BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Li Li was annoyed on Chinese Teachers' Day, which falls on Sept. 10 each year.
As a head teacher in a top primary school in Shanghai, Li even felt "anxiety" amid the gifts from parents. "I am exhausted from trying my best to politely refuse the gifts," she said.
"Some parents demand me to put their child in the middle seat of the classroom facing the teacher's platform and they send me gifts," she said.
Students sitting the middle seat can usually get more chances to answer teachers' questions, as parents have expected and they think that is good to their children.
China has always shown great respect to teachers, but there is a trend of sending more expensive gifts to teachers, which is worrying both parents and teachers.
"My husband and I are mentally and physically tortured by having to choose gifts as it is so common among parents," said Bao Xiaoming, mother of a daughter in the second grade in a primary school in Shanghai.
Flowers and greeting cards are impractical, while cash and shopping cards are so direct, she said. They finally chose a high-end West Lake longjing green tea for her daughter's main teachers.
"We just want to keep a good relationship with the teachers, and expect more attention and encouragement towards our daughter," she said.
Some Chinese students and parents used to present gifts to show their appreciation and thanks to teachers, especially upon graduation and during special festivals.
However, the country has seen an unhealthy trend of gift giving in recent years.
In the 1980s, practical daily necessities such as bacon, rice and cooking oil were common gifts, and in the 1990s flowers and cards were popular gifts.
Teachers' Day become sour in recent years after many parents started to send cash and shopping cards.
"To avoid the risk of a gift being seen as a bribe, it is popular among parents to pay a teacher's travel fee for a holiday," said a father surnamed Su with a son in a top high school in Beijing.
He said that some parents would rather spend big money on a "big gift", especially the head teacher and principal.
After accepting gifts, some teachers would promote certain students to the position of monitor or offer other benefits to the students such as awarding the titles of "outstanding students", he added.
Even worse, the trend of sending gifts to teachers has spread from the school campus to kindergartens.
"My daughter will be treated totally different if I send gifts or not," Bao said, when her daughter was in the kindergarten four years ago.
In fact, the education authorities in China has noticed the unhealthy trend of sending and receiving gifts among parents and teachers.
In December 2010, the Ministry of Education issued a notice of strengthening righteous and self-discipline in the education system.
It forbids teachers from receiving gifts, cash, shopping cards and any kind of profits.
Though the practise of sending gifts to teachers involving some of the parents, experts have called for rules to restrain teachers in their behaviors and educate parents.
"We should also improve the public moral education for right forms to respect the teachers," said Tong Dongyu, director with the Education Development and Research Center in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province.