180 days. Teachers have our children 180 days of the year. That’s 180 mornings when some kids just do not want to wake up. That’s 180 afternoons of teachers rushing kids out the door with all — or at least most — of their belongings. It’s 180 days of standing in the sun, rain, dust, or cold, getting kids back to their caretakers. 180 days worth of lesson plans and preparation. Yet without fail, teachers are there to support our kids! So on behalf of Dawn Institute and parents everywhere, I cannot emphasize this enough: THANK YOU, teachers!
For Supporting Them Emotionally
Thank you, teachers, for providing countless expressions of emotional support for my child. Thank you for caring for my child when she was sad, sick, or scared. Thank you for peeling my kindergartener off my leg when she was anxious to go to class (a true story). And especially, thank you for tolerating my child when she was not behaving at her best.
For Supporting Them Academically
Thank you, teachers, for communicating with me. Thank you for taking extra time to help my child understand. Thank you for helping my child to be more self-sufficient, and for pushing my child when he did not think he could do math. And so importantly, thank you for providing positive feedback to build my child’s self confidence.
For Supporting Them Sacrificially
Thank you, teachers, for using your energy and your own funds to create special experiences for my child. Thank you for taking time during the summer and on the weekends to learn new techniques for teaching. And in a remarkable example, thank you for taking personal time to watch my child play softball because you knew it was important to her (another true story that I’m sure many can echo).
For Supporting Them Relationally
Thank you, teachers, for making my child feel safe. Thank you for being a person my child can talk to. Thank you for coaching my child to be a good classmate. Thank you for teaching my child boundaries. Thank you for looking out for my child’s safety and well-being.
Beyond “Thank you”
These statements can go on and on. Teaching is one of the hardest, if not THE HARDEST, professions and yet thousands choose it day after day — all 180 of them, year and again.
My challenge to caregivers is to ask these questions to the teachers serving your children. “How can we help?” “How can we parents best support you?” “How can we best prepare our kids for you?”
On behalf of Dawn Institute and other mental health professionals, we’re asking “How can we as therapists help support you?”
While we continue pursuing answers to these questions, Dawn Institute wants to wish all teachers, administration, staff, and students the best of luck this year! May it be a year of transformation, growth, and healing!
If you are pursuing healing as a parent, specifically, Dawn is offering a 12-week group therapy session to help parents heal and be more informed caregivers to their children. Learn more and register here.