Because You’re Leaving Yours to Teach Mine


Update: So sorry for the slow loading time! There are THOUSANDS of you trying to read this at the same time, but I am so glad that each of you are here. I think you are here for a reason. Find me on facebook so that we can connect, and maybe come back tomorrow and explore the site a little more when there aren’t so many people reading.

To my son’s precious kindergarten teacher:

I’ve been meaning to write you this letter for a while now. I had planned on writing it out with a pen and paper and sending it to school in Kolton’s backpack. But we both know that it would never actually make it into his backpack. I would end up handing it to you during pickup and giving this awkward explanation as to what is written inside. So I thought I would spare us both that moment.

And the truth is, the more I thought about it, the more I realized these words should be spoken to every teacher… and every woman going back to work on Monday. And so, they are to you, but they are also for them. I suppose the best place to start is:

Thank you.

Kolton came home for Christmas break so excited about the two weeks off of school. Since this is his first year being in school all day long, he wasn’t quite sure what he would do with all his free time. But he quickly busied himself building Legos and teasing his sister relentlessly. (PS You are a saint for handling more than a dozen little ones like him every day. How do you do it?!)

But here’s the thing. One day at the beginning of break, Kolton picked up this little book that he had brought home with him… and he started to read it. He sounded out the words he didn’t know and flew past the sight words you all have been spending so much time memorizing.

And I was so excited! I was so proud! I handed him another book, and he was able to read much of that book as well! But all of a sudden, my joy sort of… turned a little. I can’t quite describe it, but all at once, I was a little… jealous? I know that might sound crazy, but I will just say it. I was jealous of you.

See, up until this year, most of what Kolton learned, he learned here with me. Yes, he went to Pre-K last year, and his wonderful teachers there are some of my favorite people. But I guess I didn’t have much time to be jealous of them. He was gone for half of a day, and I had a newborn last year.

But when I was standing there in my kitchen and Kolton was reading me a book… and I knew that the last time he and I read together he was not this proficient… I felt it. I was sad. My kid was reading for the first time, and I was sad about it.

Because I realized that you taught him to read… and I realized that he was growing without me.

It was a new feeling for me. But as I stood there thinking, I realized that you might feel the same way sometimes. I know that you have to leave your little one so that you can go to school and teach my son. And I just want to take a second and acknowledge that. I am sure that you feel like you are missing things too. I am sure you feel like your little one is growing without you too.

But I want to acknowledge the sacrifice you make is not simply for a job, but for my son and the other children in his class just like him. The work you do matters. You pour into little hearts every day, because you know the work you do matters. I don’t think you would do it if you weren’t sure of that.

But because I know I haven’t told you yet, I just wanted to stop before Monday morning and say, Thank you. I am so grateful that you make going to school a thing that my son enjoys. I am so thankful that you teach with kindness and endless patience. I am so thankful that you have embraced this calling, and I know that you’re gleaning strength to keep pouring out love from the only One who can truly fill your heart.

So before tomorrow morning, when we both drop our children off for the day, I just wanted to remind you (and maybe another woman reading this post,) that what you do outside of your home is such a beautiful thing. Not only in how you provide for your family, but in how you are teaching your children that momma’s dreams are worth pursuing as well. What a powerful lesson.

I know you may have been dreading this part of going back to work, but please know that you have at least one momma (and hopefully many others) willing to acknowledge the sacrifice you make, willing to pray that the Lord will comfort your heart, and willing to remind you that He will take care your little one, while He helps you take care of mine.

Praying for an easy transition for every momma going back to work tomorrow (and every momma at home too.)

We’re in it together, friends.







  • Tracy says:

    The tears are flowing. Thank you for such a heartfelt thank you. It’s nice to know someone notices.

    • Kerran says:

      I am a 6th grade teacher and this gave me more hope and it warms my heart to know that there are parents out there who really appreciate what we do for their children- our students.

    • Destinee says:

      I wanted to thank you for sharing this kind letter. Just tonight I was feeling dread about going back to school. I teach junior high art and some days you find yourself wondering if you are making the right choice by staying in the classroom while your children are little. I find myself jealous, thinking “man I could be home with my little man instead of getting an attitude from this 12 year old,” as you wonder if any of the knowledge you are bestowing on them is even sinking in. As I prep for tomorrow your words will stay on my heart. Thank you for the affirmation and kind words. You have no idea how bad many of us educators needed to here that.

  • Ashley says:

    I needed to hear these words. Tears filled my eyes as I simply read the title. As if I knew my heart would be filled by what He was going to tell me. Thank YOU for writing this. I’m excited to see my little 2nd graders tomorrow!! (I will miss staying up late and watching hallmark movies until 2:00am!)

  • Mary H. says:

    I’m a middle school teacher, and this post brought tears to my eyes.

