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From the COLlive inbox: "This week I concluded my 6th year of teaching and it had been a great year. Both students and the parents were very happy. On the last day of school, I received..." Full Story

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Out of touch
June 24, 2022 10:29 am

Sorry, you sound incredibly out of touch. First of all, tips are for minimum wage service workers, which you are not. You need to take up your salary with the school instead of expecting the parents to shell out additional money on top of the astronomical tuition we already pay. Not to mention, there is pressure to give tips multiple times a year – Purim, Chanukah, end of year, and more. It’s endless. And not just to teachers, but bus drivers, support staff, etc.

Heshy B.
Reply to  Out of touch
June 24, 2022 11:01 am

And Not Just One Teacher … There are many teachers, and bus drivers and bus Morahs. Same goes to camp!!! The camps charge astronomical fees and then pester the parents non stop about …. Tipping the counselor … TIPPING the learning teacher…. Then some camps got even smarter…. they ask to pay the truck driver for taking the luggage, AND they demand you pay the truck driver even when you want to put your luggage under the bus…. they found another way squeeze parents. Remember: These institutions were purchased with Tzedaka money by the generation following the Holocaust. These grounds… Read more »

Camp Counsler
Reply to  Heshy B.
June 24, 2022 12:29 pm

Most staff care for the amount of tips they receive then the amount of cash each is. It matters to them because as 18 year olds their doing their best to care for your son emotionally, spiritually, and physically for 2 months. All they, or should I say WE want, is a small acknowledgment that it’s appreciated. You appreciate your babysitter who you also paid to sit in your house for 2 hours, you could spend $18 to just lettuce counsler know you appreciate it. Not just that he was hired by the camp and you paid the camp, but… Read more »

Reply to  Camp Counsler
June 24, 2022 5:06 pm

However when u have several children, with 2 counselors each. It ends up being few 100 dollars

Reply to  Out of touch
June 24, 2022 11:17 am

NO ONE in Crown Heights pays full tuition
even if one pays 10k it comes out to $50 a day ( less than $10 an hour) the teachers are the ones who are picking up the tabs for everyone else.

20 kids in class
Reply to  Tuition????????
June 24, 2022 12:09 pm

That’s $200 an hour

Heshy B.
Reply to  Tuition????????
June 24, 2022 5:01 pm

Thats a lie. I pay full and most of my friends pay full.

Please reread the article
Reply to  Out of touch
June 24, 2022 12:15 pm

If you can show appreciation with money, do it.
If money is an issue, show your appreciation in another way.

Reply to  Out of touch
June 25, 2022 11:29 pm

You don’t know what it means to be a teacher. It’s not about the money.
A teacher puts in so much energy in your child. He is with your child more during the day than you yourself are. Show some appreciation!

Don't judge until you are in the other persons sho
Reply to  Out of touch
June 30, 2022 2:21 pm

The writer wasnt only talking about tips, but just appreciation goes a long way!

June 24, 2022 10:35 am

Somehow giving an empty envelope with just a note and no cash became unacceptable. For those of us with a few children and therapists etc shelling out 20$ dollars each really eats away at our weekly check. I don’t need to explain how due to rising costs of life we have now joined the working yet struggling poor club. I don’t take away from the fact that its basic mentchlichkeit that we should show our thanks but PLEASE LET’S END THIS CASH TIP BUSINESS. I am embarrassed when the class mother calls me up chanukah time. What am i supposed… Read more »

As a teacher
Reply to  Parent
June 24, 2022 12:17 pm

An empty envelope with a personal card means a lot.

Very well said
June 24, 2022 10:38 am

I agree 💯!teachers put so much into there students show some appreciation!it will go a long way!!!if you have not done do it now!

Teacher assistants also
June 24, 2022 10:39 am

This is so true! And don’t forget the teachers assistant who are there to back up the Rebbys and Morahs.

6th year teaching
June 24, 2022 10:41 am

I hear what you’re saying, but you never know a family’s financial situation. Plus parents who have multiple kids it can add up to tip each teacher and therapists-
A thank you card without a tip should suffice. You don’t teach to get tips- .
Parents do usually show appreciation. during the year at least once- like Purim time, they give you a nice Mishloach Manos.

End of year
Reply to  6th year teaching
June 24, 2022 12:20 pm

A mention or card at the end of the year is important.
It’s not about the money as much as it is recognition for the work that teachers do.
Purim is also an opportunity to show appreciation. If you can’t give two gifts or send money twice, a card or WhatsApp message is meaningful and appreciated just as much.

