I have two very important words to say to you. These two words are for you parents. Just two words.
You may have heard these words from me before, but today, I want you to REALLY hear them.
Thank you—for sitting with your child and reading. Especially during those times when it seems like the 6 page book would never end because your child was struggling with every vowel he or she encountered. When teaching that same phonics rule over and over again made you want to scream! When those accompanying cartoon pictures made you roll your eyes because you had only seen them just 2 years ago with your other child, and two years before that, and two years before that. I know how you endured that and how important it was for your child.
Thank you—for helping in the classroom. For leading a centre, for photocopying, for cutting, for listening to children read, for going over math facts, for leading science experiments that didn’t even make sense to you, for getting paint on brand new beautiful clothes, for cleaning up food messes—like you don’t do enough of that at home! You saved your child and I hours of work and made it possible for us to do exciting things in the classroom!
Thank you—for coming along on field trips. For being those extra eyes in an unfamiliar place, for redirecting short attention spans, for getting down on your knees with the students, for sharing your vast wealth of knowledge, for taking students to the bathroom and reminding them to wash their hands when they were done, for putting up with cold rainy days, and carrying around more backpacks and coats than you own yourself. You helped us enjoy learning in a new environment!
Thank you—for those extra-special projects. Those “Student/Family of the Week” or nursery rhyme presentations. Those special visitors you arranged to come in and those crafts, activities, and stories you compiled in such a short time. Those research projects you learned about while helping your child stay motivated and those recipes you tried so your child’s class could taste something authentic. I can see the effort, the time, the energy, the resources, the love that you poured into it all. (And I have a special appreciation for the frustration, the pain, the tiredness, the patience, and the franticness that you may have experienced along the way too!)
Thank you—for the time you spent thinking of the staff and students here. For the encouragement you offered in all circumstances. For the prayers uttered for teachers, aides, administration. For the time spent on your knees for your child, their friends, the children they came into contact with on the playground. For the ways you blessed and the blessing you were to all of us here.
Please, REALLY hear these two words today: