Coronavirus: Teachers exchange gifts to boost morale

School staff describe gift-giving scheme as 'amazing', while some say food banks and charities should be prioritised

Amy Gibbons

Gift giving

Teachers have been sharing wish lists and exchanging gifts with peers across the country in an effort to boost morale amid the coronavirus crisis.

As schools contend with another week of lockdown, teachers seeking to raise spirits have been posting their Amazon wish lists on Twitter, using the hashtag #spreadkindness, as part of an "addictive" gift-giving scheme.


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The idea is to show random acts of kindness by treating colleagues to gifts from their wish lists.

Many teachers' wish lists feature typical classroom essentials, such as stationery, study guides and children's books.

But others venture further afield with more wacky suggestions, including a water fountain for cats; a faux sheepskin rug; toothbrush heads; sweet chilli dipping sauce; and a Himalayan crystal rock salt lamp.

On the more expensive end of the scale are an Apple Watch and a LEGO Disney castle, both priced at more than £400.

Sharing their lists on Twitter, some teachers described the trend as "amazing".

One maths teacher said she had already "spent a small fortune" on gifts for others, but "couldn't resist doing it again".

Another teacher added: "It’s so addictive. Got lots of bits for people yesterday and plan to continue today."

But some teachers have criticised the concept. Headteacher Simon Smith said: "If you want to do some good, support a food bank, buy pens, pencils and books and send them to a local school so they can distribute them to those that have none.

"This list thing just seems to do little apart from give people with stuff more stuff."

Primary teacher Colin Grimes said: "I’m going to suggest an alternative to the Amazon wish list thing. If you find yourself with a little spare money at the moment then either give a little to a local food bank or support a local charity whose donations have dried up at the moment."

He added: "I’m finding it a bit icky to be honest."

Early years consultant Sue Allingham replied: "Completely agree! The sharing of lists isn’t a good look is it".

A primary teacher added: "I had not realised the sharing of wish lists was so that other people could buy the stuff for them. Greed, not kindness.

"Support your local hospice or food bank if you want to."

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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