Thank you for saying this!!!
June 24, 2022 10:42 am

I know some might be upset by this article, but as a teacher I appreciate it. Many parents do not realize the extent of investment we put into your child every day for an entire year. Some children require more attention (and parents know if their child is that one), and I have put my heart and soul into students, thinking about them long after school hours, reading books and discussing with fellow mechanchim for tips on how to reach them. For a year, your child is my life. Usually there is little acknowledgement, or there is from a handful… Read more »

You dont realize how much it costs
Reply to  Thank you for saying this!!!
June 24, 2022 11:00 am

many teachers dont realize the expence of tuition (since many of you get huge discounts since your teachers) you chose this career and a gift once in a while of course is nice just like its nice for your dr, dentist, therapist, bus driver and the list goes on and on and on but every year and 2-3 times a year is just completely wrong and the whole situation has gone crazy

Thank you for saying this!!! #2
Reply to  Thank you for saying this!!!
June 24, 2022 11:11 am

I was not referring to tips here but a nice card or other expression of thanks. Something can be as simple as home baked goods wrapped cutely with a card. Not saying expectations, just sharing ideas that it really doesn’t have to be money, just thoughtfulness.

June 24, 2022 10:44 am

10 Kids = 10 teachers, 10 Assistants, 6-7 Therapists – Teachers expect chanuka time, purim and now the end of the year – we appreciate everything you do and of course a nice letter is important but this tip/gift expectation is simply wrong – you work hard you get paid and we pay huge amounts of school fees to pay your paycheck.

Misholoach manois, Chanukah gelt, tuition and ever
Reply to  WRONG
June 24, 2022 2:47 pm

100% you said it well

As a teacher
June 24, 2022 10:46 am

You’re right about appreciation and expressing it it. As a teacher, I’d like to get favorable feedback iver the year. Miney? When it seems to be a hassle just to pay tuition?
And most important, as a teacher I cringed! In my humble opinion, this is not something we should ask for ourselves, וד״ל

As a teacher
June 24, 2022 10:48 am

It’s important to get positive feedback all year long.
But I cringed reading a teacher’s request for tips.

June 24, 2022 11:05 am

Perhaps if our schools offered proper secular education, then we wouldn’t be as poor a community and would be able to better tip our teachers.

Reply to  Maybe
June 24, 2022 12:07 pm

Maybe take that up with the Rebbe, who taught his chassidim that it’s best to fill our children up with Torah, not limudei chol. If you don’t agree with the philosophy you are free to put your children in other schools, there are many other neighborhoods that can accommodate your request. No need to try to change the schools in this neighborhood.

Reply to  Maybe
June 24, 2022 1:20 pm

It’s always a good idea to verify theory and wishful thinking (or indoctrinated thinking) against reality.
If your statement were true then how did all the homeless, drug addicts, criminals, porch thieves ever come about? Weren’t they all products of a proper secular education?

Reply to  Maybe
June 24, 2022 1:49 pm

One of the few who won’t throw eggs at you for an extremely reasonable statement.

Lubavitch Chasiddim Follow the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Reply to  Maybe
June 24, 2022 2:08 pm

You write the terms “our schools” and “our community”. I assume that you are reffering to something relating to Lubavitch. So while both, your stated fact that we are a poor community, and your assumption that it is the result of a lack of a proper secular education, can both be debated. (I believe that the median salary is way above national average, despite, or more accurately – as a result, of our education, and the poverty is a result of our lifestyle to have large families which require a much larger income). What is more important is that “our… Read more »

Well Written

Thank you so much for such a perfect reply!
I was waiting for a comment like this since the whole Limmudei Chol tumult started recently.
Please write an op-ed!

Reply to  Maybe
June 24, 2022 2:45 pm

Most of us actually make a decent living but we are blessed with large families so do the math

Reply to  Stop
June 24, 2022 6:19 pm


June 24, 2022 11:16 am

I too am a teacher. While it is nice to get a gift or a tip, I understand that’s not always possible. What is possible and means so much, is when the parent sits down and writes a meaningful card, expressing what they appreciated and that my work did not go unnoticed. Even more appreciated is when a parent includes a letter from the child who I taught, expressed in their own words how much they enjoyed the year. That doesn’t require money. That requires thought and an understanding of what the teacher did. While it may take some time… Read more »

Malka, a teacher
Reply to  Teacher
June 24, 2022 11:55 am

You expressed this so well! The few short thank you notes that students wrote to me at the bottom of their finals were precious and priceless.

