You’ve purchased all of the school supplies your child needs. Their backpack is full and ready to go. Your child’s favorite lunch foods are packed, and you even had time to stick a little love note for them in their lunch. They have on the perfect outfit for their first day, and you have a full charge on your cell phone so that you can take at least 100 pictures to remember the day by.
You get to school, take the photos you have been waiting for, hug them goodbye, and off they go. You wipe your tears while you head back to your car, all while knowing that they are going to have the best day, which you will hear all about when they come home after school.
All of this does not go unnoticed by your child’s teacher. Your child may run off, excited for their first day back at school, and not fully appreciate all of the time and effort you have put into making this day as easy and special as it can be. You have made this day easier for your child, but not always for yourself. For 15 years I have watched this scenario, and yes, we teachers feel it!
We feel you release your breath as you watch the school or classroom door close behind your child. We feel you as your child finds their assigned seat and looks around the classroom for friends they already know. We feel you when your child smiles while sharing what they did over the summer.
We feel you. We really, really do!
At lunchtime when your child needs help opening their milk or putting their straw in their juice box, we channel you. We spread your motherly love at recess when your child falls down and skins their knee. When they are sad and miss home, we hold your child’s hand, just like you would do.
We love your child. We really, really do!
We have your back when your child blames you as the reason why they do not have their snow boots or says you are the reason they forgot their homework. To help them learn not to forget stuff for school again, we teach them about responsibility, just like you would. We help them learn to respect you, just like we want you to do at home for us. In an effort to create future considerate, polite citizens, we practice skills with your child, such as listening with their whole body and following directions the first time given. These skills will help things be smoother for you at home, too.
We have your back. We really, really do!
As you leave the parking lot on the first day of school, or any day for that matter, know that we will take care of your child as if they were our own. No doubt about that. The responsibility of teaching your child 8 hours a day for 180 days is not lost on us. We promise to do the best we can for your child, because we know you, too, are doing your best.
Parents, we are in this together and we appreciate you. We really, really do!