A letter to a preschool teacher
It's a pity that I am writing you this letter on what is your last day of work, when the things I want to say to you have been there all along.
(In some ways, I think it's a sign of our times. Preschool teachers do very important work which is hard to duplicate anywhere else, and when they do it well it's even moreso. However, they do not seem to be appreciated to the extent that their work is skillful, important and sometimes hard.)
And I apologise for that. It's been easy for me to have kept postponing the effort of appreciating you somehow, in a form of a letter, or a gift, or a gesture of sorts. And yet when Karen resigned last year, that's exactly what I told myself back then! That I need to make an effort before people leave, not on their last day.
And yet here I am again, on your last day of work.
In years from now, [my son] will be much taller, his shoulders broader and his voice lower. He'll excel at some things and struggle with others; sometimes we'll argue and at other times we'll hug. But even years from now I'll know how important it will have been that he loved coming to preschool and loved coming to your transition to school classes. You have been laying a foundation I cannot duplicate at home. I know I do important work, too, and so does [my husband] - but so do you.
[My son] loves learning, and not just learning for its own sake, but he loves doing it in a classroom setting. He has learned that it is fun, and that he gets to do special things, and that he gets to feel praised for it.
And it's a testament to you, and the way [preschool] has nurtured him, that he loves preschool so much.
Thank you, [teacher]. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I know that [my son] will ask for you in the coming weeks, just as he has asked for Anne when she finished working with him, and Karen. He'll get used to you not being there gradually, and we'll keep explaining to him why you can't be there and he'll attempt to understand.
I am sad for you leaving, but at the same time I am very understanding of it. I know it takes effort to take the choices about your own life into your own hands, and I appreciate that this decision must not have been easy to make. But I am excited about where your life takes you next and I wish you well for this journey ahead. I hope for warm evenings with family and friends, that you sometimes get to gaze at a starry night with your heart full and that occasionally - yes, occasionally! - you get to sleep in.
Thank you for being [my son's] teacher and his friend! Thank you for instilling in him that to learn about something is fun, and that he looks forward to going to school one day which for us will be an entirely new journey instead.
Thank you, [teacher]. Take care!
Posted on 14.7.16