It's July and we have settled into our summer routine rather nicely. No more rushing out the door, lunches to pack, or homework to complete. Instead, we have traded those things for slow mornings, swimming, and smiles (most of the time). Now with back-to-school right around the corner, I can't officially move into school mode without saying "thank you" to my children's teachers and all of the teachers who work with all of our students.
Teachers are amazing people. They love on our kids like their own, spend more waking hours with them than we do, wipe their tears, and teach them how to tie their shoes. They model patience, kindness, and inquiry everyday. As I look through the work samples, art projects, and report cards that were sent home--tears well up with gratitude. Not only did my children's teachers spend countless hours planning exciting, engaging activities each day, but they took the time to write specific comments on my children's work. They knew that Julianne loved gymnastics and bunnies and Jack played soccer every Saturday. They knew that Jack needed to "know" his answer was right before moving on to the next questions and that Julianne could be happy and sad with the blink of an eye. They let Jack hug me in the hallways and took extra time teaching him to read. They embraced Julianne's excitement and energy for life by letting her help in the classroom. They encouraged my children to try new things and pushed them just enough without breaking their spirits. They corrected them when they made a wrong choice and lovingly explained why there was a consequence.
Today, my children are different. They are smarter, more independent, older, wiser, and more mature than when I sent them to school last August. They started the year with a teacher who has grown to become a role model, a second "mom," and a supporter. Their teachers taught them to love learning, to explore, to be creative, to think, and to put others first. Each day, their teachers modeled what a good citizen looks like, how to care for friends, how to pray, and what "school" should be like each day. My children see school as a place to grow, have fun, learn new things, and make friends. They see school as a safe and nurturing home away from home.
So, thank you.
Thank you for everything you have done for my children and my family over the years.
Thank you for putting up with all the questions, and e-mails, and texts.
Thank you for finding a snack for my child when I forgot.
Thank you for hugging her when she felt left out or rubbing her back during nap time.
Thank you for not giving up on my child when he struggled.
Thank you for putting my child in time out and teaching her to be kind.
Thank you for putting ponies in the treasure box!
Thank you for patting my son on the back for a job well done, but also encouraging him to do his best and try harder.
Thank you for letting my daughter paint, use glitter, build, tinker, and get her creative side flowing.
Thank you for letting the boys play kickball everyday and giving them the freedom to make rules and learn how to get along.
Thank you for teaching my child to read.
Thank you for listening to her stories and teaching her how to write her name the "school" way.
Thank you for teaching my child how to pray.
Thank you for letting my child sit in your lap each morning when she was sad at drop off and finding a special job to help ease the separation.