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Lifestyle & Human Interest

9-Year-Old Uses His Own Birthday Money to Give His Teacher a 'Raise'

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Good teachers are saints, in a way.

They spend their time, money, effort and the remains of their kid-sapped energy to create opportunities for their students to thrive and learn.

Plenty of people are of the opinion that teachers are not paid nearly enough to do the work that is expected of them, and apparently there’s a 9-year-old who sees that angle, too.

Parker Williams of Tampa, Florida, is a third-grader at Gorrie Elementary School. He has a teacher named Mrs. Chambers whom he very much admires.

“Well, I think she’s a really kind teacher, and she has her own way of teaching and she spends time on everybody,” Parker told WFLA, adding that she had “the most important job.”

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He wanted to do something nice for her, so for an entire week he thought of what he could do to show his appreciation

Then, he had it: He’d give her a raise.

“Dear Mrs. Chambers,” he began in a handwritten note, as posted on Facebook. “I don’t think that teachers get paid enogh for what they do so will you exept this gift?”

Attached to the page was a carefully stapled, snack-sized baggie containing $15 — money he’d gotten for his birthday, according to WFLA.

To make sure the teacher didn’t question his gift, he scrawled “my own money” with an arrow pointing to the cash.

The teacher wrote back (though she didn’t use her name, the red ink and impeccable penmanship made her authorship clear), telling him, “I can’t accept this but appreciate the gesture, Parker. Students like you are the reason I teach,” and ending with a smiley face.

One of the best parts of this whole generous gift is that apparently Parker’s parents had no idea what he’d done. He’d made his plans and reached out to the teacher on his own terms — quietly and kindly, without prompting.

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“So I found this in Parker’s folder this morning,” Parker’s dad, Darrell Williams, posted on Facebook. It took off — but commenters on the post who appear to know the family don’t seem surprised.

“The first thing I thought about when I saw this was how your mom and dad raised you guys to think about other’s and how they showed that kindness towards me as well, you’ve seemed to have passed those same traits along to your sons!!!!” one commenter wrote under the post. “Priceless.”

Parker’s mom, Jennifer Williams, confirmed to WFLA that they’ve made an effort to raise their three sons to value kindness.

“We’ve said to them, when you plant seeds, you never know what will blossom,” she said.

“The first reaction was my eyes welling up with tears that my son had that reaction all on his own, that he would do that,” she added. “I cried. We never knew he did this until we found the note in his backpack.”

“I think more people should be nice,” Parker told WFLA, “it’s a better thing to do than being mean.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking