Gifts

While the debate on bribing kids against rewarding them only for good behavior seems to have no end, I am going to touch upon gifts in an all together new reference in this post.

Last month, post Holi was Pari’s progress report day. She was due to receive the report of her performance in the final exams.

For the records, her school has grading system as Good, Could do better and Needs to practice more; instead of the regular A, B, C. And ranking is not allowed. Besides, it being the result of the performance of 4 year olds, I was excited to see how Pari had performed after the hard-work she’d invested in preparation for the exams.

When I reached Pari’s class, what I saw was totally unexpected. The parents were less into seeing through the exam sheets and more into giving gifts to the teacher. Gifts are not allowed in Pari’s school so the teacher could be heard making meet-up plans in hushed tone. There were a few parents who could be heard boasting aloud how lavish a Holi party they’d hosted and how they loved to see the teacher and her family enjoy after having taken care of their child.

I might sound like an alien, but, I found these words and scenes pretty disturbing. The joy on finding how wonderfully my child had performed, how her exam sheets were lined with stars and ‘Very Good’ everywhere seemed to have suddenly taken a back-seat.

I have always felt that I’m a crazy parent but that day I witnessed first signs of confirmation of this belief.

I was left unnerved by the brief events of that day. I couldn’t help but wonder what good did such gifts bring for the young minds. Is this not a way of bribing the teachers to seek good grades in exams and leave worry of the child’s performance on the back burner?

While the corruption aspect of this didn’t bother me as much as it fueled a train of thoughts, as to what impact such Β behavior had on the minds of their children?

Bribery Quote

This was the scene when the school wasn’t giving marks, grades or ranks. And who amongst us remembers what marks we had scored in kindergarten or class 1 or even class 3 for that matter? And even if you do remember your marks, does it have any impact on your life?

But, what I learnt as a 4-year-old is still etched in my mind. I still remember what my parents or teachers at that tender age taught me or showed me. Maybe I am over-reacting to a norm, maybe I dwell in a Utopian world in my mind, but somewhere something felt very wrong to me. Now that I know what is the usual practice by other parents, still I have no intentions what-so-ever to go out of my way to give gifts to Pari’s teachers in the new session.

What are your thoughts on gifting teachers?

Is it a norm and an acceptable practice?

* This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge 2016. My theme is Parenting.

Please find my other posts here.

 

51 thoughts on “Gifts

    1. True.
      In life the grades earned in junior school really don’t matter, what matters is teaching the child to work hard, give their best and not that they can do as they please, their influential parents will get them good grades.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It certainly is a norm, but not an acceptable practice.
    Congratulations to Pari for the “Very Good” ❀
    And as you said, it doesn't make a difference about the marks you scored in lower grades. It matters whether you have learnt something. And whether you are able to apply it to daily life. That's all that matters πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. That’s exactly what should be the aim of education to teach children lessons they can make use of further in their lives, but unfortunately today the sole emphasis is on the grades and getting 100 out of 100.
      {Hugs} from Pari to you ❀

      Like

  2. seena

    Hi! I have never gifted teachers. But I guess when kids are little (say up to 2nd grade) and we really want to appreciate the teachers for handling them or training them or helping them bloom, we feel obliged to reciprocate. And its a form of saying thank you. I don’t agree with gifting in the middle of the year as that certainly looks like a bribe. But as a farewell gift, I don’t have any objection. But most of times I just encourage the children to make a handmade greeting card and give that to the teacher.

    A well thought out post!
    Cheers,
    Seena
    #AtoZChallenge- G is for Google

    Like

    1. Hi Seena,
      I have no objection about the hand-made cards kids often make to appreciate their teachers on occasions or even as a farewell gift, they’re beautiful ways of expressing love and gratitude for a teacher. However, going overboard where the parents choose to gift a precious wrist watch/ perfume/ etc. just to put their child in an advantageous position over others in class is more like bribing.Besides, the child learns to take it easy, not work hard and in fact fool around all year because he/she knows that their influential parents will take care of everything.

