Dear Mrs. Teacher Lady

Today, Monday August 25 is the first day of school. I have two children in elementary school this year. Zoë will be starting Second Grade and Zane will be starting the First Grade. After Labor Day, Zia will begin Pre-K attending three days a week Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the mornings. For me, this is big. Real big.

I offer my kids to strangers, trusting that they will do the right thing. That they will care for my children as I do. I’m sending them to school. I should feel a sense of relief and relish the freedom gained if only a few hours worth. It’s not that easy.

As we transition some of the daily care of our children to members of our community—namely the educators we have entrusted to supplement and augment the fundamentals we have been teaching at home, concerns manifest. I worry. I fret. I pray that my children will be safe and that their love of learning and their love of life will continue to be nurtured.

I’m sending their teachers a little note…..

Dear Mrs. Teacher Lady,

Good morning and welcome to our school. (I know, that’s something you should probably be saying to me but really, with what I’m paying you guys in tuition, I kind of feel I have the right to call it MY school.) I trust that you had a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable summer vacation. I know my kids certainly did.

We both knew this day would arrive, though I’ve got to be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon. It seems we had just gotten into a really good summertime groove. That’s OK. We had fun and now are ready for school to begin as I’m sure you are, also.

You may recognize my kids, having seen them around. In the coming months you are going to have the opportunity to intimately know my children. I’m sure that it will not take you long to realize that my little Zoë has an incredibly free spirit. She is an absolute bundle of joy and energy, she loves life and loves laughter more. She’s as smart as a whip but sometimes will need a little push because challenges tend to intimidate her.

Zane is not shy, don’t be fooled. He’s intense and will absorb every word you utter. Be careful what you tell him. His heart is larger than yours and mine combined. He’s a good kid. He’ll never back down from a challenge. Nothing is beyond him and he has no fear of the unknown.

I present them, Zoë and Zane, pure, eager and excited about learning. I expect to have them returned to me in the same manner. Your task is epic, your responsibility enormous. If I felt for one second that I could do what you so willingly do each day, believe me, I would. I know, though, that teaching is beyond me. Though unable myself to provide perfection I expect it from you. Sorry, but that is your lot.

I don’t expect you to do it alone though. I am here. My wife is here. We have committed to provide the greatest quality education possible and will do anything in our collective power to see that goal achieved. We are in this together.

Take care of my Zoë and of my Zane.

Because I have trusted you, they will, too. Do not forsake that trust.

Sincerely yours,

ELamaze

Ed Lamaze

  13 comments for “Dear Mrs. Teacher Lady

  1. Jen
    Aug 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I have 3 in school this year. But school is here at home. = )

  2. Aug 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I only had two in school and to be honest hadn’t invested as much time in them as you have (business always came first), but I sort of know what you mean, however…

    …what they will learn in the next ten to fourteen years of schooling will shape them at least as much as your input, I reckon that the balance is around 50/50, the influence of friendships and their teachers will come to mean as much to them as your homelife, be prepared for that, its hard to let them find their own way but sometimes you have to stand back and watch rather than lead the way.

    (Says he who missed all of their school plays and christmas concerts 🙁 )

  3. MGM
    Aug 25, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    no pressure, there, Teacher Lady.

    I can avoid much of this for the moment at least, though it doesn’t come without a great exchange of stresses. Homeschooling.

    But my kiddos will embark on a one day per week homeschool co-op experience, putting them out of my line of sight and control for a brief time and trusting someone else to help educate them.

    I took a meal to a couple in our church last nigh who just had their first baby a few days ago. I looked at that tiny newborn. Then I looked at my daughter, exactly five years older that that little newborn. And I thought to myself how amazing…what transpires in only five short years. I forbid myself to imagine five more years down the road.

    *sigh!*

  4. Aug 25, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    I hear you on this. It was extremely difficult to leave Luke with the daycare workers for the first time. I imagine it will be the same way when school comes.

  5. Aug 25, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    I love this letter Ed. Did you really send it?

  6. Aug 26, 2008 at 1:55 am

    This a beautiful post. I wish I would get such a letter from every one of my students. As an involved parent, let me assure you that you are providing everything your children need to anchor them. They will be influenced by their teachers and friends, but nothing will sever the ties you have created if you maintain your efforts. My favorite line in your letter was the part about expecting them to be returned with the same desire for learning. That’s a tough expectation, but a fair one. Great post.

  7. Aug 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    It feels ridiculous the first few times doesn’t it? I remember when the time came to leave Julien at kindergarten. I was all “You mean I’m supposed to LEAVE HIM HERE? WITH YOU???”

  8. Aug 26, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    What a wonderful site. I love that letter. My daughter started Kinder last year, and my son starts next. I wrote my letter at the end of the year last June. If you’d like to read it, it’s at writerdad.com under, “Gracias Senora.”

    I promise I’m not trying to advertise. I just felt kinship. Please feel free to remove it if necessary. Have a great day.

  9. Aug 26, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    “I expect to have them returned to me in the same manner.”

    Good luck with that.

  10. Aug 27, 2008 at 3:01 am

    I better Mrs. Teacher Lady wishes all parents cared that much.

  11. Aug 27, 2008 at 5:30 am

    It is their lot, true. We can only hope they make the most with it.

    Well done, Sir.

  12. amy
    Aug 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    And here I am counting down the seconds til K starts next week!
    I think your letter is awesome. I think I would love to send one to those preteen girls at middle school. You can keep your blue eyeliner, your spin the bottle, and your catty ways to yourselves, please stop trying to corrupt my sweet girls!

  13. Aug 29, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Unfortunately, as much as I worried about my children being in the hands of those strangers, I now have to worry about my grandchildren. Which is worse. I know it’s hard to imagine, but it is.

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