First of all, thank you. I’m so grateful you said yes when God called you to be a teacher. If asked, I know you’d say it’s rewarding… but I also know it can be stressful and frustrating and thankless.
So thank you.
I notice the effort you give in making your classroom just so. I appreciate the time you put into finding fun and innovative ways to teach curriculum. And I know how tiring it is to deal with drama and attitude issues at the same time you’re trying to manage a classroom filled with a diverse group of kids who learn and respond so differently.
You. Are. Amazing.
And an inspiration.
But I need you to know that each year I send my kids off to school – despite my best efforts… despite your best efforts – my heart feels terribly vulnerable to being tangled up in insecurity.
I love my kids. And I want every good thing for them.
… I want them to have rich friendships
… I want to them excel in their academics
… I want them to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus
… And I want you to see how very special God made them.
Now my kids are not perfect.
Yes, they can be hard to love. They can respond with precision snark with little provocation. They can be disrespectful and mean-spirited and down-right rude.
There may be drama… anger outbursts… tears… acting out… withdrawal… and a million other responses or reactions which may – or may not – make any good sense at all.
I know, because they come from me. #TheAppleDoesn’tFallFarFromTheTree
But did you know that my son would bend over backwards to help you if you asked him?
~ He has the kindest spirit, and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
~ He fights for the underdog because he knows how it feels to be one – he is a card-carrying member of The Justice League.
~ He has little antennas that are always out, taking the temperature of the room and everyone in it… giving him the ability to see into the heart of the hurting.
~ And when he asks you how your day is going, he really wants to know.
~ Sam is an old soul.
But if you point out a failure or embarrass him in front of his peers, it tangles his heart more tightly than you’ll ever know.
He’s sensitive, so grouping him with mean-spirited students makes him feel less than. And sometimes he lets the off-the-cuff, hurtful and sarcastic words of others tighten knots that tell him he’s not fully accepted.
Did you know my son struggles when the classroom doesn’t obey your rules? And since he stuffs his emotions… you may not realize he’s sitting in your class – angry on your behalf.
Please see my son’s heart this year.
He is my first-born. My kindred spirit. And I love him so much it hurts.
And then there’s Sara, my child who finds a way to milk every bit of joy and fun out of life.
~ Her belly laugh is terribly contagious, and when she starts giggling everyone around her does too.
~ I adore her spunk, passion and quick wit, and she’s an amazing artist who works on her craft all the time.
~ She loves to connect with her teachers and develops a genuine appreciation for them. Sara trusts you.
~ My daughter is loyal and doesn’t often give into peer pressure, and will stand up to what she knows is right. I admire her confidence.
~ She loves God, and works hard to keep her ears and eyes on noble things.
~ And while she’s modest in dress, she is generous in love. If you need help, she is your girl.
But when she feels rejected by her friends, it tangles her little heart.
She hates conflict as much as she hates when we say no to a second helping of ice-cream. Sara’s a peace-maker and chaos unsettles her gentle spirit. If she thinks you are upset with her or if she feels you just don’t like her, it tightens those knots that whisper “You’re not worthy of love.”
Please see my daughter’s heart.
She is my baby. My partner in crime. And I want her to thrive. I love her with all that I am.
By sharing my heart, my hope is you’ll have the information you need to help keep my kid’s heart untangled this year.
And in return, I promise…
… to support your efforts in our home.
… to not entertain disrespectful conversations about you with my kids, and instead trust and support decisions you’ve made.
… to connect with you personally if I do have concerns.
And as you pray for your class this year and the students that will fill those seats, please know I’ll be praying for you — praying God gives you a tenderness for your students, wisdom to create a safe environment, courage to speak truth and encouragement, and the ability to see tangling situations before they start.
I trust you with my kids.
I’m also asking God to remind you – in the sweetest ways – who you are to Him. And to untangle your heart so you have a deeper understanding of the immeasurable value you hold as His child.
… an understanding I pray you’ll pass on to my (our) kids this year.
THIS would be a great printable for your classroom!