Thursday, June 7, 2007

Teacher Gift

So this year I was a room mother for my first grader's class. Basically, this meant I was in charge of calling up parents before each holiday and reminding them to bring the napkins or cupcakes they signed up to provide for the holiday "party."

But there was one other responsibility that came with the job: the teacher gifts. At our school, it's accepted practice to do a class gift at Christmas along the lines of a gift certificate that everyone contributes to, another smaller something for "Teacher Appreciation Week" in May, then another token at the end of the year.

Being a teacher myself, I know that the reason good teachers teach is because they really do love the kids. Even the rotten ones. Good teachers can find something redeeming about every single kid. And I can imagine that for a classroom teacher who spends 40 hours a week with the same kids, leaving them at the end of the school year can be a little sad. I mean you're happy to see them growing up, but a little sad that you won't be a part of their lives anymore. (I avoided this problem by being a music teacher, so I get to see the same kids year after year, some for 5 years or more.) Anyway, I decided a good end of the year gift would be something for her to remember the kids by.

I made a mad dash around town taking pictures of all Evan's classmates and asking them "What did Mrs. Getz teach you that you liked the best this year?" They came up with great stuff, from "How to be nicer to other kids", to "I liked it when she told me the names off all the flowers we saw on our hike at the camp we went to last month. I made up pages like the one I posted of Evan for each kid. But, afraid of being sued for posting pictures of other people's children on the internet, Evan's is the only page you're gonna get to see.

As my grand finale I wrote a little poem. I got the idea from a little story she read us at "Meet Your Teacher Night" at the beginning of the year. It was written by a teacher who said her job was to "polish the stars" and how that was an awesome responsibility, blah, blah, blah. It was a little over-the-top for my taste, but half the people, including Evan's teacher, were crying while she read it. So, my little poem was kind of a "response" to that story. Jason thought I stole it off the internet, but after he googled the first line and didn't come up with any hits, he conceeded that I wrote it. Hopefully it will strike the right chord for Evan's teacher, and she'll enjoy the pictures and quotes from each kid. And when she sees them in the newspaper as graduating seniors, she can look in her old scrapbook and laugh at how they thanked her for "teaching me how to read the big words in a sentence" and "how to count to 100 and how to count to 10 in Spanish!"
Posted by Picasa


Clubbs said...

That is a wonderful teacher gift...I think she will really love it!

a witt said...

The teacher who wrote the first poem was quoting one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems, "Somebody Has to Go Polish the Stars":

Somebody has to go polish the stars,
They're looking a little bit dull.
Somebody has to go polish the stars,
For the eagles and starlings and gulls
Have all been complaining they're tarnished and worn,
They say they want new ones we cannot afford.
So please get your rags
And your polishing jars,
Somebody has to go polish the stars.

I thought that your poem was 100% original, and a wonderful tribute to the kids' classic!! A lot of great poems give tribute to another poem, and are a "response" to it. That tradition exists in country music, too (if anyone is interested).

You two awesome scrapbookers... My skills are seriously lacking! If I ever have to make a scrapbook gift, I'm going to need help. I'm serious. This type of project is amazing to me.