”What is the sweetest gift you ever got--from a child or an adult?”
I have received many sweet gifts over the years. Many of my students have shown their appreciation in ways that were so heartwarming to me so I don’t think I can pick out the sweetest. .
Of course, I have gotten lots of gifts at Christmas and at the end of the year but I think many of these were bought by parents who were showing their appreciation too. I can share a story about the first memorable gift I ever got from a student.
It was my first year teaching high school and I met my student I will call G. G could not read when I met him that year and he was so frustrated. I talked to him mom and assured her that I would do everything in my power to help him learn to read. By working together, the two of us would have him reading when he graduated. She informed me that his former teacher would not let her help and I informed her that was hogwash! I would need her help tremendously if we were going to help G succeed.
At the end of every year, I compiled materials for G and him mom to work on in the summer so he didn’t lose ground. Back then, official extended school year didn’t exist. All during the summer the two of them would work on the materials and bring them to my house for corrections. This went on for 3 years until his senior year and both mom and I were thrilled with the progress G had made.
At graduation, I was so proud of him for his perseverance and accomplishments. After graduation, I went to take pictures of my students in their gowns and G was waiting for me. In his hands was a long box that he presented to me. He had given me a dozen long stem red roses! And with tears in his eyes, he looked at me and simply said, “Thank you for everything!” Then his mom told me that this was G’s own idea and he had bought them with his own money!
Over the years we have kept in touch. He went on to attend the local Literacy Association so he can get better at his reading. He even got a full time job with benefits! When he bought his first new truck, he brought it by my house to show me! When he got married, his mom invited me to meet his new wife who would continue to help him if needed. I was so proud of G!
G and his family was my first lesson in how much a student’s success was really a team effort! It is a lesson that I never forgot.
So what was the sweetest gift you ever got? Please share!