Recently, we went to the fifth grade graduation ceremony for our eldest...and I wept. It's still a fairly new school to us- we only joined midway through his fourth grade year, so we don't have the sentimental associations some parents do, having seen all these kids sprout from kindergarteners to middle schoolers, but still, it was emotional. Part of what made it so emotional was watching the teachers sobbing. They gave these profoundly moving speeches about the people we had all raised together this year. They cared, not just about the kids' test scores- which do effect their professional lives significantly- and not just about somehow getting 20-30 kids to behave simultaneously long enough to try to get anything accomplished, and NOT just about keeping them safe in a classroom that can at any moment be turned into a war zone by a man with a gun, but also about our kids' character. Somehow, despite all of the obstacles, (AND TEACHING THROUGH COVID, AND handling their own family pressures at home!) they were able to help build our kids up, discover who they are and prepare them for/brace them for the cold, hard world of middle school and beyond. Each teacher spoke of the kids' light, their hearts and courage- the knowledge these teachers have of our kids goes so much beyond academics. They really found the time to see each kid and help them achieve a better version of themself throughout the year. It made me feel so much less alone to know that these brilliant, brave women care so much for my kid. There are so many days that I feel like I'm failing him, am not doing enough, that I'm drowning in all that I don't know how to do, but I realize how lucky we've been to have these teammates in raising a Henry. I hope he (we) has more compassionate teachers in the future who care for him this much and put this much into his growth.
Teachers are fucking miracles. Besides hella gift cards and volunteering in class, voting to increase funds to the school, and participating in PTA stuff- what can we be doing to support these people who put so much weight behind our kids?