TEACHER: one whose occupation is to instruct

Son attends a cooperative preschool for children who will start kindergarten in the fall. It is an amazing program. Son is the beneficiary of the energy and talents of twenty parents who work in the classroom each week. “It takes a village” and this particular village would knock your socks off. The cherry on the sundae is one of Seattle’s best teachers…

Dear Teacher,

Thank you.

Thank you for teaching.

Thank you for teaching my son.

Your impact on his life is unquantifiable. You have given him the skills to succeed in kindergarten and the years that follow. You modeled kindness and patience every day. You guided him with gentleness and respect. You nurtured him with love and joy. You redirected and reprimanded with grace and compassion.

You fostered his curiosity and made him an eager learner. You taught him how to name and cope with a variety of emotions. You believed he was capable of complex problem solving and he rose to the challenge. You listened to his suggestions and now he trusts the power of his voice to affect change.

Your courage and competence made it possible for him to experience a wide range of activities I would have considered impossible to do at preschool – learning to wrestle, ambitious hikes, building marshmallow catapults…

Then there is the small matter of you performing the heimlich maneuver to open his airway when he was choking.  You jumped into action with such calmness that the only thing he told me about preschool when he got home was that you let him choose the activity to bring to the park.  

The ways you have blessed my son are too numerous to count. He will be a better citizen in this world because of your influence.

Thank you.

Thank you for teaching.

Thank you for teaching me.

If you have copyrighted your catchphrases, I owe you heaps of money for copyright infringement.

You taught me the power of questions to calm charged situations. “Did you tell him/her how that made you feel?” and “What are the rules to the game you are playing?” are questions that have changed my life and my parenting.

You taught me the importance of freedom. Be safe. Be kind. While your rules cover a great deal and provide healthy boundaries, they also allow a lot of freedom. I find myself saying “yes” far more than I used to. Sure, throw sticks if you can find a safe way to do so.

Most of all, you have been an example of what it looks like when someone finds his/her calling. I can’t imagine another person being able to do what you do as well as you do it. If you were something other than a teacher, the world would be worse for it. You are an inspiration. If we all had the wisdom to identify the thing we do better than any other – and the courage to embrace the opportunity to do it – the world would be a better place. 

Thank you.

Thank you for teaching.


8 thoughts on “Teacher

  1. This is an absolutely beautiful gesture of gratitude. While this teacher has modeled life-changing behaviors for you, you have clearly modeled for your children the importance of acknowledging the gifts of others. How lovely.

      1. Wonderful – I’m glad to hear it. And I really was moved by your note of appreciation. Pretty sure your boy’s teacher wll
        l be too.

  2. If I would ever receive a letter like this, I would dance and sing with happiness. Beautiful! I think you should pass this on. We teachers sometimes never know if we have done a good job.

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