Y’all! Y’ALL!!!!! After last year’s teacher hell, it seems that the education gawds have brought forth heavenly angels that sing about math, reading comprehension and dual languages.
I think last year, one of the most frustrating things was that I have clear and great memories of teachers that cared for me, truly. I recall Mami interacting with them and I thought that, naturally, I’d have the same experience. While last year jarred me, it did not change my thoughts and opinions on educators. I have many friends (in RL and online) that are in the education field. And each day, they make me fall in love with the passionate, dedicated and important role of teaching.
The Frog Princess was to have 2 teachers this year due to her enrollment in a dual language curriculum. As luck would have it, we ended up with 3. Her first teacher, Ms. V, is busy being fabulous and training others in the dual language program so as much as I want to be mad at her for no longer being her teacher, it’s hard to because I know she’s rockin’ it out.
Ms. V has loved on my baby from day one and the genuine care she takes for her students is apparent in her smile, the twinkle in her eye and the visits she got from parents and students that she’d taught years before on meet the teacher day. Yes, I noticed. Her willingness to answer my questions was a far cry from the brick wall of communication I experienced last year. We just love Ms. V to pieces and I was ready to be mad at her for leaving her classroom after the fall semester but, I can’t stay mad for her desire to grow in her role and to change even more children’s lives by helping other educators. Thankfully, my baby still gets to see her and I get to wave at her in car pick up line.
Thank you for holding my girl’s hand during her first semester in a new school, for being patient with me when I sent dumbass questions about math assignments I didn’t understand (why is 2nd grade math SO hard?!), for helping instill confidence and security within the walls of your classroom and within the walls of her heart. And for meeting your calling head on and with a smile each and every day.
Of course, Ms. V bounced but not before giving us Mr. H. Now, I will tell you that I was supposed to have my first male school teacher in 5th grade (Mr. O) and he had a heart attack before starting the school year. I’d always wondered what it would be like to have a male teacher since those seemed so rare to me in elementary school. The Frog Princess doesn’t have to wonder. This is his first year teaching and I am giddy about the fact that I get to see a new teacher, a male teacher and a black male teacher at that, in the classroom. You might not think this as a big deal but it is (I still recall Denene’s squees when I told her of this fact). Representation matters and we are always looking for it.
Mr. H, don’t lose that twinkle in your eye. Keep up that caring spirit and never leave that smile at home. Thank you for sitting down patiently with us as we had a million and one questions about the Frog Princess’s grades. We appreciate the care and love that you give to your kids. If you got a feeling that all of the gifts this week were a bribe so you could move up to 3rd grade with the class, you might not be wrong. We fell in love with you in the same way we fell in love with Ms. V and are so grateful that you have chosen this path in your life. You are right where you need to be and we are lucky to have you. Thank you for all you do. (We won’t hold the UCF thing against you.)
Last and certainly not least, Mrs. Z. She is the master in the other classroom that gets my child 50% of the day. She is the teacher that most reminds me of my own because she speaks to her kids in my native tongue. She is chill and has this “don’t worry about it, she’ll get it” attitude that has eased my heart on more than one occasion. I specifically remember the Frog Princess leaving her homework in my office once and how I frantically sent a message because in the past, it would’ve been a major issue missing an assignment. The exchange couldn’t have been more different.
Mrs. Z, every time I interact with you, it feels like you are inviting me to take a deep breath. And for that, I am grateful. It has been a struggle for me to get the Frog Princess to speak in Spanish. But, she now comes home and I get to read passages to her that she comprehends. You teach her new and exciting words, you are patient with her and so caring. I know you love on her and for that, I am thankful.
Yes, there have been loads of gifts this week. Yes, I may have gone overboard. But, for the people that spend a good portion of the day with our littles, that put up with their shenanigans times 18, that teach and care, that leave imprints on their minds and their hearts, it’s the least we parents could do. I don’t think I could ever do enough to thank them.