Random thoughts and class gifts

1) I know you all have all seen the video of the smoking baby by now (a2-year-old who smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day–I can't find the link right now but if you have it handy stick it in the comments). I'd just like to
publicly state that I think it's not, in fact, a baby, but an adult
little person hoaxing us.

2) You still have time to read NutureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman in time for us to talk
about it June 11. Topics include race, lying, tattling, sibling
relationships, gifted children, and many more. Each chapter is a standalone, so you can read it in 15-minute chunks (probably better anyway so you have time to think about each topic).

3) Class gifts for teachers for the end of the year. What are you doing?
Once again, I'm happy that here in NYC the standard is to collect money
from parents and then give one collective gift of a cash card to each
teacher. No competition for parents, and teachers don't end up with a
bunch of well-intentioned but potentially-unwanted knick-knacks. What's
the standard where you live? Is it different from the New Year/Holiday gift in December?

60 thoughts on “Random thoughts and class gifts”

  1. I found this: http://www.fox13now.com/health/kstu-sumatran-baby-smokes-2-packs-day,0,4797177.storyI don’t even know what to say, assuming it’s legit.
    What kills me is that if this child ends up having health problems (and how can he not?) I’m guessing the parents are going to a) not going to assume responsibility b) blame something else c) all of the above. I see it all the time and it drives me insane. When I was a teacher, I’d have students who had giant-sized slurpees and hot cheetos for breakfast, sat in front of the tv/video games for hours after school and the parents would wonder why their kids were behind in reading. Seriously people? Do you know why your child is suffering? Because you are a shitty parent.

  2. I don’t even know what to say about the chain-smoking human.As for teacher gifts: We are going with $20 gift certificates to each of my four-year-old’s five teachers. We’re tailoring the GCs to their interests as best we can. And I have visions of making them each a fabric coffee cup sleeve, then putting the GCs in an empty (clean!) coffee cup w/ the sleeve around it. We’ll see if I actually execute that part, though.

  3. That kid has got to be older than 2 – my nearly-3YO (and all his little friends) are nowhere near as adept at ANYTHING with their hands or at making faces like that. Did you see how he twirled that cigarette? I’ve never met a 2YO who could do that sort of thing.That said, it looks to me like he is a kid and not an adult little person – but also not a kid as young as 2.
    But, whichever it is – ugh.

  4. Thankfully the standard in DC seems to be to collect money and buy a collective gift once in December and once at the end of the year. I’ve been in charge of collecting and have gone ahead and asked the teachers what gift card they would like. It can be a good amount of money and it made sense to me that it should be something they would definitely use. Their one request was that it not be something like a spa or a restaurant where they had to organize a time and organize childcare in order to use it. Their choices? Target and Amazon.

  5. One of the moms in my son’s 2nd grade class is collecting gift cards from the other parents and making a “gift card tree.” She suggested we send in the cards with our kids for them to give to her kid… she might trust her kid that much, but I don’t trust my own! I chose instead to email her a PDF of a printable Amazon certificate.

  6. Haven’t seen the video and I plan to keep it that way.The PTO of our kids’ preschool arranges for a room parent for each class to collect $$ from each family ($30 per kid for end of year; I think it was $15 or $20 per kid for holiday gifts, for two teachers in our room) and then, yes, gift card/AmEx certificate/some other cash equivalent to each teacher.

  7. Well historically our school has done the whole collect money from the class (suggested amount) and pooled it together. Which I thought was great! This year they did this whole teacher appreciation week and “suggested” that the kids bring in flowers on one day, candy on another, write a note of thanks and then bring in a gift.My son’s 4th grade teacher wrote in her weekly newsletter that daily gifts were unnecessary and if you chose to get an token of appreciation then she would prefer bookstore, office supply store or learning store gift certificates. So we wrote her a heartfelt thank you card and send it a gift certificate to Lakeshore LEarning.

  8. Re gift: My older son’s teacher is retiring, so we’re doing the cards featured in Family Fun mag. Each child writes what that teacher taught them, or that they’ll remember her for, and they are all bound to an easel-type stand. Each kid decorates his/her card.Plus I’m giving her a GC to Borders b/c she loooves to read. Though we’re in a small town, I don’t know the other families at ALL and she did a lot out of her way for my kiddo … so … that is what we are up to.

