Monday, December 26, 2011

How much is too much?

Good morning bloggers! Wait, I know what you're's not a work day and Sunny is not only awake but posting before 9 am, she must have a HUGE diet coke beside her. Alas, I do least not yet! This is the life of having a new baby (or baby puppy in my case) in the house! Baby wants to play at 4 am when Momma wants to sleep and Baby hasn't quite figured out that getting up before 9 on an off day is just wrong ;) 

I had a point in posting though...last night, a friend of mine who lives in New York and I were chatting. She is also teaching 2nd grade now. When we both started teaching, we were teaching 4th and now we're both at 2nd (she taught it last year too while I had 5th). At any rate we were talking about Christmas in our classes and my jaw nearly fell off from hanging open when she rattled off what she'd received. 

$100 spa finder gift card, gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Macy's, CVS, Kohl's and another store local to her, candles, a scarf, some ornaments AND a box of Godiva chocolate. 

Maybe it's because I teach in the inner city and always have...but I would feel really weird accepting all of that. It is a LOT of stuff. She didn't think it was weird at all. She lives just outside of NYC so I get that the cost of living is more...but wow. I never expect anything, ever, and usually am flattered when I get anything. Perhaps because I grew up on the very streets my students are and went to the same school...but a mom this year who I know is struggling financially bought me a candle and a tin of popcorn and I nearly cried in gratitude. Because I know exactly where this family is yet the mom thought of me anyway. The thought is worth waaaay more than the collection of stuff my friend got. So weigh in here bloggers, what do you think?



  1. i student taught on two very different sides of town here at home. In my first placement, I recd lots of homemade pictures, jewelry (made of cereal and yarn)and a stuffed bear (who I love and have near my desk),
    At the other placement I recd, 3 lennox ornaments, bath and body works sets, a FOSSIL purse, there was more, but the yummy chocolate really sticks out in my memory!!!
    Two very different sides of town, two very different sets of children. To the ritzy ones, if just wasn't a big deal for them to give me their gift. BUT THOSE other children, you would have thought that jewelry came from Tiffany's and those pieces of art work came right off of Sotheby's auction block!
    I still have them and when I come across them, I can remember the faces of the children who gave it to me. I pulled out the Lennox angels to put on the tree this year and I cannot for the life if me remember the name of the little boy who gave it to me ,,,,,,, Speaking of which, I need a new pair of fruit loop earrings- m pooch ate (most of) one!!!

  2. this happens even within the same school...there is a big difference in socio-economic status in my school. Some children have parents that are doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, and dentists and can afford to give lots more than the other students that come from single parent homes where they are struggling financially. Sad but true. But a gift from the heart is what really matters...and those gifts that our little ones give us come from their heart. :)

  3. @Gladys, you are so right. I did my first placement in a more well-to-do area and one mom gave me a beautiful picture tree that was really expensive. I still have it of course but I can barely remember the kids from that more well-to-do class. My 2nd placement was at my current school (yep I was a student there, did my student teaching there AND now teach there!) and they gave me a bunch of cards and a big gift from my CT. I kept all of those cards and when I read them, I can picture every single one of their little faces. Last year I even had the youngest sibling of one of the girls from that class (she's an 11th grader now). The cards are worth well more to me than money that I wouldn't know what to do with.

    @Miss Squirrels -- I love that! I would totally wear froot loop earrings except my ears aren't pierced anymore! :) We have a lot of mentors in our building and 4 of my little cherubs are lucky enough to work with one an hour a week and one made snowmen ornaments for me...and the loops were big enough that I put them on my ears and wore them the rest of the day. The kids thought it was hilarious and all of the other staff totally played along. I won't EVER forget that this child made those for ME instead of her mother during her time with that mentor!

  4. i have taught in a district of low income kiddos for the past 22 years. Presents were few. This year I have solidly middle class gifted class and received a $300 gift card plus other presents. I was shaking when i opened the card!