by Lianne Castelino, www.whereparentstalk.com
My daughter has been mesmerized so far this entire school year.
She just turned 7, in the infancy of her academic life – Grade 1. Once a day (and often more than that), she tries to encapsulate the source of her pure joy. There's just so much to express, to explain in her world. Her journal, field trips, independent reading time, social studies class, someone's birthday, calendar, challenging spelling words. She can't get enough! As a parent, it is simply something to behold. That kind of raw passion communicated by a 7-year-old should be bottled and preserved. It is that precious.
There is one person to thank for this — her grade one teacher — a phenomenally dedicated, vivacious, passionate young woman who personifies the essence of the profession. Her class is, in a world, captivating — from the smart and ordered way it is decorated to the inviting way the desks are arranged, to the clever list of additional activities (posted on the board) that students can refer to when they are finished a given task so that they don't get bored or waste time. She challenges them, nourishes their love of learning, helps them raise their personal bars, all the while carefully setting the most important layer of their academic lives — the foundation.
Just yesterday this teacher arranged a class trip to a bookstore to visit with a children's book author. My daughter squealed with delight as she explained that the author had a giant fiipchart on which she drew some of the pictures from her book (because she is also the illustrator). Then they got to purchase a copy of the book and get a personalized autograph from the author, Rebecca Bender. What a rush!
My daughter came bounding through the door after school exclaiming, “Mommy I had the best day ever!” She talked so fast I had to make her repeat it. She was only too happy to indulge me! She talked about it all night, before going to bed with a smile from ear to ear.
What a wonderful gift great teachers are. They are to be cherished and celebrated, commended and cheered. Their impact lasts longer than most of them may ever even realize. They are rare treasures in a challenging and often thankless profession.
I still remember the great teachers I had growing up. I can count them on a couple of fingers, but their legacy remains.
As a parent seeing your child bounce out of bed to go to school in the morning, talk about their academic pursuits with pure delight, and embrace everything about the experience — is absolutely exhilarating. I wish every child and parent could experience it once. More than that would almost seem criminal, but you'd never hear any of us complaining!!