  9. I would like to state that I think it is inappropriate that we have to buy our teachers gifts. As a nurse and a university teacher the nursing professional body stands that it is inappropriate to accept gifts from patients AND our faculty believes the same thing from our students. I see gifts like a tip, as a professional (which both teachers and nurses are) tips are not appropriate. You wouldn’t tip your lawyer or Dr, can’t a thank you card be enough? Tips can be deemed brides, can’t they?I have so much more to say about this, but thought I would be the devils advocate on this one and put that out there.

  10. @B’s mom, I have to agree with you on principle, but I also know the majority teachers are woefully underpaid and it’s almost in the same vein as tipping waitresses, whose wages are also criminally low (in expectation of tips). Drs. and lawyers obviously make far more than teachers, and while nurses make less than those guys, I think they tend to make more than teachers as well (I could be wrong though).

  11. Good point Maria….so I guess instead of gifts, we should be lobbying for increased wages for teachers??!! Oh, I guess that is another conversation. Where I am teachers and nurses make similar wages with nurses being compensated for night shifts and weekends. Don’t get me wrong, I BELIEVE in teachers and value their important role in society (maybe THE MOST important role) I just question the idea of valuing them with token gifts/or tips.

  12. @B’s mom, I’m with you. I think kudos for a job well done, or specific thanks for special attention or circumstances are both lovely, but teacher gifts — monetary, homemade or otherwise — just do not sit right with me. I’m pretty sure I’ll be the parent who writes a sincere note of thanks at the end of the year to a teacher who went above & beyond (cc’d to dept. head, principal/s & superintendent), but that will be about it.Instead of spending $20 on a gift, how about $20 in postage to lawmakers encouraging the repeal of NCLB, and the institution of merit pay? Now THAT would be a gift!!

  13. At our pre-school the person who volunteers to organize the gifts gets official volunteer hours for it (each family has to volunteer 20 hrs. per year or pay $10/hr). We usually collect $20-25 per family (though people are encouraged to give more if they are able) and then it’s usually used to give a small gift + a gift card. E.g. at Christmas each teacher got a lovely amaryllis bulb kit (pot, bulbs, etc.) and a gift card. Full time teachers got something like $150, part-time and assistants got less.@B’s mom, I totally understand the tip analogy; in a perfect world, the teaching profession would be paid in accordance with its actual social value. OTH, I think many parents genuinely want to show their appreciation to the person who is (a) spending almost as much or more time with their child as they are, (b) often showing mind-blowing patience and genuine affection for their child and (c) teaching them incredibly important skills along the way. In my experience, the teachers appreciate the token of thanks and don’t find it degrading (but I could be wrong).

  14. ” I’m pretty sure I’ll be the parent who writes a sincere note of thanks at the end of the year to a teacher who went above & beyond (cc’d to dept. head, principal/s & superintendent), but that will be about it.”This reminds me of my waitressing days and how the people who went out of their way to give you a compliment would often be the same ones who wouldn’t leave a tip. I can’t pay my bills with compliments. I know teachers make more than waitresses, but still.
    Whether gifts are right or wrong, I don’t want my kid to be the one who has the mom who is known for being cheap.

  15. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  16. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  17. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  18. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  19. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  20. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  21. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  22. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  23. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  24. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  25. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  26. I love my kids current teachers so much that I would give them a gift every day if I could. This year, every single kid in our family has that teacher you’ll remember until you are 75 years old. I am trying to consciously enjoy every day until the end of the school year, ’cause I know this will never happen again! I feel like we won the lottery this year.I know teachers are professionals, but honestly, I feel like each one of these four professionals totally changed my children’s lives, and I want them to know it. So, yep, they will get a heartfelt note (I have already written letters to their principals), but they will also get a thank you gift.

