It’s that time of the year. The weather is turning nice. Everything is in bloom. The school year is winding down, and summer is coming. As a mom, that may excite you or cause you some anxiety. But as this school year comes to a close, if you are like me, you are having all of the feels.
If you were to see me on the last day of school as recently as six years ago, my eyes would have been puffy and red from crying. It was not because I had a child moving on to a new grade or I was moving away or anything like that. It was because my students–who I more affectionately referred to as “my kids”–were moving on and would no longer be in my class.
You see, I am a teacher. The end of the school year brought me excitement, but also sadness.
I was the teacher who would be sad to let “my kids” go. I was the teacher who would cry from handwritten notes from kids and parents alike. I was the teacher who would hug my students tight and thank them for a great school year, and I would secretly pray that each one of them felt love and and would turn out okay in the years to come. Parents would come in to my classroom crying on the last day as they were grateful for the lessons taught and care their children received. I would embrace them and tell them that it was my pleasure to be their child’s teacher. The care I provided was just what I did as a teacher.
Then I became a mom. After becoming a mom, I took a sabbatical from the classroom to become a stay at home parent. Those first few falls brought lots of mixed emotions for me because I was so used to getting a classroom together and preparing for a new school year. Now, I was reading books, playing with my kids, going to the park, going to Target during the day, having playdates, going to the library, etc.
When I became a mom, my heart grew more than I ever knew was possible.
I was grateful to get to teach my own kids and watch them grow and learn things. And in the blink of an eye, my oldest was in school. A year ago at this time of the year, I was a mess. My oldest walked across the stage of his preschool graduation about to be a Kindergartner. I was feeling emotional, because how did he get to be this big already? How was he old enough to go to school?
I was so grateful for his preschool teacher who taught him so much. He grew so much in that year that I was just amazed. On the last week of school, instead of being the teacher who would receive the words of gratitude, I was now the mom giving the hugs and giving tearful words of gratitude for all she did to help him grow and develop and thrive. I smile that this has now come full circle for me.
Teachers do more than just teach our kids.
They think about them and worry about them day and night. They are constantly thinking about ways to help kids thrive even when the school day is done. They spend time loving them with all that they are.
As the school year comes to a close I encourage you to tell your child’s teacher how much you appreciate them. Speaking from experience, I know that it will mean the world to them. Most likely they have a special box where special notes from kids and families are kept. And on those hard days, they will pull out that box to read those notes and remember why they do what they do.