Teacher Shares The Heartwarming Reason Why One Of His Sixth Grade Students Would Rub His Necklace While Talking To People

"Just unprompted extensions of love that just kind of trickle in when you least expect it."

Matt Eicheldinger @matteicheldinger / Instagram

A middle school teacher shared the touching reason why one of his students wore a specific necklace to school every day.

Matt Eicheldinger, a former sixth-grade teacher, shared a time when a student had transferred into his class from a different country in the middle of the school year and brought with him a special necklace that had more meaning than Eicheldinger originally thought.

He explained why his student would often rub his necklace while speaking to other people.

"Hello, my name is Matt and I'm a teacher. Today I want to talk about folded paper," Eicheldinger began in his video. He informed viewers that he had been teaching sixth grade at the time when a student had transferred to the school from a different country.


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"He had a really bright smile. He's eager to participate, he made friends really quickly. I did notice that every time he talked, he would always rub this necklace he had around his neck." Eicheldinger described the piece of jewelry as being a thick-green-colored necklace that was an inch wide and hung on a leather string around his neck.

Eicheldinger noticed that the student's necklace was also extremely worn as if it had been around for some time before the sixth grader began wearing it.

Eventually, Eicheldinger went up to the student and asked him what the story was behind his necklace and why it was so special to him.

"He said it was a collection of prayers his family wrote for him, prayers for peace, love, and kindness all folded up and bound together," Eicheldinger recalled. "Get ready for this. He says, 'I rub it when I talk to people because I know not everyone has those things, so I send my family's prayers onto them.'"


Eicheldinger pointed out it was these small moments during his teaching career that affirmed how lucky he was to be able to witness the good that lives within humanity, especially when that goodness comes from children. 

"Just unprompted extensions of love that just kind of trickle in when you least expect it, and [it's] just captured it in a way that can't be explained."

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The student's necklace is used as a religious pendant to offer protection and good luck.

In the comments section of Eicheldinger's post, one Instagram user clarified that the necklace worn by the middle schooler is called a Taweez, a religious pendant generally associated with Islam, although it is possible to find the pendant linked to Hinduism as well.


"My grandma used to make us those to wear too... it is called a Taweez... thank you for sharing!" wrote the Instagram user. "Brings back memories of my childhood! I don’t wear one anymore but I did as a kid. Never thought to rub it while talking to others though. What a sweet kid to do that! Melts my heart!"

The pendant is generally worn by a minority of Muslims called Sufis, and its belief is that it will help remove and protect the wearer from any evil or affliction that may be brought upon them through black magic. Not only that but it is also believed to bring good luck. 

In a time when cultural understanding is extremely important, Eicheldinger's retelling of this experience with his former student shows the importance of respecting and appreciating the diverse backgrounds that many people in this society come from. It's a reminder that beneath every person's exterior lies an abundance of stories, traditions, and beliefs that, when shared, can bring togetherness between many people.


Oftentimes the most powerful stories are the ones that can be quite simple at first glance — these instances of human connection and the hope that love and understanding is all it takes to bridge the gap between people who come from different cultural backgrounds.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.