I'm going to take two perspectives on this one, too. Cause there are at least two angles in which to view this prompt, at least as I see it!
First, the literal version. The most meaningful gift I've received came from my students. It actually came in three, no, four parts. The first part was the gift my principal gave me in letting me loop up a grade with my entire class. Yep. Two years. Same classroom. Same kids. Same families. Ah-may-zing. The final three parts of that gift came the last week of school. The parents put together a few things that had me bawling.
For starters, the class made me a giant card. We're talking GIANT. Two poster boards. They decorated it, wrote their favorite memories from the years, and signed it. It is safely tucked away and I'll likely keep it forever. The second part of the gift was an incredible step stool. The sentiments on it talks about helping them "step up" into the next grade. It is decorated so sweetly, with their fingerprints turned into animals, and their favorite sayings from our time together. The last gift, was tucked away into the stool (which lives in my bedroom as a foot stool!) It was a book. It was no ordinary book. It was a hard cover, dust jacked, photo book of our two years together. Each child had a two page spread with pictures of them both in and out of school during our time together, along with a favorite memory or thought. The last two pages in the book contain a note from each student.... I can't read that book without bawling....
Now, the not-so-literal version.
The most meaningful gift I've been given is the gift of reflection and connection. Because of who I am, and my life, I, somehow, have a very easy time connecting with my students. They comment that I understand them, I get them, and I just know how to make things work for them. Which I guess, is true? I don't quite know what it is that I do in the classroom, because a lot of it comes automatically, but somehow, I manage to connect with each of my students throughout the year and help make them feel special. I think that gift comes via the gift of reflection. I'm uber reflective, often to a fault. I ponder and ponder until I have analyzed and journaled about everything. I think that it's in that reflection process that I find ways to connect with my students. Maybe?
Gifts. Literal and figurative. I still prefer to give them than receive them!