Monday, March 21, 2011

umm...thank you?

One of the many people say when I tell them I teach Kindergarten is "do they give you presents?" The short answer is yes. When I was an assistant K teacher at a private school, I got great gifts. We're talking Starbucks gift cards, nice chocolates, mugs, etc. I even got a Visa gift card for a very generous amount.

I knew when I took my current job that I wouldn't be getting those kind of gifts. My students live in a low-income area and their families are more concerned with keeping the lights on and food on the table than getting a gift for their teacher. I don't miss the gifts. Not even a little bit. Because now I get very interesting gifts. Here's a sampling of what I have received:

- candies from the dollar store
- an apple shaped pin that had "the colors of a teacher's heart" on it (really it just looked like a gay pride pin, but it was still sweet)
- a used tube of lip gloss
- half of a container of lotion
- stickers from a Happy Meal
- a carnation
- a 2 lb. box of assorted cookies
- a Little Mermaid pencil
- an empty Panera gift card

These gifts may not seem like a lot, but for these kids it is the world. They are so excited that they have gotten something for me and you can see that they feel so special. In that moment, I forget about all the craziness that they put me through and I just love on them. Because how can you not love someone who gives you a tube of used lip gloss? If that doesn't say I love you, I don't know what does!

(p.s. a teacher friend of mine one time got a USED pair of cheap plastic flip-flops. That one may take the cake!)

**update: today (3/25) looking in my desk, I found a thing of dental floss that a kid gave me. Was she trying to tell me something? lol

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