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#1320415 - 12/07/09 03:09 PM Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher?
AiYaYaYa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 9
Loc: NJ, USA
I always face the dilemma when it comes to holiday tipping/gifting, so I'm hoping that the teachers in this forum would help me! Could you please let me know if you normally expect some form of appreciation from the students in the holiday season? If so, what form/amount is appropriate? Many thanks!

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#1320422 - 12/07/09 03:13 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: AiYaYaYa]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
None of my students ever has tipped me money. A few have given gift cards. Probably 50-75% of my students give me a gift of some sort. I appreciate being remembered, but don't expect it.
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1320432 - 12/07/09 03:19 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Lollipop]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
Most of my students end up giving me gift cards. I do teach several pairs of siblings, so I end up getting one "nice" gift from them.

My suggestion is to get to know the teacher better. For example, I don't drink coffee, so I still have three Starbucks gift cards sitting in my drawer (hint...someone is going to get re-gifted...). It's much nicer to give a gift that is actually useful.

I'd say, since you're probably skipping 1 or 2 lessons, a gift that is worth 50% of the lesson fee would be in the appropriate range.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1320590 - 12/07/09 06:57 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: AZNpiano]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Here's a couple of blog posts that I wrote on that subject:

http://clariniano.wordpress.com/2009/10/...el-appreciated/

http://clariniano.wordpress.com/2009/08/...-much-to-spend/

Hope that helps!

Meri
_________________________
Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#1320592 - 12/07/09 06:59 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: AZNpiano]
ToriAnais Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Australia
ANZ - couldn't you just use the starbucks cards to get a hot chocolate or a tea or whatever it is you DO drink?

I'd be uncomfortable being tipped money, but I do absolutely love getting gifts. I don't care if they're trashy or tiny or not something I like - I just like to feel appreciated. So pretty much - ANYTHING. However, a nice bottle of wine makes me like the parent's child just that little bit more wink

I got a bookmark the other day with a poem on it about being a special teacher. I read a lot so I can always use more bookmarks!
_________________________
Piano teacher since August 2008.

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#1320603 - 12/07/09 07:40 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: ToriAnais]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
AZN: I'll take your Starbucks cards! smile

I really don't expect anything from my students, but if they bring a gift, it is appreciated no matter what it is. I think most of my Christmas tree ornaments came from my students.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1320606 - 12/07/09 07:41 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: ToriAnais]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
I think that what is appropriate is a day at a spa, including hot rock treatment, massage, sauna, aromatherapy, pedicure.

I get a lot of chocolate, which I eat, regrettably.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1320621 - 12/07/09 08:08 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: CarolR]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Hi AiYaYaYa,
Most of my students do not give me a gift. But it would be nice to have some token of appreciation. A thoughtful card, anything to show you appreciate the teacher...it means a lot to me. I don't expect it, and wouldn't want anyone to add to their holiday stress by having one more gift to pick out...but if you have the time and appreciate the teacher, any sign of appreciation is nice!

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#1320662 - 12/07/09 09:25 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: CarolR]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: CarolR
I think that what is appropriate is a day at a spa, including hot rock treatment, massage, sauna, aromatherapy, pedicure.

Carol, you forgot to mention the fill-in teacher, so that you can have the day at a spa on a normal teaching day laugh
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1320669 - 12/07/09 09:32 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Canonie]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I really appreciate the thought. And chocolate. Filled with peanut butter. In a nice dish. smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1320704 - 12/07/09 10:13 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Morodiene]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
I think my best gift ever was a card written by a student that said "You are a great teacher".

The day at the spa, with the fill-in teacher, will be even better, though.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1320712 - 12/07/09 10:22 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: AiYaYaYa]
Sparkler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 177
I don't expect anything but it is neat to be thought of.

I'm kinda hard to buy for as I don't drink coffee, wine or eat chocolate/candy. :P But it is not something I broadcast to students... doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

I, too, have a stash of Starbucks giftcards, many I've already regifted.

Best gift for me would absolutely be a thoughtful card from the student. That, or a grand piano filled with cash. cool
_________________________
Pianist
Accompanist
Piano Teacher
and best of all...
Mom!

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#1320715 - 12/07/09 10:23 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: AiYaYaYa]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
I usually receive a Christmas present from my students (chocolate and CDs being the most common) - of course here Christmas coincides with the end of the teaching year and the summer holidays, so it's as much a "thank you for the lessons all year" present as a Christmas present.

As for tipping, we just don't seem to do it here, except at restaurants if we feel like it. smile
(As an accompanist I have had the odd extra payment by a grateful parent, but it's rare)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1320716 - 12/07/09 10:24 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: CarolR]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4981
Loc: boston north
As I get ready to decorate yet another Christmas Tree (counting the years cry )

I love to unwrap and hang all those hand made ornaments that students from the past made for me. Makes me feel warm and cozy and remember each of them.