  27. As a teacher, I agree with B’s mom on principle….it’s certainly not something I sit rubbing my hands together thinking about at the end of the year. Teachers are professionals, sure. But our job is not valued in the same way doctors or lawyers are valued. Currently our district is facing massive layoffs. 1 in 8 teachers are losing their jobs come June 18th. There was a bond issue that went to the voters just this week and…..it did not pass. Additionally, we are facing pay cuts due to furlough days this year and next. That’s about $5000 out of my pocket over the next two years. I chose this profession because I love working with kids and I believe in what I do. I don’t expect to make a fortune doing it. Paying my basic bills would be enough – but even that will be questionable come this summer. There are no “extra shifts” I can pick up to make up the difference. I don’t get paid for overtime, and believe me, I work beyond my contractual hours every single day. I think this is where many people think a nice gift, gift card, cash, or other such token of appreciation comes in and is appropriate. I’m not saying it is, or it isn’t. People say teachers are professionals – but aren’t always treated like professionals. This is the fault of a broken system, as well as some pretty corrupt unions. As a teacher I would LOVE to see merit pay implemented – especially if it were a value-added system (meaning, you get kids who are at all ability levels, and you get merit pay for bringing them up a certain amount from where they started, as opposed to only getting rewarded for students who are “proficient” or higher). I know I would feel so much better – and yes, motivated – if I knew my hard work was being monetarily compensated, if I knew that by working late into the night I would be earning the equivalent of overtime.If your child has a teacher who is getting laid off this year, please consider a gift card to a supermarket, or a gift card to a gas station, cash, or something else to help that teacher make ends meet while looking for another (scarce) teaching job. And always, a heartfelt letter goes a long, long way toward making the time and effort worth it.

  28. 1. I am appalled at the smoking baby.2. I don’t know what happens at the end of the year, but for winter holidays, my daughter’s school took a collection for “The Teacher’s Fund” which was divided among all the teachers. I’m hoping they do the same thing at the end of the year. If not, I’ll use the school’s fundraising/giftcard coop and buy them cards to Starbucks

  29. I wasn’t going to chime in on this because DS is not at the age where this is an issue yet.But, regarding the comment above that gifts are like tips, and you wouldn’t tip a doctor or a lawyer because they are professionals so why tip a teacher…
    I don’t see a tip as the same as a gift at all. A tip is a voluntary additional payment for services rendered. A gift is something you should give with no expectation of reciprocity.
    And I can tell you, as a lawyer, that I have received many gifts from client who have been pleased by my service. I certainly wouldn’t accept money from someone trying to “tip” me – that would be really inappropriate, but a thank you note and a bottle of wine make me feel really appreciated.

  30. I had no idea there was an “end of the year” gift-giving tradition. This is not something that existing 20-30 years ago when I was in school. Is it only for the primary grades before kids start switching rooms for the different subjects?I’m rather appalled by it, actually. It seems sort of unseemly (although less so at the end of the year than in the middle at New Year because of the impropriety of gifting the person who doles out the grades).

  31. I don’t know if the scale of the gifts have changed, but I can vouch for the fact that this has been going on for decades. My grandmother taught second grade for 26 years, she began teaching sometime around 1970. Our house was FULL of gifts that she had received both at the holidays and at the end of the year. Holiday gifts usually included ornaments and holiday mugs, end-of-the-year gifts tended toward more mugs and teaching-themed knick-knacks (magnets, notepad holders, pencil cups, etc. Lots of things shaped like apples). I remember that one class put together a scrapbook with notes from each student, I LOVED reading that.

  32. Just going to say, my husband is a physician and very thankful family members of very sick patients have gifted him/other hospital staff with lunch, breakfast, flowers, a gift card… so yeah. Gifts of appreciation are given to professionals. Even monetarily valuable gifts. Also, my husband gets bonuses from his practice. My son’s teachers (daycare/preschool) is, in the end, paid by me. So, there’s a monetary bonus that is appropriate in my opinion.Also, my mom is a teacher and I was a teacher. She teaches middle school in one of the poorest cities in the country, so she does not receive gifts but man does that woman work and doesn’t get paid much for how much she works, how much abuse she takes and how much she cares about those kids. I am not saying she should be receiving gifts… I just am trying to say I don’t think it’s unseemly. If a parent appreciates a teacher and wants to offer a monetary gift, so be it.
    I wish we had some sort of room parent system. It’s a daycare so there is certainly gift giving, as I said they are “employees” and deserve bonuses for good work, but having an organized system would I think be easier and make the gifts more substantial and less piecemeal. I just don’t know how to set up that system.

