Now that school is just about finished for another year, I’ve been reflecting on the last few months, my kids’ teachers, and what’s to come.
The truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know where we’re going or what’s going to happen next. So I take comfort in the familiarity I do see. Another end to the school year is being marked by my children growing before my eyes. Their hair is now longer than it was in September. Their feet bigger. Last year’s summer wardrobe likely won’t fit.
They’re also different in a way I can’t quite pin down. They have been greatly influenced by the person they spent every weekday with for the past several months. They are smarter and more mature.
And that’s because of their teachers.
Each fall for the past few years, I’ve let my most favourite humans go. I watch their tiny little kindergarten-sized bodies carry big backpacks into their classrooms every day and wonder what the outcome will be. I worry and worry and hope for the best.
My kids can have a hard time with change. Kindergarten is a new, tough transition. It can be exhausting – and sometimes, you just never know how they’re going to handle things. When my oldest set foot in her kindergarten class, I was nervous. Now that another school year is almost over, I’m also more knowledgeable. I realize I had nothing to worry about.
I have her teachers to thank for that.
So, because I might not be there to thank them in person with yet another mug or box of chocolates, I wanted to say thank you. To my daughters’ incredible teachers – and to all of the good, loving, caring teachers out there.
Thank you for being my kids’ first introduction to the wonder of school. You taught them numbers and letters and how to read – but you also taught them about compassion and acceptance and kindness. You taught them that teachers are caring and kind and loving. You taught them to love to learn.
Thank you for inspiring my daughter every day. The excitement she brings home with her is exhilarating. About caterpillars and ladybugs. About shapes. About letters and phonics. About numbers. The things she’s learning and telling me about is constantly flooring me. There is just so much she knows already.
Thank you for helping her when she was having a rough day. Or had trouble communicating. Thank you for telling her you were going to miss her next year. She will take that with her in life. She will remember it forever. I’m certain of it.
Thank you for making her laugh. She loves to be silly and giggles with delight when she tells me about your funny nicknames for her.
Thank you for believing in her. Thank you for showing up and seeing her. Each and every day. Thank you for hearing her when she spoke. My daughter was in very good hands, and that’s all I can ask for as a mother.
As an adult, I still have vivid memories of Mrs. Norrie, my kindergarten teacher. I remember her because she was special. Because she was kind. She made a very shy little six-year-old girl feel like she mattered, and that she was important.
You’ve taught all of that and more to my daughter. She has blossomed this year. She is a new girl before my eyes. A new girl I am very proud of. And a large part of that is because of the enormously important work you do every day as a teacher.
I will find a way to thank you in June, to end the year off, because I want to leave you with a present. But I also wanted to say thank you now. I want to say a million words that would take too long for me to get out, if and when we can stand in the schoolyard together again.
Thank you for being everything that is right with teachers. You’ve meant so much to my kids.
You’ve meant so much to me.