I remember how nervous I was sending both of them off to school last fall. It was Evie's first day of school at a new school for the third time in three years. Her comment from the September before in Studio City, that "nobody notices me at recess", still rang fresh in my ears. I remember thinking to myself, "Good luck!" as she walked in the door.
Good luck is exactly what both girls had this year. They both made close friends, learned more than I imagined they could in one school year, and walked to school everyday with smiles on their faces (unless we were running late, in which case Evie would be nearly in tears wailing, "C'mon Mom, we're going to be laaaate!"). A lot of the joy they both found at school this year can be attributed to their wonderful teachers.
Evie's teacher wrote a letter to the class that she read out loud today. I just thought it was beautiful -- and a lesson for all of us. Hopefully she won't mind that I copied part of it here:
"...I hope you'll remember that we all have strengths and areas we can improve -- both in our academics and in our relationships with others. If you're ever feeling down about something that's hard for you, think of something you excel at or enjoy because you have many talents. I've learned that life is all about our attitudes and outlooks. During my travels abroad [she taught in Ecuador for several years before moving back to Boulder] and around our country I've seen people living with much less but still with smiles on their faces. I hope you'll value your connections with others and your personal goals and accomplishments more than appearances and possessions. But most of all, please, be optimistic in life. People around you will thrive from the joy and positive energy you share with them. Most of the time, all you have to do is smile and you've already brightened my day!...Enjoy your summer, enjoy 4th grade, and enjoy life!"
I found that letter more valuable than all the math or reading or science that should could have taught Evie all year. Except that I love that she was teaching all of those subjects with those values behind her teaching.
And so, with summer starting, I would like to just take a minute to say THANK YOU to all the teachers out there. Not only Lucy and Evie's wonderful teachers, but to all of you who make a difference in children's lives. I have seen from my own girls how much difference a good teacher can make.