Guest Post- A Bottle of Vodka For the Swimming Teacher?

by Lori Dwyer on December 14, 2010 · 16 comments


I’m veeery lucky to have Fibro Al from Life in A Pink Fibro House guest posting today. She’s a funny, insightful blogger, a loyal Tweeter, and a real writer. As in, for real publications on paper. I know. I almost feel like I should pay her. I did offer her chocolate. She was gracious enough to turn it down, which is good, because most chocolate that comes into my hands leaves in only one way- being eaten.

Fibro the Snowman.

An apple/soap/fluffy toy/bottle of vodka for the teacher

I was at the pool when I realised I had a problem. I was actually standing there, contemplating the fact that I had failed to bring Teacher Gifts for the two Speedo-clad girls who attempt to keep Misters 6 and 3 from drowning each week. They have endured much splashing and chlorine up the nose this year. Do they get a gift?

I’m relatively new to the Teacher Gift. When Mr6 was in preschool he attended a hip, multicultural inner-city establishment. They didn’t close for holidays and Christmas was just another ‘cultural celebration’, alongside Diwali and Ramadan. There was no such animal as a Teacher Gift.

Fast-forward to Mr6’s first year at school. The day before school finished he announced that he wanted to give his teachers (three of them!) a present “like everyone else”. With accompanying ‘get it together Mum’ look.

I admit, I was perplexed. What exactly does one buy? Unfortunately, I was not yet au fait with Bern Morley’s fabulous blog, and so missed the bottle of vodka example. I was also uncertain as to whether teachers like these gifts – or simply endure them. After all, how many rose-scented soaps does one person require in their life? (In an attempt to answer this conundrum, I tried a survey on Twitter. The one teacher who responded assured me that she loved them. She also said that kids just love giving them. Though she suspected that parents were not as enamoured of the whole idea. You think?)

In the end, I bought each teacher a delicious little notebook. Small luxuries.

This year, I have upgraded the Teacher Gift (two teachers this year!) to a delicious little notebook and a Christmas decoration. This, I have decided, will be my Signature gift. I who have never had a Signature anything have a Signature Teacher Gift. What does this say about how my life is evolving?


Now that I’ve worked out the Signature, I have to decide where to bestow it. The lovely guitar teacher who has spent a year trying to teach Mr6 and I to play more than the riff from ‘Smoke on The Water’ got a notebook. She’s a family friend. She’s in year 12. She patiently watches me stuff up my chords each week.

She deserves a notebook.

But what about the rest? The Ninja teachers? I can’t see them with a notebook. Or a Christmas decoration for that matter. The swimming teachers? Soggy. Mr3 has yet to make noises about his preschool teachers – of which there seems to be a cast of thousands – but do I go down that path if he decides to bring it up?

That’s the trouble with starting these things. There’s no end to them. On the plus side, I do love stationery shopping. And it looks as though I’ll be needing a little notebook of my own – just to keep my Teacher Gift list in order.

Do you do Teacher Gifts? How do you decide who gets one? Do you have a tried-and-true standard gift (the Signature) or do you wing it each year?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

EmmaK December 15, 2010 at 4:12 am

I always give Belgian truffles. Every teacher likes chocolates surely? And if they don't then they can hand them back to me and I'll polish em off in no time!


In Real Life December 15, 2010 at 1:19 am

I love the idea of a Signature gift! Every year, I drive myself crazy trying to think up a nice and thoughtful gift for my children's teachers.


Glen December 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

alcohol – absolutely – miniatures are fine as long as it's strong!


Fiona December 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm

As the speechie, I sometimes get gifts of chocolate. Which would be nice if I could eat the stuff.

It just gets palmed off to coworkers.


MultipleMum December 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Thankfully one of the Mums organised a 'group' gift from our class this year. This only required me to cough up some cash. I did this dutifully. But now you have me thinking about the swimming teachers and the daycare teachers…


Glowless December 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I remember wanting to give teacher gifts and my parents being quite tight assed about it all and let me give them a card… It'll be a few more years til I need a Signature Gift but I hope it's Christmas Cookies with a little hidden note that says "don't worry, I made this batch not the kids".


Naomi December 14, 2010 at 6:28 pm

It had never crossed my mind to give swimming teachers etc gifts… and I am a teacher! Clearly I suck.
I have given a range of gifts depending on the teacher, and now my children like to help pick too.
I must say as someone with sensitive skin, the ranges of soaps, body lotions etc are a tad wasted on me… but hand cream, good hand cream, especially for early childhood teachers who wash their hands a gazillion times a day is always much needed and appreciated.
Wine (for me) is the clear winner though… or vodka… mu Hubby and kids love the chocolates too.


Ms Styling You December 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I SO need a signature gift. My big kids are through primary school so no gifts for teachers required. My youngest starts school next year, time enough to create a signature. Given that I socialise with the teacher he's been assigned, have a feeling that signature will be Vino!


Maxabella December 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

You can't go wrong with a special notebook and… it must be genetic… I give a sweet Chrissy ornament along with the notebook. Bizarre. I make my ornament… but don't worry about that. x


Jacki December 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm

We gave our swimming teacher some body wash and matching lotion. I figure she'll need it after hours in the chlorine. I have to say, when I was teaching, chocolate was always well received!


Bronnie and family December 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Ah the teacher gift. Our kids have several teachers who all must be bought presents. Sigh.
Having said that I find alcohol or good quality chocolate is always appreciated (most of the teachers appear to drink alcohol and/or eat chocolates, funnily enough.) If the parents and kids really LOVE the teacher, we club together and buy a massage voucher or similar. Loving the Snow Lady look.


Ofthesea December 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I love your signature notebooks – but that's probably because I ADORE notebooks.

When the day comes, I think I'll give candles. I've always found them the safest present – if they like them, they burn them; if they hate them.. they burn them!


life in a pink fibro December 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

PS: I look awesome with a carrot nose. Matches my hair.


life in a pink fibro December 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Update: Mr3 announced yesterday that he wanted to give his teachers presents too. So more notebooks and Christmas decs duly purchased. All given out today to great acclaim – teachers are loving my Signature Gift.


Lucy December 14, 2010 at 11:44 am

I think I mentioned this in an earlier comment to Bern – I have a stash of Miss Jones The Teacher Beanie Kid ber thingos – so each primary school teacher gets one of those and a bottle of plonk…I too am aiming for a signature. By the end of 8 years and three kids, the damn beanie kids will be breeding, I reckon.

But I don't bother with any other teachers….is that slack?


Phil & Bern December 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

This is my favourite line "She patiently watches me stuff up my chords each week. She deserves a notebook"

I think mine will now be alcohol but I remember in year 2 when Brent Thompson presented our teacher with a ceramic browneye.

No joke, his mother, when making your own ceramics were all the rage, decided a big bum, with the jeans down around the ankles about to sit on a toilet (they were a family of plumbers) was a GREAT gift. The thing is, I remember, even being that young, that the teachers freaking loved it. Or were just wondering WTF was going on. Hard to tell.

Thanks Lori & Alison xx


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