One of the coolest things about 5th grade was Mrs. Albro's coveted lollipop tree. As you can imagine, it was a big plant/tree like thing that proudly sat on the enormous radiator, displaying various colors of bubblegum lollipops. Clearly I'm dating myself here, but this lollipop tree was a BIG deal! Unlike today, candy wasn't something we were able to get our paws on 24 hours a day. Candy was a treat, something we looked forward to receiving. When a student was extra kind, studious or did something that impressed Mrs. Albro, she would take a moment, stop what she was doing, recognize her prize pupil and send them on their way to pick out a lollipop; and the coolest thing about the whole experience, we got to enjoy it right then in there, in front of our classmates! Oh how pumped I was when I found out I had Mrs. Albro for a fifth grade teacher!
Decades later, I was rummaging through a friend's castaways at a garage sale, and low and behold I found the perfect tree for a classroom must have: a lollipop tree! As per usual, when I find something I think would work in my sister’s house, I snap it up. She has given me permission to buy anything in her absence, as long as it's under $100.00 And if my failing memory serves me correct, I believe Kelly was starting in a new school district teaching 4th grade, and nonetheless was a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of the task: preparing to teach a new grade, in a new building, in a new district, all the while building a new house, while living with my folks! That is exhausting to type, let alone do. But do she did, and blew it out of the atmosphere!! Parents and kids alike pray to have her for a teacher, rightfully so, she is the BEST! When I called to tell her the idea of the lollipop tree, she was ecstatic, really, over the moon. The fact that my dear friend gave her the tree, lights and all, with lollipops adorning it,, well you would have thought by her sheer delight, she had won a gazillion dollars! I can't think of another profession (although I'm sure teaching isn't the only one) where the supplies and or tools needed to get the job done AREN'T provided. Or, better yet, our government that is so happy to give out money and or tax breaks, doesn't, that's right, DOES NOT allow teachers to write off of their income taxes, monies that are spent to do their job. Think about it, any type of sales, or government job allows for reimbursables, NOT true for teachers. Typically $100.00 is allotted per class for supplies. Think about it: tissues, pencils, paper, markers, pens, etc. And NO I'm not exaggerating! Truth be told, I can't imagine the thousands of dollars teachers spend of their own dime to better equip their students!
What does this have to do with you might ask. Well, in the event you are benefiting from ushering your beloved onto the school bus each day, think about all a teacher really does for your child. Make that teachers day and buy them a $10.00 gift card to Staples, Target, or Dunkin Donuts for that matter! If every parent gave a $10 gift card twice a year, can you imagine the amazement and delight teachers would feel! Had I known how happy a lollipop tree would make my sister, I would have gotten her one long ago! I KNOW times are tight, and schools are always asking for money, but teachers aren't, so go do something that will make you feel great inside- give a gift card to a teacher and make their year!!! Who knows, maybe with that money they will by a lollipop tree- the gift that keeps on giving!