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Appropriate End of Year Gift for Teacher

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I will have been taking class from my teacher for one year, come June, and I would like to get him a gift. It would be my preference to go in on a group gift, but I don't see this happening because many of the students just haven't been real consistent. I wouldn't feel right asking them to participate. Is it appropriate for an individual student to get a teacher a gift and personal card? What kind of gift do you think would be appropriate?


I feel some ambivalence about this. I really want him to know how much I have appreciated his class and ballet, but I have always felt pretty ackward around him. I am not sure what it is about ballet, but I seem to morph into an insecure, ackward 13 year-old when I step into class even though I am a fairly competent, 27 year-old professional outside of class. I sometimes wonder if he respects me as a person because of my insecurity, and I am afraid that giving him a card and gift expressing my appreciation for his class might come across the wrong way. Any advise would be appreciated.

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Let's see...how naughty have you been this year? That will help you decide whether 80 or 100 proof...(or more).

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I like Mel's idea, but I wanted to add something to it...


I've only been reading this forum for a while, but I have

noticed that you write really well, and are very good at

expressing yourself in words.


So, even if sometimes you feel like an awkward 13 year old in class

(don't we ALL sometimes?) you certainly don't seem like one when

I read your posts; you are eloquent and creative and logical.

I cite The Fundamentals Sticky Proposal as evidence for my claim.


My idea is this: why not use this skill of yours with words in making a

gift for your teacher? Find a way to write something -- make a card,

(with illustrations, if you like to draw) write a thank you poem, or write

something serious about what you've learned... be creative, and let that

part of you shine in your gift to your teacher -- they'll treasure it.


(I used to teach engineering lab courses years ago, and I still have a funny

thank you card that a few of my students made -- I bet my students had no

idea that it would survive so many moves, and years later!)


Anyway... maybe this will get you started on making a gift that your teacher

will remember long after the last martini has been consumed....



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I am also an adult dance student. I usually give cards or gifts to my teachers at the end of the year to show my appreciation. Some of the other students (adults and teens) give individual gifts as well. I try to write a brief but well thought out thank you message in the card.


I agree with DreadPirateRoberts. A touching personal message may be treasured for years.



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Thank you so much for the encouraging words. Having a strength recognized is so empowering! Your comments also helped me to see why I feel so insecure in ballet in the first place. A self-proclaimed verbavore, I spend a lot of my life hiding behind words. I never realized just how much time I spend doing this until I started taking ballet. It's no wonder I feel like I am learning a second language and living in a foreign country!


Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I am actually planning on taking everyone's advice! A bottle of Vodka would actually be a perfect gift for my teacher. . .He's always talking about how he needs to go home and drink some Vodka after our class :flowers:. I may write a short silly poem called, "A Vodka Fifth," as well as make a more meaningful card.


Thanks again!

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I may write a short silly poem called, "A Vodka Fifth," as well as make a more meaningful card.

Excellent idea! Perhaps you could include a diagram/drawing

showing a creatively "less traditional" definition of "fifth position" ?



I can totally relate to the way that learning ballet feels like learning a

new language, and being in a new country -- it's the same for me.

My first trip to Germany I was all excited to use my high school and

college "language skills" (ha!) and usually, people would listen to me

tolerantly while I mangled some sentence. Then they would reply in perfect

English. And THEN (as if my ego were not already bruised enough) they would

correct my grammar! A perfect preparation for corrections in ballet class, no?

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Guest beckster

Last week, my teacher was given a gift by one of the girls who has recently taken an exam, to say thank you for all the help. Having seen how touched she was by this, I would definitely say that if you want to express your appreciation then you definitely should! When I leave my classes (in June :( )I will be getting my teacher something - perhaps some fancy bath salts or something. After all, I suppose people who have devoted their lives to dance don't have much money or much time to indulge themselves. Not sure that bath salts would be as appropriate for a male teacher though!

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I'm in the same boat you are almost.


I'm choreographing a piece with my college's dance ensemble and trying to think up gifts for my costume designers, my musicians, and our director.


We're getting the costumers and 2 of the musicians chocolate and wine, with a big card signed by all the dancers, and one of the other musicians, who also composed my piece doesn't drink and is trying to cut down on sugar, but is a tea freak, so we're getting her a mixed basket full of teas. We're still at a loss over what to get the director. We really want to get her something special, since she's done so much for us.

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Whisky (Whiskey for the Irish and Tenneseeans).


I used to go to Catholic schools, and finding a suitable gift for the Nuns was difficult. Perfume was considered vain, Alcohol was out of the question. I usually ended up giving bath salts, moisturizers, and the like.


Avoid giving dance-related gifts, and especially anything PINK!


A male dance teacher is even dicey.



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I gave my (male) teacher a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant (along with what was a heartfelt, but probably very mushy card, since I am very close to him and I'm leaving). If you don't know him that well-- maybe a card and gift card to Borders/Barnes and Noble or Starbucks? 20$ would be perfectly fine at any of these and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy them.

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Even the least forthcoming teachers will occasionally drop hints about their interests, hobbies, etc. File those nuggets of information away for gift-giving season.


Oh, and if you travel (some do, some don't), always ask your teachers if they want anything. This can be a lot more fun for all than gifts at the "usual" times. Some of my teachers love getting books or programs from afar, some just like souvenirs...you get the idea.


Another nice option is to keep on top of newly-released dance books--those always make good gifts as long as they don't already have them.

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I bought candy for one of my instructors for Valentine's Day and again for Easter, and flowers for the pianist. At end of year, in June, I expect to give more of the same. Or maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Sea Monkey,


Having been a costume designer in a former life ( I guess I still am.) I alway reacted to the heartfelt sentiment in a well chosen card with hand written verse. I still keep those. I ran across them the other day and re-read them again as I have many times. What a wonderful flood of memories of the people I worked with. I remember something that Arthur Fiedler the noted conductor of the Boston Pops said about gifts. " Oh another damm Plaque!" Give of yourself, your intellect, as they have to you!

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