I hope you’re reading this letter while on a very far away beach, with a refreshing tropical drink in your hand. I hope the only loud noises you hear are the natural ones you tend to hear on a beach – rushing waves, squawking seagulls, and the occasional obnoxious boombox – and definitely NOT the loud screams of a chaotic room full of stir-crazy kindergarteners. I sincerely hope you’re not speed-reading this letter while splayed out on your couch in sweatpants, frantically trying to catch up on the grading you’ve had to put off because of numerous parent-teacher conferences and unnecessary staff meetings.
Oh – did I mention I’m married to a teacher?
I’ll make this quick, because that drink isn’t going to drink itself, but I just wanted to reach out and tell you a few things while we’re taking a break from this whole school thing.
1. You are my hero. No, really, I’m not exaggerating. You’re my actual hero. I want to be like you when I grow up. I want to have your patience. I want to have your compassion. I want to have your creativity. I suppose one could argue that, if I had all those things, you wouldn’t be so special to my son. But still, I am in awe of you most days.
2. You are more valuable than society – and your paycheck – may lead you to believe. I know you’re underpaid. I know that you work WAY more than forty hours each week. I know that your benefits are okay-ish, but could be better. But furthermore, I know that you don’t do this because of all those things; you do this because you love our kids. You love MY kid. I can’t put a price tag on knowing I’m sending my kid to school to learn from someone who believes in him, who loves him, and who pushes him to be the best (and kindest) person he can be. If I could, I’d pay you a bazillion dollars. It’s what you deserve.
3. You’re doing a great job. I have a feeling that you might get more negative feedback than positive. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that, so you likely hear more from frustrated parents, or concerned superiors, or (shudder) unruly children than you do from those of us who are so grateful for you. So if you haven’t heard it recently, please know that you’re doing a great job. I ‘d been working on teaching my son to read for what felt like EONS, but he picked it up INSTANTLY after being in your class. He can do math – like, REAL MATH – in his head! He can write me letters now (and oh man, how my heart melts whenever he does). These things … these INCREDIBLE things … you taught him. And he’ll never be the same now that he knows them.
So raise your glass, sister, and toast to yourself. You’ve made it this far into the school year without losing your mind, or exclaiming any obscenities at my sometimes very challenging child (even though he probably has made you want to), and you MORE THAN deserve this break.
We (parents) couldn’t do this kid-raising thing without you. It takes a village, and I’m so glad my village has you in it.
A Grateful Mom
P.S. Any ideas on how to entertain a bored five-year-old?