What was your most memorable gift?
Educators share the gifts that they will never forget.
Read your colleagues responses and share your own on our discussion board or in the comments field below! On the last day before break, I began opening the gifts my second-graders had piled onto my desk. As I made my way to the bottom, I found a gift that had obviously been wrapped by a student. As I unwrapped it, a note written in pencil fell out. "His name Tom. Now he is yours." Sara had given me her own gently worn teddy bear! When I got home, I told my husband about the bear and said I wanted to do something special for Sara. He replied, "Apparently you already have."
Nancy Karpyk Wierton, West Virginia
Over the years, my students have asked how old I am, and I always say, "I'm older than dirt." My 7- and 8-year-olds then wonder, "How old is dirt?" The gift I most remember is a card with a drawing of a big pile of dirt on the front and another pile of dirt with flowers growing out of it on the inside. On the front the card said, "You might be older than dirt…" and on the inside, "But your love for us and teaching have helped us grow!"
Joan Campe, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
One evening near Halloween, my phone rang at 1:30 a.m. It was a former student cramming with a study group for an exam on Thoreau and Emerson. I put on a pot of coffee and for about 45 minutes answered questions shouted by the group. I hung up to a chorus of thank yous. On Christmas night my doorbell rang. There sat a gift-wrapped case of my favorite beer with a card, signed "Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau."
Cary G. Shaner, Robesonia, Pennsylvania
One of my third-graders stood patiently next to me as I opened her gift. Inside was a pair of dime store earrings that looked like pumpkins with smiley faces. They were very well worn and I was concerned they weren't hers to give. "Stephanie," I asked, "are you sure you want to give these to me?"' "Oh yeah, sure," she replied. "It's OK. I don't wear cheap jewelry."
Libby Anderson, Amherst, Ohio
A family recently gave me a collection of paper clips in the shapes of hands, feet, thumbs-up fists, stars, and hearts. Along with the clips came a note that stated, "Thank you for lending your students a 'hand' in keeping their 'feet' on the right path, always making them feel like 'stars,' and freely offering them the encouragement of a 'thumbs up' when they succeed. You have done all of this with a 'heart' that is kind and generous."
Debra Hotmar, Jackson, New Jersey
The gift that touched me the most was given to me following the sudden death of my older brother. At the end of the memorial service, I was standing at the front of the church. As the crowds cleared, I looked to the back of the room, and standing there quietly were two of my students. I didn't know how they had found out about it. They simply showed up to support me.
Glen Smeltzer, Paso Robles, California
The most memorable gift I ever received was a comment written by an eighth-grader on an evaluation: "I know it sounds weird, but I feel like I became a better person."
Nancy Anderson, Northampton, Pennsylvania