Dear teachers—or should I say superheroes?
Whichever the title you prefer (you most certainly deserve either), I want you to know exactly how grateful I am for you during this Teacher Appreciation Week.
For the last 13 years (14 if you count pre-school, which my oldest does) you have held a little boy in your heart.
You have carried him through first day fears, new friends, and new challenges. When I was worried about him, you cried with me at that parent teacher conference telling me he will be all right.
I know each of your names and faces and though you’ve seen countless others come through since him, I know you know his name and face too.
At a time that there is so much division and public input of what teachers should and should not be doing, I want you to know that your dedication does not go unseen or unappreciated.
I know you worried for him and celebrated with him through each challenge and milestone. Your extra hours of work pursing that extra credential or that after school tutoring? I see them. I see you.
He is an amazingly thoughtful, smart and kind young man. He is one of the coolest humans I know, and that saying “it takes a village” is incredibly accurate. While I’d love to take full credit as his parent of how he turned out, I can’t.
You are the ones who spent countless hours with him, teaching him the great love of Algebra (shudder) and how to cursively sign his name (and how to read it too); you taught him that history is alive and government is fun. You’ve taught him leadership isn’t just a word but an act.
The front lines of teaching require heart, imagination, an excellent sense of humor and forgiveness.
I know not each of you saw eye-to-eye with my son, or sometimes myself, but the lessons were there no matter what. If it wasn’t a lesson in English, maybe that year he learned that not everyone will like him and that is okay. You didn’t just teach fundamentals, you taught passion and that sometimes all you need is a hug.
To that teacher who believed in him, who showed him he controls his destiny, thank you.
To the teacher who taught him tough love and missing assignments, thank you.
To that teacher who taught him that love of science and math are the same, thank you.
To the teacher who people said should retire? You were his favorite, so thank you.
And to each teacher who has entered my life because of my child, I thank you too.
I write to you with a tear in my eye as I tell you this: thank you for the tough love, soft hearts, and the powerful belief in those who you are inspiring.
You really are superheroes.
You may not believe that you are changing the world, but you changed his, and you changed mine.
Keep up the good work. I appreciate you.
With much love,