Big Brother just finished his first year of preschool. Seemingly worn out by nine months of twice weekly two hour play and snack fests, he recently declared himself ready for summer vacation.
I was slightly less ready, apparently, and forgot to buy his wonderful teacher an end-of-the-year gift until the night before. I remembered in time, though, and sent Big Brother off to school with Husband, his teacher’s present nicely wrapped.
Upon arriving at school, Big Brother – according to Husband – handed his gift to his teacher with much excitement, explaining to her, “This is something Mommy picked up last minute at CVS!”
Ahh, out of the mouths of babes.
Big Brother’s accidentally awkward announcement made me think back fondly on several of the gifts I received during my years of teaching. I thought it might be fun – and perhaps even educational – to share some of them with you today as you contemplate what you might give your child’s teacher at the end of this school year.
Among many gifts large and small, I received:
- a gift card to a department store that had gone out of business the year before
- a bottle of Glögg, a Scandanavian mulled wine that tasted to me like a cross between an Atomic Fire Ball and a shot of Nyquil
- The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett
- a mantel clock the face of which was outlined with fake sunflower petals surrounded by contrapposto trumpeting elephants
- a navy blue negligee (from a third grader)
- a silver necklace with a pendant in the shape of the letter W (please note that neither my first name nor last name begins with the letter W)
- a can of Goya garbanzo beans (it turns out that said can was intended for the school’s canned food drive and, apparently, my present ended up in the collection bin in its place)
- heartfelt letters of thanks from students and/or their parents
I was grateful for each and every gift, for the effort, expense, and time my students and their parents put into these presents – even if some, admittedly, left me scratching my head.
But would you care to guess which ones I still have today, tied in a ribbon in an old wicker box next to my desk?
What’s the oddest gift you’ve ever received? What do you think makes a good teacher’s gift?