I suppose I could look down at my thighs and remember those that gave me chocolates, but I like the ornaments better!!!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1320719 - 12/07/09 10:30 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: lilylady]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: lilylady
I suppose I could look down at my thighs and remember those that gave me chocolates, but I like the ornaments better!!!
My kids used to always help me eat the chocs, but now they've both left home... frown
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1320720 - 12/07/09 10:31 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: currawong]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
What's with you guys hoarding all the Starbucks gift cards? Give them to me! laugh
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1320739 - 12/07/09 10:57 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Morodiene]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
I receive gifts from many students and I was actually considering requesting no gifts this year, but that I'd love a card made by the student. My flat isn't very big, my thighs don't need to be bigger. There's usually a lot of chocolate to get through.

But there was no way to do this politely and of course I really enjoy some of the gifts, so I'll have to be gracious smile and hope that I get some good leaf tea (no bags) and nothing herbal or floral either. No coffee for me, I'd send it to Morodiene if she was a bit closer. Got a brilliant t-shirt last year now that I think about it, it's a Scrabble Tshirt and very cool. And I have a very nice mobile of origami hearts that a very young student made years ago (with mum's help).
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1320796 - 12/08/09 12:53 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Canonie]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
When I took lesson, there was one mother of a student who phoned all the piano teacher's students and had us mail her $5. Then she gave the piano teacher a $200 gift card to her favorite fancy restaurant that this piano teacher liked. Lot of work for one person though.

Another parent sent me some of her homemake Christmas baking! That was nice!

And another time a parent made me a Christmas light filled glass brick! It is supposed to look like ice I guess. Very thoughtful!

Oh, and I always like getting those post-it-notes. Discovered that they come in many different shapes. From apple shapes to hearts.

But really, anything is always a pleasure to receive!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#1320822 - 12/08/09 01:49 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Diane...]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Oh dear, I'm afraid I'm one of those chronic chocolate gifters. I actually don't know my teacher's likes and dislikes very well even after all these years...I guess we don't socialize much during lessons. I think once we got her a collectible hat because of the hat collection on her wall, but it turned out not to be hers but her husband's. So the one time I actually tried to find something unique... blush What to do about this year... help Maybe flowers like the past 2 years? whistle

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#1320825 - 12/08/09 01:58 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Frozenicicles]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
What to do about this year... help Maybe flowers like the past 2 years? whistle
It's the thought that counts - it's all good. Chocolates, flowers, CDs, books, book vouchers, coffee mugs (ducks as everyone else says "no! no more coffee mugs!" - I actually like them...), tree decorations, photo frames (you can never have too many photo frames), notebooks, sticky notes. Did I mention book vouchers?

edited to add: bottle of wine smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1320843 - 12/08/09 02:43 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: currawong]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Haha...bottle of wine would be a bad idea. She believes strongly that alcohol kills our brains. Here, have something that you just lectured me last week to not take. Now THAT would be a holiday gaffe! laugh

I think you're right...it's really the thought that counts. I'll just have to make sure to write an extra nice and personal card then.

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#1320846 - 12/08/09 03:04 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Frozenicicles]
ToriAnais Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Australia
I got a cool gift thisarvo. It was a really pretty christmas bon bon filled with chocolates as well as the usual crown and a joke. Luckily I didn't open it in the lesson, but it was so fun when I got my partner to pull the other end at home and there was the loud bang and lots of brightly wrapped chocolates went flying everywhere. It was like smashing open a piniata.
_________________________
Piano teacher since August 2008.

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#1320922 - 12/08/09 08:31 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: ToriAnais]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I've gotten ornaments, which I enjoyed, gift cards for various stories like Barnes and Noble which I loved, Christmas plates which are useful, lotion from Bath and Body, which I have enough of, tea that was yummy, a silver necklace (beautiful), and of course, chocolate. But really, all I need is the cards. The personal thought is what I treasure most.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1320924 - 12/08/09 08:36 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: ToriAnais]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
currawong hit on my two favorites:
wine
gift card at the book/music store


I get chocolate, but I'm not crazy about it. I love chocolate, but i like fancy organic chocolate.

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#1320942 - 12/08/09 09:40 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: wavelength]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
I've gotten a variety of stuff - often cash in a card. I must admit it's a bit more awkward to get cash rather than an actual gift, but I can't say I mind. Just yesterday I received $30 in cash from a student. For the last couple years I've had a student who tips me $200 for the holidays. whome But she quit a few months ago. Bummer! Maybe she was broke! Ha!
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

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#1320954 - 12/08/09 10:01 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Crayola]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
I'm boring because I give the same thing every year, which is a gift card from Hutchins & Rea - online sheet music dealer - in an amount equal to one lesson fee.

They always seem to like it.

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#1320959 - 12/08/09 10:09 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Phlebas]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
One gift I liked a lot was a flameless candle! I got this from one of my students just after I told all my students that I had a candle on my piano, and after it went out, I picked it up not realizing that the liquid wax was invisible and I tipped it just enough that the melted wax poured down the front of my piano!

