To Thea’s 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson,
Tonight, during bedtime, Thea looked sad. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me in that heavy way that only kids can seemingly pull off that she doesn’t want 4th grade to end. That she doesn’t want to leave her friends. That she doesn’t want to leave you.
That while summer will be fun, and 5th grade might be cool, she would be okay with simply staying in 4th grade for a long time. With you.
This is from the same child who in August begged us to not send her to school. Who asked over and over again if she could just go somewhere else. If she could be homeschooled. Who asked us what she should do when the bullying would start back up, because she knew it would. Who asked us if we thought that this would be a year where she would make more friends. Who asked us in a way that told us that she had little hope for the year ahead.
This kid. This beautiful, strong-willed, stubborn girl doesn’t want to head into summer. Doesn’t want to spend days doing nothing. Doesn’t want to go on vacation, or go to the pool. Not it if means 4th grade is over.
That’s how good you have made it for her. That’s how much of a difference you have made in the life of a girl who didn’t think school would ever be safe again.
So if you are ever in doubt about what you do, much like we as educators sometimes are. If you are ever in doubt whether you are making a difference, whether what you do matters, let me tell you this, and the rest of the world to…
You helped our daughter feel safe.
You helped our daughter feel like she belongs.
You helped our daughter find her own strength once again.
You helped our daughter come back to what she was before 3rd grade. Before those kids took so much of her away from us.
And there are simply not enough words for us to thank you. This is my feeble declaration of the deepest gratitude.
So to all the teachers who tried this year. Who gave it their best. Who worked tirelessly so that kids, all kids, could feel safe, could feel accepted, could feel loved, may you know that there are kids in the world, at my house, who are hoping that school will never end just so they can keep being with you.
We go to school every day hoping that what we do matters, and sometimes we don’t know if it does.
But let me tell you this, Mrs. Thompson, and all of the other staff members who helped our daughter rise up out of the ashes; you did this, and it matters, more than you will ever know.
With our deepest gratitude,
Pernille and Brandon