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.