A small portion of Wednesday's staff meeting was spent honoring those among the group who had met a milestone of sorts with the school system. As a twenty-year honoree I received, along with two of my grade level colleagues, a small gift. The county gives gifts after each 5-year interval of service. My milestone gifts thus far include a pin, a pen and... really I have no idea what the other gift could be, nor do I still possess the pen or pin. The twenty-year gift is a little larger than its milestone predecessors. This year congratulations came in the form of a glass egg with a spiral blue center.
Twenty years is a good chunk of time. It is the longest I've stayed in any job so I'm proud of the accomplishment, but I don't need any more knickknacks taking up real estate on my overburdened desk. So after the meeting I returned to my classroom and placed my gift bag of appreciation on the floor behind my chair.
The next morning I stopped in to ask my teaching neighbor a question as the kids were leaving homeroom. I noticed that she had placed her egg on the front of her desk for all to see. The kids were gathered around the shiny glass knickknack like it was a crystal ball telling their future.
"Ms. B. did you see this? It's so cool! Isn't it great that Ms. L. got one?"
Another student went on to describe the egg as "epic." In 6th grade speak that means it's pretty cool stuff.
Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
My epic egg of appreciation now sits proudly on my desk. And boy do my kids love seeing it there.
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