This year I embarked on a new adventure.
After over a decade in education, the majority of those years spent as a public school teacher, I found myself on the other side of the table: I was the parent of a kindergartener.
I was more nervous for fall conferences as a parent than I had ever been as a teacher! I wasn’t nervous about what my daughter’s teacher would say because she has a phenomenal teacher. Her teacher communicates frequently with parents and welcomes us into her classroom any time. My daughter is in love with school.
I was nervous because I had no idea how I would react to someone teaching me some things about education. I have very strong opinions about teaching and learning that I’ve formed over the years based on my experiences as a teacher, a teacher educator and a learner who had earned a doctorate.
I teach people how to teach so I was worried I would have a running list in my head of suggestions for ways the teacher could improve or things she could do differently.
Guess what? I didn’t.
We had a great conference, and I walked away with a much greater appreciation for public school teachers than I had even when I was one. My daughter’s teacher is herding cats daily (trust me, I volunteered for 20 minutes with a group of six kindergarteners. It wore me out!). But she’s still able to love them, lead them and teach them. It’s truly impressive.
My daughter feels special every day and for that, I am truly grateful. Whoever the teachers are in your life, let them know how important they are and what a difference they make. Appreciate their patience, stamina and dedication to their students. They do the most important job imaginable.