My son has five days left in his kindergarten career, which means he only has 37.5 hours left with you. I want to fall at your feet and sob over your ankles because I am so not ready for you to not be his teacher.
I’ll never forget the fear and worry I felt when I walked him into your classroom on August 19. He was my first to leave the nest and I wanted to ask you if I could install a nanny cam. You looked too young. And cutesy. And I had serious doubts that my son was ready to be in school. To that point I had been successful at teaching him to (sorta) write his name and (maybe) a dozen letters. (I’m good at other things!) I was convinced he would need two years in kindergarten. How could you possibly get him ready for first grade in just nine months?
But you won my heart and gained my confidence later that week when I got a text from you:
He had a minor meltdown after nap time. When I asked what was wrong he said he missed you. I sat on the floor and held him for a while. Just wanted you to know he had a rough few minutes, but bounced back.
I sat at my kitchen table and cried. Tears of sadness because my son missed me and needed me and I wasn’t there. And tears of gratitude that you were. You didn’t scold him, or dismiss him. You held him. And I knew then that you weren’t just for teaching, you were for him.
Since then you’ve written emails about his progress and made calls of concern. You pulled his tooth and sent a picture of his gaping grin. Paying for his snack when I forgot to send a dollar and keeping him close when the Easter Bunny came. (What is UP with that fear of costumes?!) Laughing at the stories he tells and not holding them against me. (Ahem. Most of them are likely. Probably. Sadly. True.) Making sure I knew that he offers to push other kids on the swing, and telling me often that he’s a great kid.
You call him one of “your babies” and watch over him like he were your own.
Because of you he can read letters. And words. And sentences. He can do math and follow directions and write I love you mom and dad.
On the wall.
Because of you he feels safe and secure in the classroom and looks forward to going there. Because of you he has something that sets the stage for a deep and wide life. A love of learning. And a confidence that he can.
Even without seeing his report card and the progress he’s made, your influence is obvious around this house. He draws you pictures and writes you notes. He asks to buy you candy bars and cars and wants to invite you over. You are the Grand Poobah of knowledge and he thinks he can win any argument simply by saying, “Ms. Peacock says so!” Also, my daughter has started including you when she draws pictures of our family.
Beloved teacher, how can I ever repay you? Jen Hatmaker already came up with all the really cool ideas. But I’ll offer what I can. You need prayer? I’m your girl. Something on your heart, I’m here to listen. A Pinterest project for your classroom? Better call someone else. A girls night out? CALL ME NOW. My undying devotion and forever words of praise. They are yours.
Few things in this life mean more to me than someone investing in my children. You opened the world to my son. I am your biggest fan.