  33. 1. Smoking baby: Just wrong.2. End of year teacher gifts: I feel that if a teacher has gone out of their way to do something special for *your* kid, then a gift is appropriate. If they have done their job, nothing special, then I don’t believe a gift is required. From my discussions with teachers, they do not want coffee mugs, trinkets, knick-knacks, etc. Gift cards for a store where they can purchase school supplies is most appreciated. I believe I only gave one or two teacher gifts in all the years my child attended school

  34. end of the year snuck up on me thurs (preschool), so i gave locally made jam, apple butter, peach chutney, and hot pepper salsa to his teacher & three rotating assistants for them to divide per their tastes. he’ll start ‘summer camp’ there next week.anyway, my personal rule is no tchotchkes. i go with gift cards or food – though food can be a land mine in itself with allergies & diets. argh. but we don’t have a starbucks or a barnes & noble or actually any cool places for gift cards, so you go with what you got.

  35. A book discussion from this tribe on Nurtureshock should be incredible. I need to read it, but have heard from some friends of color that the race discussion is far too surface-y. I’ll be sure to read by 6/11 and develop my own conclusions.

  36. While it’s horrific to think of a child of any age smoking, I agree that the child in that video has the dexterity of somebody way older than two.And I believe you absolutely MUST acknowledge your child’s teacher in some way at the end of the year, whether it be through a gift or thank-you note. I taught for three years and it was the absolutely most gut-wrenchingly challenging experience of my life. Not only are teachers forced to be “on” all day in front of a group of active children who are not always developmentally ready to be taught the rigorous curriculum required these days, but they also have to deal with all the pointless drama coming at them from administrators, parents, the government, other teachers, the district, and the community as a whole. They don’t get paid well, spend a lot of their own money on classroom supplies, and are now being threatened with job loss and other cutbacks. Teaching is often a very thankless job, which is why you have to change that and thank your child’s teacher. As I said, a letter of thank-you is sufficient. A gift is not necessary, but I agree that if you want to give one, a gift certificate is most welcome. Starbucks is a good choice. Plants and flowers are nice, inexpensive gifts as well. One year I taught a kid who came from a big family, and they got each of their children’s teachers a $4 container of jelly candies from Trader Joe’s. I thought that was a cute gift. Just please, no apple knick-knacks, mugs, or plaques.

  37. I understand gifts of appreciation being given to professionals, but I feel like gifts for teachers is more like a gift to the judge that heard your year-long case. Teacher=Judge. A teacher assigns grades as a judge decides a case. There is an appeatrance of a conflict of interest. It’s like the teacher would need to recuse him or herself from grading the student. (Can you tell I’ve been in corporate America with our strict no-gifts from suppliers policy?)Your kids are stack ranked against the other kids in the class so your kid’s win is another’s loss. Usually only one kid per school is admitted to each of the most selective colleges each year. So if the valedictorian and salutatorian are in a neck-and-neck race and one kid’s parents gives the teacher a BN gift card and that kid gets the A, the other family of gives nothing or a note of appreciation and happens to get an A-. The A kid gets in to MIT and the A- kid doesn’t because the HS’s quota has been met. Now, did the A kid’s parents buy the kid’s way in to MIT (or Harvard)? Probably not, but the appearance of impropriety is there.

  38. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  39. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  40. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  41. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  42. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  43. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  44. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  45. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  46. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  47. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  48. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  49. @SarcastiCarrie – in my neck of the woods, by the time kids are old enough to be ranked against one another, gifts are no longer given.In my kids elementary school children are not exactly even given given grades – just an evaluation of mastery of specific skills.

  50. I think this is one of those situations where a gesture that was intended to be appreciative and voluntary has become something “expected” – I’m not saying the teachers themselves expect it, but when classroom moms are taking up a collection and setting a certain amount they think parents should pay, it’s gone beyond the original spirit of giving your kid’s teacher a token of appreciation for a job well done (even if that token is cash) and moved into the realm of making parents responsible for paying teachers “bonuses.” Maybe I don’t have $20 for a teacher this year. Maybe I think the teacher did a crappy job with my kid. Maybe I would much rather bake a batch of cookies, because that’s what my mom did for YEARS for our teachers (and was rewarded, when she became a teacher’s aide, with all sorts of baked goods, mugs, ornaments, etc., from her students, for which she was always quite grateful). I think it’s absolutely great to reward teachers at holidays and the end of the year, but I think once you start organizing it, and start dictating what gifts, or how much, parents should give, it completely misses the point. Yeah, it’s easier for those parents who were planning to spend $20 on a gift card for their teachers anyway, but it’s potentially shaming for anyone who, for whatever reason, really doesn’t want to participate.

