A Gift To Me From My “Family”

Today our Room Parents arrived with gifts for the teachers, from all the families in our class.  Children were excited to watch their teachers tear open paper and uncover a gift.  Rarely am I at a loss for words.  I was when I opened the gift.

It was a book, Our Aqua Room Family.  Family.  That word somehow becomes cemented in September.  It is much like a badge, something everyone wears, feels and just knows.  We’re a family.

This was the first page:
Our family comes from many towns:
Our hair is straight, our hair is brown,
Our hair is curled, our eyes are blue, Our skins are different colors, too.

We’re girls and boys, we’re big and small,
We’re young and old, we’re short and tall.
We’re everything that we can be
And still we are a family.

We laugh and cry, we work and play,
We help each other ever day.
The world’s a lovely place to be

Because we are a family.

The following pages in the book were done by each child, drawing our Aqua Room family.  Page after page depicted a child’s view of  friends and teachers.

Here is Savannah’s page:

The final page was the pinnacle:

The definition of family!

Life’s greatest blessing.  A group that dreams, laughs, plays and loves together.  Those whom you can always count on.  Always present not only in the good times.  The most precious gift.

That’s my class.  The thread of being and doing (family) becomes who we are.  Children and teachers always talk about being a family, because we are.  Thank goodness the parents know and understand that, and feel the same way.

Here’s to Family!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in books, children's books, Early Education, Family, storytelling, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to A Gift To Me From My “Family”

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Congratulations, Jenny! You have a wonderful class. I will pass this post on to a teacher I know. Merry Christmas!

  2. davidprosser says:

    Nothing short of brilliant Jennie.Always to be prized.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    How very beautiful,Jennie!

  4. Darlene says:

    How precious. What a perfect gift. I love the description of family. ❤ ❤

  5. Opher says:

    What a wonderful gift to treasure forever. And the sentiments were so perfect too. You must be very proud for it is you that has created that family out of nothing.

  6. beetleypete says:

    To go to so much trouble to present you with such a gift to cherish speaks volumes about the character of the parents whose children attend your class, Jennie. I can only imagine how moving it must have felt, to open such a treasure.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  7. Ritu says:

    This is just so precious Jennie!

  8. GP Cox says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Tammy Hutchinson says:

    What wonderful spirits you have stirred among your families – you are educating the whole family, and they have adopted you!

  10. reocochran says:

    Beautiful messages for a loving, dedicated teacher who gives so much of herself to her students! Hugs, Robin
    PS. I always loved my students and their drawings meant more than “store bought” gifts. This was an amazing gift to keep forever, Jennie. 💗 🕊

  11. mary kay says:

    An incredibly thoughtful gift to an incredibly dedicated and thoughtful teacher. Take a bow, Jennie for all the lives you change!

  12. John Fioravanti says:

    Wow! What an endearing and enduring gift for a marvelous teacher, Jenny!

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Jennie Fitzkee receives a beautiful end of term and Christmas gift from her class and their parents.. and how special it is too..#recommended

  14. Dan Antion says:

    If everyone felt this way, the world would be a better place.

  15. dgkaye says:

    Oh Jennie, this was so touching. What a feeling to know how much you’re appreciated and what you mean to those kids. Enjoy the fruits of your teachings. And Merry Christmas. 🙂 x

  16. Tina Frisco says:

    This is so beautiful, Jennie! Touching . . . Heartwarming . . . A tribute to a teacher who listens as well as speaks, who cries as well as laughs, who gives as well as receives. All we are is reflected back to us by those we encounter every day. I’m sure your heart is full to overflowing. Happy Holidays, dear friend ❤

  17. This is so lovely and moving, Jennie. What a wonderful gift!

  18. sjhigbee says:

    When my parents divorced while I was at school – a rarity in those days – I was informed that I came from a ‘broken’ family. So I was very, very moved to see how you use that word family – because children like me – and my grandchildren – will no longer be singled out as somehow failing because our families fell outside the accepted norm.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you for your story. Yes, it was a rarity. I still vividly remember my friend whose parents divorced. What a shock. She was the ‘only’ child from a broken family. Schools and teachers were pretty stiff and formal back then, so I doubt she ever felt like she had a family. Friends, yes. But not a family. And, thank you so much for your comments. If I can plant the seed of feeling accepted and part of a family, that is far more important than anything else.

  19. So lovely, Jennie. No wonder it brought a tear to your eye. You and your children are surely blessed by your little family. ❤

  20. Truth and beauty rolled together in this post, Jennie. With *that* kind of family all the struggles and bad turns of life are so much easier to bear. You had a marvelous gift. Hugs

  21. Absolutely precious, Jennie! You are an inspiration. Here’s to family, indeed. xo

  22. What a beautiful gift! That’s the sort of thing that is beyond gold or silver.

    I remember looking out at my first grade classroom, usually about a month after school started, and realizing we had gelled into a class. We had our own unique chemistry that grew as the year progressed.

  23. A most wonderful gift for you, Jennie, a most deserving teacher.

  24. ren says:

    How spectacularly fantastical! I am so excited for you!
    For some reason, it reminds me of a ‘second grade teacher’ my kids had, who gave her mailing address at the end of the year and encouraged the kids to send her letters in the mail and she would write them back.

  25. Lovely, Jennie. We use the same language at our school as well. I liked the poem and the graphics in the book.

  26. What a wonderful, thoughtful gift for you to treasure!

  27. How amazing! I hope to experience this kind of family, I substitute teach right now. I love it, the students that I repeatedly see I have developed the start of a connection. It’s so wonderful to have that

  28. Best Gifts says:

    Love how the family has been described ! Great article !

  29. Reblogging to Success Inspirers World 🙂

  30. Wow. I got choked up reading that…made me think of some of the sweet and funny cards and letters my kids would compose for me; several of them still adorn my refrigerator. Thank you for sharing that.

  31. sophie says:

    Oh That was beautiful.Indeed being part of a family is exactly the spirit I always kept working on,in my classes too.Everything else falls in place then.

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