I've been teaching pre-school for many, many years. I'll be starting my 15th year soon, I think :) ! I have received a lot of gifts from students/parents in those years. Some of course, were sweet and very sentimental, like all the lovely pictures with sweet notes and the donations made to charities in my name. Some were absolutely hysterical, like the time one of my students brought me a refrigerator magnet - straight off her Mom's fridge! Some seemed a little strange to "ordinary people", like the patriotic dishtowel. But I understood it because this particular student LOVED talking about our country. But this year I received by far the sweetest most treasured gift. It was a scrapbook filled with pictures and quotes from my students! Oh my, there are no words in my vocabulary (and I talk a lot!) that are special enough to describe this gift. The creator of this book is a friend, co-worker and parent of one of my students. I often thought that she "got me" and my crazy, unorthodox teaching style. Now I know she truly understands me better than anyone I have ever know. She took the time to send home a questionnaire to each of my students and ask the parents to fill them out with the child's own words. The results are priceless. One of my favorites (and there are many, many) is "what does Mrs. Karen do when she isn't at school?" One of the answers, "she goes to New York." Hmmm, I've never actually been to New York but we did talk about it at school. It always seems that one student "likes my head, it always changes". I finally realized that she was referring to my hair, it does always change!
This gift is special to me in so many ways. Of course it helps me remember my students but it also reminds me of their joy and zest for learning. I will treasure this book for years to come. It is one of my most prized possessions. Oh, before I forget, I wanted to post pictures, but I can't. There are too many sweet faces and I don't want them posted on the internet. But trust me, the book is amazing!