As festive tokens of appreciation they are all happily received. But the Christmas presents teachers get from pupils and parents can range from the obvious to the totally random.
As parents shop for gifts and the end of term approaches, we asked Manchester’s hard-working teachers to tell us the presents they get, the presents they’d love to get – and the presents they weren’t quite sure what to do with.
Anything with ‘best teacher’ on it
It’s an obvious choice, but is it that original?
“Last year’s haul included three pairs of ‘best teacher’ socks,” one teach told us. “It’s sweet but will I wear them all? I’m not so sure.”
“Not another mug”
A teacher is rarely sighted without a mug of caffeine in hand, so parents can be forgiven for thinking it’s a handy gift.
“How many mugs does one person need?” one primary school teacher disclosed.
“While I’m grateful for the gesture, I have a cupboard full of them.”
Some teachers disagreed though – and said it was useful time of year to stock on the everyday essential.
One headteacher told us: “Put your mug down in a school and it’ll go missing.
“Even if it has your face on it someone else will borrow it and then it will vanish. We always welcome a replenished stock of mugs in our staff room.”
Framed photos of pupils
Yes, this is a thing. Some parents think teachers would love nothing more than a framed photograph of their little darling for Christmas.
“I was once gifted a photo of one of my kids in a seashell frame,” one teacher said.
“I know it’s the thought that counts but what am I going to do with that? Put it on my mantelpiece?”
Booze – a profession divided
Most of the teachers we spoke to agreed you can’t go wrong with a bottle of something alcoholic.
They can either a) drink it or b) re-gift it to a distant relative.
“It’s a win-win” said one teacher.
“I’ll either take it home and drink it myself, or stick it in a gift bag for my Auntie Sue. Job done.”
However, one secondary school head said some older kids can’t be trusted with carrying a bottle of vodka to school.
“Once I remember seeing a load of kids walking to school loaded with bottles of wine and vodka. It wasn’t ideal,” said one teacher.
Chocolate – even more divisive than booze
Good old Roses, a safe bet for anyone you don’t really know.
And again, another item that can re-gifted in an emergency.
But not all teachers want a living room full of Ferrero Rocher.
“Every year we get endless boxes of chocolate to last us until the following Christmas,” one educator shared.
Underwear from a total stranger anyone?
This has happened.
“I got a leopard print bra and knickers set,” said one teacher.
“A used maternity bra. That was up there with the best.”
“I got a ‘nightie’ from a child once which was about 4 sized too big. I also got a pair of earrings that had hair on them – gross.”
“A couple of tubes of toothpaste, dental floss, those pikster floss things, mouthwash and a toothbrush,” one teacher told us.
“I was worried the parent was trying to tell me something, then found out she worked as a receptionist at a dental clinic.”
“I got a roll on deodorant.”
“After training in year 5 last year I got a bottle of David Beckham shower gel.”
So what do teachers really appreciate?
“It sounds cheesy but it is the thought that counts,” said one.
“A card with a nice message from the pupil or parent is always lovely.”
“John Lewis or the Trafford Centre are winners. Or booze. Can’t go wrong with booze.”