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?