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Like

    1. It is a disturbing practice. From the examination papers being leaked to bribing the teachers, the education system is truly is in a pitiable state.
      The school is strongly against gifting anyone in the staff, but things do happen after school hours. *Sigh*

      Like

  3. You got to be kidding me! Gifts to teachers? Never heard of it, before. May be a card on Teacher’s day. But for grades? That too by parents is disturbing! I don’t think it is an acceptable practice. And as you said, I don’t understand why.

    Like

    1. The desperation of today’s parents to see their child on top of every list seems to be at work right from kindergarten. It was a shocker for me too, but my child will have to work hard if she expects to see her name anywhere in the top and I am fine with that being the case.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A good teacher will surely notice that people are trying to buy her. She will not be impressed by the gifts. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. If someone sees a handsome doctor keep the apple away.

    Like

    1. Hello SG, how have you been?
      I agree a teacher with principles will indulge in such a practice, but hey, when the whole world is corrupt why should she alone be the ideal one?

      Like

  5. Preethi

    Hi ME,

    I am shocked to learn that parents resort to suck kind of cheap tricks. Does it matter if one’s child receives a lesser grade/score. Each child’s potential is different and we shouldn’t be giving such high importance to their scores. I too am a mother of a 7 yr old and I would definitely want my child to perform good in the class. At the same time, I would not have unrealistic expectations. As long as they are learning and enjoying the process of learning, I wouldn’t stress so much about these progress reports.

    Sad to know that parents stoop so low, such parents are definitely setting a bad example to the kids.

    Like

    1. Hi Preethi,
      It is indeed a very sorry state of affairs especially when school doesn’t award ranks or grades as A,B,C.
      Imagine the limits these desperate parents will cross when their children will reach in class 10 or 12.

      Like

  6. Hi there, I am totally against this system. Thankfully the kids’ school totally bars us from indulging in this practice. A while ago though people used to send lavish gifts to the teachers on Teacher’s Day, however to the best of my knowledge that has stopped too.
    @KalaRavi16 from
    Relax-N-Rave

    Like

    1. Hi Kala,
      My kid’s school too is pretty strict about gifts and even the chocolates to be distributed in school on birthdays have to be of a fixed value and not a paisa expensive. But still teachers have a way of getting things done their way. It was quite an eye-opener for me.
      Thank you dear for sharing your experience πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. and that is a good decision, I know the teachers deserve a lot as they are helping our kids BUt then they are getting paid for it so it is their duty toooo …

    maybe I am wrong

    Like

    1. Showing love, respect and gratitude towards teachers is an acceptable practice and doesn’t hurt when the child toils to prepare a hand-made card to thank his/her teacher. But parents going out of their way to gift expensive presents is an absolutely unacceptable practice.

      Like

  8. When I was a kid, I remember parents of other kids giving gifts to my teachers (each subject had different teacher, so for each teacher one gift or an invite for some party in their house!). My parents never bothered much to even meet my teachers a) Because they both used to be really busy and also b) Because they hated giving gifts to teachers or inviting them home (I am really proud of them for this!).
    Obviously those kids with gifts used to get good marks and though I was good at studies, still even for silly mistakes a lot of marks used to be cut for me. Initially I used to be hurt with all this and sometimes even get angry with my parents but later I realized why my parents were against it!
    So with Pari also this might happen, wherein initially she might not be able to understand you, but eventually she will and later point of time she will thank you for it πŸ™‚

    Another wonderful post πŸ™‚ With each post I am getting to know you and Pari really well πŸ™‚ I guess that’s the best part about blogging!

    Cheers,
    Srivi – AtoZChallenge
    G for Graveyard | Twitter

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience Srivi πŸ™‚
      My parents were exactly like yours and when I narrated the events of the progress report day to them they simply shook their heads in disbelief and muttered, “we aren’t going that way, Pari better start working doubly hard to be on the top.”

      Letting children work hard and earn their scores pays well in the long run πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much Srivi for the encouraging words πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am a teacher, I teach during my free time to those whose parents aren’t much into education or can’t afford fees so knowing about the ‘gift’ thing is just a ache ….
    This should be stopped by both teachers ‘taking’ and Parents ‘giving’.

    They aren’t realising that their this act is going to be a big milestone in the life of those little kids when they grow up .

