Yesterday I received my first ever gift from a student. I will say, it's a very touching moment. What made it even more special was the fact that the gift was from one of the first graders I taught at the beginning of the semester. I miss them everyday, and even though I love getting hugs from them in the hallway and in the cafeteria...I never really thought they would give me that much thought after I was gone. Well, one of those precious first graders made me realize that she's still thinking about me - and that touches my heart.
She gave me the gift in the cafeteria and asked me to open it. It was a cute little box, and inside was a vanilla candle, a pair of snowflake earrings, two mini bags of M&Ms and a Christmas card. I fought back the tears, as I truly was so touched by the gesture, and headed back to my classroom. Once I got back, I decided to open my Christmas card. When I did, I was surprised to find a Wal-Mart gift card inside. I was in so much shock that I think I stood there staring at it for a good two minutes before my mentor asked me what was wrong...LOL I know this may sound a little selfish - and it's not meant to - but getting a gift card for an unpaid student teacher is like giving her a winning lotto card. I was so happy and excited.
Two more touching moments happened towards the end of the day. My class went to another classroom to do a "Christmas around the world" project. Their craft was to make Christmas cards. When I went to pick them up, about 6 students handed me their Christmas cards and told me that they wanted me to have them. When I opened each card, they were all for me with little sayings like "You're a great teacher" and "I love you". *SNIFF*
The icing on my emotional cake occurred about 15 minutes before it was time to go home. I had gone to watch the first grade Christmas program. They were AWESOME!!! It was after I got back to my classroom when I had to hold back the tears, though. I have to give some quick background for the emotional effect to really sink in: I have a student in my class that is...urm...well...a challenge. He's defiant, overbearing, and every day I usually end up in some kind of behavior issue with him. He's not affectionate - at all - from what I've seen so far. He prefers to portray the persona of the "tough guy" and refuses to let anything bother him...including any trouble he gets in. Well, I was standing in the hallway speaking to another teacher when out of the blue he walks up to me, throws his arms around my waist, buries his head in my stomach, and gives me the tightest hug that I've ever had. Not tight as in cutting of my circulation - but emotional, affectionate. I stood there for a second completely dazed - and then I threw my arms around him and returned the affection. It was a very big step for him to do something like that - and it took me several minutes to swallow the tears that I had in my throat.
So, an awesome day at work. I then get home and it's time to open my 3rd gift from Danielle. Jelly, again, does the honors...and as she starts pulling back the paper I can see the excitement growing on her face. That must mean there's something in the package that she likes. I try to sneak a peek, but no chance...she's holding on to it for dear life. Finally, she gets the wrapping off and I see why she's so excited.
On the third day of Christmas, my new friend sent to me....
A children's Christmas book that made me and Jelly so very happy.
I collect children's books, and Danielle knew this. I couldn't have been more excited to add a Christmas book to that collection, as I don't really own that many of them. Jelly was so excited, and immediately thought it was hers. Luckily, for a three year old, she's really good with books. I let her look through the book for a few minutes, and then I snatched it as quickly as I could. I will be taking the book and reading it to my 2nd graders today...I know they'll love it as much as I do.
Well, today, I get to enjoy the Christmas party for the kiddos and then will be attending a Christmas dinner with the other interns at my school. I'm really excited about today - it's going to be G-R-E-A-T!!
Till next time. ;)