Teacher Begs Parents To Take Their Kids Home After Classroom Awards Ceremony — ‘Give Me The Gift Of Your Absence’

All she wants is some peace and quiet after spending the entire school year devoted to her student's learning.

Tired teacher waiting for students to leave Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock

While school awards ceremonies are a great way for teachers to show off their students' achievements and for parents to celebrate their children's successes, one teacher admitted that once the ceremonies are over, she only wants some peace and quiet. 

In a TikTok video, public school educator Tiffiney Lee told parents that there's nothing wrong with immediately taking their kids home once the ceremonies are over — in fact, she encourages it.


She begged parents to take their kids home immediately after the classroom awards ceremony was over.

"Why y'all don't take your kids home after awards?" Lee demanded. "I listened to kids make parental decisions yesterday, I mean, who's in charge?"

@tiffineylee0 Take them please!!!!😩 For the love of God and my sanity. 😩😩😩😩 Why are they glued to me at the end of the year? Whyyyyyy?????😳😩😩 #teachersoftiktok #teacherlife #teachertok #elementaryschool #secondgradeteacher #blackeducator #blacktiktok #blacktiktokcommunity ♬ Yacht Club - MusicBox

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Lee explained that after the classroom awards ceremony, she heard parents asking their kids if they were ready to go home. Given the choice, many of the children preferred to stay at the school with their friends for as long as possible — most likely because the school year was officially over, and they wanted some more time with their friends before leaving for the summer.

While the sentiment is sweet, Lee insisted that as a teacher who spent the entire year catering to the needs of her students, she just wanted to enjoy the end of a grueling year in peace without her students staying late. She pointed out that many of the students who were begging their parents to stay were the same ones who didn't complete any homework or pay attention all school year.

"All year I've heard things like, 'You're a terrible example, You should try harder, I hate this class.' But now I can't get them off of me," Lee exclaimed, talking about some of the phrases she heard from her students regularly. "Give me the gift of your absence. We need a break from one another."

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Lee's attitude can be directly connected to the staggering amount of public school teachers who feel exhausted and burnt out.

According to a 2022 Gallup poll, 44% of K-12 teachers in the United States report feeling burned out "very often" or "always." This is the highest rate of burnout among all U.S. workforce groups, with college and university teachers at 35%. 

Much of teachers' stress is due to how often they are overworked. Not only are teachers extremely overwhelmed, but they're also underpaid and undervalued, particularly considering the amount of work and dedication they're expected to have for their students.

Despite all of the obstacles that stand in their way — from parents to administrators who don't seem to value or care about their protection and safety — they still show up every day with this unwavering commitment to give their students the best education possible. It's even more commendable when you look at the staggering amount of teachers who are leaving the workforce.

@catlyn_stark Hey teachers how we feeling? Let’s leave some motivation for each other in the comments to get us to summer break #teaching #teachersoftiktok #teacher #highschool #tired ♬ original sound - miss stark teaches

According to a 2022 National Education Association poll, 55% of teachers plan to quit their current roles earlier than intended, up from 37% in 2021. In 2023, 35% of teachers said they were likely to quit within two years, and 14% said they were very likely to quit. So, if a teacher like Lee just wants some peace and quiet after the classroom award ceremony is over, then it's just a small and reasonable request when compared to the immense pressures and hardships they've faced that school year.


It's not coming from a place of malice or contempt for her students but rather a deep need to recuperate and preserve her mental health after a year of tireless dedication. The least parents can do to thank their child's teacher is respect her need for rest and recovery.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.