Every day, teachers make a thousand little sacrifices for their students. Sometimes they choose to make the ultimate sacrifice, too. The world witnessed this on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, when a school principal, psychologist, special education teacher, behavioral therapist, and 2 general education teachers put themselves in the line of fire in an attempt to protect their students.
The tragedy in Newtown got me thinking about the generous teachers who have worked with my own children through the years. Most of them have gone above and beyond their job descriptions – with a smile. I pray that none of these teachers will ever be in a situation in which they have to shield their students from imminent danger. But today I want to remember the little acts of heroism that I’ve observed over and over again.
15 Reasons I Say Thank You To My Child’s Teachers
1. A fourth grade teacher went out at recess and organized a group of students to play with my son every day until it became a natural routine.
2. A speech therapist went out at recess and got my son to play football with her.
3. Many teachers have welcomed us to their classrooms for a visit on the day after the last day of school and in the week before school starts. They always smile and pose for photos for my son’s picture schedule. Some teachers e-mail us their personal summer photos so that my son will have a better idea of who they are before the first day of school.
4. Even though my son no longer qualified for occupational therapy, his resource room teacher collected a big box of fine-motor activities and loaned it to us for 6 months.
5. When my son asked his second grade teacher if she lived in the school, she wrote him a long story explaining what her days and nights are like.
6. When my son expressed his love of art museums, his teacher organized a Saturday field trip for the entire class and let my son be the tour guide.
7. A preschool teacher requested permission to have my son as her case study for her graduate class on Positive Behavior Support. She implemented her plan in school and gave us a copy of her study.
8. A teacher who was new to the school advocated for my son’s food allergies and didn’t make many friends on the staff as a result. At one point she brought a copy of my son’s medical plan to the principal to insist that the school follow the plan.
9. When I was ill and needed extra help at home, my son’s kindergarten teacher suggested that I hire her teenage daughter as a mother’s helper. The teacher and her daughter played with my son while I recuperated.
10. When a bullying situation arose, my son’s entire team swooped in to protect him and educate his classmates.
11. A middle-school teacher color-coded my son’s schedule according to the colors of each of his subject notebooks so that he would understand which notebooks he needed at every hour.
12. Even though my son is not hearing-impaired, a sign language interpreter who is assigned to another student helps him with his math every single day and engages him in conversation.
13. A teacher researched local social skills groups and summer programs for my son, and gave me her personal recommendations.
14. Every time I volunteer in school, at least one teacher, parapro or therapist will approach and share an idea to help my son. A parapro designed and made illustrated, color-coded study guides for my son for various academic subjects – at home, on her own time.
15. Some teachers have given us their home phone numbers (which I never use) and respond to e-mails late at night and during school vacations.
Last night I wrote 20 thank-you letters to my older son’s teachers, parapros and therapists. I just want them to know that someone noticed what they are doing.
Have you thanked a teacher today? Please share the “little acts of heroism” that you’ve witnessed In the comments below
In Memory of the victims in the Newtown Tragedy