An Essential Summer – Back to School

Today is the first day of school for my older kids. My youngest starts kindergarten next week. I always find it amusing to look back at my beginning-of-summer self. She has so many plans to keep the kids entertained in an educational way. She’s mapped out the city’s parks, made weekly lesson plans, and fantasized about the knowledge the kids will glean from their summertime fun. She has so much hope!

End-of-summer me is in awe that teachers of 25-30 beautiful minds can actually keep on schedule, both during the day and as the year progresses, engage the kids, and not have a head of patchy hair. End of summer me is eternally grateful that I am not a teacher, not a home schooler; and to those of you that are – you are magnificent! Kudos to you!

At the back to school picnic I asked one of the teachers how his summer was. “It was essential” he replied. If there is a more appropriate description of summer, I’m not aware of it. Essential to recharge and reintroduce yourself to the world. Essential to pause and reflect on the beauty of what surrounds us. Summer for teachers isn’t all a vacation. It is also planning sessions, education sessions, and  preparation for the onslaught of germs, questions, kids, and parents – also essential, but not as glamorous.

Summer is essential also, I believe, to serve as a reminder to all the parents what incredible beings our teachers are. To be the ones that inspire, build confidence, teach, and love, basically to be an additional parent, and not just to a few kids but to over 2 dozen kids, is a task few of us envy. Our teachers are an essential part of our children’s lives and they don’t receive nearly the gratitude that they deserve.

So if you are as grateful as I am that your children are starting school, don’t forget to thank their teachers. And if you can thank them monetarily, ask them if they have a classroom wish list that you can donate from, get them a certificate to an arts and crafts store, book store, coffee shop, or bring in “office” supplies, or a favorite bottle of wine (Apothic Red is our favorite) . Because, let’s face it – these people are incredible!