Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cheers to Teachers

One day during his kindergarten year, Will came home from school and told me the world was flat. I gently corrected him, but he argued his position for quite some time. It seemed he had misunderstood or misheard his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Pratt, when they were talking about the shape of our planet, and he wouldn't let it go. Finally he turned to face me, put his hands on his hips, and declared, "Well MAYBE, Mom, Mrs. Pratt is smarter than you".

It was the first time Will had - at least verbally - considered the possibility that another adult might be smarter than his parents, and I might have felt a little defeated if I hadn't loved Mrs. Pratt almost as much as Will did. She helped all of us transition smoothly into elementary school, she kept careful watch over Will as we navigated his first non-peanut-free academic setting, and she fueled his love for learning by keeping him engaged and challenged. She was - is - an incredible teacher, and we were lucky that both Will and Hallie began their elementary school careers in her classroom.
Mrs. Pratt and Hallie at her kindergarten music program.

Why am I sharing this seven-year-old story and talking about teachers? This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. In just 17 days, Hallie and I will walk out of Will and Hallie's elementary school for the last time. In honor of this (both celebratory and heart-breaking) milestone, I decided to publicly share my appreciation for all of the teachers and administrators Will and Hallie have had the honor  their elementary years.

Mrs. Pratt - kinder, both Will and Hallie
Mrs. Trotter - 1st, both Will and Hallie
Mrs. Burkhalter - 1st, both Will and Hallie
Mrs. Bedard - 2nd, Will
Mrs. O'Quinn - 2nd, Will
Mrs. Williams - 3rd, Will
Ms. Shimek - 3rd, Will
Mrs. Barker - 4th, Will
Mrs. Decell - 4th, both Will and Hallie
Mrs. O'Neill - 4th, Will
Mrs. Gallagher - GT, both Will and Hallie
Mrs. Romero - GT, Hallie
Mrs. Lipscomb - 2nd, Hallie
Mrs. Roddy - 2nd, Hallie
Mrs. Stephens - 3rd, Hallie
Ms. Steiner - 3rd, Hallie
Mrs. DeVerna - 4th, Hallie
Mrs. Bratcher - music, both Will and Hallie
Mrs. Dean - art, both Will and Hallie
Ms. Harris - art, Hallie
Mrs. McCabe - computers, both Will and Hallie
Coach Weldon - PE, both Will and Hallie
Coach Ledyard - PE, both Will and Hallie
Coach Lynne - PE, Hallie
Coach Benevidas - PE, Hallie
Mrs. Witte - librarian, both Will and Hallie
Ms. Rhodes - librarian, Hallie
Nurse Benedict - lifesaver, both Will and Hallie
Ms. Ballard - Principal, Will
Mrs. Hannath - VP, both Will and Hallie
Mr. McIntire - Interim Principal, Will
Mrs. Jones - Principal, both Will and Hallie
Ms. Sanders - VP, Hallie
Mr. Durand - Principal, Hallie

Every single one of these incredible educators had a positive impact on our lives. Some more than others, and some in more obvious ways, but as we officially leave behind this academic stage, I can say with certainty that Will and Hallie wouldn't be nearly as successful - insightful, creative, hardworking, and kind - if they hadn't spent their elementary years learning from these Rock Prairie teachers.

This week I lift my glass - and I hope you will too - to all of the teachers in your life. Those you know and love (a special shout out to my sister, Sara); those who taught, guided, loved, and supported you; and those who have done the same for your children.  

This list doesn't include the many custodial staff, kitchen staff, paraprofessionals, aides, student teachers, methods students, specialists, etc. who while not directly teaching Will and Hallie, still contributed to their elementary experience. Cheers to them as well!

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