Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Gifts

Last week a student of mine had the most adorable little chibi Godzilla toy sitting on his desk with a spare pencil in its mouth. I noticed it as I was checking in during group work. It was sitting there facing the group as if participating in the lesson. No one was distracted by the toy; it was just a little bit of whimsy. I find that I allow or disallow toys in the classroom based totally on their distraction value.
A tech deck skateboard, which is infinitely distracting – not allowed.
A Godzilla with a pencil who is prepared for class and obviously learning science – allowed.

As the class went on I commented on how nice it was that Godzilla was interested in the conservation of energy, and the conversation swung to this student’s vast knowledge of Godzilla. He was so excited because on Saturday his brother was coming home from college and they were going to see the monster movie on the big screen together.

It just so happened that as Saturday rolled around my husband and I went to see Godzilla at the same theater as my student. We waved before the movie, but did not get a chance to speak after. On Monday back at school we compared notes, both of us agreeing that it was a very good monster movie, and Godzilla looked like a proper Godzilla.

Yesterday this student handed me a drawing of Godzilla that he made. He hoped that I could find someplace to hang it. I smiled and said definitely and I hung it up pride of place next to my Doctor Who poster. I always hang up drawings that my students give me. At the secondary level gifts from students are few and far between and I hold them dear for that. These are things that a person on the edge of adulthood gives of their own free will, no parent bought this or told the child to give it. For that reason they are precious to me.

So my question to you is this: What are some of your most memorable gifts given to you by a student?

The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).

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Jennifer teaches science in a public school in Pennsylvania. She lives there with her husband and two dogs.

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