'Ungrateful' Teacher Vents About The 5 Gifts She Got After Doing 100 Hours Of Extra Work

Nothing makes up for the low pay and extra work like a Slinky!

TikTok teacher gifts TikTok

It's no secret that teaching in America tends to be a thankless job — and we have the teacher burnout rates to prove it. Sure, you leave work every day with the knowledge you've helped mold a kid, and that passion is often what keeps teachers in the profession. 

But in exchange, you get low pay and punishingly long hours — all those evenings spent grading and planning more than cancel out those summer vacations. Then there are the difficult parents and unsupportive administrators — and that's before we even get into the elephant in the room of school shootings and active shooter drills.


Making matters worse is the way schools often show "appreciation" for teachers. As one teacher named Britt shared in a since deleted TikTok, it's often the kind of teacher gift where you just kinda have to shake your head and say "It's the thought that counts."

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A teacher on TikTok shared the teacher gifts she was given by her school for working overtime. 

The teacher gifts were given as a "thank you" for putting in over 100 hours of extra work. But they kind of seemed more like someone had just cleaned out their desk and wanted to get rid of some clutter by "gifting" it to their colleague. 


As Britt explains in her caption, people might consider her "ungrateful" but when you weigh up the reality of her working conditions, these gifts are lackluster to say the least.

The teacher gifts included a slinky and random objects like binder clips that underlined just how underappreciated teachers are. "Underappreciated? No way! Teachers aren't underappreciated," Britt sarcastically quipped in her video.

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She went on to highlight the "very special thank you package dropped off for me today for putting in over a hundred hours of work on top of already being a teacher" for an extra project she took on at work. "I just want to show you this extra special thank you they wanted to give me because, really, you're gonna love it," she joked.


And she's right — the "gifts" truly have to be seen to be believed. Again, keep in mind how overworked and underpaid teachers are in the first place, then add an extra 100 hours out of the goodness of your heart. For those of us who work more "normal" jobs, we'd expect maybe, say, a Starbucks card if our boss is a cheapskate, or a full-on bonus if they're not, right?

Well, Britt's teacher gifts were decidedly more low-key. "I got this bag of very nondescript candy," she said, holding up the bag in question, followed by "two boxes of tape — but look, it's the invisible kind! That's pretty cool," she joked. Next up? "A luggage tag for all the traveling I'm doing with my huge teacher salary!" Yeah, that one's kind of... twisting the knife a bit, isn't it?

But not as much as the next gift on the roster — a "Things To Do" notepad "to remind me that I always have more things that I have to do," Britt said.

"No rest for teachers. Just remember, things to do. You got more." Next up was a giant Slinky, for whatever reason, followed by what Britt called "the best one... Two loose binder clips." Not a whole box of binder clips. Just... two... binder clips. Clipped to each other. As a "gift."


As Britt put it, "Wow. I feel so appreciated and thanked."

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The rate of burned-out teachers quitting their jobs has reached an all-time high since the pandemic.

Britt has since left the teaching profession, now working as a tarot reader and spiritualist, and occasionally posts videos about the pitfalls of her former life as a teacher.

She is far from alone. According to non-profit education news and research platform Chalkbeat, teacher resignations hit an all-time high at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, amid "spiking stress levels, student behavior challenges, and a harsh political spotlight [that] have all taken their toll on many American teachers."


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In some states, like Washington, teacher resignations were the highest they've been in 30 years. Louisiana saw 1,000 more teacher resignations than normal — and it isn't just teachers leaving the education profession. North Carolina saw more than 17% of its principals quit last year, while Texas saw a jump from the norm of 17% to 24% last year among licensed school professionals.

Chief among the reasons for these resignations is the sort of burn-out Britt revealed in her video, but it's also many American states' increasingly volatile political and legislative attacks on the teaching profession. As one 21-year veteran North Carolina teacher told Chalkbeat, "I taught AP language where we were supposed to teach very controversial work [like] Malcolm X [and] all sorts of philosophers and speakers. I could only imagine how I would be targeted for continuing to teach this." So she quit instead.


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The TikToker's fellow teachers shared similar horror stories about their own teacher burnout. 

"We were told to write our wills before the [Fall] 2020 school year started," one fellow teacher commented, referencing the way many school districts responded to the dangers COVID-19 presented to teachers.

"At my old school, once a school year, we all got a fresh black Sharpie in our mailboxes," another shared. "This feels more insulting than not sending a thank-you gift at all," one person added.


But one commenter's story really took the cake. Her mom's teacher gift after 15 years of teaching and being a department head was "being yelled at for not turning in grades" on time after a traumatic brain injury that occurred at the school she worked at. "Oh, and an umbrella," she added.

If this is the best we can do for our teachers, we shouldn't be surprised when they quit en masse — and kids' education suffers as a result. As one principal put it to Chalkbeat, "We can put a man on the moon, but yet we can’t find teachers." Your tax dollars are at work, folks.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.