  • Talisyn says:

    Today, this is just what I needed to hear. I’ve treasured (almost) every moment of break, spending time as a family, learning and growing with my own children. Tomorrow, I’ve got to go back to the school where, unfortunately, I’ve encountered the most disrespect from children and parents than anywhere else I’ve taught. I have to send my kids back to a school (this is our first year in a new place) where I have to leave their learning to colleagues that are burdened with classes of over 30 and, in the case of the class of my eldest child, behavior problems severe enough that her teacher quit and they have a new one. Thank you. I can’t really express how much this blog post meant to me.

  • Melissa says:

    Thank you for this and your prayers! Tomorrow I go back to my kindergarteners but I’ll be leaving my toddler and six week old baby (thankfully daddy stays home with them). It’s hard to not be there for them during the day. But I will be there for my classroom full of little learners. This being a mom and a teacher isn’t easy, but (most days) I’m glad I do it.

  • Lori says:

    Brought tears of joy to my eyes….

  • Marcie says:

    I don’t know how to thank you for this. I didn’t even have time to click on the link… I just put my 3 year old down for the night and my 8 year old twins are waiting for me… Someone is always waiting for me. Sometimes it seems like no matter how much I give it will never be enough… I teach kindergarten and am a mother to 4 children. There are simply too many little people who need to much of me. But THIS. This was beautiful. This reminded me that it doesn’t matter if it’s not “enough”. It’s what I have to offer the world and the people I love. Sometimes it’s hard… But it matters. Thank you SO much.

    • Jennifer says:

      Marcie…you’re reply truly struck a nerve with me. I have three children and I completely understand what you mean by feeling like someone is always waiting for you. I wouldn’t change my life for the world, but sometimes feel like that there just isn’t enough of me to go around. Some days are difficult….but it’s gratifying to know there are people in the world who “get it. ” Hang in there!

      • Karen W. says:

        Ladies, some day will come when your children will not be waiting on you. I am a mother of four wonderful kids, two 20-somethings and two teenagers. I miss those days, but remember how exhausting they can be! Enjoy it as much as you can. Blessed to be still getting my hugs from my third graders in school, though :)

  • Cassie says:

    Wow! As a Kindergarten teacher with 2 small kiddos of my own this article really touched my heart! You are so thoughtful & kind! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! Happy New Year!

  • Jaimie says:

    Thank you for this! Thank you so much.

  • Cindy Hunt says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am the director of a parent education and family resource center for a school district in SC. My team is incredible but unfortunately they do not get a lot of recognition. I will share your letter with them tomorrow morning at our back to school meeting to let them know how much I appreciate them.

  • Jen says:

    Thank you so much for these heartfelt words and acknowledgements! In a world where there needs to be more love and kindness and all of us uplifting one another. Thank you as a teacher I needed this! God bless.

  • Olivia R. says:

    Thank you so much for writing this to all teaching mamas out there. This spoke right to my heart and was exactly what I needed tonight. I will remember this as I drop my daughter at daycare tomorrow and head back to my classroom.

  • Niko says:

    Hi! I just wanna thank you for this post. It really helped knowing there are parents who appreciates what we, teachers, are doing. Indeed, our work is not in vain, especially unto the Lord. Thank you! :)

  • Kelly Frazee says:

    Although I am not a mom, I am a 4th grade teacher who loves what I do with every heartbeat God continues to give me but oh, how I needed to hear your words here. Thank you for sharing your precious little ones with us. I think I speak for every teacher when I say that teaching them is an absolute privilege, no matter what they choose to throw our way. Thank you for writing!

  • Rebecca Rodriguez says:

    I am a preschool teacher in Chicago and have 2 preschool aged children of my own. I return to work tomorrow in a preschool classroom and they return to their preschool classroom. This is so sweet and precious of you to write these words. As I’m sitting here enjoying a chocolate bar wallowing about returning to work, more about missing out on time with my own kiddos, I have been blessed and my spirit lifted by these words. Thank you!

  • Janie Martiinez says:

    Hi, my nane is janie martinez, my job as an aide for 16yrs has connected me to the best parents n students. I love them all. I also have a 42 yr old daughter that I take to daycare every day to get to my job. Rain, shine cold and heat. I enjoy my job n she likes hr day care.

  • Angela says:

    My 10.5 month old is starting daycare for the first time tomorrow. This hit me to my core. I pray that we are blessed with the same kind, warm, and gentle spirits who understand how important they are to us and our babies.

  • Janie says:

    Thank you. As a kindergarten teacher with an 18 month old delightful daughter at home, your words were a gift. You totally get it!

