Student offers teacher his birthday cash, cites her pay rate

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida third-grader gave his teacher an unexpected surprise: $15 and a note saying he didn’t think teachers are being paid enough.

Shortly before Halloween, Mary Hall Chambers opened a folder in her classroom at Gorrie Elementary School in Tampa. Inside was a note from 9-year-old Parker Williams, along with cash in a zip-top baggie.

“I don’t think that teachers get paid enough for what they do so will you except this gift?” he wrote in black ink. He added, “My own money” and drew an arrow to the baggie below.

Chambers was charmed by his kind gesture. She later found out that the $15 came from his birthday money.

“I’ve had sweet gestures from students in the past but never money,” said Chambers, who has been an elementary school teacher for 16 years.

“I can’t accept this, but appreciate the gesture, Parker,” she wrote back. “Students like you are the reason I teach.”

She said his parents saw her note and told her that they didn’t know Parker had sent her money.

The average starting teacher in Hillsborough County makes around $19 an hour. More experienced teachers make close to $25 an hour.