When I was growing up, my mom used to say, Listen to your teacher; she knows everything. I didn't question it, because every time I had a question, my teacher had an answer. I just assumed it was true.
Now, as a mother with two young daughters, Jessica and Sophie, I have to say I don't know if teachers know everything. Do they know that there is a child in their class that looks at them like a second mom when they're at school? That they look forward to going to school because they make it a safe and fun learning environment they can relate to?
When I'm at work, do these teachers know that I can focus on my job and not worry about my kids because I know they are in good hands? These teachers are heroes who save friendships, rescue struggling students and bring to life the beautiful energy that comes from learning something new.
Hmmm. I have to wonder: do these teachers know that the hugs they give, the smiles they share and the creative projects they do will be remembered in the minds and hearts of my daughters tomorrow, next week, next year and every time they think of third grade or preschool? Memories of teachers don't ever get replaced by new teachers, no matter how old we get. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Duffy.
I wonder if you know they will remember your patience, your sense of humor, your acknowledgement, your support, your tone, your understanding, your laugh, your art projects and your love? They will remember the garden you planted together, why it's so important to recycle, and how you picked them up one day when I was too sick to drive them to school.
They will remember the songs you sang, the rocket launch, the bean maracas and the 7-foot totem poll you made together. Mostly, they will remember your honesty, your fairness and your genuineness.
Years from now, these things will still matter; you will still matter to them. They will take a little bit of who they became, while in your class, to kindergarten and fourth grade. And onto their first day of junior high, first day of high school, first day of college, and probably the first time they become a parent.
Years from now, when they talk with their children about school, and are teaching their child how to hold scissors for the first time, or how you only need to put dots of glue on paper, and how it doesn't matter if you win every time; it just matters if you try. Your name will be part of the conversation.
So, you see, I don't know if teachers really know everything. So, in case they don't, I just want to let these four wonderful teachers (and all teachers) know that you are a part of the scrapbook of their life, and as she grows into the young girl, the young lady and the woman she is meant to be, you will always be there, forever in her memory pressed within the pages of her heart.
Dedicated to Mrs. Wirth at Ron Nunn Elementary, and Mrs. Joan, Mrs. Christine and Mrs. Julie at Celebration Christian Preschool.