another year done and another batch of kids ready to head off to school after the summer break. i'm ready for my 5 weeks off. it's been a long year.
the end of year thing kinda bugs me with the amount of gifts parents give. there are 5 staff in our room so obviously to get us all something can cost a fair amount so there's a few things the families tend to do. some get us large boxes of chocolates or other baked goods (which instead of splitting up and just taking a few pieces of each thing-- especially since me and 1 other co-worker are vegan-- we each take a couple of the gifts. i manged to find 2 things i can eat/drink and my vegan co-worker took a couple things she can re-gift or use for a cookie exchange she has to go to tomorrow). other families just get the main teacher a large gift and then get us little things to thank us. unfortunately most of the time it's little boxes of cheap chocolate (not vegan) or soaps (that usually aren't vegan). a few families had a great ideas this year which we all LOVED. about a dozen families collected up money together and then donated it to oxfam and got us a few oxfam unwrapped gifts. the children from those families then drew special pictures which were copied on a high quality colour copier (i didn't even realize they were copies until i saw we all had the same pictures) and bound them together in a little book for each of us.
other families got us something for our room at work. one family got some a whole setup from the friendship tree and another got us a large potted plant. i like those sorts of things much better than the homemade food or little packets of chocolates. another great gift idea was a little box of spices from the oxfam shop. they were spices that i'm sure all of us use and the money from it's purchase goes towards supporting farming communities in sri lanka.
i think next year i may try to teach the kids what the word vegan means from the start of the year (although i can't tell them about the horrible lives that the animals that become their food have i can teach them what i do and don't eat as a vegan and of course they all go home and tell their parents everything). it was a bit annoying that even the couple of parents who did know we were vegan still gave us home made baked goods and just said things like "sorry it's got butter in it." i don't really need the gift. just a thank you is nice.