Thursday

For the Teachers

This week is teacher appreciation week. Every year I promise myself that starting in April I will get all of my ducks in a row and do something excessively wonderful for all of my children's teachers. And every April looks just like last April where I finish out the month with disheveled hair, wild eyes, and torn clothes, screaming, "What the heck was THAT????" Oy.

So I have yet to do anything excessively wonderful for my children's teachers -- this year or any other-- but I do appreciate them so.

I always tell people that my philosophy on choosing how to educate your children (public, private, or home) is to do it prayerfully and carefully, and be willing to admit at any moment that it is no longer working for your family and change gears.

Thus far, we have been in public schools. Thus far, I still cannot believe how blessed my children have been with teachers and administrators. I do not request or choose teachers for my children, I pray and let God -- the One who knit them and knew them before I did -- choose my children's teachers for them. He has never failed.

Yes, my children are my responsibility. Beyond my responsibility, they are little pieces of my heart out walking around on this planet. But research tells us that the more adults my children have that take an interest in their lives and have a relationship with my children, the more successful they will be in all areas of life. And my children's teachers have not disappointed.

To you, precious people, words are not enough to thank you. How do you say 'thank you for being a brush stroke and background lighting for this masterpiece of a human'? How can I tell each of you that your delight in my child's successes and strengths fanned into flame a passion that will carry them into adulthood? You have pointed out strengths that Mom doesn't see (yet!) and pushed them along and kept them from doing 'just enough'.

My children do school well. What an amazing blessing. But it's also a danger -- the potential is there to blend into the background and be forgotten and ignored as one simply "going along to get along". None of you have LET my children blend into the background. You have encouraged and cheered, praised and prodded, expected the best and never accepted the worst.

I have done your job. That is why I am now not doing your job. It is NOT for the faint of heart (or weary of foot). It is for people with tender hearts, thick skin, and a million hugging arms. It is for people with cast iron stomachs, bladders of elastic, and Solomon's wisdom.

I know that by this time of year you don't want to be appreciated by any way other than a day away from these people and you wonder if you would actually come back. But for some crazy reason, back you come. Sometimes you wonder if it's just your car coming out of habit.

You have no idea. Even at middle school level, you wouldn't believe how much I hear about you and the things you say. How you touch my child's life and shape their values by what you find funny, the way you treat other students, and even the music played in your class. How your sad days will make my tender-hearted child's heart ache until you are smiling again.

Some of you live in my neighborhood, worship at our church, exercise at my gym, shop at my grocery store, have children at the same schools. We see you and feel like a part of your life. You are a part of my family. A beloved part of my family (not the crazy faction that we try to keep from visiting). And I am part of yours -- if for no other reason than the fact that you have given your all to my children and there is precious little of you left by the end of the day. Thank you for that, and thank your family for us, too.

I can't say thank you enough or adequately. But I do thank you, and pray frequently for you. This time of year, my prayer is "strength for the journey". May you truly have strength for your journey, and countless blessings in your life for the blessing you are in mine.

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

1 comment:

Vonnie Perry said...

Sarah,
Your ducks are in a row my dear! The most precious gift you have shared -- words & time! Thank you for trusting & sharing your children with me!

 
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