Your all time favorite gift from a student

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Aliceacc, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 21, 2008

    I've told this story before here.

    About 10 or 15 years ago I had a student in my Precalculus class. Brian was bright and and pleasant and did well, but didn't speak up much in class.

    After graduation he went on to the Merchant Marine Academy.

    While there, he was in an accident (slipped down a ladder or flight of stairs and died.) Along with his other teachers I attended his wake.

    The thank you card I got from his mom is something I'll treasure forever. It spoke of how he enjoyed my class, and loved having me as his teacher. Remember, he was an 18 year old boy--- they don't typically rave about their math teacher at the dinner table.

    I still have the note upstairs.

    I've gotten lots of gifts over the years from lots of students. But this one is one I'll always treasure.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I love this story, Alice.

    My favourite gift from a student was a mug with a huge smiley face on it that I received from my grade 5 students when I was leaving my previous school. I had taught 6 of them for 2 years and we were very close--leaving was hard. The note with the mug said, "This mug is perfect for you, MrsC because you are always smiling. We hope you keep smiling for your new students because then they know that you are happy to see them everyday." Although they are now in grade 10, I see their faces everytime I look at that mug on my desk.
     
  4. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Years ago, I taught interested 5th grade students how to knit. We started basic-a scarf with just garter stitches. Most did not complete theirs,and some just dropped out of our lunchtime knit sessions altogether. A couple hung in though until springtime, when warm weather drew the whole thing to a close. On the last day of school, a very special student of mine presented me with a gift. This young lady had been in my room for two years ( I looped classes) and she and I got along so well. When I opened it, I burst into tears. She finished her scarf-complete with mistakes and dropped stitches-and said she had been working on it at home. I cherish that scarf. I still wear it, proudly, and I will never get rid of it.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 21, 2008

    This is only my second year in middle school, so I haven't had that many students. I also work in an inner city school, and my students are very poor. I don't get many gifts. The only ones I have gotten are gift cards from starbucks. I cherish those gift cards because the students thought enough of me to scrape together their own money to buy me something. For some of them, scraping together five bucks means walking to the store/church/whereever instead of riding the bus or something similar. That my students would do that for me means more than they will ever know. It's not the gift, it's what they had to do because they wanted to get me something. I can still tear up just thinking about it :)
     
  6. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    One of my student's couldn't afford a Christmas gift for me, so he called me on Christmas Day to wish me a merry Christmas. And this was from one of my most challenging students ever!
     
  7. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    It's interesting that the best gifts aren't always the most expensive, I love the stories above.

    Mine most "memorable" one (my kids still talk about it) was from a special ed child who was also very poor. All the kids were giving me their gifts and I was really making a big to do out of it all. He'd watched and I could tell that he was really upset that he didn't have anything for me. He had bought a 25 cent pickle, had even taken a bite out of it, had wrapped it up in a tissue, and gave it to me as proudly as all the other kids had done. He beamed when I made a big deal out of it. It was sacrificial for him to give it up.

    I think only a teacher can really appreciate or understand such a gift.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 21, 2008

    A teacher or a parent.
     
  9. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    I love all of these stories! They give me chills, they're so touching and honest. I can't wait to hear more input on this!
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Thank you, Aliceacc, for starting this thread-It reminds us all of what truly matters during any season- making a difference in someone's life, touching a heart...

    A nice break from the 'I didn't get anything' and 'What not to get me' kinds of threads...

    Reminds us to be grateful. :love::hugs:
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Since I've been a sub for most of my job in education, I don't really get gifts from kids, but I guess the best gift I got was a tube of hand lotion when I was student teaching. I could always use lotion.
     
  12. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    Dec 21, 2008

    I have a very challenging student who gave me a necklace last year. In response to all of the gifts, I always give "thank you" cards. Last year I gave cards with the words "thank you" written in many languages, so the parents could be included on that thanks.

    This child was so excited about the card that he was dancing around the room all day showing it off.

    The best christmas gift part of this whole story is that he wrote me a note in return thanking me for the thank you card.

    It said "thx for Ms. D the note and I like to talk to you and thx for you have give me a note and you is my best teacher" At the bottom it had a happy face with a speech bubble that said "happy" inside.

    He stuffed it into a little envelope and gave it to me.

