I'm always just flattered and tickled to death when a student of mine presents me with a Christmas card or even a gift. A lot of my students have families where there's more month than money so the fact that they spent anything, even a dollar for some bubble bath at the Dollar Store, really touches my heart. I love the homemade cards (complete with misspellings - I'm supposed to have a "happy and heathy Christmas" this year), and the drawings of stout reindeer and flying cats (figure that one out) make my day. Even the coffee mugs (and we teachers have more coffee mugs than a Starbucks, don't we?) are appreciated.
However, every once in a while you get a gift from a student that really lets you know that they thought about it, carefully selected it, and it was definitely a gift that was intended for you and no one else.
Freckled Boy gave me one such gift this year. I love this kid. He's in my homeroom, and sits right in front of my teacher station. He's always the first kid in every morning, and he's made it his mission to take all the chairs down every day while at the same time engaging me in some of the most interesting conversations. He asked me this morning if I'd be here for a few minutes after the students were dismissed. Apparently his mother was bringing a few presents for him to hand out and he wanted to make sure I'd get mine. I assured him I'd be here, and then promptly forgot about the conversation with the craziness that is the half day before break.
After the buses rolled and the other kids were dismissed, I was walking back to my room and he came up with a shoebox-sized box wrapped in holiday paper.
"Merry Christmas Mrs. B!" he said as he handed me my gift and dashed off to deliver another one to Mrs. Language. (I found out later that he gave her a stapler!)
I went back to my room and unwrapped my package. First, I had to take off the outside paper. Then unroll lots and lots of tissue paper. And finally got to an object about 10 inches long that was also wrapped in paper. A giant pencil? A pen? What on earth?
It was a screwdriver.
Now this may not sound like the best gift ever but you have to kind of understand the back story here. Earlier this year my handy little screwdriver (both flat head and phillips head) was stolen from my pencil cup. I loved this screwdriver and used it all the time. It tightened the screws on the hole punches so they stayed in place. It allowed me to disassemble the hand crank pencil sharpener to remove the broken pieces of colored pencil that got stuck inside. It let me fix chairs and tables which are slowly falling apart on a regular basis. There probably wasn't a day that went by that I didn't use that thing. And it was stolen and that really ticked me off. We had a rash of thefts that week, and that was just icing on the cake.
Freckled Boy was actually standing in front of me when I discovered the missing screwdriver and he'd seen how often I'd used it. So he got me a new one. Granted this one is a lot bigger (I definitely won't be working on pencil sharpeners with this one!) but the fact that he took the time to think about what I really needed and then went out and got it, really made my day.
I totally love the little curly ribbons he tied on the top. I kept them on it when I put it in my pencil cup. It's an awesome screwdriver!
Just when I didn't think it could get any better, my team came trotting around the corner with sneaky grins on their faces and a big silver bag with shiny paper sticking out of the top. What on earth???
Inside? A big huge bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream and two Bailey's glasses, and a great card thanking me for being a great team leader.
Ahhhhh. Made me want to cry. I've got a great, wonderful, fantastic team!