Back in August I wrote a blog that quickly be came my most read and most shared blog called “Dear Teacher.” A few sentences in one of the paragraphs say: “Then, I want you to know that you are lucky to have me as a parent to work with you. There will be days you won’t believe that. There will be days you are certain that I am possessed, but I do what I need to do to see to it that my daughter gets what she needs….. I am a self-proclaimed high maintenance mom. I am not apologizing for that. I will also be your biggest fan and supporter. I will bring you special treats, write letters of support for you, ask legislature to give you more money, nominate you for awards, work on school projects and so forth. First and foremost, I will always be advocating for my daughter to learn, and I will help and support you in any way I can.”
Today is one of those pay-off days for being on Rachel’s team. Starting about six years ago as our gift to Rachel’s teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week, I provide lunch for Rachel’s team including teachers, paraprofessionals, related services folks – pretty much her IEP team. It is our way of saying thank you for your good work with Rachel. Today’s menu is basically the same as the past six (I change the desserts and sides a little): Chicken enchiladas, yellow rice, black bean salad, guacamole, salsa, cowboy caviar, key lime pie and death by chocolate. I’m taking a recipe of Paula Deen’s Lemon Tea too. Everyone seems to enjoy the meal and I love that we are able to include the para’s who spend so much time in Rachel’s world. I want them to know how much we appreciate them.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote “IEP Wounds” and that surpassed the “Dear Teacher” blogas the most read and most shared. With a few exceptions, as a rule our wounds and scars are not teacher inflicted. Not counting birth to three, Rachel has had 33 teachers, 13 therapists,14 paras and/or classroom assistants, a few psychologists and counselors, two school nurses and a couple of social workers. While some have definitely been a better match than others, with the exception of one teacher and three therapists, she has had exceptional instruction and supports. Rachel is thriving and progressing and that is a direct result of the powerful early intervention services she from Special Kids and Families and the Harwood Center. And it is a direct result of the outstanding teachers she has had. Most of them will tell you just like I do that we learn an awful lot from Rachel. Today, though, I want to say thank you to all of the many educators who have shaped her life. I have said and continue to believe that teaching is the highest calling. What a difference you’ve made in our lives!
Now go and celebrate your educators!