It’s the first day of school, and even though I don’t realize how much time and money and work you put into making our classroom pretty and organized and fun, when I walk in to this unfamiliar room, I get excited because I think this year just might be my best year yet.Even though I don’t know how exhausted you are and how nervous YOU feel; your big, kind smile calms my nerves and makes it that much easier to let go of my mommy’s hand and take yours.I don’t understand all of the research, reading, and effort you put into developing a kind, welcoming environment with procedures and expectations that are supposed to help my friends and I get along and feel safe, but the kind way you treat me helps me feel at ease and ready to learn.It will never even occur to me that you have a life outside of school- family and friends that you probably won’t see as often as you’d like during the next ten months- because you care too much about your classroom, but I will become a better reader, mathematician, and most importantly, world citizen because of the time and energy you pour into our classroom.I won’t ever know that you are up at night worrying about me and how you can just help me to understand this or have the courage to try that. I won’t know that my failures feel like your failures and my triumphs are the reason you do this. But, I will be driven to try because I can tell you really do care.I don’t realize that, by stepping foot into your classroom, I am now one of your kids, and I will always be one of your kids. You will think of me over winter break, next year, in 5 years, and beyond. But I will remember you every now and again. I won’t remember everything, but I’ll remember something silly you did, something fun we did as a class, and the way you made me feel.
I don’t see the pressure that is placed on your shoulders by administration, testing, lesson plans, IEP’s, paperwork, & observations, and I never will because you will start and end each day with a smile and not let me bear any of the weight you are feeling.I will probably never thank you for everything you do for me because I’ll never realize all you do for me, but I’ll try to tell you in my own way with homemade “Best Teacher Ever” cards, sticky high fives, and too tight hugs. Because what you do matters. Everything you do, all the time, energy, money, tears, laughter, and effort is helping to shape me into the person I will become, and for that I am forever grateful.