Teachers play an important role in the lives of our children. Even so, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted. However this story about how Stephanie Husted thanked her son’s teachers shows how our acts of gratitude can touch the hearts of the professionals who love our kids at school.
Teachers in Room 16, Thank You!
by Stephanie Husted
Sending your child off to school for the first time can be a daunting task for any parent. I can clearly remember walking my oldest son Colin through the elementary doors for the first time and thinking, “Is he really ready to start school?” “What if he needs me?”Colin adjusted by the end of the week and I questioned why I had even worried.
Teachers Rise to the Challenge
The real challenge for me would come seven years later when it was time to send my youngest son, Braeden to kindergarten. You see Braeden is my special needs child. He was born with a severe heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and he has undergone three open heart surgeries. He was also diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome, which leads to a laundry list of other medical and developmental challenges. I had learned through the years exactly what signs and symptoms might warrant concern when it came to Braeden’s fragile little heart, and now I would have to entrust someone else to be just as diligent.
Teachers Thank You
Braeden was nervous about starting school initially, but in no time he was bringing home artwork, progress reports, and a contagious smile. Not only did my precocious little boy adore going to school, he was making enormous gains in his development. Braeden was able to spend two unforgettable years in Ms. Megan’s classroom before graduating. I proudly watched him don a a tiny cap and gown last May as he received a certificate of achievement. As the end of the school year drew closer, I began searching for an appropriate gift that might show Braeden’s teacher and classroom aides know just how much I appreciated their love and dedication to my son.
A candle? No.
Flowers maybe? Not exactly what I had in mind.
It finally occurred to me that it has been the hand written cards of acknowledgment that have always meant the most to me. I decided to write a poem of gratitude for the wonderful people who made room 16 a place of love,encouragement and growth. We have been blessed to have the most wonderful teachers, therapists, aides and respite workers come into our lives in the last few years… and as the mother of a special needs child, it has made all the difference.
One day you took my child’s hand,
And led him down the hall,
I watched him go uncertainly,
To me, he still seemed small.
The backpack seemed to weigh him down,
His feet moved…slow…unsteady.
I knew this would be good for him,
But wondered…”Is he ready?”
And then he brought a picture home,
Scribbles of yellow and gray,
He smiled as he whispered,
“I made this at my school today.”
One day he cut with scissors,
And stacked four blocks with care,
He walked up the steps unassisted,
He remembered to share.
One day he kicked the ball himself,
Despite endless commotions,
He ate his snack without your help,
And learned about emotions.
One day he smiled back at you,
As if to say, “I’m known,”
And it became apparent,
Just how much he has grown.
You have made a difference…
By planting countless seeds,
Your gentle words remind me,
To embrace my child’s needs.
One day you saw my child’s strengths,
Through every struggle and strife,
One day you grasped my child’s hand,
And then…you changed a life.
Teachers, We Thank You!
Okay, sorry about neglecting to issue a tissue warning! Now you can understand why Braeden’s teacher had the poem framed and hung it in Room 16. As a former teacher, I know many teachers are thankful for Stephanie’s poem, too.
How about you? How did you say thank you and melt the heart of your child’s teacher? Leave a comment. And check out Stephanie’s blog, www.BraedensHeartJourney.com.
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