If you’re a teacher like me, you might be missing your classroom kiddos a whole lot by now. What I would give to wake up at 6 am again to get ready and start my day at school bright and early. I left on spring break thinking I was going to return to my class, my babies, in just a short week. But boy was I wrong.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic made sure that didn’t happen, and now teachers and parents alike are feeling ALL the feelings knowing that the 2019 – 2020 school year is not resuming like we so desperately hoped for. Teachers all over the state are now implementing Zoom calls, Marco Polo videos, emails and online teaching in place of traditional educational settings. It’s the new normal now, has been in place for weeks. They allow us to feel connected in a disconnected world, but nowhere near does it compare to being in a classroom full of little sweethearts who adore you and who you adore even more.
My teacher heart is so sad and heartbroken that I didn’t get to say goodbye to my littles in person. I know many other teachers are in the same boat and it’s a place we’ve never had to go before. And now with Teacher Appreciation Week in May, I’m definitely going to miss the sweet hugs and surprises from my students and their wonderful families.
After 10 years of teaching I can honestly say that being an educator has not always been easy, but it sure is rewarding. I don’t want to sound like a cliche, but it’s my honest truth. Every new year as the new batch of kiddos come in August, it’s a new start to make a difference, inspire and make learning fun. I sincerely love my job, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Since moving to Houston in January, I had to leave my class back home mid year and joined a new class here. It was definitely tough to leave, but my transition has been so easy here. I’ve taught 1st grade, Kindergarten and preschool. My new assignment was definitely out of my normal routine. I was placed in an infant classroom in a wonderful early leaning academy. Initially, I was both terrified and excited.
Don’t get me wrong, I love children, especially babies. I mean who doesn’t love babies? But a class of 6 babies at once sounded very intimidating. I believe God works in mysterious ways and I was put in that classroom for a reason. Those babies warmed my heart and gave me all the cuddles I’ve been needing as a mother suffering from secondary infertility. I miss those babies so much and I’m devastated I didn’t get to watch some crawl, take their first steps, and even eat solid foods for the first time.
For teacher appreciation week, since we’re not spending it in the classroom, I want to reflect on what I have come to appreciate in my teacher life this school year.
Appreciate the Smiles
I appreciated the warm smiles from both my students and their parents every morning and afternoon. Coming in as their child’s new teacher, I was pleasantly surprised with such a warm welcome and acceptance from the parents, the staff and administration. It honestly set the tone for my day and without even saying words, I knew those parents were trusting me with their most precious gift and it honestly made me feel like a superhero. A smile can make someone’s day turn around and believe me when I say, having a baby smile at you is one of the best feelings out there.
Appreciate the Moments
In 10 years of teaching I have so many memories and moments that I carry on with me year to year, class to class, even child to child. This year, my favorite moments by far have been taking the kiddos out for a walk. Technically they don’t walk, so we go for a stroll. The excitement I see in their faces when being buckled up to the stroller lets me know its one of their favorite moments too. Watching them absorb their surroundings, eyes wide open, smiles from ear to ear, is just so fun to see.
Appreciate the Chaos
Looking back at the short time I had with my class I miss hearing baby giggles, feeding time, and my all time favorite, rocking a fussy baby to sleep. I can still remember one day that my assistant and I managed to put all 6 babies to sleep around the same. We sat there in 30 minutes of silence taking in all the sleeping babies. I felt like a superhuman, I felt accomplished and I felt so happy. Imagine a crying, hungry or sleepy baby. Now imagine 6 babies crying for you all at once needing different needs being met. It was definitely a challenge, but being able to bring comfort to each child in their own way and helping them sleep was almost magical.
Make Teacher Appreciation Simple, but Significant
Just because we’re in a quarantine stage of life doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with those teachers who love our children oh so much!
With all these rules in place right now, some of you may not be wanting to leave the comfort of your home, trust me, I know the feeling too well. Having your kiddos draw, write or paint something and mail it to their teachers house would be both sweet & memorable. Now that the norm is curbside and delivery, how sweet would it be to have some yummy sweets or dinner delivered right to your favorite’s teacher door? Think local and small businesses; not only are you helping a small business during this COVID-19 norm, but you’re also making your sweet teacher’s sweet tooth day. Another great option is online shopping. A quick glance on Amazon, Target, or any cute boutique will get you thinking of something to send as a thank you to your teacher’s door.
To my babies, I appreciate you tiny humans so much! We may be apart but you’ll always be in my heart.
Love, your teacher.