…she’ll want some pencils to go with it.
All too often these days, our educators are ignored, bullied, and passed over. They are the forgotten link in our kids’ success stories. To be in such full view, they are certainly kept behind the scenes. I really, really hate that.
All my life, I grew up loving school (with a few years exceptions, of course). All my life, I had amazing teachers. I also had amazing parents who never blamed my teachers for my own shortcomings, and they never let me not accept my own blame. My parents, my very first teachers, taught me to love and respect the people who would shape my mind for many years to come. My aunt, a teacher for many years, unknowingly taught me to admire and listen to those who had lived a life before my own. As is such, I have the utmost respect for quality education and the fine women (and men!) who provide it to my own little ones.
As most of you know, Gabe has had some learning struggles along his admittedly short school path. I am glad to say that we’ve had some, for lack of a better term, crappy teachers. I am thankful for them because those women gave me the sight to see what AMAZING teachers he has also been exposed to. Women (and men!) who have fought tooth and nail for my stubborn, hard-learning little guy. They have loved and fussed, held up and nailed down my Gabe in a way that I so appreciate. Their sticktoitiveness and gumption have made more of a difference in Gabe’s life (and that of my own!) than I’m afraid they’ll never fully know.
Connor began his first year of “big boy school” this year. He has loved everything about this new experience and is so eager to learn. While he will not face the struggles that our Gabe faces, he will one day fight his own battles. I am so hopeful that he will have awesome relationships with his teachers in the same way his big brother has been blessed with. So far he, himself, has gotten to know and love the people who surround him at school, and I am so happy that he will get to spend his days in a learning environment where little guys are not only taught but lifted up, as well.
I have grown to not only respect these people but also treasure them. They are special people with some of the most enlightened souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. In addition to their own very busy, hectic lives, they choose to take on my, what some would call “hard” (hell, what I would sometimes call hard), kiddos with the gusto that I cannot fathom. And not just mine, but countless others. Today, in the world we live in, so many parents place blame where blame is not called for. Our teachers catch the brunt of lazy parenting and, by due course, ill-behaved children. It is unfair, hard work. But they attend to it with grace and their own brand of stubbornness and make their way home with heads, and red pens, held high.
A simple thank you seems insufficient but for now, that is all I have. So thank you, ladies. Thank you so much for reaching out to my boys. Thank you for your time, your patience, your encouragement, and most of all, your care. From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful for all you have done.
To all you other teachers out there whom we’ve not yet met, apologies and thanks in advance. I am sure we will encounter our fair share of even more mediocre individuals attempting to pass as teachers, but I do so look forward to meeting you nurturers. The soul seekers. The up-lifting, no-nonsense, believe in you-ers. The mind shapers. The EDUCATORS.
Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week. You are SO needed.
*I originally posted this on my very first blog about a year ago. You can find it here.