Work and Ethics: How to Decline Gifts Without Being a Jerk

This time of year can be an ethical challenge for many professionals. It's fairly typical to exchange gifts with co-workers around the holidays, and even so with students in your classrooms. It's not uncommon to be gifted a nice hand-made frame, or a gift card to the local coffee shop from a devoted and caring family. However, that is not an option for behavioral professionals, whether you do home services, work in a school, or run your own clinic.

As a BCBA, I have to deal with the ethical dilemma of holiday gifts. Per our BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code, "Behavior analysts do not accept any gifts from or give any gifts to clients because this constitutes a multiple relationship" (1.06). This guideline is meant to prevent dual relationships. Because of our job in human services, and the very nature of our "helping" profession, many families want to show their appreciation of you by providing a token of gratitude. Often, these gifts are just that, tokens of appreciation and respect, and may not cause any issues. However, sometimes the exchanging of gifts can complicate the boundaries of the professional relationship you've established, thus the Board takes a hard stance on gifts in general. 

So, that's all well and good. But how do you deal with the inevitable situation when a parent, or worse, a child, hands you a gift. Are you supposed to shout "NO! ETHICS!", smash the gift on the ground, and run out of the house screaming? No. But here are some real things you can do to help with this very real issue, especially during the holiday season:

1. Employ some antecedent strategies

Tips and Tricks: Stick to Your Routines!

Holiday break is coming for many of us, and while the anticipation may be exciting and the end cannot not come soon enough, this is the time that we really need to stick to our guns! As educators, we know the importance of clear expectations and routines for smooth classroom management. But with the holidays approaching and our inner tanks running on empty, it can be hard to stick with these routines. We are run down, spread thin, and just trying to make it to that glorious day before vacation. This makes routines and consistency even more imperative!

What are routines?

Routines are repeated, predictable events that provide a foundation for the daily tasks in a child's life.

Why are routines important?

Enhancing Parent-Teacher Relationships

One of the toughest things any educator has to deal with on a day-to-day basis are the parents. Oftentimes, parents may be difficult to work with, or worse, not present at all. Coming from a special education background, I have found that a lot of my parents have had such negative experiences with their child's education. Between fighting to get their kid services, or desperation to steer their child away from the dreaded "label", it takes a toll on the relationship between teacher and parent. Today, I want to talk about parent-teacher relationships, communication, and parent involvement. This post will focus on gaining parents' trust, getting them involved in their child's education as much as possible, and building a strong ally in your classroom's parents. 

Building Trusting Relationships

I've dealt with my fair share of irate parents in the past. More often than not, the parent is angry at the system, the district, or their situation, not at you. Regardless of the reason, there are some things you must keep in mind when you are dealing with a frustrated, overwhelmed, and/or emotional parent:

Easy Like Sunday Morning #27

Check out this awesome tune from Shakey Graves. It's intoxicating and catchy. A song I've had on repeat for the past few months...

Quickie Post: TPT Sale 2017!

You read that right! It's that time of year again - the Cyber Monday TPT Sale! Now's the time to fill your cart and stock up on all your favorites you've been saving on your wishlist this year. You can save up to 25% off your favorite teachers' products. What a nice holiday treat!

Starting tomorrow through Tuesday at midnight, you can take advantage of this sale! All of my products are 20% off, and when you enter the code #TpTCyber17 you can save 25%! Want to save at my store? Check them out my best sellers and seasonal products below (Bundles included!)

Best Sellers

Thanks for You! A Giveaway

I hope you all had a wonderful, thankful Thanksgiving for those of you in the U.S. As a special thank you for all my readers, I have a special treat for you! Who wants to win a $10 TPT gift card?! Check out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. The more entries you have, the better chance of winning, but completing all ways is not necessary to enter. This giveaway is live now and will end at midnight (12 am EST) on Monday, November 27th. Winners will be announced noon (12 pm EST) on Monday, November 27th.

Psst- For THREE bonus entries, check out my Instagram post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!

Activities for Your Kiddos During Thanksgiving Week!

Even though it may be a short week for you, doesn't mean it makes the work any easier! Need some inspiration for things to do with your kiddos to get you through the week? Check out some resources below!

Thankful Turkeys Craftivity

This quick, fun, and adorable little craft is perfect for that chaotic week before Thanksgiving!

Students will assemble a turkey using "thankful feathers" in which they write or draw up to 5 things they are thankful for. Different feathers are provided for differentiation. 

Super cute, quick, and fun craftivity!

Don't Be a Turkey Math Center

This math center activity is a blast for students! While it is intended to be used in a center, this would be the perfect activity to have students do during some downtown in those few days before Thanksgiving!

Students match the turkey body (without feathers), to the five corresponding feathers, matching the numeral on the body to different ways to create the number on each feather.
Each matching set creates a completed turkey. After all turkeys are completed, students will record their answers on the recording sheet. 

Fidget Break Cards


This time of year is hard! If your kiddos are a little fidgety, try this idea- 12 cards consisting of 12 movement break ideas, called Fidget Breaks, to help refocus your students when in need of a break. These activities are most beneficial with students with ADHD, Sensory disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other developmental and intellectual disabilities. This pack has been used in a special needs classroom for over 10 years! Learn more about fidget breaks here.

Roll & Do Math Games

These simple one page games (5 different one!) can be printed and laminated for many years of use! These can be used in math centers, as math games, for partner work, fast finishers, morning work, and more! These are perfect for this wonky time of year to keep kiddos busy! They are also Common Core aligned! (so many exclamation points!)

Draw With Me!

This packet includes almost 30 pages of guided drawing fun! Super easy to pull out during this weird week. Each page has a different "task" to complete. This packet includes some fun pages to draw and/or color, as well as many pages with an educational spin on the traditional drawing booklets. And believe it or not, the educational portions of this packet are common core aligned! Score!

For more of my products and freebies, check out my TPT page! Have an amazing holiday!

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