A parent
June 24, 2022 11:25 am

Yes I get it. But sometimes there is no extra money, after thousands of dollars in registration fees due and camp fees etc. There is no extra.

As a fellow teacher
June 24, 2022 11:34 am

I agree 100 percent with the writer. We are not asking for tips every day, not even every week or month. But we do spend our time caring for and loving your children day in and day out. And although of course you are paying tuition, you don’t pay the teachers directly. There is not always the feeling that the parents notice and care about all the time and effort we put in. So just like it’s nice to have mother’s day once a year and get treated, although of course we celebrate mothers an entire year; it’s important to… Read more »

You deserve a tip but
Reply to  As a fellow teacher
June 24, 2022 2:50 pm

How much more can parents extend themselves. Even if you are making a decent salary we are squeezed- we are sending kids to camp and its fortune!!!

Heshy B.
Reply to  You deserve a tip but
June 24, 2022 5:13 pm

Camps are a huge issue, they charge a fortune to have 15 uear olds watch our children. Even though disagree with the amount the schools charge for tuition, they have the expense of paying teachers salaries. Camp on the other hand…. pays counselors $200 a month… can someone reasonably explain what the camps do with the millions collected for camp fees? These were never private entities, they are all registered as “non profit” (just like our Mesivtas and Seminaries….) and the grounds were purchased with Tzedaka funds. So please explain why camp tuition is $5,000 USD??? Do the math. The… Read more »

Right and wrong
June 24, 2022 11:39 am

You are right that parents can take a minute to write a thank you note to a teacher

You are wrong is expecting that a tip be given at the end of the year

Crown heights resident
June 24, 2022 11:58 am

Yes, there are many different angles , many different situations and different financial levels At every angle there’s the bottom and the top. The point of the article (in my humble opinion) that we all need to think about is, teachers and Rebbies, Parents, teens and young adults, see many many today who come to school with 2,3,5 dollars a day spending money, they see many many many on lines out the door of many establishments of people waiting to buy 5,10,even 20 dollars of coffees, lates ice coffees etc. danishes etc. every day. There seems to be money for… Read more »

"You're welcome"
June 24, 2022 12:05 pm

As a teacher, I’m sure you know the benefits and effects of positive reinforcement. In all my years of giving chanuka gelt, shaloch manos, end of year “tips” etc, I can count on one hand the teacher who texted to say “Thanks for the gift”. Think abt that…

Yes, teachers work so hard for our kids and deserve thanks, but it’s not owed, it’s not mandatory. It’s a bonus.

Not my experience
Reply to  "You're welcome"
June 24, 2022 3:44 pm

I always give chanukah gelt, mishloach manos and end of year gifts to my children’s teachers. Almost always, I receive a beautiful thank you note from the teacher for that appreciation. Let’s stop blaming and telling everyone else what to do and do our best to do our part. By the way, I am in Chinuch of older grades and know the value of what teachers do. And no, I hardly get any appreciation from the students or their parents. Few and far between. And rather than focusing on that, it motivates me to be extra careful with appreciating my… Read more »

If it were a money issue..
June 24, 2022 12:09 pm

If it were a money issue, and parents really did want to do hakaras hatov, but they just can’t afford than, A.) Teachers would receive a lot more thank you’s and appreciative messages, both in the form of messages and in written cards. B.) The parents who do have money, would be giving the “end of year tip.” Which, as many teachers can attest, isn’t the case. Besides, some of you in the above comments make it sound like tipping all the teachers will come out to some astronomic number.. Well let’s actually calculate it for reality purposes only. In… Read more »

Stand up and show us your beautiful face
June 24, 2022 12:40 pm

This teacher doesn’t put a name to her post. How would the parents know that she is waiting for them? Or is it possible she chose this platform davka so she can remain anon? I’m so glad, that amongst all the million things I have going on, this year I did not forget. Because seeing this post would make me guilty, but then angry that this is the teacher that I entrusted my child in for the year. This is so not ok. What lessons has she been teaching my child if these are her goals? While it’s beautiful to… Read more »

Reply to  Stand up and show us your beautiful face
June 24, 2022 4:59 pm

These issues are real and sometimes they are the true reason a parent did not express gratitude. Just a thought: If a parent is too busy, the student themselves can write a note to the teacher. Think of the valuable lesson you are teaching your child when giving them a pen and paper (you don’t need a fancy card) and having them learn to express gratitude for their hardworking Morah or Rebbi. Yes, there is a long list of people to thank. Have your child choose 2. Maybe it’s both their principals, maybe their bus Morah and their therapist. And… Read more »

