Yesterday, I sent the following note in to Playette's teacher. I share this here only because it may inspire others to send a word of encouragement and thanks to someone who has such influence on children's lives.
I got nervous that maybe I had overstepped a little, but I received a nice reply from the teacher this morning, so now I'm ok with posting it. *whew*
17 December 2012
Today is a difficult day for many people, but, as a teacher, I am trying to imagine what it must be like for you. So many of us mourn the losses of the twenty-six people in Newtown, CT, but so few of us are teachers. So few of us know what it’s like to be responsible for the education and lives of the twenty-two children you’ll have in your care today and every day.
I just want to take this moment to thank you. I know it’s only words, but I hope that you know how much our family appreciates you and what you do for M every day. She is not your child in the biological sense, but I’m sure that you've hugged her, wiped her tears (and probably her nose, too), helped her when she’s fallen, encouraged her, disciplined her, laughed with her, and thought of her when she wasn't around. You've come up with ways that made her days a little easier to manage. You've shown her what it feels like to be successful. You haven’t focused solely on her developmental needs. To you, she is a whole person. She is M, another one of your funny, loud, crazy brood. For that, we could not be more grateful.
I also thank you for all of the extra you do to make your room a loving environment for all children. The centers, the rug with assigned seats based on what you know some children need, the photos of them on the walls, the artwork, the height markings, the words, the colors, the letters…all of the things that you've taken the time, and probably some of your own money, to put together. It all matters and helps to enrich so many young minds.
I would assume that your difficult job will get just a little bit harder today. Not only do you have to personally deal with the emotional impact of this tragedy, but there will surely be additional meetings, training, and regulations that you have to factor into your full days. There will also probably be some parents that have fears you will have to try and calm, yourself knowing that the world is a scary place and all we can ever do it our best.
I hope that you can accept these words like a hug.
It can never be said enough: We appreciate you.
The Smith Family