To all the educators out there – thank you.
Especially to my own children’s educators, both now and in the past (and in the future) — thank you. You have dealt with an overprotective mama bear, have answered questions, have taught them, loved on them, and protected them.
Thank you for answering calls after hours, before school, and during school. Thank you for helping me understand how to better help my kids as they go through the public school system. Thank you for meeting with me one-on-one, for sending me weekly updates, for being fair and kind.
We pray for you daily. It’s hard being a teacher – especially now. My mother was a fourth-grade teacher for nearly 25 years, and I saw how much she cared for her kids and how hard she worked after school hours and on weekends. I know your job is not done at 3 p.m. I know your weekend is not work-free. I know many of you work summer school – and even if you don’t, you’re prepping new curriculum, attending conferences and workshops. Your summer off is not really a summer off.
But you do it anyway because you care. Because it’s your calling and you genuinely want the best for your students – which includes my little girls.
One of my younger daughter’s teachers last year gave all of her students a small stuffed animal for Christmas, and that has always stuck with me because that’s something my mom would have done. This teacher bought this gift out of her own money for each of her students – a toy for Christmas from the teacher. She didn’t have to do that. She did it because she cared for her students. My daughter still has that stuffed dog – it’s a prized possession of hers.
I remember my older daughter, when she went to kindergarten – I was so nervous because she was so little and so young, and she had gone to a very tiny preschool for two years. How was she supposed to navigate the big-girl world of kindergarten? Her preschool teacher was so patient with me and assured me that my firstborn was going to be just fine – and she was.
I have example after example of how each one my kids’ teachers have influenced their lives – and my own. And it’s not just the teachers – it’s the counselors and school nurses and administrators. It’s the paras and auxiliary teachers and cafeteria workers and janitors and so many others.
Teacher Appreciation Week may be over, but please know that my family loves you and appreciates you the whole year. We are supporting you and advocating for you – because we know that you are doing the same for our kids.
Thank you so much.