Another idea are those flameless tea lights and they are just beautiful in a glass with those fake ice cubes in it.

I hate getting tea. Coffee or chocolate yes! So really, knowing what the teacher likes and dislikes is always a good idea!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#1320961 - 12/08/09 10:10 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Phlebas]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
After wine (as long as it is red), I treasure anything handmade, especially a card.

Just keep those damned Ferrero rochers for yourself!!!! Apart from the fact I can't stand them, they are most likely old stock left over from Easter, or worse....last Christmas!
_________________________
Rob

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#1321034 - 12/08/09 11:59 AM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Morodiene]
MordentMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I don't ever expect anything, but usually i get cards, or a box of chocolates, bath soaps, jewelry, homemade crafts, a few thoughtful students have given me travel coffee mugs, or Tim Horton's gift cards (5-20$) and one student even gave me a book of Mozart's Sonatas (awesome!) No one has directly given me money... personally i would find that a bit odd, since I myself never gave any of my teachers money. Usually a card, with chocolates, soaps, or some jewelry as well.
_________________________
Mordent Music - Offering Piano and Music Theory Lessons in Windsor, Ontario

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#1321121 - 12/08/09 02:14 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: MordentMusic]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
"Just keep those damned Ferrero rochers for yourself!!!!" LOL! I had those one time...such an attractive wrapper...tasted terrible...and little pieces of something...I remember getting a bit choked. Who buys them? They're awful!

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#1321146 - 12/08/09 02:45 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Overexposed]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
"Just keep those damned Ferrero rochers for yourself!!!!" LOL! I had those one time...such an attractive wrapper...tasted terrible...and little pieces of something...I remember getting a bit choked. Who buys them? They're awful!


Hey, I'll take them!!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1321170 - 12/08/09 03:19 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: AZNpiano]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
"Just keep those damned Ferrero rochers for yourself!!!!" LOL! I had those one time...such an attractive wrapper...tasted terrible...and little pieces of something...I remember getting a bit choked. Who buys them? They're awful!


Hey, I'll take them!!

Share avec moi, please. 3hearts

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#1321243 - 12/08/09 05:22 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Frozenicicles]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Over here! Ferraro Rochers! I know what to do with them!

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#1321255 - 12/08/09 05:33 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Erghhhh! Can't stand them. There was this really bad month where I lived (almost) on avocados and Ferrero Rochers... Avocados I eat whole in a sitting - delicious, but those other things...

Other faves; soap (cos you can always use it, unlike lotions and more personal things), and any stationary no matter how simple or small - notebooks or pens or pencils or hole punches that produce a music note hole, you can always use stationary so it won't clutter up the house.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1324466 - 12/13/09 12:01 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Canonie]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3515
Loc: not in Japan anymore
This thread is making me paranoid!! I got my teacher Ferrero rochers (am planning on giving them to her tomorrow). I don't think I have time to try to get something different...

frown

I've been taking lessons from her for less than a year... I wish I could ask one of the other students what they do. Anyway, this year I guess I'll go with the chocolates (sorry!) and a card, and maybe next year I should do a monetary tip instead???
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1324500 - 12/13/09 01:02 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: ShiroKuro]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
Don't worry, ShiroKuro-- she will appreciate the gesture even if she doesn't like chocolates! And most people do like chocolates smile

Those Ferrero thingies are my idea of chocolate gone wrong smile But I'm kind of weird. Too many ingredients. Artificial flavoring? Soy Lecithin?

This is my idea of chocolate:
http://www.equalexchange.coop/chocolate-bars

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#1325342 - 12/14/09 04:43 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: wavelength]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
ShiroKuro, it really is the thought that counts. I would be delighted to receive the Ferrero chocolates even though I don't like them. It would show me that the student appreciates the lessons...and I'm take them to a family gathering seeing if anyone else likes them better than I do.

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#1325364 - 12/14/09 05:04 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Overexposed]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
I just got the most adorable porcelein salt and pepper shakers in the shape of keyboards. Very cute.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1326078 - 12/15/09 05:08 PM Re: Holiday gift/tipping to the teacher? [Re: Morodiene]
ljohnson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 17
Loc: USA
Hi Everyone,

My students usually give me a gift of some sort of gift at Christmas. Honestly speaking, I would feel bad if they didn't think of showing their teacher acknowledgement, but I don't expect everyone to give me a gift (however small). The ones that do cheer the season for me and I don't think about the one who don't negatively. It can be different every year. I do give everyone a small gift or a card to share the holidays with them. Some people think of their teachers and some don't. That's just the way it is and I don't fret about it or it might upset me at at a time that I want to be happy.
To ShiorKuro: It is definetly the thought that counts. Good for you for thinking of your teacher-thats very kind.

Lea,
Maryland


Edited by ljohnson (12/15/09 05:12 PM)

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