I walked into your classroom today anxious, excited, and grateful. It was my rare chance to talk with the person that carries the responsibility of caring for my child for half of her waking hours. I don’t know you well, but we talk like old friends because the topic of our conversation is a little person we both care so much about.
I am amazed that you remember the concerns I talked about at our last conversation, months ago. I wonder how it is possible for you to recall the things you talk with all of the parents about. I am touched that you listened, that you thought about it, and tried to help. They weren’t even big things, but you took them on anyway.
I just want to hug you, to thank you, to somehow help you understand how grateful I am. That might be awkward, so I won’t. Instead, there are a few things I want to say to you.
Thank you for being patient. I can only imagine the things 20+ children could do in a day to grate on your nerves. The noise alone must be overwhelming at times. I’m wonder how soon you tire of requests to go to the bathroom or get another drink. I wonder how often they fight over the crayons, make a mess of their desks, and, heaven forbid, touch each other. I know you are not a saint, but thank you for all of those days you are close. I admire and respect you for it.
Thank you for finding a way through all of the requirements, the paperwork, and the numbers to somehow keep the work engaging and fun. It realize it doesn’t happen every day, but the many times you are able to manage it are so memorable. I wish you could see my child’s eyes light up as she bursts in the door, already talking about the amazing things she did that day. Those days are a gift, and they will impact her for ever.
Thank you for being my child’s champion, for helping her find friends, and for protecting those who are being unkind. Thank you for accepting her for who she is, and gently encouraging her to improve herself. Thank you for grading her assignments, making suggestions, and helping her grow. Thank you for teaching her accountability and the value of hard work.
Thank you for teaching my child to give. She came home today and told me about the elf that visited the school last night to leave special gifts for a few of the children. She may not know it now, but someday she will realize that those hats and mittens didn’t come from a magical factory but from your already too meager salary. Those beautiful gifts warm the hands and ears of children in need today, but they will warm the hearts of those who watched for many years to come.
You make a difference, Every Single Day! You make a difference when you open her mind to the wonderful world that surrounds her. You make a difference when you help her realize that mistakes only show us how many more wonderful things there are to learn. You make a difference when you celebrate little accomplishments all along her way. You make a difference because you listen, because you try, because you care. You make a difference, because you are a teacher.
I don’t get to see you all that often, so let me say this here today. Thank you! Thank you for working so hard, for caring so much, and for guiding my child as she continues to evolve into the amazing person she can become. You may not be perfect, but I hope you know you are a superhero, saving the world one child at a time.