Every year my students bring me gifts of appreciation, and I am very grateful to those parents who go and spend their hard earned money to say thank you to me. It means a lot. I normally get a lot of Starbucks gift cards, which I use throughout the year. This year, however, perhaps a sign of the times, I only received three gifts. One was a gift of homemade chocolate chip cookies, which were delicious. Another student gave me a Starbucks gift card, and my last gift came from a student who was in my Newspaper class, so I was able to spend more time with him. During the year, we were able to talk about topics other than school, and I was able to offer a little advice and apparently he was listening. Along with a gift card to Barnes and Noble, was this note from his mother: (I’m omitting the student’s name to protect his privacy.)
Mr. Rangel, I just wanted to tell you how much you are appreciated as a teacher and mentor to D! You made Jr. High so much easier for him, which made D enjoy all his other accomplishments. After losing his dad, he felt so alone and when he realized how much he looked up to you (he would everyday come home and say how much he liked you.) for guidance he began to feel like he could accomplish anything he put his mind to – it was your positive attitude toward him and your compliments that fueled his desire to learn and please others. I have so much respect for you and can’t thank you enough! You will always be a cherished name in our home. Thank you.
This was the best end-of-the-year gift I have ever received. It served to remind me of why I became a teacher.