This is teacher appreciation week at EC3. This means parents are busy writing thank-you notes and baking cookies and buying lunch. I have been struggling with what to say or do this time around, as it’s our last time around. Our youngest, Spencer, will graduate this summer, and march off to kindergarten. To say he’s excited is an understatement. He’s been visiting his intended school, Pleasant View, for years as we toted him along to various big-brother functions. He knows the principals and his kindergarten teacher by name. He is academically and socially ready. And he’s excited.
Conversely, it’s breaking my heart.
EC3 has been our family’s first stop every morning for nearly twelve years. This is the place we’ve trusted to help raise our babies. Babies number one and two are honor roll students who both attend the gifted program and who both recently won writing competitions at school. And frankly, I don’t know how much of that credit my husband and I can take. They’re bright boys, sure. But LOTS of folks helped mold them into who they are. Every success my kids notch up is also a success for EC3, and the many hands who have taught and encouraged the children.
Heck, it’s the place that taught us to be parents. After all, I certainly didn’t take any child development classes. From the teachers at EC3, I learned buckets of tricks about how to let a baby independently explore, or a toddler make a mess in the name of scientific research, or help a preschooler grasp math concepts. I even speak the language that EC3 taught me. Left utterly untrained, I would have probably kept my vocabulary to “stop yelling.” But at EC3 I learned that I should instead say, “I see that you are feeling frustrated.”
To say that I appreciate the teachers there is an understatement. Over the course of time, I have depended on them, emulated them, begged them for advice. I’ve asked them for insight into my children that I could never grasp on my own. My children have loved them and grown confident, smart, and independent under their tutelage.
Oh, teachers, we appreciate you. We appreciate you so much.