Another school year is at it’s end, and we all know what you’ve really been doing all year.
Yes, you’ve been pouring knowledge into our children. You’ve taught them numbers and letters and shapes and sounds and history and a whole host of other things. You made lesson plans and graded papers and stayed long after that last bell rang to meet with a parent or help a child just a little more. You’ve fretted over state testing and metrics and rubrics and all the other “icks” that come with your job expectations. You’ve done all the things your job requires. But we know that’s not all.
You’ve done so much more this year. So, so much more.
You’ve wiped noses, tied shoes, fixed ponytails and kissed boo-boos because mama can’t be with them at school all day.
You’ve noticed the child saving their afternoon snack so they could eat it for dinner later…and went out of your way to make sure that child had food at home.
You’ve navigated the social dynamics of children and worked hard to make sure every child was respected by their peers. Because you know that you aren’t just teaching little minds, you’re teaching their hearts.
You’ve answered parent e-mail after e-mail with grace and compassion, even when it wasn’t extended to you.
You’ve celebrated All. The. Things. Halloween and Valentines day and the 100th Day of School and St. Patrick’s Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday and ALL THE DAYS. You’ve made school a fun place for our children.
You have challenged your students to be better than what they even thought they could be and held them accountable. You’ve made them better versions of themselves.
You’ve dug deep into your own pockets so your classroom would be a welcoming space. You carefully crafted name tags and bulletin boards and countless other things so our children could feel they were in a special place away from home.
You’ve likely seen our children at their best and their worst this year and you’ve loved them like your own through it all. I know that’s not an easy task.
In short, you’ve spent the last 9 months not only teaching. But loving, paying attention, cheering, noticing, encouraging, pushing, and celebrating. And my goodness. I’m exhausted just thinking about all you’ve done for all of the souls that have entered your classroom this year.
So what I want to say is this – THANK YOU. Thank you for all you’ve done this year. And all you’re going to do next year (and the year after that). I know you’re in a tough role. You don’t get paid enough. And budget cuts are affecting your ability to do your job. But I hope you know – we notice what you do. And we all know there’s so much more that we’ll never notice because you’re just that good.
So please enjoy your summer break. I know you’re already thinking about next year’s students and you’ll probably crack open that lesson plan book and start preparing your classroom for next year long before the summer ends – but for now – enjoy it. I sincerely hope when that bell rings on the last day of school that you head home and pour yourself a cold glass of whatever it is that makes your heart happy.
You’ve earned it.
One grateful mama