  • Abigail says:

    Thank you for writing what I can only express in my heart! I was for 5+ years the mom going back to teach after winter break. I, now, have the privilege of being the mom that sends her son back to school while I stay home with the younger son. I, too, have had the honor of hearing my kindergartener read book after book sounding out words. I’m so delighted to hear him read to me, his brother, his daddy, and the rest of his family. I’m so excited for all the “growing up” he’s done so far this school year and all the “growing up” he’ll continue to do.
    Thank you again for writing this thank you note to all women (teachers practicing or in their hearts practicing in their field)!

  • Renee Minto says:

    Thank you.. for such encouraging words.My passion is to teach Reading. My current students face such obstacles before coming to school, lack of food and adequate housing hinder their learning process. Yet I know with God’s help I can reach them.

  • Beth says:

    Leaving my 16 month old to go back to school tomorrow! And have that pit in my stomach. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for the inspiring words.

  • Nick says:

    I’m a guy who read this because it was recommended through Facebook. I loved my time home with my 15 month old and my wife and am dreading going back tomorrow because I will miss things with my little guy. I teach in a tough inner-city high school and I don’t get much love from the parents or the kids but this made me feel a bit stronger as well as a bit more hopeful. Thanks.

  • Lori Motal says:

    Thank you for these words. I’m thrilled to see all my 4th & 5th graders tomorrow, but so sad to leave my own two kids. Needed this tonight!

  • Victoria Davis says:

    Tears, tears, tears….we love all of our students just like our own. We love caring, nurturing, leading, teaching, helping, encouraging, and so much more because God has filled us with overflowing love….His sacrificing, selfless love for others to fulfill all God asks us to do for others.

  • Bonnie says:

    Such a wonderful and encouraging letter to all teachers! And it is so needed on this challenging night – the night before the first day back from Christmas Break! Thank you for your encouragement, assurance, acknowledgement and PRAYERS!

  • Theresa says:

    Thank you! It’s really hard to go back tomorrow. Love my kindergarteners but miss my baby.

  • Nisha Joy says:

    Thank you so much for your understanding… and these are the words and understanding that we need from our students parents to keep us going in what we are upto..

  • Lynn O'Meara says:

    Thanks! My own babies are in High School and college now, but as I lay awake preparing my mind for minders tomorrow I appreciated and needed your words. You understand how it felt to leave them when they were little and your words resonate now. The Holy Spirit brought you to understand and then brought me to your words! So grateful!

  • Intan says:

    I’m a teacher and I often feel guilty for leaving my daughter to work. I often blame myself for being busy teaching others’ children but leaving mine without my supervision. However your writing is really powerful and it raises my passion in teaching since I know that there’s someone notices my sacrifice. Thanks, Becky.

  • olubunmi says:

    Nice one. Thanks so much.Here in Nigeria its a mix feeling.I enjoyed the break with my family and hoping for a beautiful year as we resume next week.

  • Kimberly Harbert says:

    Thank you for this ….. I will
    Be leaving my sweet little one in the morning to return to work to have a teacher work day to plan for my special needs preschool class that I teach.

    I am struggling with the thought of leaving him. He his healthy right now but has a brain tumor. I made the comment to my husband over the break that I felt very guilty going to work and spending all day loving and taking care of other peoples children and missing time with him!
    Thank you !!!!! I think I needed to read this @ 3:00 in the am as I toss and turn !

  • Peggy Harrill says:

    As the mother of two (who are 21 and 25) and a high school teacher….thank you. Every teacher should be blessed to have a parent in their life at lea d t one time. The sacrifices a teacher makes are great but the rewards are amazing. To see a child blossom and grow into a knowledgeable person is a sight few get to see. Thank you again.

  • b says:

    Encountering the Father?
    Not upset, I just don’t understand. Would you please explain, is that a God thing or …?


  • […] after reading this inspiring blog post, “For Every Teacher…and Every Woman Going Back to Work on Monday” by Sarah Thompson, I find myself quickly remembering why it is we do this ever so difficult career […]

  • Judy says:

    Becky, your child can learn at school because he has your support at home. I am a retired teacher and the mother of three grown sons. Supporting your child’s school/education is one of the best things you can do for him….but supporting it doesn’t mean you have to physically be in the building. I understand that little bit of jealousy. It goes away and is filled with pride. Having your child learn from someone else also starts the growth of independence.

  • Megan says:

    As a teacher AND a mother. Thank you! I LOVE teaching, but resent the time away from my own children that it takes. IF just ONE of my student’s parents said this to me, I would cry! Thank you for writing this! I needed this today!

  • Gabby says:

    No truer words have been said about teachers. I know I couldn’t handle a classroom of twenty two 5-6 year olds without wanting to pull my hair out (which is why God blessed me with only one baby at a time!!) Every new stage is so bitter sweet; proud & joy at the next level unlocked…and sadness at an old baby achievement that will be long forgotten. Hold on heartstrings…it’s just beginning!

  • Kristin says:

    Well said! And oh so true!
    Thank you!

