As summer winds down and I know it’s time to go back to school my first reaction is, “Oh I really don’t want to go back”.
But after a few days of teacher in-service, I start to feel a rejuvenation of my teaching spirit. I start looking ahead to all the new faces and personalities I will encounter in the new year and a smile comes across my face.
Then the first day comes and I meet little boys and girls who come from very diverse backgrounds. Some have parents who are doctors and lawyers. Some are foster children from broken homes, including children who have parents that are incarcerated. Sometimes it’s their dad, others it’s their mother and in some circumstances even both of the child’s parents have ‘gone away’. But it is the child of the offender that grabs my heart every time, not that the other children aren’t special to me. It’s just that the children of an offender has a very special spot in my heart.
I want each of you within the gates to know that there are teachers out in the free world very similar to me that are educating your children and teaching them to be outstanding citizens and to set goals for themselves, and to believe in themselves. We have empathy towards your child, but we still make them strive to become the absolute best they can be. We serve as mentors to them; we go to their extra-curricular activities, such as football games, basketball games and volleyball games, just to cheer them on and to let them know we are on their side. Sometimes when they ask me to come to their games, it’s just a blessing to see them smile when they see me in the crowd.
Yes there are challenges at times, but as we work through these challenges together, your child develops an understanding of how to work and face other challenges in a proper manner.
So as your child goes off to school this year please recognize the fact that we (myself and others just like me across this great state) are all in this together to help your child to become a successful, confident, and productive person in society. And I want to say “Thank you, for allowing me to teach your beautiful children. I count it a blessing. Thank you and God bless each and every one of you”.