Student to Give Teachers Christmas Gifts, Wonders If It’s Too Obvious to Include a “Raise My Grade”

Teacher Christmas Gift
Art by Minseo Kim

As the holiday season approaches, students and teachers alike are preparing to spread the joy of Christmas trees, ugly sweaters, a hundred hours’ worth of projects, and swimming in the melted snow from the train station to school.

Some students are celebrating the festivities by buying gifts for their teachers. One such student, junior David Liu, plans to buy gifts for all of his teachers as a last ditch attempt to graduate from both Santa’s naughty list and high school.

The school year has been especially tough on the suffering junior, who made the decision to take seven APs, including AP Chemistry, AP U.S. History, and AP Anxiety and Regret. For him, the holidays promise to provide a nice change in spirit around the building, and hopefully around his chemistry average as well.

“Christmas is a time of giving,” Liu said. “We give the teachers a new tie or some assorted chocolate, and they give us a one-way ticket to Harvard. At the end of the day, it’s really just about spreading the Christmas spirit.”

He is not alone in this practice. Hundreds of students buy their teachers gifts obviously out of the goodness of their hearts, their love for giving, and for no other reason at all. For instance, one particularly affluent junior tried to buy moon rocks for his geology teacher, only to find out that they were not a strain of cannabis, but rather rock fragments taken from the lunar surface.

“The key to a good gift is getting something that really makes the teacher appreciate just how thoughtful you are,” junior Shadman Khandaker said, who bought the entire biology department environmentally-friendly smartphones.

After observing others engage in gift buying, Liu decided to take it one step further. Each gift he bought was uniquely tailored for a specific subject, and with each of his gifts, he had chosen to include a personal note, articulately crafted for each one of his teachers. The note for his poetry teacher read, “Roses are red, violets are blue. Please raise my grade, big thanks to you,” while the note for his math teacher included a detailed algorithm for rounding 49.6 percent to 90.

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