I can’t thank you enough for all the love, care and support you have given my son this year. It’s been no secret that school is not his favourite place to be but you have never wavered in your patience and compassion for my little man. We sat in the sun today, while you watched your son compete in the shot put and you told me you felt robbed this year – robbed of time with your students – that you felt like your time with my son was just not enough – and it doesn’t seem right or fair that we have to let them go so soon and I know exactly how you feel. I was watching my students, the ones I am about to say goodbye to, and felt the lump bubble in my throat and the ache grow in my heart – I am not ready to let them go just yet either. I watched them, so full of pride for all they have grown into in what was a really challenging year, and you have watched my son grow too and see him, I am sure, with just as much love and affection as I see mine.
I haven’t been a school mum that long; I have always sat on the other side of the classroom door as just a teacher – a loving, giving and caring teacher – but just a teacher, not a mum. And becoming a mum really does change the way you see the world – and the classroom. To know how much my son struggles in the classroom has been a hard thing to face recently; from the outside we see an incredibly bright and confident person until actual work needs to be done. He shuts down, he melts down and he breaks down, or he is just stoic making it difficult to know where he stands or to give him the support he needs; but you saw in him the goodness – his intelligence and his light – that he was not being naughty or lazy and desperately wanted to do what you asked of him, but he just couldn’t, not the way he needs to anyway. You pushed to uncover what was below the surface, you knew things weren’t adding up, and you advocating for my son has been appreciated beyond belief.
He told me he loves it when you let his class play outside before assembly and when you play beat the teacher, it sounds like you have had as much coffee and cake as the kids have had free play. He’s grateful that you help him write and let him put the cream on his mozzie bites all by himself. He’s thankful you help him when he feels like he’s being bullied and he loves your funny jokes. He’s adamant you fart in class, because he knows what adults’ farts smell like – they all smell the same apparently; I am sure you have read a million stories about cats, poo and farts too. He loved the ‘kit kat dance’ you did when he told you there was no more palm oil in them and how you look after him when he’s feeling sad; but ultimately, he said he is just grateful that you have been his teacher this year.
2020 has been the weirdest year, and we have been robbed of our time with our students, but having you in my son’s corner, cheering him on, propping him up and finding ways to make learning easier for him has made it not feel so bad. You have an absolute heart of gold and you have done everything you can to unpack the way my son learns so he can be supported moving forward. I know the road for him will not alway be a smoothe one but knowing there are people like you who love my son the way you do gives me so much reassurance and allows me to drop my son off with you each day knowing he is in good hands. Thank you for making this difficult year less painful; your openness, honesty and pure love for my son has made all the difference and I hope these words are enough for me to express my gratitude for you.
You are an incredible teacher, but more importantly, you are just a magical human being; he has been so lucky to be a part of 2F, 2020. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you have done for Oscar this year. I hope, in some way shape or form, I am able to repay you when your son moves into year 8.
Aroha nui xx