Don't claim your "low paycheck" means you need tip
June 24, 2022 12:42 pm

Before you say that your income is minimal, have in mind that you work less hours, get paid more per hour (because it has in mind the extra hours a teacher should technically put in out of school) plus you get other benefits. Tuition breaks – if you only pay $4000/child, instead of $7000, consider as if your salary is actually an additional $3k PER child you send to school. Does your paycheck go through parsonage? All the food stamps and medical expenses can also be calculated as part of your salary.
Suddenly you are making quite a nice paycheck.


Don’t forget summers off and the option to work a different summer job to augment that salary as well.

Teachers are not looking for $

Teachers are not looking for tips, they are looking for an appreciation for the parents of whom they spend many hours a day teaching values, Torah, and the way I look at it- they are partners in raising your children. Tips are for the delivery man, a nice thank you (in any way) is what they are looking for. If you don’t have money to buy a gift then by all means send a WhatsApp message every now and then. As a parent the reason I go out of my way to show gratitude specifically to teachers is because, like… Read more »

Why all or nothing??
June 24, 2022 12:47 pm

I think that because many parents are not planning to tip teachers, they tend to stay away and would rather not even send a card or say thank you. Just realize that teachers are probably the least spoiled people you’d meet and they’d appreciate absolutely any gesture. Yes it might require a little more effort or creativity if you’re not planning on giving just cash. Ex: a couple home items from Marshall’s/target, home baked goods, a personalized mug/cup, meaningful mug from amazon, a plant/flowers… The list goes on! A cute card from yourself and your child is always very heartwarming.… Read more »

The price of Hakaras Hatov
June 24, 2022 1:12 pm

From 4 classes of students, I received cards and thank yous from …. few. I know both sides of the fence, and can sit listing them all. Here is the bottom line. Hakaras Hatov is priceless. Yess we prefer a card than no recognition at all. Those meaningful words keep me going. They teach the children who bring them 4 Hakaras Hatov. This is how we teach middos. Make your child write the card! Or help with it. Because of this, although I am a teacher ($) myself. I always thank, and when I can- gift, multiple times a year.… Read more »

June 24, 2022 2:15 pm

If you want your kids teacher to put in any extra effort for your kid then its important to show them that you appreciate it. Kayh I gave out 20 appreciation gifts between three kids (plus one kids school asks for 100 dollars per kid to buy all the teachers something) I gave a token thank you to the bus drivers and for the teachers who spent hours and hours working with my kids to give them what they needed I broke the budget. Whatever money I spent to show thanks was cheaper than money I would need to spend… Read more »

June 24, 2022 2:27 pm

As a teacher for over 40 years I appreciate every card I got over the years and keep them.The gift or money is probably long gone but the nice words and appreciation forever stays in mine mind.Hakoros Hatov is very important.To all the teachers keep up your great work.

As a teacher myself…
June 24, 2022 2:28 pm

1. Despite the fact that tips are nice, this article went a little overboard in asking for them. Parents should never feel pressured to give a tip.

2. Many parents are quick to reach out to teachers when there’s a problem (rightfully so). However when the children are doing well and are being very successful, sometimes teachers don’t get any feedback.

Appreciation doesn’t need to be a letter in a envelope, it could be face to face, email, message, etc.

June 24, 2022 2:32 pm

I think throughout the year parents should give teachers and seits something Purim, Chanukah and one more time either by shavuous or rosh hashana. The end of the year gift is not necessary but nice.

Did anyone send an envelope to the parents?
June 24, 2022 3:11 pm

Put the shoe on the other foot- Parents don’t get tips or a wage for that matter, for the job they do! Parents see the fruits of their labour and are satisfied to reap the rewards. Tips is an American (culture) disease… A teacher (some better than others) gets a wage. A great teacher would not measure their success by the tips received (like waiters) or appreciation gifts from parents, but rather in the knowledge they imparted to their students enabling them to grow and flourish academically & socially. Any teacher relying on or expecting tips is in the wrong… Read more »

Hakaras hatov is important to me
June 24, 2022 3:49 pm

Unfortunately i cannot yet afford tips for all the teachers. I buy something really nice and inexpensive and wrap it beautifully with a meaningful card.
Also never judge finances based on how the kids is dressed etc. maybe the grandparents buy the clothing etc..

