• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Am I being selfish?



This isn't a vent, more of a "hurt." I'm asked to contribute money for other teacher's birthdays on my same grade level. Recently however, it was my birthday, and no one did a thing. Now, I'm not saying I expect a gift, or that I'm trying to be childish... but then I feel it's only right not to contribute money to OTHER people either on our same grade. I'm not that stupid! I need to stick up for myself. I don't like to say anything... but if someone demands that I give something, I will have to say why. Is this wrong of me? I know it wasn't personal, I'm just not part of their little "clique."

Ms. N

New Member

selfish no - normal YES . . .

I know kinda what you are feeling. At our school they announce the teacher's birthdays, and tell the whole school to be sure to tell Ms So and So Happy Birthday . . . .my birthday passes and NOTHING .. not even a "Hey have a good day" - I am not in their clique either . . .heres a thought . . .. you can be in my cligue! :)

Just let it go . . in the realm of your life this is not the mountain you want to die on ... for what it is worth, I would keep my money and not give a dime to anyone's birthday, not to be vindictive - but I would go buy yourself a nice piece of jewlery, a good dinner, or movie w/ your friends . . .

Hang in there . . . .this too shall pass . . . .


Junior Member
Happy Birthday!

No, you are not selfish! When someone asks you to contribute for a gift, I would politely say that until everyone is recognized, you will not contribute. This does happen at our building, I do not contribute because I do not feel it is fair for some teachers to receive elaborate items on special occasions and other teachers do not even receive a mention. Your responsibility at your school is to be a teacher. You are not required to spend your hard earned money on items that measure a teacher's popularity. By the way, Happy Birthday!!!! Go out and buy yourself something. YOU deserve it!!


Senior Member
Happy Birthday!

I would be very hurt. I can't imagine asking others to contribute to birthday gifts. Good grief, we'd be giving money all the time. In our building, we have a calendar right next to where we sign in for the day that has everybody's birthday on it. That way, you can stick a card in their box or just remember to wish them a happy birthday if you run into them. At our grade level, one person always gets a card and passes it around to all of the teachers to be signed. Then at lunch or team planning, somebody brings a treat to share in honor of the birthday. NOBODY is ever left out. However, last year I was at a different grade level that handled it more like what you described and I wasn't in the clique. That and many other slights made for a really rotten year and I was so glad to get back to my own team where everyone feels like family. You would think people smart enough to get a teaching degree would be smart enough to know how rude and hurtful leaving one or two people out can be. Those are manners we teach our students in kindergarten and yet teachers themselves ignore these little courtesies. Try not to let it get you down - hah:) and we'll hope you end up with a nicer bunch of people soon.


New Member

At my school, the 1st - 3rd graders eat lunch together, and the teachers divide duty. On birthdays (or as close to it as possible), the teachers make lunch for the birthday girl or guy. Everyone ( except the celebrant) brings something in, and we set up a tablecloth at the "teachers' table" and have a nice lunch.
For summer birthdays, we do one lunch near the end of the year. It is a treat for everyone, and noone is left out.
Maybe you could suggest this to your teammates?

By the way, I know it doesn't mean much now, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all of you who didn't get noticed. You ARE special, and it is a sad commentary that teachers in your buildings are acting like the kids.


Senior Member
A new twist on birthdays

At our school the birthday gal brings treats for the teachers in our area (seven teachers in 1st and 2nd). We meet after school for a few minutes and celebrate. We often wear funny hats and laugh about the funny things the kids have done since the last time we got together. We look pretty funny and act kinda funny but it's great therapy. No gifts are exchanged. Teachers in other areas of our school don't do this but no one is left out in our area because the birthday teacher brings the treats! We've had years of fun doing this!

When I feel this way I promise myself that I'll try never to treat others the way I was treated. Your assignment is to teach the teachers you work with how to treat others. Give them a birthday card and a pat on the back when it's their birthday. You are an educator. Teach THEM how to behave. You'll look great and have the satisfaction of knowing that you've done the right thing!

By the way, happy birthday. Call some of your friends and go out and celebrate. I'm sorry that you were left out. No matter how old we are we still appreciate a little recognition.
Last edited:

Carrie in WV

Full Member
We do that too!

This year we have started doing the same thing as the poster above said. The birthday person brings something in and we share at lunch time (we don't have to do lunch duty). If you are the type of person who doesn't like to have a fuss made about stuff, you don't have to participate!

Next week in my classroom we are having a summer birthday party. I happen to have a b-day in June, so I am joining in the fun! We are celebrating 1/2 b-days (we are working with fractions now) and we are only going to serve 1/2 cupcakes, 1/2 cup of drink, so on. It'll be fun!:)


Senior Member
Happy Birthday!

I don't blame you for wanting to save your money, and I don't think you're being selfish. Just tell them next time that you would rather not participate. You don't have to give an explanation, but if they keep asking, then tell them why (politely).


Senior Member
summer b-day

I feel the same way! I used to do all this stuff for folks on their birthdays, but never got a mention for mine since it's in the summer. Not even an end-of-school thing. It bummed me out until I decided not to stess and do what you all suggested, wishing the birthday person a nice day and leaving it at that. I feel much better all the way around.



I would feel insulted if I was constantly being asked to spend money on other people's birthdays and then, when my birthday came around, nothing. That's not only completely rude of your co-workers but also selfish of THEM - I just don't understand GROWN UPS who cannot think beyond themselves and their little "posses."