a spreadsheet on the cost of the school brass band is to be interrupted by a phone call from me asking if I could give Katy a “quick” message. “Could you just tell her not to go to after-school club but to wait in the playground for Sasha’s mum and I’ll meet her at the swimming pool for six? Oh and can you tell her to leave her bike at school, but bring her recorder home and to dig out her swimming stuff from her PE kit? Tha-anks.”

Does she reply with a well-deserved, “That is sooooo not my job. Goodbye.”? She does not.

So any minute now I will have to break off from finishing my essay, feeding the washing machine and wondering how to get to Gatwick for less than the price of a flight to Ibiza to stock up on bunches of flowers, bottles of wine, “home-made” biscuits and a small trolley to deliver them in.

Or, I could take inspiration from Oxfam who has come up with some ingenious ideas for teachers’ gifts, all of which have the “Ah!” factor of a home-made bag of heart-shaped rice crispie cakes without the grief of having to eat them.

For £19 you can help educate a child, for £8 you can help equip a school with pens, books and paper and, if you want to hand over something tangible, for £22.99 you can help a girl get a head start at school and buy a handmade jewellery roll to give to your child’s teacher. If you want to branch out into livestock, for £10 you can buy a share in a community farm or a family chicken.

Now I know that charity gifts may have peaked and people have probably tired of your passing off your guilty conscience as a  “present” for your loved one. After all, a goat for a family in Africa may be forever but it’s not for Christmas is it? I think teachers’ presents are different. After all they can quite easily end up with 30 sunflowers in a pot, 30 boxes of chocolates or an embarrassingly expensive designer handbag that means they have to stay late and fill in a form, so I think something thoughtful like a brace of chickens might go down a treat, especially if they don’t have to carry them home on the train.

A few clicks on the keyboard and a bribe to persuade the kids to make a matching card and hey presto, done. Now I can get back to feeding the washing machine with another load of essential holiday wear, even though the girls have pointed out that it would be so much more sensible “to buy everything once we get there”.  Great, there’s something to look forward to Mr Visa.

Posted by Amanda Blinkorn

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