I have been officially on holiday for 3 days now.
I am going through my usual work withdrawal. Does anyone else do this? I get cranky and don't know what to do with myself for about the first week of summer and then I settle into a new routine. Not fun for me but really not fun for my hubby and daughter!!!!
Of course, I still have work to do at school. I need to finish cleaning up the classroom, packing things up so that the custodians will do a deeper clean and purging for the move next year. And, then there is the bookroom.
Ah, the bookroom. Filled with a gazillion levelled book bags that all have to be inventoried. By moi. I could just leave it but I don't want to come back in the Fall and have to do it then (September is crazy busy enough already thank you!)
Plus, it really needs to be up to date for the big move.The good part about doing it in the summer is that I can bring my ipod and amp up the tunes while I inventory. It shouldn't take more than a day or three.
I actually don't mind doing the inventory. It is the dust I hate. What is it about bookrooms and dust? I don't think this one has been properly cleaned in forever. I mean, if they won't clean a shelf in the classroom unless it is empty, what are the chances that they will clean the shelves in a bookroom filled with book boxes? I am guessing....nada!
So, on my last day of classes with the students, the parents in my class gave me an appreciation gift. It was so sweet and thoughtful.
I know that there are different camps on the whole teacher gift thing but, I have to say, I don't think that there is anything wrong with giving a teacher gift. I work really, really hard and it is truly wonderful to have that hard work acknowledged by the families in my class.
One year, at my last school, I got a Taj Mahal made out of popsicle sticks. Another year, a gift card to a local mall. Yet another year, I got a wonderful book filled with photos from the year. And, still another year, I got a huge vase and each child brought me a flower for the vase. It was beautiful. I still have the vase and it is filled with all the stones and shells I have found on my journeys.
The gifts are not all super expensive nor are they always practical (I mean, where exactly does one keep a 2 foot tall replica of the Taj Mahal made out of popsicle sticks?) but they always, always come from the heart. I know this and I appreciate the gesture (big or small) in the spirit in which it is intended.
I feel so honored that families gift me with their children for 6 hours each day, 10 months of the year. There are probably days when I see more of a child than their parents do (I know that this was true of my daughter when I had to work late and would get home just before her bedtime) and I realize how special the relationship between a teacher and child can be.
I also realize that, often, I make an impact without knowing. Case in point...one of my little ones this year, who had me vacillating between wanting to hug him and shake him for most of the year, went to the principal the other day to ask if he could be with me again next year. Was I shocked? You bet! I fully expected him to think I was an ogre for always being on his case but, instead, he very seriously told the principal (and later me) that he does not want to leave me. How sweet is that? And, let me tell you, his wanting me to be his teacher again was a gift that hit me right in the heart.
Anywho, I digress...back to the gift from my class.
This year, I got an amazing flower bouquet from my class with a lovely card. At first glance, I thought it was paper oragami and was just glad that I was finally getting a plant I can't kill BUT.... when the parents told me to look again, this is what I saw...
It is made of money!!!!! How freakin' cool is that?!?! My class parent put it together for me. Isn't it loverly? And, oh so, clever?
I would love to say that I kept it to admire for awhile but, no, I took it apart and took myself off to the running store where I invested in the brand new pair of running shoes I have been wanting (but not willing to spend the money on or, rather, but spending the money on my teenager instead!) to get for forever!
And today I took myself off to the gym and wore them for the first time. So, not only did my class show their appreciation with their lovely gift but they are helping to gift me with better health as well! So, a big, huge, enormous, stupendous THANK YOU to all the kids and parents in my class. I will always remember you as my last group of turtles. And, hopefully (fingers crossed), I will be a tad fitter when you see me next!!!!!