After the year 2020 brought us I knew the 2020-2021 school year would be like no other we had faced in the education field. As a teacher-librarian, I am part of the leadership committee at my school, so I know teachers worked all summer to prepare for the upcoming school year.
It was also my son’s first year in kindergarten, so I was a mom full of emotions going into the fall. I knew my son wouldn’t have the same experience in kindergarten as every other kid or the experience I so fondly remember from my childhood (anyone else remember The Letter People songs?).
It was hard and it was scary, but I would like to take a moment, take my teacher hat off and put my parent hat on, and write a thank you note to all teachers, who I know have had what many could argue the hardest year of their teaching career.
Dear Resilient, Flexible, Compassionate Teachers,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my child’s first year of school manageable during the middle of a global pandemic.
We, as parents, thought we knew how challenging the 2020-2021 school year would be when we learned our precious ones would be required to go to school wearing a mask, having only half their classmates there starting out, and being behind plexiglass all day. But we really had no idea.
Teacher, I don’t know how you convince my now six-year-old to wear a mask when I can’t even get him to flush the toilet most days. Kindergarten is supposed to be such a fun year for students, as it is many students’ first year of school, but it is also the year where students learn how to be a student.
This year you spent your summer working hard to figure out how to keep the fun going with half the students, knowing they would also be masked and behind plexiglass all day. While many were taking vacations you were at the school rearranging your room, reworking curriculum and standards to pull out only what was absolutely necessary, which oftentimes meant letting the fun stuff go to the wayside, and attending many Zoom meetings. So many people like to talk about how teachers have the summers off, but this year you had more work to do than ever.
You made it work.
In a time of uncertainty, you made it happen.
You showed up each and every day and even put in countless hours that are not part of your contract. You made it fun for my son who was so nervous to go to a new school.
During a year where parents felt completely out of control, you managed to make it work and even helped us adults feel comfortable with all of the changes. You did that! By remaining calm in this great storm of uncertainty you allowed kids to overcome these challenges and emerge stronger, and you even taught parents how kids can still grow and develop during a pandemic.
If you haven’t been told thank you for this year I would like to take this moment to tell each and every one of you thank you! I know this year had to be the hardest yet, but you made it possible. Without you, we would have been lost! Teachers wear many hats every day, and this year it had to be a balancing act equal to something seen at the circus.
Teachers, you are amazing and without you teachers, there are no other professions!
A very tired, very thankful mom