In less than two weeks, my almost six-year old will be wrapping up her first year in elementary school. May 26th is her last day as a kindergartener and after that, I will then have a first-grader. How fast this year went by is unfathomable. While I hoped and expected that my daughter would learn a lot this year, I was unprepared for the immense social, emotional and intellectual growth she would undergo. And there is only one person to thank for that…her Kindergarten teacher here in Tampa, FL.
For the sake of this article, I will refer to her as “Ms. P,” in the event she wants to retain some anonymity. In all honesty though, she deserves all of the admiration, love and attention I seek to give her through this post.
For a five-year old, the thought of going to kindergarten can be so very intimidating. Even if your child went to preschool and is familiar with a structured learning environment, nothing compares to walking through the giant front doors of an unfamiliar elementary school. And, for the parent…well, the thought of your little baby going to Kindergarten can be oh so very intimidating, as well.
Well, for Ms. P’s 2016/2017 class, both the students and the parents could not have hoped for a better initiation to the world of schooling and proper education. From “Meet the Teacher Day” all the way through these last few weeks of school, Ms. P has proved herself to be the epitome of a true educator.
Educator — that word seems so boring. But, Ms. P…she is so far from boring. This was recognizable to her students’ parents from the moment we met her. Ms. P tackled an open house “meet and greet” with upwards of 18 parents in the room, and didn’t miss a beat. Her fun-loving, warm demeanor, humorous personality, kind-heart, intelligence and self-confidence beamed through her as she put us all at ease. The same happened when our children first met her and she extended them a tight and welcoming hug.
Throughout the school year, Ms. P’s students’ love for learning grew. And you know why? Because they had a teacher that loved to teach. Not one day, did I ever see Ms. P not being cheerful, enthusiastic and hard at work. When somebody loves their job, it shows…and it shows for Ms. P.
As the school year progressed, Ms. P consistently remained the ally of her students and of us, their parents. This is not always the case, but she surely welcomed each and every one of us with open arms, to partner with her in our child’s kindergarten journey.
There is a quote by a unknown author which states that “Good teachers are the reason why ordinary students dream to do extraordinary things”. Well…when your child speaks to you about their hopes and their dreams for “tomorrow,” for first grade or for their long-term future, I hope that you remember this:
…Ms. P was the teacher who encouraged your child.
…Ms. P was the teacher who first provided your child with a safe learning environment for them to express their opinions.
…Ms. P was the teacher who roused your child’s creativity.
…Ms. P was the teacher that taught your child to read and fostered her enjoyment of books.
… Ms. P was the teacher that gave more of herself, than she probably had to give, day in and day out, so that your child could be academically successful.
…Ms. P was the teacher that tirelessly watched to make sure your child was being engaged and supported, physically, emotionally and intellectually.
Ms. P most definitely has been the absolute best and most positive introduction to elementary school that myself and my daughter could have hoped for.
Ms. P — We love you and thank you for all that you have done for our children this year. You and your impact on our children’s lives will always be remembered.
To the parents of kids who will be entering a Kindergarten classroom come August, I can only hope for you that you will be lucky enough to have a “Ms. P” as your child’s teacher.