To the teachers, of all kinds, we can’t say thanks enough

Nine months ago, I spent the entire first day of school crying, off and on, as I thought about my baby sitting in kindergarten. I knew he was in good hands, but I still teared up.

What I didn’t know was that he was actually in great hands.

The things he has learned since entering Kris Nicholson’s classroom amaze me. Just as the things he learned in Emily Stelling’s preschool room last year amazed me. And I just need to say thank you to the teachers who are shaping his bright little brain into something incredible.

The teachers we have in our district are outstanding. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve never encountered such a group of dedicated teachers. Maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten to know the men and women working in our buildings better than other teachers I’ve known in the past. But I don’t think that’s quite it.

Somehow, here in rural Calhoun County, we have attracted, or in many cases, retained, some of the most caring teachers around. You’d be hard pressed to find a better group, in my opinion. And since I’m trusting my babies to them, you’d better believe I pay close attention. I’ve been in a lot of schools and I’ve talked to a lot of teachers. The ones we have here are the best, and I’d put them up against any other teachers in the country.

Monday marked the start of National Teacher Appreciation Week. If I get myself into gear, I’ll bring some kind of fun treat for the teachers Ellison loves so much. But I didn’t want to just stop with that. I wanted to take the opportunity to say, as loudly as I can, thank you.

Thank you for the time spent preparing new lessons, to meet each child in your classrooms where they are.

Thank you for teaching not just academic lessons, but paying close attention to the social skills not everyone learns at home.

Thank you for your patience with children who struggle – with reading, with math, with sharing and with controlling themselves.

Thank you for letting parents know when our children are misbehaving.

Thank you for caring enough to want our children to learn responsibility.

Thank you for making sure our children learn to stretch themselves, trying new things.

Thank you especially for emphasizing that if at first they don’t succeed, our children still have the capacity for success.

Thank you for the fun they have at school, for ensuring they don’t see learning as boring.

Thank you for letting us, the parents, into the classroom, and never treating us as intruders.

Thank you for loving our children. They can tell it as surely as we can.

And a very special thanks to Mrs. Nicholson, for teaching Ellison to play checkers. I haven’t beaten him yet.