    It was really cute. I still have that note on my refrigerator.

    I also have another story:
    I have a student from China who gave me a square gift that was all wrapped up, but it was very warm to the touch. I opened it up and inside was freshly made, authentic Chinese fried rice. I thought that was SO cute. What a personal gift. It was delicious!!!
     
  13. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I haven't been teaching all that long, but I know last year was by best year as a teacher. It was the year I had a great class, got to teach the topics that were interesting to me, and I had enough experience by that point to handle the ins and outs... a really successful year!

    However, my hard drive crashed and I lost all my photos. We had done the play A Midsummer's Night Dream and then ran an Elizabethan restaurant for a day as a fundraiser... it was a pretty incredible class project! Well, the parents presented me with an amazing photo album of the play the restaurant, our work party, the sets, everything. It even included pictures of the kids doing their research, reading Shakespeare's biography, etc!
     
  14. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Our school is definitely not a school in which money comes to the families easily. Last week, one of my students gave me a note that said she wanted to get me a gift for Christmas. On our last day, she came to school and handed me a giant gift bag.
    I just opened it and found two, well worn, stuffed teddy bears. I have a feeling that these two bears were hers and she wanted to give me something so badly she wrapped them up and gave them to me.
    I was extremely touched. They will probably end up living on a shelf in our classroom and being our mascots.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 21, 2008

    I haven't gotten many gifts yet either but...

    I cried last week when I got this nice glass snowman picture that you hang in the window. I only subbed for this class for the past 2 weeks and never expected anything from them. The mom wrote me a nice short note of appreciation. I considered myself low on the parent radar but apparently not. Then another mom gave me the biggest compliment. Then another mom made me homemade bread and hugged me and told me Thank You for taking care of them. There are only 4 students in the class and these parents can be critical at times. It was totally unexpected and I just cried.
     
  16. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Dec 21, 2008

    Thank you Alice, for starting this thread! Much needed positive thoughts about gift giving and receiving!

    My favorite...last year a little boy came up to me after school on the last day and gave me a big hug. He said that his mom didn't get paid (I think maybe she lost her job:( ) so it was all he had to give me! Can't think of a gift I'd rather have!
     
  17. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    My only classroom experience is being a sub for one semester last year, but this thread reminded me of something that I had almost forgotten about. I was working as a sub for one day in a 2nd grade classroom. The teacher was there when I showed up and she quietly told me that one particular student had a lot of behavior problems and to feel free to send him to the office if the got unruly. Instead, I tried to give him a little extra attention and the help he needed to stay on task. At the end of the day, he colored me a picture and made me an origami swan. He gave me a hug and told me how much he enjoyed the afternoon and that he didn't even get in trouble... I kept them on my refrigerator until we moved from that house several months after later and that day is one of the reasons I decided to become a teacher.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    OHHHHHH!!!! That reminds me....

    About 6-7 years ago I had a study group (group project). There was one girl that I had the hardest time understanding (heavy accent and not completely fluent in English on her part and very hard of hearing on my part). After our final presentation she told the class to wait a minute while she got something. She held up 2 origami crickets made from nice shiny wrapping paper of some kind and presented one to me and one to another classmate. She said that she would never forget our kindness knowing that she wasn't the easiest student to work with but we had patience and took our time with her. I have moved a few times since then and I still make sure that cricket is well cared for so I can display it and make sure I remember that when we get frustrated with people or students, how we handle it does make an impact.
     
  19. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I am so going to sound unsentimental now, but one of my fav gifts was a 12 pack of notepads, one for each month of the year! I loved it because I write tons of notes.

    Last year, my class gave me all the ingredients to make pasta fagiole, one of my kids mothers was a great cook, and for one holiday she made me some and I loved it. that was a cool gift, complete with a ham steak and a stick of pepperoni !:)

    I also LOVE when the kids write me a cool card :) Another class gave me a year long picture frame, with all the year documented in pictures :)
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    My clientele's a little different, and they don't tend to give mugs or lotion (and that's fine, thanks) - but I treasure the emails from people who tell me they see science or history or math or the world differently on account of having been in my class.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 22, 2008

    Or on the receiving end of your endless patient explanations here!!!
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    (blushing and ducking head)

    Yeah, well: I will cop to some ego involved there, too.
     