  • Sherry says:

    I want to say that this was shared with me by a mom who I taught her children in preschool. I cried when I read this. Not only for what you have said, but thinking about my own children while I was teaching others. I was working with preschool children for 25+ years and realized at one point when my youngest child was working on something, didn’t know how to use scissors (he was a little older at the time). I cried because I realized that I spent so much time with the preschoolers teaching them their colors, how to use scissors, glue, etc. that I didn’t even take the time to teach my own son how to use scissors. That day, I cried and cried, realizing that I needed to spend more time working with my own children. I vowed that day that I would take more time to spend with them. I did not quit working with the preschoolers, there is no way that I would have, I enjoyed doing what I was doing, nothing was going to stop me doing that. I guess I just took it for granted that my own kids were learning from me just as much as the children I worked with. I have heard from many parents over the years that they felt the same way that you do. It is such a great feeling knowing that we, as teachers, do make a difference in the life of a child. Thank you for reminding all of us this. But, remember, that us, as moms, make a bigger difference in the lives of our children. Thank you again for this reminder.

  • Denise Hunt-Robinson says:

    Dear Becky,
    Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. They really mean a lot. We do love our students, our “little ones” like our own! Thank you for taking the time to express such a beautifully written piece, capturing the heart of what all mothers feel (even the teacher moms, like me!) Many blessing to you!

  • Wendy Young says:

    So beautifully written! So perfectly stated. Loving means letting go and coming back. It’s a delicate dance, setting our kids out into the world to grow and expand their horizons, hoping they’ll come back just as we sent them out…and sometimes, even better! The perfection in this piece is the recognition that as you push yourself a little more each day to let go, to trust, as your child’s horizons expand, you recognize the Universal truth that you are not the only one. We all belong to each other. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we can take such good care of each other. The world, for all of its darkness, remains a very good place to be. Thanks for being a bright light!

  • Gayla Sullivan says:

    I have taught 1st grade my entire career and I have had a lot of appreciative parents but this letter really struck me. I am retiring this year and don’t know how I will leave the building for the last time. I have loved “my kids” and cried for “my kids” and worried about them. I have to believe that I made a difference in their lives and they will take that love and tears and worry and make a better life. Thank you so much for your sincere words. Teaching has made me a better person. How blessed I have been!

  • Kevin says:

    This is a good article but equally appropriate for both moms and dads. Not just mommas. Thx.

  • Sherise Sweat says:

    Tears are flowing down my face. Thank you so much for expressing your feelings in such a wonderful way. THANK YOU!

  • Kris says:

    Thank you. Even though my “little one” is a senior in college this touched my heart. I have been teaching for 32 years and felt I might have given up too much when I decided to continue teaching after he arrived. Letters like yours do not come along often enough, but I appreciate your words so very much. God bless you for your encouragement. It is so needed.

  • Patrizia Lazzeri says:

    As a retired kindergarten-first grade teacher, I hope all my former students had parents who felt this way, too. I know how much I appreciated all the love, attention and hard work my childrens’ teachers put into their teaching. It’s lovely to see this letter and to be reminded of all the positive feedback I received from my students and their families.

  • Kelly says:

    Thank you for the amazingly kind and wonderful words. As a teacher, it feels just great to ‘feel’ appreciated.

    Love it….

  • Nancy H. Cooke says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post !!! I am in my 14th year of retirement and your words spoke to me as I thought of all the young ❤️S
    I held in my hand! I hear from many of my first graders all grown up how I helped them in their path in life!!! The happy comments ate my real pay for teaching all those years! Thank you for all your kind comments!!
    NancyH. Cooke

  • marilyn morales says:

    I am a high school teacher here in the Philippines .your letter is an inspiration to me…it is very seldom that you can read parents saying thank you to the teachers if her kids. It’s good there are still few who are like you ..thank you also for acknowledging the efforts of teachers.thank you for your prayers. I just wish parents like you will multiply .

  • Steve says:

    Thank you for sharing this insight. I would offer that most Dads feel much the same. When my sons were growing and learning (they are all in their 30’s now), I was in integral part of their lives and education. I was even “chastised” by one school official that I had “over-taught” my children to the point that they “did not fit in with the rest of their class.” My response:”Thank you!”
    It is my belief that the parents are primarily responsible for a child’s education, schools are but a tool to help fulfill that role.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you thank you thank you. I am also a middle school teacher who leaves her little one at home to teach others. This brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Thank you for getting it and sharing!It is what I needed today…AMEN

  • Bonnie says:

    I’m a high school English teacher. Do “high school” or “English” provide any idea as to how little thanks come my way? While no teacher is in it for the thanks, it’s still nice to hear. Thank you for this.

  • Kristie says:

    My sister in law is the best! And I know she gives 💯 % to each and everyone of her students!

  • Nancy Davis says:

    What a beautiful tribute for a 👩‍🏫 teacher to receive.

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