You may be here because you’re searching for the best Valentine’s Day gifts for teachers. You already have what you need, and you don’t have to spend a dime. Keep reading for a letter to my child’s teacher that can serve as a model for you to do the same.
As a former teacher, please trust me on this. All your teacher really needs is encouragement. And $50,000. But since you’re probably unable to give her a massive raise, just bypass the apple mug, printable thing you found on Etsy, or box of chocolates.
Write the woman a heartfelt note. She needs to know that someone appreciates her. She’s probably harder on herself than you’d ever think.
You are my hero. I know that Spring Break feels like an eternity from now, especially when you’ve got a Valentine’s party to execute this week without losing your mind.
I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough year. I can’t imagine teaching kindergarten in this COVID mess. But you’ve managed to keep a smile on your face. You are doing the job you felt called to do. You deserve a Whataburger, a raise, and so much more.
Even under the best of circumstances, your job is nearly impossible. You have an administration team to honor, parents to please, brains to grow, lessons to plan, objectives to align, tennis shoes to tie, arguments to mediate, a clock to watch, boo-boos to heal, tears to dry, bellies to fill, hugs to give, books to read, songs to sing, behavior to manage, manners to teach, and the list goes on.
You have twenty children in your care, all day long. And I have to assume mine can’t be the only one who is a bit much sometimes.
We’ve had several conversations over email, and countless waves and brief moments of eye contact across a sea of children at dismissal. There were a few times when we had to discuss my daughter’s incessant chattering, which needed to be locked down for the sake of quality instruction. These were short talks with you and even faster follow up text messages. Even though my daughter spends 1/3 of her time with you, I know almost nothing about you.
Except, I know the things that matter most.
I know that when my daughter comes home from school every day, she is grinning from ear to ear. She can’t wait to tell me what she learned, and who she played with on the playground.
I also know that you’re buying those treasure chest items with your own money. Every Thursday night when my daughter is counting her blessings, she tells God thank you for Fridays. Fridays involve cheese pizza, library day, afternoon recess, and TREASURE CHEST. And every week, every single child gets to visit the treasure chest. You make sure to notice something good in every single child, every week.
I know that over winter break, my little one missed you. When she found out her first three days back to school in January would be with a substitute, she cried because she was so eager to give you a hug and tell her all about her Christmas.
When she forgot her tablet at home one morning and approached you in tears, you showed her mercy. You sent me a text message, in case I wanted to bring the tablet. I know that’s not your policy, and I can’t blame you. But you saw a little girl so desperate to get everything right, and wanted to comfort her.
She’s ahead in reading skills and the oldest child in the class, so I know she can’t possibly be your top priority. My child isn’t where you should be investing your limited time, at least not on paper. But you’ve still allowed her to come to your guided reading table and read with you, which is her favorite thing in the world to do.
I hope you hear this last part. You don’t have to get everything right. I know it seems that way. The expectations pile on with every email, staff meeting, line of questioning, and walk-through classroom observation. I see your exhaustion at pick-up each day. I notice you dragging your feet back into the building, tugging your mask away from your nose to catch a good breath. We don’t know much about each other, but I know that you’re more than just enough; you are wonderful. You are loved by these little people, and God loves you, too.