  23. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Letters and cards are really my favorite thing to receive from students. My students families don't have a lot of money, I would prefer they write me a note or draw me something instead of spending money.
     
  24. iheart5thgrade

    iheart5thgrade Comrade

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    My first year of teaching I got 5 of those cheap vanilla cookies from a very poor student. I was almost moved to tears. He handed me the bag of cookies right after another student gave me a very expensive gift. He handed it to me sheepishly and said, "I love being in your class, Miss Iheart5th grade. I wish I had more to give you." Talk about wanting to bawl your eyes out! I made a special point to announce to the class that I was going to have cookies for lunch thanks to this boy, and of course they were all jealous. I took great lengths to make a big deal out of eating those cookies at lunch. He looked so proud during the entire lunch meal!
     
  25. irx7fani

    irx7fani Rookie

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    Since I have two credentials, one mulitple, and the other is a single subject math that allows me to teach multiple grades. My best present came from a 1st grader. I remember when I was teaching that grade, I was wearing my Movado and the kids were like, how come there's no numbers. Then I said, when you're old, you don't need numbers to tell the time. So when X mas came, this kid named Jessica bought me a watch that didn't have any numbers on it. I was sooo suprised when she said " i told my mom to buy a watch without numbers, because I remember u don't like numbers" It was soooo cute... I mean, I loved the thought..

    When I was teaching 7th grade pre-algebra, one of the kids wrote me a letter saying that I was a really good teacher some kids didn't know how lucky they are to have me as a teacher... so that was a good gift..

    Now in 8th grade Algebra Honors, nothing, just chocolate and candy.. hehe.. so I guess the older they are, they less thoughtful they are.. or they just don't express their feelings as much...
     
  26. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    I'm a first year teacher, so I haven't got as many stories to tell, but one of my special ed students and her mom baked these wonderful sugar cookies and she brought them into school. My student (who is 7), was so pleased with how happy I was with them, that for the next two days, she randomly ran up behind me, hugged me and then ran away!

    Her mom really taught her a lesson about enjoying giving. I think she cared more about how much I liked her gift than the gifts from the school.
     
  27. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Alice you are right about the parent part too.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not making a generalized statement, only speaking from my own experience.

    But being a mom has made me a MUCH better teacher.

    I was thinking about it yesterday as I proctored. (You know the drill-- you've got to think of SOMETHING for that 90 minutes!!!) Every single kid in that class has a mom or dad or grandmother who woke him or her up with a "time to get up sweetheart" and a kiss. (Or at least I sincerely hope so.) Every kid, even the ones who test our sanity, is someone's whole world.

    It really does put a different spin on my reactions to the kids I teach.
     
  29. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    One of the best gifts I remember getting was a three-pack of tissues! She also wrapped a couple things of Clorox wipes. I don't know if they were her ideas or her mom's, but they were perfectly practical. I appriciate all the gifts the children bring me, but these were so unexpected and practical that I just laughed out loud. I made a big deal about how they were really gifts to the whole class and we used the wipes to clean up after the party.
     
  30. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My best gift was a teddy bear with a heart in it's arms. It was special because I collected teddy bears. The little boy who gave it to me was named Paul. He had a fake eye and he had a hard time making friends. He was in my class for almost two months before I realized his eye was fake. I was just so involved with his whole face I never focussed on it. He gave me the porcelain bear because he said that I stoled his heart. I was the first person that didn't ask him about his eye. He was one of my favorite 2nd graders.
     
  31. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My favorite gift of all time has to be a pack of frozen corn dogs. This kid knew they were my favorite food (they really are!), and he picked them out himself. Plus, they were yummy!
     
  32. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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  33. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    The cards from parents expressing their gratitude and telling me how much their child loves me. One year a single dad gave me a beautiful card and he wrote inside, " You are a beautiful person and I am so glad you're here."
    This year a little girl from the school age program came running up my stairs with a little box of candy for me. She was only in my room once when we had classes combined due to school closings.
    Another memorable gift was the year a family gave me a musical snowman family.
    This year a note inside a Christmas card said how much their daughter loves me and thanking me for being such a great role model for her, (gift card enclosed.)
    Those are some that come to mind.
     

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