Archive for December, 2015

Last Wednesday, as I was teaching a group lesson to my four, elementary students (K-2nd grade), a paper fell off of the back wall. It was quiet enough that the students could hear it fall (a miracle in itself).

I said, “There must be a mischievous elf back there.” I hadn’t realized how my casual statement would be received; their faces lit up like Christmas morning!



“Can we go look for him?”

I knew I would not get their attention back until they had their curiosity satisfied, so I let them go search. I told them that elves are shy and don’t like to be seen. Eventually, I called them back to the table.

Later, a 2nd grade student, Mark, asked if he could spend his 5 minute brain break looking for the elf. I told him he could do whatever he wanted for the 5 minutes. Mark raised one arm in the air and announced, “I am the Elf Hunter!” and was off looking on shelves and behind supply storage bins. Needless to say, he did not find the elf.

The elf event sparked something in me. I had wanted to do some kind of elf in the classroom, but I hadn’t known where to get one this late in the season and didn’t want to spend money on the original Elf on a Shelf. A Christmas miracle provided me with an invisible elf, at no cost!

The next day, while they were out on the playground for recess and one student, Evan, was back in the room with me due to a pesky head cold, I sneaked around the room and put all of the chairs down around the group table and their student work offices, as if they had been knocked over. When the students came back in, I was at my computer with my back to the room, and Evan was in the library corner quietly doing a math app on the iPad, oblivious to anything I had done.

Soon, Mark noticed the chairs knocked over.

“What happened to the chairs?! What did Evan do?”

“Evan was sitting quietly working the whole time, and I have been at my computer,” I replied.

“THE ELF!!” shouted Mark, with great excitement, followed by much chatter amongst the boys. They were jumping with excitement, literally.

“I guess we do have an elf that visits,” I responded. Luckily, lunch was next on our schedule.

The next day, Friday, was our last day before winter break. In the morning, we tried to follow our normal routine. In the afternoon, while the boys sat and watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, my assistant and I put a book, with a pencil and note from the ‘elf’ inside it, on the students’ desks. The boys were so engrossed in the movie that they never noticed us.

After the movie, giddy with excitement, I waited patiently¬†for the students to go to their desks. I finally told them to straighten up their desk areas, because I couldn’t take it any longer.

“There’s a new book on my desk!”

“Mine, too!”

“It looks like there is a note,” my assistant played along.

Mark excitedly read:

Dear Students in Room 129,

I have enjoyed visiting your classroom this week. Have a great break. Hopefully I will see you next year!

The Secret Elf,


The boys exclaimed:

“He came, he came!”

“When did he come?”

“How come we didn’t see him?”

“I told you; elves don’t like to be seen,” I said, with a wink.


Names of students changed for confidentiality purposes.

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