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Goodbye to My Son’s First/Favorite Teacher

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To think that only 9 short months ago we didn’t even know you…

You have become so much to our family in less than a year.  You are a household name, a topic over dinner, a priority on our prayer list, and often the only voice that our son chooses to hear.  I knew that I would be devastated the first day I dropped him off for Pre-K, but I didn’t know that I would be just as devastated to say goodbye to you at the end of the school year.  So here we are, at the end of the year, and I have so much to be grateful for-

Thank you for understanding how hard it is to leave your kid at school for the very first time.  You had the sweetest poem for us that day so that we knew you weren’t taking this step lightly and to comfort us when we all left with tears streaming down our faces.  Your calm demeanor and gentle smile left me with so much peace in my heart.  I knew that this was going to be a great year and that you were going to put your whole self into teaching this class.

Thank you for meeting my child where he was.  You didn’t expect him to keep up with the other kids who were ready to read or count to 100.  He knows that you celebrate his accomplishments with enthusiasm, even if it took him 3 months longer than some kids.  You don’t expect him to be the top of his class, you only expect his best.  You’ve called him out and even made him re-do work that you knew wasn’t his best.  You have reinforced the values that we are teaching at home and there are no words for what that means to us.

Thank you for engaging the kids with subjects that interest them.  I was thrilled with all of the community helper stories I got to hear on the rides home from school.  The insect and gardening unit had my interest piqued for sure, and how cool is it that the kids had their own greenhouse?  I know how much work you must have put into your lesson plans and it certainly shows.  My son talks about school to everyone he knows and can’t wait to find answers to his endless questions as the years go on.

Thank you for being patient.  I bet some days you wanted to walk right out of the classroom because the kids were actin’ a fool and your efforts weren’t being absorbed.  But you were so dedicated-  I could see it!   You rarely missed a day of school, and when you were there, you were 100% engaged.  Sometimes I sent my son to school knowing he was going to be a turd-burger, but you always seemed to say something that stuck with him.  You loved him on the tough days, even the one where he slapped you on the butt… (sorry again!!)  If you have any patience leftover that I can borrow for the summer months, please let me know.

Thank you for including us parents on this journey.  There was so much we could do to be involved- field trips, parties, decorating for special days, snacks, donating materials, etc.  Not only did you make us feel welcome in your classroom at any time, you gave us jobs to do so that your time would be better spent on the kids.  You kept us updated with videos and pictures so we could see their sweet faces on the days when we wondered what they were up to.  Honestly there were some days where I didn’t want to send my son to school, I wanted to keep him to myself, and on those days a picture meant everything.

In a few months my boy will be starting Kindergarten with a new teacher.  I can only hope that he/she is as loving and committed as you are.  The transition will be tough (maybe tougher for me than for him), but because of you he is ready to advance with confidence and excitement.  One thing is for sure, you have set the bar HIGH.  You are his first teacher, his favorite teacher, and WE are going to miss you so very much.  *sobbing*

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3 Responses to Goodbye to My Son’s First/Favorite Teacher

  1. Avatar
    Amy Freedman May 18, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    I worked with Mrs Haley for many years and she is a wonderful person, mommy, friend, and teacher! What a great blessing for your family!

  2. Avatar
    Kristin Hahn May 23, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    My daughter is also in Pre-K at John Rex and Mrs. Stephenson is her teacher. Your post made me cry because I feel exactly the same way about Mrs. Stephenson. How lucky we are to know our children are in such great hands.

  3. Avatar
    Daniel daley May 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    The words are perfectly written and I whole heartedly will second every written word. My daughter is always talking about Miss Figueroa. She absolutely loves her and will be so sad when she realizes she will not be her teacher. We are so lucky to have had her be our daughters first teacher. Thank you very much. The Daleys

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