A gift for a wheel-y great teacher

Somehow Teachers Appreciation Week surprises us every year. We try to show our appreciation with notes and gift cards. But I also like our boys to understand the meaning and the joy behind giving. So I try to think of something they will enjoy giving.

Last year we gave each their teachers a floral flyswatter with a poem, and the boys loved running up to their teachers with the gifts.

This year Leo is at a new school, so he picked out a pink flyswatter for his kindergarten teacher, we printed and tied the poem on, and he delivered it to her. But I have been trying to decide what to do for Daniel’s preschool teachers. Most of them received flyswatters from us last year.

After seeing his big brother’s teacher gift, however, Daniel started complaining that he didn’t have flyswatters to take to school.

“But your teacher doesn’t want another flyswatter,” I said.

“Yes, she does,” he said. “She wants two.”

I hesitated. If you are a regular visitor here, you may already know that I have a flyswatter collection. I stopped counting at 300 and that was years ago. So I couldn’t explain to my little boyas he sat in a kitchen where flyswatters are the main decorthat most people stop at just one. And I didn’t really have a better idea.

So during my lunch break I headed to the dollar store to pick up a few more. I was headed to the cash register when I noticed the pinwheels. 

They were sparkly, colorful, and exactly what any 4-year-old would want to hand to his teacher. I was sold. I put the flyswatters back and picked out the prettiest pinwheels in the bin. Then the only challenge was writing a poem that tied teaching to pinwheels.

Still, my theory is that if you can write “Roses are red / violets are blue / sugar is sweet / and I love you,” a poem doesn’t need to follow logically.

I decided to play off of the fact that a pinwheel spins in the wind. I also remembered a song the children sang in their spring concert, “The World Is a Rainbow”:

Sometimes it’s raining, and sometimes there’s snow.
Sometimes the clouds part and show a rainbow.
Sometimes it’s windy, and sometimes there’s sun,
But as wheel-y great teachers go, you sure are one!

I don’t know whether Daniel’s teachers will be thrilled with their gifts, but I know they’ll love seeing our little boy’s smile as he comes running up to them holding a twirling pinwheel. And I know he’ll be so excited about his presents. I just hope he doesn’t decide they are too wonderful to give away.

How are you celebrating the teachers in your life this week? If you are a teacher, what are your favorite gifts to receive?

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.