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,