    @dixita011 from
    Cafenined words

    Like

    1. So glad to hear it from a teacher πŸ™‚
      It is indeed a malpractice that should not be encouraged for the good of children today and tomorrow.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this CW.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. inquisitivegeet

    My God! This is so sad! Bribing the teacher of a child whose as young as 4 years! I mean what good will they get bribing them? Just a few grades.. not to mention of such a young child?

    I mean that is horrific. Innocence is at its best and yet they are snatching it away. I don’t judge anybody, especially, parents! They always do what they feel is right for their kids, but going to an extent as this is simply below standards!

    It really came as a shock to me!

    All the best to you. You are a wonderful human being!

    Cheers
    Geets

    Like

    1. The desire to see their child on top in every race in life has driven parents to come up with such practices early on. These practices are going to hurt all children the class in the long run.
      Thank you Geet πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that. Personally, I’ve never handed off a gift to a teacher. We are allowed to give them gifts and they give the students gifts as well. But I mean, if my kids decide THEY want to give their teacher a gift, then sure. We go out and I let them pick something they think their teacher would like. Usually, it’s around Christmas, or Valentines. I don’t know. It never even occurred to me to bribe my kids teachers for better grades. I’d rather my kids just tried harder.

    Like

    1. Absolutely. Gifting hand-made greeting cards and the like made by kids is entirely different from parents pitching in to bribe the teachers for good grades. I hope more and more parents understand how bad an impact this practice will have on their child’s future and on the education system.

      Like

  12. Three cheers for your daughter and her result. πŸ™‚

    Yeah. I think that it’s common these days, though I wish that it wasn’t. It might make some teachers favor some students albeit inadvertently.

    We were allowed to give the teacher a dairy milk on results day if we wanted. πŸ˜€ Nothing more. If the mark was a really good one, I’d ask the teacher if it’s okay I gave her a hug. πŸ˜›

    Like

  13. Not a Mum so can’t comment like one but as an individual, the thought is disturbing. No point gifting teachers. My Mum is one and I know she never accepts. The school doesn’t allow. You’re right in thinking that this is not the right examples parents are setting.

    Like

    1. It’s the handful of parents who are setting the wrong example both for the children and teachers to follow. I sincerely hope this never flares up to become a trend.

      Like

  14. Shilpa Garg

    Bribing teachers and that too of small kids!! Have never seen nor heard about giving gifts to teachers. I am surprised and shocked.

    Like

  15. RamyaRao

    Congratulations to Pari first of all. Yeah, I have been observing such things but luckily not in school but instead in colleges. Where not only parents but even your classmates do that. Result: They study less and score more. Others study well and no improvement in marks.

    Like

    1. It is a sad state of affairs Ramya. I think those students who practiced this in college are now the parents of preschoolers putting the same into practice in schools. It’s a shame to see parents bribing teachers of young kids just to secure good grades.
      Thank you so much for the wishes dear πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. We give the teacher flowers on her birthday, roses from our garden, and a small something (chocolate or such) for Christmas, but nothing more. Interesting to read this. Gifting teachers would not be allowed in our schools.

    Like

    1. Gifting flowers to teachers from our home garden is a common practice and I think there is nothing so wonderful for both the teacher and the child. However going a step further to bribe is a strict no-no.
      Thank you Silvia for sharing your views πŸ™‚

      Like

  17. i believe there are some schools who prohibit gifting teachers. I’ve been a teacher once and yes, I received gifts. But I am not really a true-blue teacher who give grade. It’s like a tutorial of sort.
    On your question, I think it should just be abandoned. To avoid giving wrong impression to both parties. πŸ™‚

    Congrats on your little kiddos very good!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Firstly congratulations to Pari! I never heard of this to be so rampant. Where I live gift giving to teachers may be on a special day like Teacher’s Day or end of school class party. I would not support it. Would give rise to lots of bias I think. Oh what a world your little one has to grow up in. My warmest thoughts to you!

    Like

    1. Thank you Singledust πŸ™‚
      I agree the biases this practice would create and the impression on young minds that hardwork isn’t necessary if you have the finances to buy results is something best avoided.
      {Hugs}

      Liked by 1 person

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