There’s a bond that’s formed with the people who take your kids from you during the day
The last day of fifth grade I stood in the doorway of my classroom and hugged my teacher goodbye, confused as to why one of my favorite teachers ever wasn’t crying, too. I had attended a magnet school in Wichita which meant I and my classmates--all of her students--were about to scatter to middle schools across the city, most likely never to see her again. That knowledge brought my little hormonal body to tears. But not hers. It was like she’d been through it before or something.
And as I am the same person in an older body, even though wiser and hopefully less hormonal, each year as the school year is about to end I feel a similar twinge, a similar pang that I won’t see my kids’ teachers anymore. Goofy as that is.
Because teachers walk you through some stuff, you know? Or at least they’ve walked me through some stuff.
In my kids’ preschool years Mrs. Nettie, Mrs. Carolyn, Mrs. Maggie, Mrs. Joyce, Mrs. Diana, Mrs. Sheila, Mrs. Jacque and Mrs. Kathy all poured out so much love on my kids I sometimes felt it a shame that my kids had to come home to me, who was not as sweet and patient with my words as those teachers.
In my kids’ kindergarten years I called Mrs. Olson on her cell phone repeatedly throughout the year with my concerns over how my oldest was handling his transition to being away from me full-time. The next year I called her again on her cell phone (Her cell phone! What kind of awesome teacher gives a needy parent her cell phone number?) so she could help me understand Little Missy’s relationships with her classmates.
In my kids’ first grade years I watched Ms. Watts handle a disruptive student with calm resolve, barely flustered at his outbursts. And I thought, Yeah, this is a good place for my kid to be. I sat with the Ms. Whearty the next year at parent/teacher conferences and asked her how she was hanging in there with the late nights and without a lie in her eyes smiled and said, “I don’t mind! I really like to be with the kids and I don’t mind the late nights.”
In my kids’ second grade years Mrs. Shaw encouraged both of my kids to come out of their shells, especially with their back-and-forth teasing over KU vs. K-State. She keeps a tight reign on that classroom but somehow allows her kids the freedom to be themselves. Their goofy, goofy selves.
In my son’s third grade year Mrs. Bowman introduced my son to the exciting world of science experiments and totally showed me up when she did the Mentos & Coke experiment at school that I hadn’t done at home.
Mrs. Doreen, Mr. Dosser, Mrs. Jones all take the time to talk to me and Baby Chickadee when we come into the school. All the teachers answer my silly emails and must think to themselves, “Erin… Come on, now.”
And so the school year is closing and I’ll kind of miss my kids’ teachers. There’s a bond that’s formed with the people who take your kids from you during the day and it’s strange when there’s a break in seeing those people for three months.
But bring on summer. And bring on adding those teachers to my friends list on Facebook. So then they can never fully be rid of me.
Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three. She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.