  51. I feel the gift-giving at my son’s elementary school is getting a little out of hand. First there’s the request for food that we get in the Fall when it’s parent-teacher conference time. The school asks for entrees, sides, desserts for the teachers for that week.Then there’s the holidays. Then it’s Teacher Appreciation week in May where an “idea” list came out from the school. A list of items that we should consider for the teacher, for the secretaries, for the PE teacher, for the art teacher, for the….
    I’m certainly not opposed to recognizing teachers or the school staff, and my son and I do on our own. But when it comes from the school as an organized effort (evidenced by the flyers that are sent home with the kids several times a year with gift or food ideas) it becomes unseemly to me and more “expected”.

  52. oh I forgot to mention “Treats for the Teachers” on Valentines Day. Yet another flyer that comes out, asking for us to bring in baked treats for the teachers.

  53. Class gift idea… I’m a first grade teacher in Georgia and I received a great gift this year.About five parents from the classroom got together and gave me a “giving tree”. It was a plant about a foot tall (I wish I saved the tag that had the name of it, but it looked like a small tree with a braided trunk) that had gift cards hanging from it – Target, Hobby Lobby, Publix (grocery), pre-paid Discover card, Submarina, Chilis, Dollar Tree. A fabulous gift.
    It seems like a bit much, but I teach in a very low SES area. You’d be surprised what people will give… just a few bucks from a handful of parents can go a long way for a teacher.

  54. At the end of one year when I was teaching, a parent gave me a card with cash inside. It was greatly appreciated, as it is difficult to be a single person living on a teacher’s salary in LA, but the card was worth so much more.He wrote, “Please accept this token of our appreciation. We really feel like we are partners in raising our son together, and appreciate your role in our family so much.”
    I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that their family thought that we WERE raising his son together. I love the family deeply, and the card alone showed that he recognized the effort and love I feel is vital to a healthy student/teacher relationship.
    It’s in my office, and I look at it when days are hard, and it makes me feel validated because I feel like that parent really understood exactly what I’m doing.

  55. Looks like it’s a real video – there’s a piece about it in this week’s BMJ ‘Picture Of The Week’ (I tried to find an online link, but couldn’t):’Two year old Indonesian boy Ardi Rizal smoking a cigarette in the yard of his family home in a village on Sumatra island. Ardi, who smokes about 40 cigarettes a day, will have specialist treatment to wean him off his habit.
    Ardi became an internet sensation and an unwitting poster boy for Indonesia’s failure to regulate tobacco use after a video of him smoking a cigarette appeared online last month. Indonesia is the third largest tobacco consumer in the world after China and India. According to a recent national survey, approximately 1.8% of the 60 million smokers in Indonesia are aged between 5 and 9 years old. Ardi’s father reportedly gave him his first cigarette when he was 18 months old.’

  56. Going off of the previous comnemt discussion, how do you feel about a very shy, introverted student attempting to get the same sort of information from a teacher as an open and outgoing one? I myself am not a very good speaker, and am very introverted to say the least. In fact, I have some major social phobias which have led me to skipping classes altogether for fear of being called on. For some people this makes sense if you are unprepared, but I typically am up on all my work to the best of my abilities. In response to your video, do you agree with how school systems function with normal test procedures? I find studying specifically for a test is rather self-defeating to actually learning something. If everything not on the test is thrown aside, and a person is really only studying for a good grade, then nothing is really be learned (and more importantly, retained).

  57. I am to try the methods in the e-book on clsrasoom management, next year when I start teaching at primary school in Johannesburg, South Africa. A student teacher at the Universtry of Johannesburg.Kind RegardsStewart McCallumps need information on dealing with large classes! (between 35-70 learners in a class)

  58. There are no changing lines; hence no seocnd hexagram. This indicates that the answer has been given and the condition is stable for now. We have repeatedly found that if the same question is asked over and over again, this hexagram crops up. It is almost as if the I Ching is telling you to stop bothering it with this question. You should show proper respect and gratitude to the oracle for the advice and make good use of it. It is an insult to the I Ching to keep asking it the same question.

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