Sep 5, 2012

Posted by | 7 Comments

Why You Should NEVER Turn Down a Treat!

My cooperating teacher (way, way back when) told me NEVER to turn down a birthday treat from a student.  At first I thought she just had a helluva sweet tooth.  She was, after all, an amazing baker, but that wasn’t it at all.  She went on to explain that this small gift is sometimes the only thing a student has to give all year.  I can still remember how this insight struck me at the time and I thought, wow, she is right!

Many schools handle this differently.  Some ban students from leaving their classrooms to hand out extra birthday treats at all, but in a school of over 700 students, and no ban, birthday treats are almost a daily occurrence and I still never turn one down.  I smile, thank them, and ask students to please put it on my desk so I can enjoy it after school.  As the day ends, I either discretely toss the treat, put it in my desk for a rainy day, or take it to the teacher’s lounge.

In a society that sometimes seems driven by greed and want, it is refreshing to reinforce students who yearn to give.

How do you handle treats or gifts from your students?

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  • http://www.theartofed.com/ Jessica Balsley

    Heather,
    We have the same policy at our school as you do, so I also have a lot cupcakes landing on my desk. I love how you put this, and it really gives us some “Food for Thought” no pun intended….

  • Lisa

    Students come by almost daily at my school as well. But I DO have a sweet tooth, so I lovingly accept and devour each and every treat I receive! I always appreciate the gesture but I never thought of it the way you put it. Thanks for that insight!

    I have about 430 students. Many low income. So as a thank you for their treat, or just a birthday gift if they didn’t bring treats, I give them a pencil. Artists always need pencils right?! I collect “dollar store” packages. They usually have great seasonal themed packages of 12 for only $1. I figure it’s a great way to say “Happy Birthday” in person to each and every student, even if they couldn’t afford to bring treats.
     

    • http://www.artbke.blogspot.com/ Amanda Heyn

       What a cool idea, Lisa! I get a ton of treats, too. I always accept them, but if I don’t want one, I just put it in the teachers’ lounge. It always disappears!

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Heather Crockett

      Giving a pencil in return is a wonderful idea!  I am sure there are some good finds at “back-to-school” time too!

  • http://drawthelineat.blogspot.com/ Jen

    I just had a student bring me a treat today. I gave her a hug, let her choose something out of my prize bin. Set her treat on my desk. And secretly discarded it later. I don’t always get treats from students, but when I do I let them see that I am so happy for them and their special day. But if I let myself indulge in every cupcake, I’d be one. :) Ignorance is bliss to the little ones.

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Jessica Balsley

      So true! I was getting so many cupcakes but also trying to eat heather so I had the one bite rule.

  • ElizT.

    Very insightful! I completely agree. I think the rejection of a small offering could negatively affect a student. Thanks for this reminder.