She's only two, but I know that before I can blink twice, she'll be five and ready to head off on the big yellow school bus for the very first time (#tear).
I think all time about what her school experience will be like. You hear so much about the struggles of our education today and rarely the triumphs (even though they happen daily in classrooms like yours!). Those who have nothing to do with the school systems seem to have the strongest (and loudest) opinions.
But you know what? I still can't wait for Clara to go to school and start her 13-year journey in our local public school district. You know why? Because I trust the teachers that will shape her journey, even though I don't know them yet.
I wanted to share with you all, at the beginning of this new school year, an open letter that I have written to the future teacher of Clara.
Meet my daughter, Clara Grace. I have waited 5 years for this moment. In this moment Clara finally starts this incredible journey we called "education." Since she was born, my husband and I have read books to her, talked to her, sang to her, and taught her. She has learned a lot, but now she's ready for more. We know that learning her ABC's and numbers is only a small portion of what she will learn in your classroom.
In your classroom she will learn to be a part of a community. In your classroom she will learn that she ISN'T the only one that matters (even if she remains our #1), and because of that, she will learn to wait her turn. She will learn compassion, patience, and how to sit on the carpet properly during read aloud. There are things that she will learn in your classroom that can not be taught at home.
In your classroom she will make (a lot of) mistakes. She might pout when she doesn't get the classroom job that she wanted for the week. She might struggle with a new concept you are teaching her. She might disagree with a classmate.
In your classroom she will grow.
I know that you have had people tell you that you don't know what you are doing. I know that people out there think that schools are failing our kids. I've seen the headlines bash teachers and make more demands. I know that you are being asked to do things without the needed resources to do so.
But - I also know that time and time again, you rise to the challenge and come out on top. I know that you stay late at school prepping for the next day, even when your own family is waiting for you. I know exactly how hard you are working. Harder then almost anyone I know. And - you do it all without a pat on the back or acknowledgment. In fact you do it despite all the negativity that seems to surround our school system.
I know you are qualified, and not just because you completed 4+ years of higher education. I know you are qualified because you have Clara's best interest at heart. I believe that YOUR classroom is the best place for Clara to learn. You're not perfect. But neither am I. When you tell me something that I don't want to hear about Clara, I will try to remember that you are telling me out of concern and love for my daughter. I will try not to take the defensive side. I trust your expertise.
Finally, I want to thank you. Thank you for giving of yourself every day.
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