Sure, there are the plates of cookies and the beautiful drawings. But some kids, well, go their own way when it comes to teacher gifts. We asked our readers about the most memorable gifts they’ve received from students. Next time a sweet child comes to you with a smile and a gift-wrapped box, open with caution.
A Whole Bunch
I mentioned to one of my students that I love lilacs. One day, one of my students dug up a lilac tree on the way to school and brought it in for me.
A Real Gem
A diamond ring! A boy brought me his mom’s wedding set that he’d found on the bathroom counter. Needless to say, I called his mom to let her know it was safe!
One year, a student gave me pajama pants. Huh?
Some of my high school kids brought me a different fruit every day for a week. They started with an apple and progressed to a watermelon. It was hilarious.
—Mary Pat F.
Oddest gift? The window crank from the parents’ car.
One of my budding scientists brought me a hog-nose snake. I have also received a praying mantis, a wolf spider, and various crickets, moths, and spiders.
Food for Thought
My favorite gift was a can of generic baked beans that I received from a very poor student. I asked him why he chose it and he said they were his favorite and he thought I would like them. Today, the can sits in a special place of honor in my home office.
A sweet second-grade girl once brought me KY jelly. She took it from her mom’s closet because she liked the pretty box!
A tadpole that the child named “Flash.”
One of my students proudly handed me a small brown paper bag. Inside were four little heads from the squirrels he and his dad had shot that weekend. I still get squeamish thinking about it.
My team is the Tennessee Vols, and my kids always bring me things that are orange. The best was when a little girl gave me a roll of orange, no-slip shelf liner.
Back in the ’90s, a student gave me a shocking-red one-piece Baywatch bathing suit!
…And Something Blue
A student gave me a blue garter belt. I was getting married at the end of the year. I nearly died laughing.