Dear Parent: A Letter from a Teacher

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Written by: Guest Blogger Sylvia Denice

This winter break, I have been overwhelmed by opportunities to notice expressions of gratitude all around me.  I’ve seen thankfulness shared among family members, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers.  Too often, my attention is drawn to what I perceive to be absent: minutes in my prep period, hours in my day, policies in my favor, or dollars in my bank account, to name a few examples.  However, I am happy to take a moment to acknowledge something I perceive to be present: caregivers.  There are many children locally and globally in need of proper love and care, but there is undoubtedly a presence of caregivers loving children.  I would like to take this opportunity now to shift my focus from what is not to what is.

Dear Parent,

Thank you.  You do not hear this enough.  I know you had a list of tasks to accomplish before the winter break, and yet you still sat through a melodically squeaky and off-key rendition of “Rudolph” on a school night.  You even managed to sign the reading log, provide the dinner, and tuck the performer into bed at a relatively reasonable hour that same night.

Parent, thank you for cluing Santa in on your child’s schooling.  The fact that he sees you when you’re sleeping AND he knows about your grades has brought classroom motivation and performance to a whole new level over the past month.  May I also thank your Elf on the Shelf?  

In all seriousness, thank you for making choices that demonstrate learning and goal-setting as a priority in your home.  Your effort and example shine brightly in the classroom.

Thank you, Parent, for calling, emailing, and messaging me with your questions and concerns.  As much as I love your kids as my students, you love them as your children infinitely more and better.  I thank you for including me and letting me be a part of this journey.  Thank you for working with me patiently, communicating with me openly, and welcoming me lovingly onto your child’s team.  You share your best with my classroom community every day; and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Selfishly, I would like to thank you for saying “thank you.”  From the “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” message to the Reese’s cups to the heartfelt holiday note to the surprise coffee treat, your varied expressions of gratitude are reminders to me of the good we are doing.  Thank you for noticing, acknowledging, and encouraging me and my work.

Parent, thank you for everything that you do with and for your child.  Your love and care permeate into the classroom, making my school day a pleasure.  I see you.  I appreciate you.  Thank you for doing your best, and for allowing me to do mine.  Thank you; I could never say it enough.