Pissed Off Teacher wrote about the joy of student gifts. Several years ago a student gave me a Starbucks card valued at $5. He took great pride in giving this to me and explained to me in detail how I could redeem it for coffee. It was obvious from his demeanor and the explanation that he had never given a gift like that before. And I valued it. I kept the gift card after it was empty and I hang it on my tree every year and think of that student.
The school I teach in is not one where there are a lot of gifts. I get some every now and then, but it is not the norm in the school so it is usually a pleasant surprise. I keep the "I like you" notes and I take pictures when they write them on my board to savor later.
There is another side of student gifts.
I have a student this year I cannot stand. Actually no one who has ever had her can stand her. She seems polite enough but there isn't a day that goes by where she doesn't threaten or insult me. While I recognize that is what they are (threats and insults) they are worded in such a way as to make it extremely difficult to write up. In other words, our administration wouldn't recognize them for what they are and would take the student's word that she didn't say that over mine.
Ask me how I know.
This student will graduate, probably not succeed until she decides that the world is not going to adapt to her, and drop out of my awareness.
A week ago this student started hinting that she was going to give me a gift card.
Now I don't want to be rude, but I do not want anything from this student except seeing her hind end exiting my door for the last time. The previously mentioned card (first paragraph) has brought me great joy for the past 4 years, at least once a month, sometimes more often, remembering the student and the giving.
If the current student gave me a card - let's say a $100 gift card - it would be the equivalent of a larger pile of shit.
I hope it was talk and the student will not do anything. But, on the off chance she does, I have finally figured out what I would do.
In another class a boy mentioned he was having a horrible week. He mentioned all of the things that had happened to his friends that week. And. Oh by the way. My mother says she is going to kick me out of the house and I am not sure what I am going to do.
Pointed boy to the appropriate counselors for help. Thinking about him on the way home, and thinking about POS, I decided it POS does bring in a gift I will regift it to someone for whom the gift will not have baggage. And that way, I can be grateful for the gift. And someone else might feel a little better.
No-sweat Summer Event Alert: Kathleen Davis on parenting teens, award-winning playwright and novelist Victor Lodato, illustrator Andy Rash at Whitefish Bay Library storytime, Janette M. Braverman on leadership and communication, and Edward Kelsey Moore offers laughs and heart in an Indiana town.
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