The other day, my son’s teacher called me into the classroom to talk about the day my son had. She said, he hadn’t had a good day and described in detail a number of incidents that, in the big scheme of things, were very innocuous and spoke volumes about my son’s very sensitive nature.
She talked to my son about the day the way, I imagine, she would talk to her own son. She wanted to set things right; to let him know she cared. They would work together.
Three days earlier, in a parent-teacher meeting, the poised young tween who sat before me left me speechless. Not only did my daughter introduce me to her teacher with a, “Mom, please let me introduce you to Mrs. X,” she also told me about the learning goals she had set for herself for the remaining year and the strategies she would take to achieve them. Huh! Was this my child?
Months earlier, a new student began school and their personal situation was so difficult, a teacher in the school opened her wallet and purchased the student some much needed clothing.
These moments, and this story and this one, remind me that teachers shape our kids’ outlook of themselves and their place in the world. They can have a profound impact on our children’s self esteem, their hopefulness and, in turn, their futures.
As we go about our day-to-day lives, it is all too easy to forget to thank our teachers. But it’s important. The work they’re doing is real and can leave a lasting mark. It isn’t done for money or fame.
We’ve all heard it: in the public school setting, teachers must teach under the weight of too many kids, too few resources, and growing numbers of behavioural and learning difficulties. But, experience shows me they’re actually doing it. Over the years, my three children have had upwards of 25 teachers and while each one has had strengths and weaknesses, there hasn’t been a single bad one among them. At least, not yet. Are my standards lower than most? No. Teachers have inspired my children to be better and do better. Chances are, you remember a teacher or two that inspired you.
But, most of all, I’ve seen how much they really care.
So, to teachers, thank you for the time you’ve taken with my kids, and kids everywhere, to show them what matters, what will matter and why they matter.
You’re making a difference.