Too many tips!
June 24, 2022 4:56 pm

I’ve had the zechus to teach in one of our local Yeshivos now for over 20 years. I never expect a card or a gift. At first parents would send a card or tip on chanukah. Then it became chanuka and purim. Now its chanuka purim and the end of the year. I always recieve alot fHakoras Hatov and parents are very generous with gifts. I actually feel terrible for the parents that feel obliged to send something. I appreciate all the card and gifts but I would never expect or wait for it.

June 24, 2022 5:08 pm

Sounds like you’re doing your job…?
I work all year round (no summer break!) in a Jewish place on a minimum wage salary with no set hours (#medicine) and never receive any recognition or appreciation, forget tips. And zero benefits.

Reply to  Hmm
June 24, 2022 7:33 pm

You don’t like it, leave. Find another job that suits you better.

It's the money
June 24, 2022 5:25 pm

When it became nebach to not include a tip, the cards stop as well. Why does appreciation need to come in the form of money? What kind of message is that? How entitled! If cards without money became the norm I bet most students/parents would “express appreciation” and write them.

Echoing what other teachers wrote here
June 25, 2022 2:55 pm

The most meaningful gifts I’ve gotten in all my years of teaching are the thank-you notes, whether written on Post-Its, nice cards or WhatsApp messages, typed, scrawled or handwritten. I save every single one and reread them, particularly when I need a boost! Tchotchkelach and monetary gifts are so unnecessary in my opinion.

Mrs. Saxon

A grateful Bais Rivkah teacher
June 26, 2022 4:18 am

Parents can’t even imagine how much time many teachers put in to preparing in order to make school exciting for their students. A personal, detailed note of appreciation means so much to a teacher! Gifts are nice but definitely not required. But taking the time to write a letter of thanks, preferably with specific things you appreciated, really makes a teacher feel that her work was noticed, especially if she went the extra mile for your child. If you own a pen and paper or have Whatsapp you don’t have to spend any money to show appreciation. I teach in… Read more »

June 27, 2022 9:07 pm

I am a student of Bais Rivkah 7th Grade. When I truly appreciate a teacher i will write a thank you note. The parents don’t have to do it. The students can! When the teacher is extra kind or caring the students actually become more motivated to show appreciation. This year I had 2 teachers that I wrote thank you notes to multiple times this year because I very much aprecatited them. I try to put it with a little gift,but even when there is no gift my teachers still seem to appreciate it the same way. Its not about… Read more »

Reply to  Student
June 27, 2022 10:30 pm

This is so sweet. Your parents must have raise you very well!

We are teachers
June 27, 2022 10:21 pm

We don’t make much, but we always tip or buy a gift and send a beautiful card to each teacher. We can’t afford vacations but this is an expense that we budget and save for because it’s truly important. Don’t scrimp on those who matter.

A teacher of many Years
June 28, 2022 2:39 am

I have taught and still teaching for over a half a century and i must say that it is a zechus and pleasure to be doing so in a variety of school settings. Teachers don’t necessarily expect gifts of appreciation or acknowledgement, but I must say that a small note or card of thanks is a wonderful gesture. i have a drawer of “thank you”: cards mainly written by the students, I suspect under parental encouragement. This too is chinuch, teaching a child הכרת טוב, appreciation and mentchlickeit,by expressing thanks for a service delivered. Don’t we say thank you to… Read more »

June 28, 2022 12:50 pm

I had 28 girls in my class. They loved learning and looked forward to each day. I received 1 note. I didn’t need anyone’s money but the lack of a thank you for instilling a love of Torah and Yiddishkeit in my child note is puzzling. It’s NOT abt a gift and I don’t even want one. But hakaras hatov is basic. And davka at the end of the year so it isn’t a bribe. I will add that people find money for what they want and someone I know gives out inexpensive umbrellas and writes “thank you for showering… Read more »

Yankel Lokish
June 29, 2022 6:37 am

Maybe Benny friedman should make a new song “lets tip our melamdim and morahs.”.

Thanking a parent
July 2, 2022 11:40 pm

As a parent and a teacher, I agree that a note or call is important. I also call parents when their children do something special and tell then how much I appreciate what they’ve done. Being xtra nice to a classmate, praising a classmat, etc.
Besides mentioning it in class, I feel calling the parent( what parent doesn’t want to hear something nice about their child) I feel it teaches the student Hakoras bc the mother will definitely mention the call, or whats app