Anyway, my class had a trip on Teacher Appreciation Day, so in the morning before we left, I had my kids make Teacher Appreciation Day cards for other teachers in the school. Most of them chose their first grade teacher. Emilio (aka the Class Clown) started going on and on about how he loved Ms. S because she had given his class ice cream. I reminded him that we had had an ice cream party, too.
"Yeah, but that was one time," he said scornfully. "In Ms. S's class we had ice cream like millions of times." (As you may have guessed, Emilio is prone to exaggeration.)
"Oh, so you like Ms. S better than me because she gave you ice cream?" I asked jokingly.
"No, I like Ms. S better than you because she's nicer than you."
Zinged! No one cuts a teacher's self-esteem (well, other than those "STOP LISTENING TO THE TEACHERS' UNION!" commercials) more skillfully than the Class Clown.
Since then, a few of the girls in my class have been out on a mission to reassure me that I am, in fact, the teacher most deserving of appreciation. I'm sure every class has a cohort of those girls: They live to please, they always volunteer to help, they bat their eyelashes adoringly and shyly tell you that they want to be teachers exactly like you when they grow up. And that's how I ended up with these:
Take that, Education Reform Now! Now I feel appreciated.