A simple jelly jar. That is what was handed to me this morning. After a horrible weekend of having virtigo I feel like my head is in a fog from the medicine I take to keep the waves of nausea away. With a deep breath I start the day. I dragged myself into school. I have a lovely class of 18 students. I have 13 boys and 5 girls. Sitting at my desk trying to get the Monday morning groove to kick it a boy hands me a jelly jar. This boy is taller than the rest of the class. Some may question if he is on the spectrum. He is awkward but funny. The class is a very sweet class so he is not treated different but through adult eyes you can see he is a bit out of place at times. He simply said "here....peach jam...my mom and I made it for you." I think that is the most he has ever said to me at one time where I did not have to prompt him. He has his hands in his usual T-Rex tuck. A smile on his face. I must have had a look of shock. He said "it is for you." I took it and thanked him so much. His smile got bigger! I was able to realize this was a gift and get my head out of the clouds to make the proper deal of it. It really is a lovely gesture. I know his mom and she is an amazing cook so this will be a lovely treat for my family. I can picture this little boy carrying this the whole way to school. Careful not to break the jar. Waiting to give it to me. It is a simple gift but one that warmed my heart to the very core! In my quest to educate the little minds...trying to find the balance between teaching modes and proper testing and academic preparedness....am I really making a difference? Well....I think I am. To have this little boy say to his mom that he wanted to bring a jar in for his teacher must mean I am doing something right. It is small gifts like this that remind me I am not a machine pumping out the next generation of machines. I am a teacher connecting and encouraging and (hopefully) preparing the next generation to go out and be the best human they can be. In 4th they will learn their facts and be able to read. It is still this age my quest is to instill into them the love of learning. With that love they can go far. Not all will be bound for college. Some will enter the armed forces. Some may take the route of a trade school. Regardless they all have gifts and as long as they are encouraged to use those gifts they will be a success.
Now you will have to pardon me as I make some toast and add some jelly!