In my long and illustrious career as a teacher, I have gotten my share of crappy gifts. As I've said before, I don't wish to sound ungrateful but I guess the reality of it is, I am. I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't need the thrice-yearly trips to Goodwill where I must surreptitiously unload my booty under the cover of darkness.
Of course, there are the numerous coffee mugs. I am drinking out of one now. It says, "My Teacher is My Best Friend" and is adorned with two ladybugs wearing Converse hightops, holding hands.
I have news for the student who gave me this mug. You can't be my best friend unless you are able belly up to a bar on weekends with me. Pretty much anyone who can belly up to a bar on weekends is currently in the running to be my best friend. But thanks for the mug all the same.
Here are some of my favorites:
We teachers must wear district identification cards so as to avoid being mistaken as a stranger on campus. Evidently, the throngs of students furiously waving, jumping, and enthusiastically screaming, "Hiiiii Ms. LEEEEEEE" lack the proper ring of authenticity, therefore I must wear an official ID badge.
The picture on the badge depicts a youthful version of my former self from 1997. "Youthful" does not mean "attractive" in this case. My dark blonde hair appears a shade of green similar to the patina that develops on old copper fixtures. Although I have very curly hair, I managed to have pin straight bangs for this photo. Bangs? (What was I thinking?) My face, for lack of a better term, is"full," and I appear to be wearing a man's sweater vest over some sort of gingham shirt. I don't even recall, nor will I admit to, owning clothes like that.
Since the ID so flatters me, it would only be proper to hang it from an attractive lanyard such as this. Not only is my picture prominently displayed for all to see, I get to accidently poke kids in the eye with it every time I lean over their desks, get it caught between tables in my classroom, slam it in my car door while it is still attached to my neck, have a place to hang the many keychains, apple zipper pulls, and pendants I have been given increasing the weight to a poundage most professional rappers would struggle to bear, and catch the small hairs at the base of my skull in it causing my eyes to water with regularity. Thanks for the lanyard, kid.
The Tote Bag
I am a professional. I went to college and everything. I refuse to carry around my professional belongings in a brown and pink tote bag with some pithy saying embroidered on the front. It degrades me and my profession.
Would you give a veterinarian a tote bag that says, "I'm Into Animals"?
Would you give a proctologist a tote bag that says, "Don't Make Me Get All Up In Your Ass"?
Also, it digs into my shoulder...
The Lapel Pin
Ambiguous, isn't it?
"Whatever it Takes" to do what?
Make it through the day without grabbing ADHD Andy by the throat and shaking him until he finally sits still...forever?
Get in and out of the windowless women's restroom before the stench overtakes you and you're found face down in a puddle of your own urine that you had been holding since 7:30 that morning?
Smile and feign amusement as you listen to a student's endless "One time..." stories?
"One time, at the park, my baby brother ate dog poop..."
"One time, when I was little, I peed in the corner of my room because I was scared to go to the bathroom alone..."
"One time, last week, I saw you at Goodwill..."