As a teacher, I loved my students like family and I was protective of them. Did I struggle with some students? Of course. What I didn't do was give up on them. I learned more about the family and learned more about the student to better appreciate their learning styles and personalities.
So, I had a boy who was very sweet but struggled with academics and even stuggled with friendships. He fell into some friendships that were a bit troublesome, too. I helped him to the best of my ability and nurtured him as best I could.
The holidays came around and the gifts came rolling in from my students. I received ornaments and candles and treats and all kinds of things. Some more desirable than others. That year, I got a really strange book from the grandmother of this boy. I opened it, thanked her and quizzically put it aside. It was called One Child and on the cover was a somewhat disheveled and sad looking child sitting on a chair. I couldn't understand why this grandmother would give me such a thing that looked so depressing at Christmas time. The description was even more heartwrenching. The book looked used. Literally, it may have come off of her shelf. A gift is a gift, I thought. It isn't how much it is or where it came from. It's the thought behind it. This one baffled me though.
So, I decided to give it to my father-in-law for Christmas (I know, regifter) Bad? Well, you'll see why in this case it is. My father-in-law opened the book and found this in the front cover:
What can I say? I misjudged the intentions of his Grandmother. Never thought there would have been true thought behind it. Talk about changing my Christmas. That was the most embarrassing yet BEST gift I got that Christmas.
DON'T judge a book by the cover. It may be lifechanging.
Oh, and the book was REALLY good and inspiring. Apparently, like me?
This is the article that inspired this quote via Sue Atkins: