As a teacher, I appreciate my students, and I also appreciate their thoughtfulness during the Christmas season. I’ve always been amazed at the care with which some of them choose gifts for their teachers, especially since these are older students and it is not as cool to give your teachers gifts. Each one is special:
The roasted pecans one student made because “you like to eat healthy.”
The cupcake from another student because “one day I want to have a cupcake business and you helped me come up with this flavor.”
The Starbucks card from a student because he “appreciated that I stayed up late grading papers.”
The embroidered pillow cases from a student because “my mom makes these and she wanted you to have them because you have been so helpful.”
The flamingo ornaments/stuffed animals/art/figurines that my students have given me over the years because they all know flamingos are my favorite.
The ornaments because “this just looked like something you would like.”
The deer sausage from a student because “you don’t freak out when I talk about deer hunting.”
The cup of coffee on my desk because “it is exam time and you have to be tired.”
The cookies because “I love to make these and I want you to like them, too.”
I love all of these things, and so many more, because the students put so much thought into them, and because it shows me that they really are paying attention. As teachers, we learn so much about our students – their likes, favorite teams, hobbies, history – and it is so gratifying to know that they are paying attention to us, not just as presenters of information and disciplinarians, but as human beings.
And for their thoughtfulness, I am grateful.