Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"it's a surprise!"

so today . . . i'm going to repost a funny story from the end of last year, because yesterday i ended up writing a new post. and this is an "end of the school year" story . . .

so, as i said yesterday, the end of the year is a time when parents tend to show their appreciation for their child's teacher by sending a gift. teacher gifts are an unpredictable entity. you cannot predict who will bring a gift or what it will be. i have been surprised more than once on the last day of school. my gifts in the past have ranged from a box of tea bags to a beautiful shiny red "guess" tote bag, but the majority tend toward lotion or gift cards. which i love--you can never have enough lotion, and gift cards let me shop in the summer when i am without a paycheck!

the kids are usually just as excited as i am to see what is inside when the wrapping paper is ripped off! i find that generally they have no idea what will be revealed. mom shopped, purchased, and wrapped without their knowledge. then, right before they walk into the classroom on the last day of school, mom puts the package in their little hands and says, "take this in, and give it to your teacher." it has to be kind of disappointing for a 6 year old to have a lovely gift handed to them, only to have to give it up two minutes later. but since they love me (yes they do!) and once they see what is inside, they are happy to take the credit for the thoughtfulness of the gift and wonder why their teacher is so happy to get a candle . . .

this blog was originally posted on monday, june 9, 2008. i had 16 students last year, and it seemed like there was so much paperwork that had to be completed before we could close the school year. graduation was coming up on wednesday night, which meant a good portion of the next few days would be spent practicing for that. and then our class field trip would take all day thursday, with friday being my last day of school. so i had a lot to do and very little time in which to do it. i was somewhat distracted by that . . .

so today i am sitting at my desk, swamped with end of the year stuff, trying to sort it all out before friday. and i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and hopeless. then one of my little dumplings comes to my desk and says, "i got you a gift." now i like presents, so she's got my attention, and yet kindergarteners sometimes live in their own little imaginary worlds where "i got you a gift" really means "i would get you one if i could, and i thought about it, but i can't drive so how would i get to the mall, even if i had any money?!?!?!?" and i don't want her to feel bad if that is the case. so i say, "oh how nice." i think that is noncommittal enough that if it turns out the gift was all in her head, she won't feel like "aagghhhh, my teacher expects me to bring her something!!" then she says, "you know, like a present." so i say "how thoughtful of you." meanwhile i continue shuffling the papers on my desk, because if the gift does exist, my guess is that she is not supposed to be telling me about it today. but she persists--"it's a necklace." "oh" i say, "i like necklaces." and now i'm thinking that this is getting pretty specific, so maybe this gift really does exist, and i'm pretty sure she shouldn't be telling me about it--but now my curiosity is piqued. she says, "do you want me to tell you what color it is?"

ok, i admit it--she's got me! so i stop moving the papers around on my desk and look at her and say, "sure!"

to which she replies, "i can't tell you! it's a surprise!!"

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