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Guest Post: To Thank a Teacher

May 7, 2015

Today I’m loaning this space to #oklaed advocate and West Field Elementary (Edmond) parent Angela Little. She wrote a thank you to her sons’ teacher and asked me to share it with you. Enjoy!

Dear Mrs. Foster,

For an entire 8 months, I was extremely nervous about my little boys becoming 3rd graders. I worried, on the spectrum of worry mine was extreme, but every parent who was familiar with the RSA worried about sending their babies into a place where one test would define them. For many of us, third grade was the first time we felt like we couldn’t protect them. I had several sleepless nights and spent many hours of my life at the State Capitol fighting for my children and all children in this state. Finally we found resolve and this law was changed to allow my voice to matter in their education but I knew this wasn’t enough. I would still need the perfect teacher who would make this transitional year a positive one. Even if I had a voice in a retention decision, this test and this year would shape their self worth and their confidence for the rest of their lives. They needed growth and success not driven by fear but by a passion for learning. As the year comes to an end, I feel there are some things you should know.

You are the best kind of teacher.

You can tell my boys apart without hesitation.

You know the name of our dog and how much he means to us.

You know that Cannon loves yellow and Boston loves red.

You understood immediately that Boston only needed self confidence to bloom and that Cannon feels best about himself when he’s helping others.

You knew within weeks that my boys have sweet, sensitive hearts and are hardest on themselves if they feel like they have let you down.

You taught them that reading is done for enjoyment not for doing well on tests. At home, they will sneak flashlights into bed so they can finish just one more chapter.

You describe their compassion towards others as if you’ve known them for years.

You watch them laugh with their friends. Some days, they goof around during work time and you don’t punish them. It makes you smile to see them enjoying school and most importantly their childhood.

You radiate positive energy and I smile, because like the children in your class, I feel the warmth of your words. We all want to be one of your friends.

You have a little boy of your own, yet every day, you teach our children with seemingly endless patience.

You respond immediately to a text containing a question that I have asked you two times before and you are always kind. You understand that single working moms have very full minds and are pulled in a million different directions.

You have rock star status in our house.

“How did we get so lucky,” I say, “she’s exactly who we needed in such a volatile year.”

You are a dedicated third grade teacher. I know lots of teachers avoid third grade like the plague. You have to base their success and yours on a test that you don’t believe in.

You eased my worries.

Last year, I would have paid an exorbitant amount of money to buy the best third grade experience for my boys.

I hit the teacher jackpot. Every day, you give 26 kids exactly what they need to succeed.

I worried that my boys would feel defeated but they feel empowered daily.

Each day, I am at peace because I know you love and protect them like they are your own.

You help them feel unique despite them being identical.

You’ve made a difference in all of our lives.

Thank you,

Foster 1 Foster 2

  1. Kenda Bates
    May 7, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Such a beautiful letter! Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May 8, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Wow! A heartfelt letter from a parent that made this teacher feel as if she won the lottery. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer
    May 8, 2015 at 8:50 am

    That letter will be in her box of keepsakes forever. So wonderful that the parent took the time to share it. Twenty-six different people in a tested subject- she is a rockstar!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenna Foster
    May 8, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thank you so much for posting this and thank you for your comments! My name is Jenna Foster and I have the honor of being Cannon & Boston Little’s 3rd grade teacher. I am very fortunate to have the support of Angela Little and I feel like Oklahoma teachers are all rockstars! I cannot even begin to tell you how much Angela’s post meant to me. I can honestly say it took a couple of times reading it to be able to do so without crying. Being a teacher is something I have dreamed of becoming since I was a 3rd grader myself. As the 14th year of my teaching career is winding down, I feel like I have seen ups and downs of public education in Oklahoma. There is a quote a friend of mine uses in her classroom, “If we all don’t row, the boat won’t go”. This can be applied to us and I believe this is something Angela Little tries on a daily basis to impart through her tireless efforts as an education advocate. Let’s honor Angela and other Oklahomans who share her beliefs by sticking together and standing firm with our beliefs on public education and doing what is best for kids. What is best isn’t always popular, but we can do this and we can be change-makers. We can BE the change we want to see in the world and in education. Thank you again, Angela! I love you and your boys!

    Liked by 1 person

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