Parker Williams wanted to put his birthday money to good use, and he could only think of one person deserving of it
A young boy from Tampa, Florida, treated his third-grade teacher to a “pay raise” by gifting her his own birthday money.
Though he is only 9 years old, Parker Williams would like to set an example for others when it comes to spreading kindness.
“I think more people should be nice,” Williams said, according to KABC. “It’s just a better thing to do than being mean.”
Because he follows the slogan “pay it forward,” Parker immediately knew he wanted to give $15 that he received for his birthday to someone special — and it didn’t take long to figure out it would be his teacher, Mary Hall Chambers.
“Well, I think she’s a really kind teacher, and she has her own way of teaching and she spends time on everybody,” he said of the Gorrie Elementary School teacher.
When Parker arrived in class last week, he handed Chambers the money with a note that explained why he was giving it to her.
“Dear Mrs. Chambers, I don’t think that teachers get paid enough for what they do so will you except [sic] this gift?” he said in the letter, ABC News reported.
Surprised, Chambers initially thought the money was for an upcoming field trip.
“When I looked at the note I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,’ ” she told the outlet. “I wrote the little [reply] note and I said, ‘Parker, this is so sweet and such a kind gesture… I can’t take your money, but I really appreciate you looking out for me.'”
Parker’s mother, Jen Williams, said she was unaware of her son’s plan, and only found out about it once she saw the note he had written in his folder.
“Tears sprung out of eyes and we said, ‘Parker, what is this?’ ” Williams recalled to ABC News. “He said, ‘I love Mrs. Chambers and I wanted to give back. Teachers don’t get paid enough.’ “
Williams said Chambers emails her long after the workday has come to a close to share what Parker is doing well in and how he could improve. Williams appreciates these things, but recognizes Chambers isn’t getting paid for the extra work she is putting in for her students and their families.
“They are not rewarded entirely for the amount they [are] helping develop the next generation of children becoming adults,” she told the outlet.
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According to Business Insider, the average salary for a public school teacher in the United States during the 2017-2018 academic year was $60,483. Mississippi had the lowest average out of the 50 states, with a median salary of $43,107. Many teachers often use their own money to buy school supplies, an expense that can grow exponentially as the school year goes by.
But even for his young age, Parker recognizes the value of his teacher, and his mother couldn’t be happier.
“Seeing him living in that way,” Williams said, “makes us incredibly proud as parents.”