There's no doubt in my mind that teachers are some of the most under- celebrated people on the face of the earth.

I come from a family of teachers and have nothing but respect for them. Some of my best friends (and sisters) are teachers. But It gets so complicated for parents this time of year when parents have to figure out what gifts to give to their children's teachers.

On the air yesterday with Jeff Edelstein (filling in for Dennis), I learned that this has become a show of one upmanship for many parents and a challenge for some teachers to resist the urge to be nicer to kids whose parents have given them better gifts.

Apparently this, among other reasons, is why Alabama has decided to outlaw the teacher gift-giving practice completely. Other states may be following suit.

Kids feel bad if their gifts aren't up to par with those of their friends. Teachers may feel as though they have to respond differently to kids whose gifts are more generous.
Parents feel pressure to keep up. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

The solution: The PTA or class parents organize a donation system where an equal amount is collected from every family. Perhaps, $10 or $15 per child, per teacher. Or, even better, anonymous submissions where people give what they want or can afford.

Then the organization distributes the total either in cash or gift card to the teachers. No other gifts are allowed. Period.

That way, no one feels left out, no one feels pressure, and perhaps most importantly, no teacher ends up with guest soaps, body lotion or candles that they neither need nor want.

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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