Friday, May 6, 2011

Looking Back With Appreciation

With 34 days left in the school year, 34 days until Mary and Kate symbolically step to second grade, I found the time to sort through the pile of accumulated kindergarten work gathering dust in the dining room. The time was easy, two days at home with a very sick child (our seventh round of ilk this year) allowed me ample hours to comb through the basket of paperwork that I had let sit for almost a year. Nestled amongst the artwork were poems and stories and things quite difficult to read. Mary drew a lovely picture, stamped October 2009, with this caption: SML the FLWR. This morning Mary correctly spelled compute and pollute and schedule in preparation for today's spelling test.

Until the home basket excavation, I had really no idea how far from kindergarten they had moved. Sorting through the accumulation gave me a very good feel for the progress made over the course of the year, and a sense of awe in seeing what my children had accomplished. Handwriting became something I could read without the teacher's help, and artwork grew detailed and more realistic. In the early months faces had eyes, a nose and a mouth; by May they included ears, eyebrows, eyelashes and yes, sometimes wrinkles.

It occurred to me, as I reached the bottom of the basket, that this is teacher appreciation week. More than flowers or chocolates or an apple shaped pendant could ever convey, I am appreciative of the incredible teachers that have brought my girls to this place; amazing people who took them from shapes to multiplication, from simple sounds to words with vowels, and from smiley faces to wrinkled looking mothers. For people who are endlessly patient and know that a child can move from flr to schedule in one year's time, for those who expect the very best from every child, I am so very thankful.

"If you can read this, thank a teacher."


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