Last week was Read Across America in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. If you have children you would be hard pressed to miss it. Schools everywhere celebrated with their own unique flair.
I was blessed to be a part of the party in Grace’s class where their party included eating green eggs and ham.
They got two thumbs up!
One of Dr. Seuss’s most popular books that encourages children and adults like to dream is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” In fact, my pastor used it in the sermon last Sunday to challenge us to follow God’s call over our lives, knowing there will be challenges but recognizing the will immense fulfillment that comes in living out the life He has designed for us.
Clearly each of us has different gifts and society functions at its finest when we each serve in the roles we do best.
As I observed the teacher in Grace’s classroom again, I couldn’t help but stand in awe. She is patient with a group of little people that have diverse personalities. Her innovative ideas make learning fun and her acute awareness of each student’s level ensures that each child will be met where they are at and challenged to grow. And, her heart for all the boys and girls that fill that classroom shines through in each interaction with them. Because she is so great, Grace can’t wait to go to school in the morning. The first year of full day school has been a smashing success and the groundwork has been laid for many more.
I was once told that finding the right school is like finding the perfect home. You just walk in and you know that it is for you.
That was most definitely true in our preschool and when we prayed about elementary schools and walked in to ours we felt the same sense of peace. A friend from church’s beautiful smile greeted me at the front desk. The extreme organization ensures the safety we desire and the parent involvement is a dream-come-true for those of us who want to be involved in the learning process but don’t possess the gift of being primary teacher ourself. Grace’s classroom has a parent in it every day. Sometimes more than one. And the principal is incredible. When we first met her, she introduced herself to Grace as a friend and boy has she lived up to that. My daughter doesn’t see her as an authority to be feared but a compassionate mommy who makes sure everyone is safe, happy, and successful…and word from Grace is that she’s a pretty great hugger too. :) I can’t speak to that, but I do know that I emailed her a simple safety question today expecting a easy email response and was shocked to receive a phone call because she cares so much. In a demanding job with lots on her plate, she certainly didn’t have to, but she did.
We wouldn’t want our children any place else. When we drop Grace off at school, we know that she will be safe, academically challenged, and have fun because the people there love our children as much as anyone who is not their parent feasibly could.
So, for all my parent readers, I want to encourage you to somehow thank the people that you’ve entrusted to help educate your kid(s). Their additional influence has helped your children dream of going the places they will one day go – a fun discussion you may have been fortunate to have in your home last week. I know that my sixth grade teacher is responsible for the way I balance my checkbook to this day and some of my high school English teachers had a big influence in developing my writing skill that helped land some exciting book contracts. School workers help students learn to better function in this big world and identify the gifts God has planted within them so they can go to unimaginable places and achieve extraordinary success. I myself am going to try and give back by co-chairing staff appreciation next year. As a newbie in an extremely organizing PTA you might want to offer up a prayer that I don’t mess up that gig. :)
And, to all my readers that have been called to work in a school, THANK YOU for helping shape futures. Your influence is invaluable.
I saw an idea on pinterest to get an “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” book for each child and have their teachers from pre-K through graduation sign it to give as a graduation. I’m totally going to go out and buy three to do this (adding a few more roles signatures in) partially because I want them to look back in that grand moment of life and see all their cheerleaders along the way, but also because I know each of those people will forever hold a special place in their hearts.
School workers invest in our children and that investment changes lives.