Putting your first child in school is a huge deal. It’s so much different than daycare because a lot of independence is expected from using the bathroom solo to getting their lunch and finding a place to sit in the cafeteria. As a parent, thinking of all the things you do in a day to help your small child navigate the world could make the idea of turning them over to a big, “scary” school a bit daunting. I know I worried about so many little things when my first child started school and it turned out to be for naught, because her amazing teachers were there every step of the way.
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and I’m so glad, because it gives me a legit chance to wax poetic about my kids’ teachers. I feel this way every single day and it’s nice to have a chance to share it. I know I’m not alone as a parent when I say that my kids’ teachers are freaking heroes to me. The peace of mind I get knowing these sainted people are educating and caring for them all day is priceless. In the younger grades especially, a teacher is doing far more than opening a book and drilling facts into their students. A teacher, essentially, is helping to parent your children for the six or seven hours every day that they spend with them.
I see an example of that “parenting” by a teacher most weeks. My son has trouble transitioning back to school most Mondays and after school breaks. He is only five years old, after all, and he misses us and his sister once the weekend is over. His teacher, instead of being annoyed by it, called to talk to me about it and reassure me that she and her assistant are always on hand to give him hugs and kisses and even take him to the nurse for a few minutes if he needs a chance to regain his composure.
Throughout this school year, I’ve never detected a hint of annoyance and she is careful to keep mentioning how dear he is and what a sensitive and loving son he must be. That floors me. I doubt it’s easy with a whole classroom of kids to have one getting upset like that but she never makes it sound like an imposition. As the year has gone on, he has gotten better about it and I give full credit to his teacher. Her love and patience have helped him grow so much.
Teachers are always there, not just to educate, but to impart morals and lessons on our kids. Let’s face it — they spend more daylight hours with them than we do during the school year and that’s a heavy influence. I see that influence in my kids everyday — happily repeating back to me things their teachers tell them as though it’s gospel truth. I never forget how fortunate we are to have such phenomenal people helping to shape our kids as they grow into productive citizens. If it were up to me, they’d all have six-figure salaries and a weekly spa appointment. I’m just so grateful for their patience and love, as I never have to worry when I watch my kids climb the steps to board the bus knowing what’s waiting for them when they get to school.