To my daughter’s teacher,
I watch you each morning with complete admiration. Your face lights up as my baby girl bounds up to you, eager to tell you of the wondrous things that have happened since she last saw you at 3.30pm yesterday. Not for a single moment does your enthusiasm feign. No tale she tells you is too small or insignificant. Her brand new pair of perfectly polished shoes are as exciting to you as they are to her and she skips by you to her very own school peg, so happy and content. For making her feel this I can’t thank you enough.
When last September arrived, the thought of sending my girl away for six hours a day filled me with absolute dread. I handed her over to you, she seemed so small in her uniform, ironed and with plenty of growing room, my heart so heavy at the thought of her never wholly being mine again. Would she be okay? Would she eat her dinner without me there to help her? Would she listen to you? Would she miss me? Would she remember to go to the toilet in good time instead of dancing around until the very last second? Would she have friends to play with? Would the children be nice to her? Would she entertain everyone with her crazy ways, or would she be overwhelmed by the change?
Here we are ten months down the line and all my worries seem like a distant memory. You calmed all these fears and got to know her in ways only I thought I could know. The way she squints one eye when she’s thinking so intently and how she likes to let everyone know when they’re not quite following the rules. But it’s not only her you’ve invested so much time, effort and love into. It’s twenty four other miniature humans. Twenty four most prized possessions, every one of them so precious and individual. You have taken these children and with the utmost care and passion, molded them and filled their minds with such wonder and knowledge. You have dedicated yourself wholly to each and every one of them. Creating a tiny community, so strong and solid from what would seem like total chaos to anyone else. You’ve taught them kindness and teamwork and discipline and independence. You have inspired them and motivated them and taught them to do their best, no matter what. You have started their school career in a way that is nothing short of perfect.
So what I really wanted to say is, thank you. Thank you for taking my baby and treating her as your own, for helping her learn and helping her grow. For helping her first friendships flourish and for teaching her more about phonics than I ever knew was possible. For hugging her when she falls, for encouraging her when she wasn’t so sure of herself, for accepting her insane love for the home corner and for encouraging her uniqueness. Thank you for loving her, thank you for who you are and for all that you do. Nora’s first ever teacher. The first chapter of her schooling life comes to a close but I know that because of you, it’s one she and I will never forget. Forever you will be interwoven into our family’s memories. What you’ve taught Nora is in her mind but also in her heart, for forever.