Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Best Teacher Gift

It is that time of the year when people are wondering what to do for their child's teacher for the end of the year gift.

Yesterday I did receive a very clever and unique gift that I will share in my next post, but I also received some of my favorite gifts; notes and letters from parents.

We often take time to make a call or write a note or email when we are upset or have a question, but making time to genuinely and specifically thank someone it incredibly meaningful.  I wanted to share one that I will treasure with you.

Dear Dana,

I wanted to take the time to let you know how truly blessed I feel that Norah was part of your class this year.  You are such a dedicated and talented educator, whose passion shines through every time you are with your students.  I could not have asked for a better early learning experience for Norah.  She looked forward to going to school to spend time and learn with you, Katherine and all of her friends each and every day.  I only hope that she will continue to meet teachers throughout her school years that will get her excited about learning and help foster her creativity and independence the way that you have at CCNS.  You have not only helped to develop her pre-reading, writing and math skill, you have taught her how to learn- and in the most fun and natural way for a child to learn- by playing.  You have shown her the endless possibilities before her when she pretends in dramatic play, builds roadways in the block area, paints pictures, creates sculptures out of a variety of media, explores the pictures and texts in a good book and uses her own words to document her experiences, express her voice and create her own stories.

Plain and simple, you make learning fun!! You make me wish I was four again so that I could participate in the awesome preschool experience that Norah was part of this year.  Lucky for me, I was still able to participate as a parent assistant, and have taken so much from it.  I will admit, toward the end of my four years teaching kindergarten, I was discouraged.  I had so many conflicting emotions about education.  I have such a passion for the art of teaching but I feel like it was harder and harder to hold on to as I was bombarded with people above me enforcing the use of curricula and methods that I didn’t always agree were the best ways for my students to learn.  It was heartbreaking to me because I felt like the fun of teaching and learning was slowly fading.
And then our family was fortunate enough to find CCNS.  Not only did CCNS and you help to begin to develop a love of learning in my daughter, you helped remind me of why I have always loved learning so much.  My passion has been rejuvenated and I thank you.  Thank you for all that you have done during our time at CCNS.  We will miss you very much and look forward to Nolan’s years at this amazing school.

All the best,
Alicia Kapas

So I share this with all of the early educators out there taking the time to set up amazing environments in which children learn through their play. I share it with those of you in co ops working with parents in the classroom each day.  You are making a difference in the lives of these children and their parents.  I thank you on behalf of your students' parents and the children you serve.

And parents, there is no greater gift than taking the time to truly thank someone.  I save and treasure every single letter. I'm sure your child's teacher would too.   

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