Some kids are the cutest thing.
My next door teacher neighbor had a birthday Tuesday.
We have worked together for over 7 years.
She student taught with me.
The next year she moved into the room across the hall.
She is an amazing teacher...and one of my best friends.
Not unlike me, sometimes kids adopt her.
There is one young lady who has totally adopted my colleague.
I mean, she is a Senior, had my friend as a freshman, and stops by at least twice EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Though she means well, she can be, um, a little overwhelming.
She also loves her favorite teacher.
So much so that for the second year in a row, I have been roped into the birthday plans.
Last year, she threw a full-on "surprise" party.
We let her think it was a surprise.
This year, thank goodness, she has settled for a rather elaborate pair of gift baskets.
Her themes were movies, coffee, and office supplies.
She made a list and hit the dollar store.
Then she gave me a list of the stuff she wanted, but couldn't afford, couldn't find, or didn't feel confident about selecting.
Then I hit the dollar store.
Monday, after school, we met in my classroom with our goodie bags.
We sat at my round table and shared all our purchases.
We unwrapped and compiled our odd little assortment of gifts.
She asked me to put the baskets together.
As she watched me do it, she kept telling me she didn't have the patience for what I was doing.
We got on the subject of patience, which led us to teaching.
She and her friends are tutoring fifth graders after school.
I cannot tell you how I enjoyed hearing her complain.
Not as much as I enjoyed her questions about how to help her struggling students.
She wanted strategies to increase reading comprehension.
She asked me how to ensure the students wrote using standard English conventions.
She requested websites she could use to gather resources.
To be honest, this young lady is unlikely to choose elementary teacher as a career.
Still, I can't help but appreciate how committed she is to succeeding as a tutor.
I gave her a handful of suggestions like digital.readworks.org and story nory.
And then I got distracted with a diagramming sentences website.
They watched me with absolute fascination as I did a few of the exercises.
The loud proclamations of dropping out if forced to try diagramming made me grin.
Finally, I realized it was getting late and kicked these kids out for the day.
When I got home, she had sent me an email telling me about the cake she bought and reminding me to bring the other basket.
Like how nice is that?
I don't mind when kids adopt me.
But it is so awesome when they adopt my teacher friends and I get to help.
Adoption can mean many things.
This time it a cute, sweet, very good thing.
P.S. The next day, the teacher on the receiving end of all this love was home with pink eye.
The Speech and Debate team called her from my room after school and sang her Happy Birthday.
For everything else, we postponed a day.
It was very cute and, I hope, not obnoxiously time-consuming.
Appreciation is one of a high school teacher's very best, and very rarest, things.