A gift I’ll never forget was a cupcake with teeth marks in it. My student said he “had to put it in his mouth” because his backpack fell and he didn’t want to put the cupcake down to pick it up. —Angela D.
Kind of a Big Dill
A pickle wrapped in a coffee filter! —Tanya L.
A flyer from a shoe store, wrapped in used wrapping paper. When I thanked the student, he said he knew I would like it because I always tie kids’ shoes. —Jane E.
Tooth Be Told
My favorite gift was a bag of mostly used dental floss. My student thought I might need it to get food out of my teeth after lunch. —Lou L.
A framed professional headshot of my student. —Rory G.
Roll With It
A Tootsie Roll in an Altoids mint tin. —Marie J.
A live African spurred tortoise, which can grow up to three feet long and move furniture with its body. —Amy G.
Good as Gold
I received a metallic-gold mother-of-the-bride formal dress, with an identical one for my aide. Not sure why we got them as gifts, but it was pretty impressive! —Jennifer W.
Three of my students built a statue of me in their Minecraft world and gave me a screenshot of it! —Rebekah C.
I got a wreath made out of white plastic forks. —Dina P.
A student gave me a melted drumstick ice cream inside of the plastic wrapper. He told me to just stick it back in the freezer and it would come back together! —Miriam H.
You Must be Yolking
I was given a raw egg, only slightly cracked, and colored with marker—my student’s attempt at making his own Ukrainian etched egg! —Michelle L.
What a Fun-Guy
A bushel of morel mushrooms. —Terry S.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the fringe on notebook paper, so one of my students collected fringes from the entire class and wrapped them up in a box, along with a dollar and a Hershey’s kiss. —Rochele M.
I got a brown paper bag with a ribbon on top. Inside was a collection of broken jewelry, hair bows, and stick-on gems, each individually wrapped in Kleenex. Kids are so very sweet! —Carrie S.
A teacher friend, who has received a lot of stuffed frogs as gifts from her former students, once got a huge surprise: She opened her gift box and out jumped a real frog! —Norma M.
Illustration: Serge Bloch
Images: DAE Photo/Shutterstock.com (cupcake); Gabor Tinz/EyeEm/Getty Images (egg); Kristin Lee/Alamy Stock Photo (tootsie roll); El Lobo/Shutterstock.com (floss)