Today, I finished packing up my classroom to get it ready for the summer. Spending the time alone in my classroom gave me a lot of time to reflect on the appreciation I have for the families of my students. As a Kindergarten teacher, I often get students who are having their first, “real school” experience. On the first day of school, those parents are filled with apprehension – sometimes even more than the children are! Then there are the parents who have, “been through it all before”, with their older children. Some of those kids have been around school with their siblings for so long, they are very excited to get there too! Either way, there is still some trepidation when sending their children off to school for nearly seven hours everyday.
The children and I get to know each other very well over the first few weeks of school. As for their families, it sometimes takes a little longer. I invite families into my classroom to volunteer and for celebrations. They sometimes come in for their child when they are celebrating, “Star of the Week”. By the end of the school year though, I have gotten to know them quite well.
This year, (as well as many years in the past), my class and their families were extremely generous and even indulgent towards me! I don’t just mean by the wonderful gifts that they gave me throughout the year, but in their kind emails, notes and letters to me. To me, those mean more than anything that they could purchase! As I was cleaning up today, I found stacks of notes that I have saved throughout the years. It is so uplifting to read them and to know that I have made a difference in lives of their children. I have so many “love letters” from my students, I don’t have enough wall space to hang them all!
I want to extend my appreciation to all of my Kindergarten families. Not just those who I taught this year, but to all of them. My first class at Tuscan graduated from fifth grade this week. Many of those kids came to me to hug me and say goodbye before leaving. I hope that all of my students know how much they have touched me and that once they have been one of my students, they will remain in my heart forever!