For Every Teacher Going Back to Work Next Week Sunday, January 3rd, 2016
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:
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 have probably been dreading 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, friend.