• A Letter To The Mothers Of My Students

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    I’m a mom and I’m a public school teacher. I wear a lot of hats. I’m not just a public school teacher, I’m a behavior therapist. I work with some very special kids. They are so amazing and a lot of them don’t even know it! That’s part of my job, I get to help them learn and grow and be the totally amazing people they are capable of being. While they are at school, I have a very important job. I get to be their mom for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. During that time, they become my kids too.  I call them all my kids. I have to consciously remind myself that they are “my students,” not my kids.  But they are! You see, during that time we form a very special bond. I advocate for them, I push them to succeed, I teach them how, I comfort them when they’re upset and sick, and I give them the courage to try again.  I go to battle for them (an on occasion, it seems) with them, always keeping in mind that they are your babies. They are your precious babies and I have the honor, privilege, and great responsibility of being their mother in a world where you cannot go with them: high school.

    After my maternity leave ended, it was hard to return to work. It was hard to leave my chubby, pink infant and return to the organized chaos of the local high school.  It was hard to hand him over to someone else to care for when I felt that being his mother was my most important job in the whole world. How could I trust someone else with my most important job for 40+ hours a week? It was heart wrenching to leave him the first day. I cried all the way to work. Then, I thought of you.  I remembered that you send your babies to school for that same amount of time. You send your very special, irreplaceable babies to school and you trust that I will be there. You trust that I will do my job; it is my second most important job. It’s a job that not just anyone can do. In fact, when I tell people about my job, usually they say to me “Oh how wonderful. I couldn’t do that. You must be a very special person to do that.”  I want to tell them that they can, that anybody can, but the truth is… they can’t. I have been given this opportunity, this monumental task, and you, the mothers of these precious children I teach, are counting on me. Because of you, I went back to work.

    So now, I have these two incredibly important jobs that I do every day. I know what you’re thinking. I have the summers off. I get all the big holidays off. It’s true, I do not have to go to school on those days, but I’m never “off.” I carry your children in my heart and in my thoughts. I keep thinking about them, worrying about them, and praying for them during the summers, the snow days, and even after graduation.  I hold every single child I have ever worked with in my heart and I hope and pray that they are continuing to succeed, to be the amazing people that they are.  And, just like you, I hope that someone somewhere is doing my job for me when I can’t. I pray that the people charged with caring for my son while I take care of yours are doing what I would do, making the choices that I would make, and “mothering” my son when I cannot. I pray that those who care for your children after they are out of my care are taking their responsibilities as seriously as I do mine. I pray they are doing their jobs.

    Thank you for giving me the strength to return to work when I was afraid. It was thinking of your courage and faith in me that helped me to decide to continue.  Thank you for trusting me with your precious babies and believing that I would go above and beyond the job description on my contract.

    Sincerely,

    A Mother



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