Slice of Life: Have a muffin, Mr. H

Slice of Life

(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)

It was rush-time, the end of the hectic day with the closing bell just lingering in the air and desks slamming shut, when I turned around and almost bumped right smack into one my of students. It was the same student whom I talked to yesterday and again this morning about staying organized and on task and all that.  The same student I worry about when he goes off to a charter school next year. The student who needs so much structure and guidance, it worries me to no end and sometimes drives me nutty.

He held his hands up towards me. They were cupped together with something in it, held gently.

“Mr. H, here is a muffin for you,” he said, smiling.

“A …  muffin?” I was keeping an eye on the crowd near the door, and listening for announcements. I tried to shut all that out and concentrate on the moment. It wasn’t easy, given the commotion around me. But I did.

“I had it as an extra for snack and I wanted to give to someone. I want you to have it.”

“Oh,” I said, “thanks,” and took the twisted plastic baggie from his hand that held a small, corn muffin. I held it up to look at it but really, I was looking at him.

“I want to give it to a great teacher and that’s you,” and he smiled again with a light in his eye. “You’re a great teacher.”

I swear, I could have hugged him right then and there. I almost did. Instead, I smiled back at him and looked at the muffin, and patted his shoulder. “Thank you, xxx, I appreciate that. Thank you for the muffin.”

And then, the kids were out the door in a flash and I was left there, in a quiet classroom, looking at this silent muffin, just wondering about the magic that can sometimes unfold at the strangest of times.

Peace (in the hustle-bustle),


  1. Wow…as a primary teacher gifts are the norm from the little ones but I bet that corn muffin was a direct hit to your heart. Whent the older ones open themselves up like that, you must know you chose the right profession. Your worrying about him has not gone unnoticed. A good teacher knows where to put his/her energies.

  2. Great writing. Makes me believe he really means it. However, the cynic in me would be thinking “is he buttering me up for the next time he goofs off”

  3. Love those unexpected moments. I had a students write a little note on her final exam last semester that still touches my heart.

  4. Just this afternoon a former student came by with a muffin. Her parents brought muffins to school to celebrate her birthday and she told her parents that she wanted a special muffin just for me. After having a crazy day, she caused a smile to come to my face. At that moment, I remembered why I enjoyed working with young children. The muffin was delicious!

  5. I’ve got tears in my eyes. I’m glad your student was able to communicate his fondness of you with a small gesture. I’m even happier you preserved this moment in writing.

  6. Sometimes the students we are the hardest on know in their hearts it is because we care. How wonderful for this student to not only notice you care about him, but to show you he knows you do!

  7. It’s a moment like this which makes teaching the best job in the world – I love the way your student was so insistent…he really wanted you to have that muffin, and know what you mean to him.

  8. This won’t be the only time you see this student expressing his appreciation. I have a feeling he’s going to connect after he’s off to the other school. Sounds like you’ve been a rock for him.

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