Last night was Parent/Teacher Conferences for two of my three kids. I've been doing this for four years now, but last night was different. Maybe because we had TWO conferences instead of just one? I'm not sure....but I do know one thing. I felt so grateful. These teachers know our boys so well and our boys simply love them.
One teacher knows that our son is a rule-follower, but loves to hang out with his buddies and talk football all.day.long. She knows he needs to have a recap of the ND game on Monday mornings with the dudes. She knows he loves numbers and math and makes efforts to challenge him. She knows he's been dying to get into multiplication timed tests and even when he expressed fear about a new set goal, she offered encouragement letting him know he'll get there...eventually and not to give up. She knows he has feelings - feelings that can get hurt by peers at times - and knows when to implement lessons and strategies on name-calling or being a good friend. She knows he needs to feel safe, loved, accepted and challenged - all while having fun.
Another teacher knows that our son is a shy, reserved and very sensitive little boy. She knows that it takes him a long time to feel safe and comfortable. She knows that he didn't walk into that classroom in September as an outgoing student who was excited to participate or make new friends. But she got him there today. She knows that he was anxious to speak up at first, but that he is more confident doing so today. She knows that he is meticulous with his drawings, spending lots of extra time on color and details - even drawing "wind" in some. She knows that he circles his periods in red at the end of his sentences to "stop" the sentence. She peeks in on him during his lunch hour to make sure he can open his thermos of hot lunch. She offers endless hugs, lots of encouragement and oodles of warm smiles every day to her "buddies," making all of us want to be a buddy ourselves. Happy tears were brimming in my eyes.
So on this day before Thanksgiving, I want to thank the teachers. They are so busy wearing so many hats throughout their days, multi-tasking and willingly teaching our kids while having children of their own. They are gracious, dedicated and awesome. Each day, we drop them off at school, hoping they walk through those doors feeling happy. And they do. Thank you for making a difference today and always.