To My Children's Teachers

Monday, May 4, 2020

To my childrens’ teachers, 

I told my kids that I had been asked to write a tribute for their teachers. They laughed! I was informed that parents do not really know teachers. Eyes twinkling, they proceeded to tell me all about their teachers at Heathwood. My quieter child talked for approximately seven minutes without taking a break, and it was not even a bedtime stall tactic. 

As I was mentally taking notes for what I would use in this tribute, I started examining their body language. They were rocking with excitement, laughing at fun memories, serious when explaining the teachers’ expectations, and most importantly wide-eyed with admiration and love. I told them I loved the stories they shared, but asked if they could give me character traits. The first one they both answered was “loving”. 

As a society, we overuse the word “love”. My own children used it as a word to sum up many characteristics. I pressed them to give examples that showed “love” as a verb, not a noun. I experienced a flood of stories and emotions. One of the best started, “They make everything we learn fun by…”. 

As a parent, I want my kids to enjoy learning. I want the reward of learning to be knowledge. I am pleasantly noticing my children are learning how to learn, think for themselves, question, and discover. The teachers my children have encountered at Heathwood make my children feel loved, valued, supported, and encouraged. 

The best compliment to Heathwood teachers is the reaction and statement my children make when a well-meaning adult asks them while on a school holiday or break if they are happy to be out of school, and they answer, “No, I like school.”.  I must bite my tongue to stop laughing every time. My kids are normal children. They play, get dirty, socialize, and laze around like all children. They enjoy school for the quite simple explanation that they have great teachers. 

When the school closed to follow Stay-At-Home orders, the teachers immediately communicated a clear objective of support. There was no panic. (That we saw, at least.) The kids had their organized brown bags and iPads. They knew their teachers were prepared to love, value, support, and encourage them remotely. As a parent, I was a bit nervous, but I was quick to see what my children already knew. You, teachers, undertook an extremely bizarre challenge and made it work. I now get to experience and see your creativity, collaboration, patience, work ethic, high expectations, professionalism, and a bit of magical superpowers, that my kids have seen all along.  

Teachers wear so many “hats” for so many different people. I have joked that if I were a teacher, I could handle the kids, but I am not sure how to handle parents. You all make it look so easy and effortless. Teachers influence and guide our children. I am honored to have my children influenced and guided by the teachers of Heathwood Hall.  

Respectfully yours, 

Tricia Holmes