I don’t have much, but I do have words

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The end of the year snuck up on me. OK, so that’s the most lame excuse ever. The calendar never changes and I’ve known the end of the schoolyear was coming since the day it started and I got a honking stack of paperwork full of dates and calendars.

At Elli’s preschool, parents were taking up collections to buy the teachers gift certificates as a thank you for the year. They didn’t ask me to contribute, and for that I am grateful. I guess they realize that people working in ministry and in the middle of an international adoption probably aren’t teeming with extra cash. Last year I made each teacher pizza bread and gave them a loaf or two with a little note of appreciation for the year. This year, I just really didn’t have the time. I totally missed the window for making a thoughtful and homemade thank you edible for Elli’s preschool teachers. Fail.

I did, however, realize that since preschool ends two weeks earlier than Kindergarten, I still had time to do something for Liam’s teacher.

I sat down during naptime with a flowery writing set I was given about 5 years ago and wrote exactly what I felt in my heart to Liam’s kindergarten teacher.

I told her that we were initially disappointed when Liam’s name was #26 on the waiting list after the lottery to get into the Spanish immersion program and we had to go with our plan B school. That Liam’s preschool teachers recommended we find an “out of the box” and “newfangled” type of teacher to meld with his learning style. I honestly penned that when I asked about her and found out that she ran a “very rigid classroom”, I was a bit panicked. But after just a few weeks at school, I knew that Liam was meant to be her student because she was just the right teacher for him.

Having watched him love to go to school, be faced with challenging “friend” situations at school and making beyond-his-years-wise choices every single time, growing in his confidence, ability to use his logic and reasoning skills, shocking me with his reading and writing skills, singing AND doing motions in music class (anyone remember the Penguin situation at the Christmas musical?) and emulating teaching his little sisters at home, I could not have asked for a more solid first year of learning for Liam.

I wrote in permanent pen that “I didn’t really care if he learned to read or write this year, I just wanted him to be comfortable going to school, to love learning, and to be a good person. He’s got 12 more  years to learn all the facts and figures, but if he didn’t like school from the get-go, then we would be in big trouble”.

I told her, sincerely, that I hoped if she were teaching for enough more years that she would get to harbor this wonderful learning environment for Liam’s 3 upcoming siblings.

Of course I wish I could do something sensational to show her how much I have appreciated her from 12:30-3pm every day this school year. Like shelling out hundreds of dollars or being able to present her with a very special gift. She has been so instrumental in Liam’s first learning experience and setting a strong foundation for his schooling to come.

But all I have to give is words.

So last week I sat down and penned my best for her, and sent the letter in with Liam today.

I got a lovely e-mail in response already.

“Thank you so much for your most beautiful and very touching comments in your letter.  I guess you have seen first hand how much I love the children I teach.  Children grow and bloom with kindness and love that is what I offer to them. I keep my expectations high, so they float to the surface like cream. Liam is a treasure.  You are both wonderful parents.  Positive and constructive learning is what I strive for….. so each child will reach his full potential. It has been a wonderful year all the way around.  The children are reading, writing, drawing and know how to be a friend. They have learned how to make positive choices.  Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.  You made my day.”


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