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Wow! I love my daughter's and my son's teachers, but there in no way I would spend that kind of money. I don't spend that kind of money on myself. I agree with Rae Ann, teachers love to get gift cards for supplies, a package of books for their classroom, and if you want more personal, give a certificate for a movie night out or a certificate to Bath & Body. There are a ton of other gift options out there that would benefit the teacher more than a $1,700 bag. If I were the teacher, I would most likely give my thanks for the thought, but I would refuse the gift. There is no way I could carry around a $1,700 purse knowing that the money could have gone to better use.
Your situation reminds me a great deal of a book I reviewed this summer called Schooled. It a novel based on the life of a Columbia grad who decided to teach in Manhattan private schools. It was the "norm" to give teachers really expensive gifts like designer handbags and expensive lunches at posh restaurants. It was a part of the culture, even though morally it just doesn't sit right.
I have to say as a teacher I would have preferred a gift card or cash from families. Right now as the room parent for my son's kindergarten class I asked families to send in at least $10 toward gifts for the 2 teachers and 2 aids in the classroom. If everyone chips in that would mean $45 max for each teacher.
Most years I would receive $10-20 gift cards, home made baked goods or the like from my students. The most I ever received from one family was $75 to a book store. I was the oldest daughters homeroom teacher/science teacher and taught the youngest two language arts.
I will not even mention that the amount seems ridiculous given the tough economic times.
Everyone has forgotten about the Euro conversion rate. Euros are converted using the cryptic dog years math calculation. 100 Euros equals $7.50, that seems reasonable. Unless, of course, the teacher has a cat and that's a different calculation and many more lives.
Thanks Jennifer for the book recommendation. I will definitely read it as it sounds like it could be a close copy to the world I live in here in Paris.
Unfortunatley, giving gift certificates is not really part of the French culture. It's too bad since that would be a great gift to give to a teacher to use however she wants (school supplies, clothes for herself, DIY,..)
This is just in from my sister, who used to live in Switerland and now lives in Hong Kong.
"I guess it depends on how many kids are in the class and is this for Christmas or someone who is leaving? 100Euros seems steep! In Switzerland I spent about $25-40(US) per teacher. Here in HK I will do about the same. I know last year some people did a group gift for the teacher at the end of the year in lieu of each doing something and I believe it was about $40-50(US) per person. I think they ended up getting a spa certificate for this teacher. However, I do know some people that do spend a lot on the teachers - I have one friend who does very nice generous gift certificates for massages etc but she feels its worth it as her son has extreme allergies and every day there is extra care taken for him. Of course, this should be done but why not reward it when it is done well. Hope that helps! Michèle"