every year, i get gifts from my students. leading up to christmas break (yes, i said christmas break! p.c.-sensors be damned!), i field many subtle and not-so-subtle queries about what i like to do or what i'd like for christmas. i haven't been one to outright tell anyone what i want for christmas since i was a kid. why? the thoughtful gifts from the heart mean more to me than the ones that i'd tell someone to get me. if there's something i need, sure, i'll let that be known. someone that listens to me can figure out pretty easily what'll make me smile.
i'm grateful for all the gifts received from my students because i certainly don't expect them. hell, some years, i don't even feel like i deserve them! i'm noticing that the cards and smaller gifts i receive from my less fortunate students are the ones that i appreciate more. does that make me an ingrate towards the students that can afford to get me something nicer? or the ones that do it because their parents feel like it's almost expected of them as the price of admission to my room?
one of my students from years ago (listen to me, i sound like an old man) gave me a simple card for christmas. nothing fancy, just a hallmark card. i still have that card because i knew it was from the heart. throughout the year, it was a struggle for her family to scrape together $2 for a field trip or buy pencils for school. her mom wrote the sweetest note in the card that i know my student picked out.
and like a girl, tears welled up in my eyes.