It’s the end of teacher appreciation week, and I’m thinking about the kindergarten teachers. We had the same teacher for both Kavya and Anand, and with Kavi, it was her first year teaching. She was so bright and shiny and eager. Three years later, she’s clearly a little more tired than she was, and I know Anand has contributed to wearing her down a bit. But she’s still there, still cheery, sending him home with encouraging little notes when he’s done particularly well.
And over the course of the year, she’s taken a boy who was pretty unsure about this whole formal education thing, pretty resistant to sitting down and raising his hand to be called on, and helped him get to a point where he comes home from school, and I ask him how his day was, and he almost always says, “Great!” That first year makes such a difference — he could so easily have turned against school, making everything to come much harder.
So here’s a shout-out to all the kindergarten teachers, who are still dealing with occasional potty disasters with patience and grace, who teach so many of the necessary skills towards getting along within a large group of people with disparate needs, and who even manage to teach some math and writing and reading along the way. Half an hour of volunteering in your class exhausts me — thanks so much for all you do for our little munchkins.