Classroom Mom Wars…Maybe I’ll Stick With Office Politics After All

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One thing I hate about being an actual employee of a company is all of the office politics that occur – if you work in an office environment then you know what I mean.  If not, watch the movie “Office Space”.  Then again, you probably wouldn’t be able to relate.  You might not even think it’s funny and that would make me sad.  So don’t watch it after all.  If I do keep working as my kids grow older, my goal is to have a job and hours that allow me to be involved in the kids’ schools.

Since I am currently a working mom of non-school-agers, I’m often more focused on the fiscal calendar instead of the school calendar.  However, my friends have older kids and lately I’ve been hearing about end-of-the-year activities.  Since it’s the end of the school year, for a lot of moms that means teacher gifts.  And yes, I said “moms”.  If the dad in your family takes ownership of this, I don’t believe it I want evidence.

One of my close friends is working with two other moms on the teacher gift.  Should be easy, right? Wrong.  I had no idea how “political” this was.  There is etiquette to follow; rules to obey.  One mom was a transplant from another school district and she didn’t care for the gift-giving guidelines that were now forced upon her.

The issue?  Who signs the card for the “class” gift.  The whole class?  Or only the students who give money?  This transplant mom wanted only the contributors to sign and she wanted that stated loud and clear in the parent email.  My friend and the other lady wanted it to be signed from the class since it was the class gift and believed that was also the PTO guideline.  Their reasoning?  Not all kids can contribute – some parents just can’t afford it and some just plain forget.  So why punish/embarrass a child…just sign it from the class.  Her reasoning?  Why give credit when no $ is given.

Small disagreement?  Nope.  Battle begins and classroom mom war starts.  I wasn’t even focused on the original issue at hand…I was focused on the manner in which this one woman tried to handle things while my friend and the other mom tried to be open and collaborative.  I got the play-by-play from my friend: nasty emails, calls to other parents, lies, more nasty emails, refusal to send out the parent email.  It was insane.  And it was an adult!  The woman would not back down on the recognition she apparently needed and was just being ugly with her actions. 

For fun, I googled the “situation” (who signs teacher class gift) and there were a couple of amusing forums that sounded just like her situation.  Click HERE and HERE to read two really good ones.  99% of the posts feel that the whole class should sign…in case you are curious. 

More importantly, I am realizing that no matter where I am…whether it be in an office environment or at a school function for our kids, not all of us play in the sandbox together nicely.  Bummer.

7 Responses to Classroom Mom Wars…Maybe I’ll Stick With Office Politics After All

  1. Love the new design! The cartoon girl favors you! =)

    checked out the links in your post and the problem is that some parents tell their kids what they contributed and then the kids sometimes talk amongst themselves which can create some discomfort that no kid should have to deal with. insane I know!

  2. I say rise above!!! People are busy, broke, forgetful, etc. Frankly, it just takes away from the meaning of the gift in my opinion! Walk in love folks, walk in love!

    Office politics? We don’t have any where we work do we? LOL!

    BTW, I love your new site.

  3. Your blog looks fantastic! Timely post as I just finished writing cards for my boys’ preschool teachers. Their school does not do class gifts. Rather, there are opportunities throughout the year to donate to a teacher appreciation fund or to participate in activities that raise money for that fund. At Christmas and end of year, the teachers end up with a decent check. I still give small gifts, but the idea is that class gifts don’t need to be organized because there’s the fund. I don’t think the teachers see who exactly contributes, which makes sense to me. They send a note thanking everyone.

  4. Ok, I haven’t even read the post yet but I HAD to tell you that I love the new look of the blog!!! 🙂


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