Someday I would like to start a museum of all the strange things we get as teachers. Precious treasures our students feel we cannot live with out.
This year has been full of my ever-growing Sponge Bob sticker collection, an insurmountable amount of gum (odd choice but hey...), 3 apples, Halloween candy, clay figures, pictures, letters, coloring pages, a handful of sunflower seeds left on my desk, a unicorn stuffed animal, and a promise of a lifetime supply of coffee for my birthday (too bad that's in the summer...).
My pockets have also come home laden with goodies. I have confiscated more silly bands than I even want to count (between those and the rubber bands I am sure I could have the ever-so-fashionable bracelets up my entire forearm), toy cars, a sucker, bouncy ball, and silly band rings (seriously RINGS?? what have teachers ever done to anyone to deserve such cruelty? When necklaces come out...someone is going down!).
Along side all of the treasures displayed and continuing to grow, soon to over take my desk, is the most beautiful collection of things. As a school, we have been collecting books to give to a school in Kenya with a library that is virtually non-existent. As books began to trickle in, and we selected books from our own library we wanted to share with the world, my students overwhelmed me with their hearts. Books pile and pile and not merely with old books but with favorites. The very books they treasure are the ones they are giving. Giving not out of access but compassion. It is a truly beautiful sight to see. It is said, "out of the mouths of babes" but today I one-up that to "out of the hearts."