Wow. This life thing is amazing. I'm slogging through to the end of the longest school year I've ever experienced, and at the same time watching Nate and Camilla celebrate the end of a particular stage in their lives, and we're all preparing (I think, maybe, a little, reluctantly) for Camilla to leave next Monday, and also waiting for Lyle to arrive, and today Andy and I head down to celebrate the imminent arrival of two brand new people, Craig and Heather's twin girls, whom we never ever expected to even dream about!
So it's a pretty verklempty time.
Add to that the inevitable tiredness of the end of a long year, done well, and the disappointment/infuriation of parents who behave badly and blame teachers for mistakes their kids make, but all that topped off with the pride in the kids who do buckle down and do their level best and how much they've grown and learned (and would do, no matter what else happened, because that's what humans do, and it's wonderful to be a part of that, even though it's exhausting and [go back to start of paragraph and reread!]). . . .
and you have a mushy mess of tired and emotion.
So, if you're reading this and you're a parent with kids in a classroom, and if you have had any one of those moments where you got a special message from a teacher, a meeting after school or even just to touch base, or if your kids had a special day or learning experience or book recommendation or event, or even if they're coming home at the end of this year of learning and growing more learned and more grown than they were in September. . . . . multiply your kid by at least 60 to see what each teacher juggles, and then drop everything and go thank that/those teacher/s.
Make it an email that you cc to the principal and the school board.
Write a letter to the editor praising the teacher, the school, the public education system.
Go buy a gift certificate to the local breakfast place or coffee shop or garden store or, if it's all that's on offer, to Walmart or Dunkin' Donuts or make a donation to the local library in the teacher's name.
Send a hand written note on the back of an old bill.
But say thank you. Say it loudly and honestly and specifically. Say it as loudly as those parents who bash the system or the teacher/s do. Because: believe me, it's a tough job, and saying thank you is the right thing to do.