Monday, May 2, 2011

Thank a Preschool Teacher!

"If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers." (Edgar W. Howe)
Mora Priscilla and Mora Chaya
Spring break gave me a new appreciation for teachers.  This realization was rather shocking to me since I was (am) a teacher, as well are my mom, brother, sister-in-law, uncle, aunt, grandfather, and about half of my childhood friends.  Over the course of the 9-day break, I realized that I would rather be sitting in a middle class seat, in coach, on a 15-hour nonstop flight to Cairo than spend two whole weeks at home with my two kids.  As the image of this wondrous flight lingered in my brain, the trip became more and more appealing.

Tomorrow is National Teacher Appreciation Day, and although none of my students ever acknowledged my tireless work on this national holiday, I am feeling an extremely strong desire to thank the preschool teachers in my life.  Below is a letter I drafted to my daughter's teacher.  However, I feel that it is pretty universal.  Please feel free to copy, paste, and change the underlined text so that you can send a nice note to the teacher that is saving your sanity, too.

Dear Teacher Priscilla,

Although there are many people that love my children, the care and affection that you bring to them is beyond words.  However, since I am too lazy to drag both the children out of the house to the local store to buy you flowers, I thought that I would give words a try.

Thank you for always smiling and offering a hug when Elana walks in the door.  You make her feel welcomed, loved, and safe (especially on days when Mommy is feeling bitchy and just wants a latte).

Thank you for appropriately oohing and aahing over each dress Elana proudly adorns for school.  Because you do this, Elana eagerly dresses herself each morning in anticipation of your joyous reaction.

Thank you for providing a safe, contained place to play with paint, glitter, beads, and glue.  Because you do this, I have an excuse to say "no" when she asks to make use of our own art supplies after I spent the morning cleaning the house.

Thank you for never turning on Sprout programming.  I know that there are days that you are absolutely knackered, and the last thing you want to do is manage twelve three and four-year-old children running amok around a small enclosed space threatening to dump every bin of toys.  Still, you never throw your hands in the air and sit them all in front of Dora.  Because you don't do this, I feel less guilty when I do. 

Thank you for providing a variety of gender neutral toys for my daughter to play with.  Because you offer her the opportunity to engage in car, bug, and superhero play, I am less disgusted that her room looks like the Disney Princess aisle at Target.

Thank you for reading to her every day after lunch.  Because you do this, I can send her straight to her room for "quiet resting time" the moment we set foot in the home.

Thank you for patiently working with Elana to overcome her separation anxiety.  There were days I was 99% positive that I was going to get a call to come back and take home the screaming monster.  But, the phone never rang.  Because you put up with her monumental meltdowns, I was able to spend the morning writing in my favorite coffee shop.

But most importantly, thank you for loving my child from the hours of 8:45 to 12:45.  Because you do this, I can love her a little more the rest of the day.

Thank you, a thousand times, thank you!

Elana's exhausted, but ever so grateful, mother


  1. Love it! Thanks for the great ideas!

  2. I like how you add in some sense of humor here and there to spice up your letter. Especially the last part, I just lol-ed totally at the underlined time. Somehow sounds like you are trying to stress that out to the teachers of your Enrichment Class for Kids :p