To Whom It May Concern:
So I don't really know you yet but let me just say ahead of time that I'm terrified. It was the same way with my older two kids. I'm worried about whether my daughter will make friends and whether or not she will feel like she belongs. She can shy. I worry about her getting into trouble. She can be strong. I worry about her love of learning. I've seen some kids lose that over the years in the face of the standardized system.
But the truth is I'm also hopeful. In fact, I'm more hopeful than I am terrified. Because here's the thing: even in the face of testing and college and career readiness (because, you know, at six years old you'd better be prepared for Harvard) I know that most kindergarten teachers are brave. Behind the warm hugs and the happy face posters and whatnot is a tenacious side that says, "Not my kids. They will be known as a person and not a number." That's the crazy thing about kindergarten teachers. They have this inner ninja that treats the job like a mission.
So, with that in mind, I just want to say thank you ahead of time. Thank you for the fact that you will make her laugh and smile and relish in the joy of learning. Thank you for the fact that you will let her play and make and learn along the way. Thank you for the bizarre miracle that occurs (yes, I know it comes from technical expertise) where she will leave at the end of the year as a reader. Thank you for the field trips and the read alouds and the fact that you will make a trip to the library feel like a trip to the candy store. Thank you for learning her name in the first week and for taking the time to know her story and her personality and her identity.
I'm not sure what this year will bring but if it's anything like it was with my sons, I will be amazed by how much she learns and how much she enjoys the process. I know that there are days when you will be exhausted. You will have demanding parents. You will have ridiculous policies. You will have teacher shortages and unfair pay. You may have moments when you question whether or not it's all worth it. My hope is that you will know that you are appreciated. You do amazing things every day. You're pretty awesome like that.