Sunday, December 21, 2008


we spent saturday at my parents' house. my mother's school district is now out for the holidays (we have two more days) and so we helped her unload her car of her teacher presents. she and i teach at schools with very different socio-economic populations, which is reflected every year in our teacher presents. she had so many gifts we had to make multiple trips to the car to get all of the bags. at my school, that's not usually what you expect. classic gifts i've received have included a (used) curling iron. a few years ago i started turning the smaller, more endearing gifts into christmas ornaments. now my tree is decorated with small tokens of love from former students (and decorating the tree involves my poor husband listening to me reminisce about each student.)

this icon was from possibly the sweetest little boy i've ever taught. he gave it to me so i could match him. i believe it is the virgin mary. he wore it every day around his neck. his baby teeth were black from his years in bolivia but his smile could warm your heart. he left our school a few years ago and i don't know what happened to him. but i still hang his necklace with love.

this necklace was an end-of-year present from a little girl. it is handmade on plastic twine. she had her dad use his cigarette lighter to burn the string since they did not have scissors.

these shoes are from a little one who left our school for the gifted and talented center. she proudly gave me these tiny tokens on teacher appreciation day. she drove me crazy because she was always telling me her parents had lied on her forms when she came into america and she was actually older than seven, the year i had on record. any time age came up she'd argue with me about it. looking back at her height, maturity, and work habits, she probably was two years older than we were told.
this fan is from one of my former students who is now one of my jumpers. she brought it to me after her family travelled to vietnam one summer. i had no idea what to do with it (it's actually scented to help you fall asleep on hot nights) but i feel it adds an international flare to the christmas tree.

this little one has gone back to her country, argentina, but she presented this to me with pride one christmas. i was to hang it on my rear view mirror in my car so i could be exactly like her daddy.
this was a necklace, and while it is beautiful, it isn't quite my style. but doesn't it capture the light of the tree nicely? it's a gift from the little one who threw up on my feet one year. memories.

these handmade ornaments came from a little one from sri lanka. she was in my room the year of the tsunami. she desperately wanted to organize some way to help the victims back in her country, although she didn't know where to begin since she was only six. she made posters on her own and asked me if she could put them up in our classroom. she was one of four beautiful girls, all with long, dark hair,which was frequently infected with lice. however, she loved to toss her flowing hair constantly while she talked and we'd always be dodging her head as we sat in guided reading. she gave me many of these homemade ornaments and hung them all over our classroom, even though she was hindu. she returned to sri lanka a few years later, but promised that she'd come back when she was a teenager so she could learn to drive like an american.


Snippety Gibbet said...

What a perfect way to cherish those memories. That's such a wonderful idea.

Anonymous said...

Bless you OC....these kids will be lucky to have another teacher as fiercely dedicated as you are.

Angela Watson said...

Love this idea! Very sweet.