Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Apology to the Parents of my First Grade Students

My mama raised me right ... say you're sorry when you need to. So, here goes.

Dear Parents of my First Grade students,
Hi. It's me, Mrs. Schloss. Yes, it's been 6, 7, 8, or 9 years since I was your child's first grade teacher, but maybe you still remember me. I was born to teach. Every minute in the classroom was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of mine. Truly, I loved teaching YOUR child. It was so exciting to see their eager faces at the beginning of each year and a true joy to watch them learn and grow over 9 months of precious time together. I loved them as if they were my own and I gave every day my very best.
However, there was always something that I thought was just a little odd. The parents of first graders. Some of you were "hoverers", others had long lists of how I should care for your child, and most were teary the first day/week/month of school. I just couldn't understand why you were still outside of my window 2 and 1/2 hours after school started. Or why you needed to know every detail of what happened during our school day. The kids and I were just fine with each other, why did you feel the need for one (or five) more hugs!?
We-e-e-ll, fast forward 6 years. Guess what!?! I am the parent of a 1st grader. This Thursday will be his first day of 1st grade and the first time that he is in school for a full day. I've been dreading this (yes, dreading!) all summer long. I know that he is ready for 1st grade. He loves to learn, he loves to be around other children, he LOVES recess, and most importantly, he loves his Spiderman lunchbox! It's me. I haven't been ready to let go. I've loved learning with him, seeing the world through his eyes as we've had so much time together. I've loved coordinating play dates and finding new places for fun experiences. I've loved our time at the park and the playground and on the swings in the backyard. I've loved eating lunch with him for the past 6 years. And while I am happy for him, that he is about to embark on an incredible adventure, I am sad for me.
So with tears in my eyes, I need to say that I'm sorry for thinking you were odd. And with a smile on my face (even though there are tear-stained cheeks!) I'd like to add that I now think you were perfectly normal. And just to make you feel even better ... tonight was "meet the teacher night." Will has the sweetest, young teacher. This will be her third year of teaching. As I started to go into my list of all of the special things about Will and how she could teach him best, and wanted to show him everything in the room (where his desk was, where he would hang his backpack, where he could find the trashcan...), and started to think that I should probably be prepared to "hang out" a little bit after the drop off time, I noticed that his teacher was looking at me as if I were a little bit odd ...

With greatest admiration,
Mrs. Schloss


  1. Mrs Ansley!! That is such a sweet story! I am at such a lose this year as well! I am putting my sweet Jacob at first learning this year and I am so sad that he wants to go. Jacob is already asking where is my class! I know that God is done with me having kids But I don't want to let him go! what am i to to with my thursday and fridays ! I am so blessed but I sometimes wish that God would stop time and let them be little a little bit longer! Thanks s much for sharing you heart in such a great way. Blessing!!

  2. Loved, loved, loved your blog. Thank you for sharing. I didn't have that problem because by the time mine were in 1st grade I was their teacher at the private school that they attended:) I know that when I sent them to Kindergarten there were lots of tears. Its hard to believe that Will is in 1st grade already! Seems like just last year we had him in our late SS class. No, that was Kate! and she has been promoted to the next class. Time just keep flying! Thanks for letting us love and play with your two beautiful children. Jim and Carol

  3. Love your letter, Ansley! Can I share it with my first grade parents? After watching 200 first graders enter our building on Monday (including my own), the first graders are ready and wanting to stay while the parents do want to linger and give one more hug. I promise we'll keep them safe. At my school, most have been with us full day since 4K...again, including my own! I love working with all 800 of my little ones (4K-2nd) and found it annoying at times that some parents just had to hang around and give one more hug, one more wave...(I was lucky enough to get to stay in the same building all day and watch mine grow and learn.) Thanks for the insight!!!! You've made me a better counselor.

  4. Nicole, you are too sweet!! Of course you can share it! Does that make me famous? :o)

    Carol, thank you for loving my precious babies. You set the bar so high for caregivers!!

    Mary, yes I know. I'm sitting here thinking that I still have 2 more hours until I can go get him. A much more difficult transition for me!