I just wanted to add—I guess I just found that line about “no more mugs or frames” really irritating. The article is so cynical.
I’ve never had a bad experience like that. In fact, I wrote a letter to the editor about an amazing thing my daughter’s teacher did last year—she made individual photo albums for all the kids in her class, with pictures from the entire year and a page with all her friends’ signatures. She really went above and beyond, and wrote us a nice thank-you for our gift to her, a bubble bath kit.
A little pespective: I am a teacher and I am in the process of moving. I have so many little gifts, candles, etc. that are special but require lots of boxes. :) My most cherished possession is the big, think purple folder in which I keep every letter written to me by a student or parent. On those cold, dreary winter days, I get a hot cup of coffee and read each one of those letters and reflect on the writer.
My wife is a teacher. Thank God she doesn't get mugs and/or frames any more! Every year we ... for years ... we gave mugs to Goodwill or some other organization. A house only needs so many mugs. Receiving countless amounts of them is what's irritating. Nothing cynical about it.
How did those photo albums improve the kids’ academic skills? Could teacher have spent that time actually teaching the kids something useful, like multiplication facts? or grammar?