Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 8- Student Fund and Christmas

Even before I became a certified teacher, I was planning.  I was constantly tossing around ideas in my head and buying supplies when something cute struck my fancy and figuring out how I might decorate my room... all of it.  Now that I am legit, the thinking continues.  I must admit that I get a little annoyed when people comment around this time of year (or Spring Break or summer, for that matter) about how they wished they were teachers because they want the vacations.  The thing is, unless you are a teacher or have lived with one, you have no idea how many hours it takes to be an effective teacher.  If I'm not grading or lesson planning, I am thinking about the kids.  I am a workaholic during the week, and I will spend a great deal of time on my coveted "break" doing things to get ready for next semester.  It's possible that I care about the kids too much sometimes, and I could focus more on my own life.  Yet, I can't help but think that the day I stop caring too much is the day that I should find another profession.

It is absolutely wonderful to have a mother who is a teacher.  We share ideas and war stories and experiences.  Beyond that, quite simply, she gets it.  Again, if you're not a teacher or are not close with one, you may not know what "it" is.  We do, though.  This became even more clear when I heard back from my mom about where she wanted the donation for today to go to in honor of her family.

Every day teachers see ways that we could make the world of a student a kinder place.  Some kids need shoes, as you've already mentioned in your blog.  Some need lunch money. All kids love a trip to a candy jar or a pizza party to celebrate their achievement.  Others can't afford to buy things like a shirt with the school name/logo.  I would like to give you a check, knowing that you'll know what to do with it. 

She totally gets it.  I am touched and honored by the trust she has bestowed upon me to spend our money on my kids.  Once again, I am reminded of what makes my parents so darn special.  I already had a wish list of things I would like to do for my kids who have so little and need so much, and now the wheels are in constant motion about what I might do with some money added into the equation.

I don't want to get too much into my specific plans because I want to preserve the privacy of my students.  What I will say is that one of the students I wrote about this fall has a birthday coming up in January.  I know this because the student mentioned it to me every single day before break for about a month.  I will use part of the donations from today to make absolute sure that this is a special birthday.  Given what I know about this kid, the acknowledgment at school may be all there is.  As for the rest of the donations, I will do my best to make students feel safe and valued and loved.  When I put my ideas into action, if they are things I think I can share, I will. :)

If you'd like to add to today's donations, clean out your closet.  I know many male and female students in need of basic winter items- hats, gloves, boots, coats, all of it.  I also know students who need clothes that fit, shoes with no holes, and a variety of other things that I just know are sitting around unused in closets all over the place.  Your local schools would be over the moon to accept whatever you have, and my school would be too.  Let me know if you have anything and are just looking for a place to send it!  

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Christmas.  I don't mean to sound lazy, but if I have to explain to you why Christmas made my day today, then you probably won't get it anyway.  Does that make sense?

Tom and I have joked for the past few weeks that we were failures at Christmas this year.  It took us more than a week to make time to decorate our tree and our house.  We made cookie dough, chilled it, and never actually turned it into cookies.  Again, we had a million other things to do.  We ended up eating half of the dough and having to throw the rest of it out before we left.  In keeping with our tradition of the past few years, we decided on our big ticket gift... but... you guessed it, we never ended up buying it (although I should add that Tom did a lovely job with the "stocking stuffers" that he did buy).  Last year I had all of our gifts purchased and most of them wrapped by Thanksgiving.  This year we shopped last minute (last minute for us, at least), and I still have gifts I need to wrap for when we head up to Michigan.

The awesome part about Christmas is, even though we "failed' this year, it was still an excellent Christmas.  All of the stuff I mentioned is just that-- stuff.  None of it has to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

Luke 2:9-12
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.


We held hands and prayed and sang and laughed in Mass.  We delighted in family and ate all day.  We found great joy in the joy our gifts generated.  We did not fail after all.  Not even a little bit.

Merry Christmas!  Joy to the World! 

Thank you, Christmas, you made my day.

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