Dear New Teacher,
This letter doesn’t come easy. I wouldn’t say I’m a newbie when it comes to public school and sending my child (after all, we somehow survived pre-k.) However, this is the first year that my child will be with you for a lengthy amount of time. She is so excited to begin her first “all day” year of being in school. She is proud of her new title of being a Kindergartner. To eat lunch at school and be with her friends on the playground and see her older cousins and neighborhood friends in the hallway. The new experiences, the programs that she now gets to stay to watch, the friendships that will blossom out of last years’ seed planting.
All I ask of you, Teacher, is to love my child. Love her insecurities and her strengths. Teach her the right ways to go and not to follow what may be popular. Teach her that she can think for herself and not succumb to peer pressure. Or BE the peer that pressures. Teach her to follow the rules and to obey authority, because in the “real world”, that’s just how it is. Be patient with her when she struggles to figure out a new problem and don’t rush to fix it for her.
But, you know all this. Being a teacher is inside you, it’s what you went to school for and what you spend your hard earned money on. You love all your “children”, my child included. Some children are easier to love than others. I know that.
But it hit me today that she will likely spend equal amounts of time with you as she does me in the coming year. That terrifies me. I’ve been her mom since her first moment of life and she has always looked up to me and been around me for support. For those falls that need a band-aid, for the hurt feelings when others say thoughtless things. When she gets scared at the thunder rumbles or the excitement of the falling snow. She is my child, and I am trusting you with her care. I don’t take that lightly and I hope you don’t either. You will be her influence and her guide for the next several months while she is away from me. Please don’t waste that precious time.
I’m her mom and I will always be. Her daddy and I will do our part at home the best we know how. But you are going to be her biggest outside influencer over the next school year. She will look up to you and absorb many of your words. Take care in what you say.
I’m so looking forward to watching her grow and learn in every way possible. Thank you, Teacher, for your dedication to teaching our young children, for your love of my precious child. For you, I am grateful.
A New Kindergarten Mom
*Originally published August, 2015.