Looking out my living room window at the kids and their parents waiting for the school bus, I am remembering my own first days—as a parent, and as a teacher. No one has asked, but I am prepared to say, “Thank these folks.”
- School Staff who are also parents of young kids: Many of them left their own kids in the hands of spouses, grandparents, and neighbors so they could be there for your kids.
- Those wonderful spouses, grandparents, and neighbors who stepped up for all working parents.
- The Boss who said, “It’s OK to come in late. Bring in photos!
- The municipal workers who protected my child.
- Your school’s: aides, nurses, social workers, office staff, janitors, bus drivers, crossing guards, and those truly wonderful cafeteria ladies.
- The school’s administrators, who got about an hour of sleep last night, if they were lucky.
- Your school’s teachers who are experiencing “the longest day” of the school year and who will arrive home absolutely exhausted. Somebody please bring in a pizza for them. For some teachers, it may be just the reverse. For them it will be “the shortest day” because they so over-planned, and the time flew by, and they couldn’t accomplish all they planned. They should get a pizza too.
- Here are two additional categories of teachers to thank on the first day:
- Smiling teachers. They could be the best teacher your child ever had.
- Non-smiling teachers: They could be the best teacher your child ever had.
Parents, you won’t know yet. Give everybody a chance!
- Finally, anyone in the school community who “parented” any child who nervously waited on line or walked through those big doors that day. Believe me, every school has many of these wonderful people. They are the folks who supply a change of clothes for a wet child, and a comforting arm around the trembling shoulder of a frightened child. These “mama’s and “papa’s” are also the ones who make sure every child has a costume for Halloween; a warm coat, mittens and boots for the winter, and (about fifteen years later) a cap and gown, and maybe even a tux or a dress for a high school prom.
Parent, you thought I was going to forget. Thank yourselves too! You have done a wonderful job!
This retired teacher wishes everyone a wonderful school year!