When I first began teaching, I decided that I would be the lame teacher who handed out “Happy birthday!” bookmarks to students on their day of birth. Super-lame, I know, but I’m a teacher. And I always, always, always made sure to write a personal note on the back of the bookmark wishing them an awesome day. But, it would appear that I’m one of the few continuing this tradition – at least, one of the few in the secondary levels.
How do I know this? Because I spend hours upon hours searching for new ones to replenish my supplies each year. But this summer, I’ve hit a wall. In vain, I have searched for age-appropriate birthday bookmarks. Yet after each Google/pinterest/etsy search, I come up empty-handed.
At the end of this year, it reached a point where the bookmarks that I COULD find were too young even for my middle schoolers, and now that I’m teaching freshmen, there’s no way I can find anything suitable in the teacher stores or online. In fact, earlier this summer, I was even questioning the wisdom of continuing my tradition, considering that this Snoopy one was the best I could find.
Not so much.
But then, during my summer travels, I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, and I found this little passage:
“In elementary school, the teachers always remembered your birthday, and that was nicer. There were cupcakes or brownies, or at least cookies, and everyone sang in a way that made you feel really special and a part of something, even if you really hated all of your classmates deep down. There’s a reason the elementary teachers did that. It wasn’t just for fun. It was important.”
He goes on to talk about how eventually, birthdays stop being a big deal, and it has a lot to do with his character development and the plot, and…look, the point is: I cried. So, of course, I now must continue with the tradition.
And in the absence of enough demand for birthday bookmarks for consumers over the age on 10 to create a supply, I made my own, and somehow even managed to tie them in with the English curriculum. #winning
I ordered 250 of these beauties, that will be produced as soon as someone in the office proofreads them and asks me if I’m sure I want to humiliate myself that many times.
Go ahead, bask in their nerdy-rap gloriousness.
You know you want one.