It’s teacher appreciation week.
I have anxiously walked the aisles of the store, feeling the soft petals of the beautiful orchids, fingering Apple and Barnes and Noble gift cards, and contemplating Pinterest creations. None of it seems right. As a teacher who has been on the receiving end of all of these things, I have always been so thankful for the parents who take the time to run to Kroger for a flower, for the kids who pick a dandelion from the yard, for the gift cards and the sentimental gifts, but it just isn’t enough for the people who care for my little boy. Nothing seems to be. Our son’s preschool teachers are the epitome of patience. They exude kindness and push our kids to be good little people. I teach middle school and cannot fathom how they do this with tiny humans each day.
2 months ago, our son starting having very unusual events. They often resembled seizures, although he was lucid. Most occurred at school, and we ended up at the ER twice, not to mention numerous doctor visits. We worried that he wouldn’t be able to remain enrolled because the other students deserved their teachers’ attention, too. We understood and accepted this possibility. While the school was within its right to dismiss Z, they let him stay and worked with us as we navigated this mysterious situation. We texted during the school day, we texted and spoke on the phone after school hours. We discussed the different doctors’ opinions and what we thought. And no matter what happened, we always knew that his teachers’ first concern was for our son’s well-being.
My son will be 3 this week. I am in my 7th year of teaching. I now understand what it means to entrust my child to other adults and the time it takes to create a relationship with these people to help our child grow as a team. As an educator I have always appreciated parents who were open communicators, but as a parent, I know the effort and trust required to open the lines of communication. The past 2 months have been very difficult for my husband and me. It is hard to get a text during class that your son has been on the floor shaking and acting funny for an hour. There were so many times when we wanted to leave and pick him up but could not and they were always quick to tell us they were caring for him and he was okay. Modern technology is a beautiful thing.
Beth. Chloe. Oksana. Kim. And everyone else who works with Zanon- every day we are so very thankful that you love our son as we do. That you make sure he is okay, that you watch for signs that he isn’t. That you text us how his day has gone. That you hold him accountable and treat him like everyone else. That you are his teachers. We have made it this far because we are a team. It may be that we never know what has caused these issues, but what matters is how it was handled- and you handled yourselves, him, and us as parents beautifully.
Thank you for teaching and loving our son. We appreciate you more than you know.
Rachael and Sean