I'll bet David Lee Roth as a youngster always gave his teachers excellent gifts.
Another main reason in this decision is the New Yorker article a few weeks back about giving gifts to teachers. It was an interesting article about how the practice can be abused, how some parents buy really nice gifts, and some parents buy some chintzy shit. It also talked about how in some cultures, it is very important to give a nice gift to the teacher. Sujan can back me up on that one.
Now the public schools have also decided to make the announcement that no parent should spend more than five dollars on a gift for a teacher. Is the New Yorker piece the reason for this decision as well? If so, it is incredible to me how an article that wasn't even overly critical of gift giving is being used to ban all gift giving. It could have as easily been used to urge parents not to buy shitty gifts.
I did not get into teaching for gifts. I obviously did not get into teaching for the money. It annoys me when teachers bitch and moan about how low paid they are. Our society could give two shits. Teachers are expected to at least get their master's degrees so they can be paid like crap. However, I knew what I was getting into when I decided to go into teaching. Would I like to be paid more? Of course, but we need to fight for that rather than sit around and kvetch about how low paid we are. It always seems to me that the teachers always complaining about money are the ones who really don't want to be teaching anyway. My school does not have a union. I have no idea how to start one, but it might be interesting to look into.
The bottom line though is nicely summed up by a teacher from a public school up the block from mine quoted in this article.
"Teachers should be paid enough so that parents don't feel they need to give gifts to teachers and teachers don't feel they need to accept them."
Shame on you teacher for wanting a livable wage!