I wonder if you know how good you are. When I had kids and left the teaching field, I prayed for a teacher like you. My child is not easy. She is sweet and hard-working but she is nervous and anxious. She is a perfectionist that doesn’t trust herself. You looked past that. You loved her and saw a sparkle. Because of your nurturing ways and enthusiasm, that sparkle grew. She would come home and start every sentence with your name. “_______ says that….” For awhile, we thought you might walk on water with the glow on her face when she talked about school. As a mom, I try to instill in my children to believe in themselves. You helped her believe she can be anything she wants to be. She thinks she can be a scientist. Why? Because you told her she’d make a good one. She wants to be a writer. Why? Because you told her she was. You were the springboard to her reaching for the sky.
Then Spring came. With it came the beginnings of “girl drama”. You called to let me know what was going on. You spent hours trying to make it better. You were concerned that she wasn’t herself…that she was hurting and I could hear it in your voice that you were hurting for her. YOU made the difference. As annoying as it was because you had so many other students, you made her feel important. She knew you cared.
Then came my concerns for next year and you listened as I expressed to you my wishes to keep the twins together. It’s not a popular choice but you heard me out. You researched it for me…RESEARCHED it for me. You go above and beyond the call of duty. It makes a difference. You are a rare gem these days in the education system. I taught with teachers like you and then it all got screwed up with standardized testing and standards being met and oversized classrooms and needs not getting met. It has become less about what is right for the kids and more about covering all the bases for the “higher-ups”. Teachers aren’t able to do the job like they used to so I know the sacrifices you have had to make to teach the way you do. I KNOW.
The passion you have for this job comes shining through. You have touched these kids in ways that will sustain them in the years to come when the teachers don’t care as much (because they don’t). You have turned my nervous little perfectionist into a life long learner that wants to excel, not because I’m telling her she has to do well but because you made her feel like a superstar when she did. She might never remember a story she read in reading or a grade she got in math but she will always remember your class was the one where she was told she can be anything in the world she wants to be and because of you, she finally believes it.
Our school is better for having you in it. Our kids are better for having been in your class. The field of teachers should be filled with a lot more of you. You are a credit to this field and know that you made a difference in my child’s life.
A very grateful parent
With teachers’ jobs as difficult as they are, did your child have a teacher that made a difference? Did he/she go above and beyond?