It’s teacher appreciation day and I am stuck in my bed unable to get a gift because my back gave out two days ago. I didn’t quite know how I could show my appreciation for one of my son’s teachers. A gift to come when I can drive or even move but for now I just want to give her a shout out. These are our EVERY DAY heroes, the people that deserve ALL of our love and respect.
Dear Ms. S,
At the beginning of this year I was terrified, sad and very concerned. Moving from a country (Holland) where the education is centered around children instead of the almighty system, money, and politics was heartbreaking. Giving up a place where my kid felt cared for, accepted and loved was really hard. As you know, my little one is spirited, creative, active and inquisitive. I knew the US education system was not made for a unique, vibrant kid who was dealing with a bunch of moves. This system wants drones and robots instead of innovators, misfits and unique spirits. The irony, that’s the very thing that made this country what it is. As we know, my kid simply does not fit in here and I knew this year would be hard. After months of nightmares, nosebleeds, outbursts, crisis, behavior outbursts and much stress I’m here to tell you, if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have survived it all. Out of all the things I expected this year, I didn’t expect to have a teacher that loved my kid unconditionally, one that treated him like an individual and embraced his unique spirit. Everything was against you, all the odds were against you. You are forced to work in a system that is centered on one test, one defining day that decides how good you are. Although my son tested well, as surprising as it was to all of us, good or bad that test doesn’t define him OR you. You are more than that test. Thank you for helping him get through it but there is a lot more the school board, your bosses and other parents might not see. Here is what that one test doesn’t show. I see all the extra hours you put into making the best of your large, overcrowded room of 35 kids. You take the extra time to find creative ways around this huge hurdle. You pour passion into every day as hard as the day may be. You SEE each child and you recognize what makes them them instead of looking at grades and behavior alone. You choose compassion over punishment, you share ideas instead of crushing creativity, you take the time to talk to parents instead of whining about our complaints and feelings. Everything you do, you have done with love and compassion. I never expected a teacher in this system to rise above the many limitations every educator faces every day. I’m sorry as citizens of this state we haven’t done more to defend your rights and given more voice to your cause. In the mean time, please know every drop of sweat and tears does not go unnoticed by this family. An immense thank you for all the love and effort you pour into your job. Our life is richer for having you in it. Our son has come so far this year, learning to overcome and rise above thanks in large part to your example. Seeing you rise above it all with grace, compassion, poise and professionalism is not just an inspiration to him but to all of us. Thank you Ms. S, you are a shinning light wherever you go. Our family will never forget everything you have done for us. NEVER CHANGE.
The R Family