Monday, September 5, 2016

To Blake, on your first day of school...

Dear Blake,

Tomorrow morning is your first day of school. As your mom, that thought has taken up a major amount of space in my brain today. It's absolutely crazy to me that the day has come. You are going to walk into that school tomorrow morning, head to your classroom, and....


What the what?!?!

HOW is it possible that this little girl (see photo below) is now going to be a third grade teacher AT the same school where she went to third grade! Didn't you JUST graduate high school? Where has the time gone?!

Blake getting a snack and talking it all over with Papa after her first day of Kindergarten

I got to go into the school with you the other day  and take a look at your classroom. I was so proud of you as you showed me different things and spoke with passion and excitement about what you were planning for "your kids". You have a huge heart for kids and a basic belief that all kids are good. All kids can learn. All kids deserve second chances. That every day should start with a clean slate. And most importantly, that all kids deserve respect.

You are the teacher I would have wanted for you and your sisters.

I remember the day, several years ago when you were at UNE and you called to tell me you were declaring K-8 Education as your major. At the time, your sister was planning to go to college to major in Theater Performance. You said to me, "Mama, I guess Ellie is going to be the star of the family. I want to teach."

Since then I've watched you sub at our school all thru college on all of your breaks, intern at schools on the mainland, and eventually get to student teach your own class. You light up when you're with kids and you light up even just talking about them; your hopes and plans for them. And your attitude is contagious.

There will be hard days. Discouraging days. And just plain old bad days in general. On those days, and I'm guessing they will be few and far between because of who you are and your general positive outlook on life itself, always remember how you thought and acted when you were that age. That being a kid can be hard and confusing. Remember that there is a world of difference in a child knowing that you're disappointed with their actions versus being disappointed with them as a person. Always be sure they know it's the former, not the latter. As for the rest, let's face it, you already now more than I will ever know about teaching and so I think it's safe to say, "You've got this".

And to go back to that "star" comment for just a minute, I've got news for you, kid. To me and your dad (and our family), you are a star. One that gets to shine on and influence little minds. And lucky them for getting to be in the glow of your light.