Our friend and colleague Jane Ching Fung sends this picture from her kindergarten classroom in Los Angeles (she’s on the left), just to put a holiday smile on your face. It sure put one on ours. (You can click to make it larger.) Jane’s seasonal essay, “The Best Gifts Come in Small Sizes,” is the current featured Teacher Leaders Network article at Teacher Magazine. Here’s a tempting excerpt:

It was finally Ana’s turn. As she eagerly handed me her gift bag, Ana said, “Miss Fung, I know you are really going to like this!” I pulled out a lovely, charcoal skirt from Express. “How beautiful, Ana! Thank you so much,” I said as I hugged my sweet 1st-grader.

“Put it on!” a voice from the back screamed out.

OK, Jane, how are you going to pull this one off?, I thought to myself. The tag on the skirt read size 6. I have never been and will never be a size 6…

We also recommend these TLN essays from holiday seasons past:

From Massachusetts, special education teacher Laurie Wasserman’s “Special Gifts”

Every year, when I unwrap the painted plaster snowmen from my box of holiday decorations, I remember Rochele (“with one L, not two”). She came to Room 312 full of anger, arms crossed, refusing to read…

From North Dakota, teacher mentor Laurie Stenejhem’s “The Gifts New Teachers Need Most”

Teaching is deeply difficult work, even for successful veterans. Novices often use the metaphor of “drowning,” especially in the early months of their first year. The gift of hope comes when I help a new teacher clarify and focus on a problem so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming…

The gift we’re most grateful for: Dozens of accomplished teacher leaders who love to write!

Happy Holidays!

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