Thursday, April 17

A Thank You to a Special BFF

I think it's fair to say that most everyone has had one teacher who stood out from all the others. One teacher that made a difference by noticing something no one else did, understanding something others missed, or providing the right kind of motivation at the right time. A teacher that, quite simply, was better than all the others.

For me, that was my sixth grade teacher, Miss Evans. She was the first teacher that seemed to understand that being the smart kid in the class was, in nearly every way, a curse. She battled with school administration to help keep me from being singled out in ways that would only lead to mockery. She provided opportunities for each and every kid to shine, helping to level the playing field. She insisted on kindness in her classroom at all times, without making it seem she was taking sides. It's probably a silly thing to remember, but I distinctly remember her stopping at my desk one day and very discretely complimenting my hair. For the kid that was endlessly tortured by her peers, it meant a lot to hear a kind word or two during a particularly low time.

Alexis has been extremely blessed to have already encountered her own Miss Evans. While all the teachers at her daycare are fantastic, Miss Michelle has always stood out from the others. She is that someone who teaches not only with her mind, but also with her heart. She's fantastic with all of the kids, but most especially with Alexis. She's the teacher that "gets" my kid. She knows how to be Alexis cheerleader, disciplinarian, and best friend all at the same time. There's a reason Alexis talks about "Shell" all the time, and that's because she is quite simply an amazing person. I do believe she loves Alexis just about as much as I do, and that's saying quite a bit.

Miss Michelle's last day at our daycare center is tomorrow and I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for always being honest with me, whether Alexis was the star student of the day or the biggest brat around. Thank you for encouraging Alexis to communicate far behind her age by taking the time to not only understand her spoken words, but also asking her to teach you sign language at every opportunity. Thank you for helping to instill a sense of confidence in my timid little girl. Thank you for being that special kind of crazy it takes to work with 20 toddlers each and every day. Just thank you.

Michelle, tomorrow when I pick up Alexis, I will be in the biggest hurry you have ever seen. I'll be scooping up your BFF and running for it because I don't think I can do a long goodbye. I suspect you can't either. So, we'll be seeing you around town and you had better give us a call from time to time.

Thank you, from all of us.





(The photos are from May '07 -- Alexis' first week in the Toddler Jungle with Michelle.)

28 comments:

  1. Oh! I worked in daycare for a couple of years and leaving was one of the most difficult things I ever did. It was tough on the parents too. Tell her goodbye, BBM. Give her a big hug.

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  2. Oh, poor A. You let that girl listen to her new CD & give her lots of Dora tats from me, 'kay?

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  3. "Toddler Jungle"...love that...probably pretty darn accurate. Being with Ethan between coming home from work and bedtime exhausts and enthralls me at the same time, but I think working in daycare would be a dream job for me...I think I have a whole new perspective on it, since it wasn't done right for us/Ethan initially. It is so nice to hear that people have great experiences with caregivers and their children are truly loved by them. I'm sure there will be more Miss Michelle's in Alexis' life...how wonderful.

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  4. Nooooo! This is rather sudden and unexpected isn't it? And what a shame that Alexis may never remember her. What's up with the daycare situation now?

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  5. :( I am so sad! And not sarcastic sad because my Caps lost in double-OT, but because I would be totally crushed if Gavin or Coop had any of their favorites leave while they were still in the teacher's classroom (slightly easier when they have moved out of that room). I swear that sometimes Gavin likes some of his teachers more than me (well, wouldn't be a hard stretch), and I know that he'd be miserable for weeks. Hopefully Alexis will bounce back quickly and be fast-friends with Miss Michelle's replacement. And uh, don't forget while you're running in and out to give her a quick hug for lovin' your baby for the past year.

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  6. Oh . . . how bittersweet. I can only hope that I touched my students' lives like this!

    I'm so happy to hear a GOOD teacher story. There are so few around nowadays.

    Here is to Alexis finding another awesome, wonderful, teacher/friend that "gets" her!

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  7. I still keep in touch with some of MA's daycare providers, if only at Christmas. They are an important part of their life. This was such a sweet tribute.

    BTW I love the new profile picture!

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  8. AWWWWWWW... BITTER SWEEET.

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  9. that's so sad ... and yet wonderful that alexis has had such a wonderful person in her life.

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  10. We had a popular teacher leave from my daughter's preschool. All of the crying was coming from the moms.

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  11. GASP! Beautiful baby!!!! (and your little girl is cute, too ;-)

    I know what you mean about those special teachers. I will never forget Nadine, who worked at my son's day care when he was little. She spoiled him rotten, above all other. She loved carrying him around all day, snuggling him. I will never know why they developed such a lovely bond, but he never cried while going to that daycare. She was a rare one!

    Peace - D

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  12. that stinks that she is losing her favorite daycare worker!

    I hope she handles the change OK.

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  13. I totally admire that in a person. I don't do well with anyone's kids but my own. It takes a special person to love someone else's kids that much.

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  14. Wow. What a special daycare teacher. Poor little BB. And poor you! She will leave a big hole, I'm sure.

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  15. Rereading that, it kinda sounded dirty. Oops. ;)

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  16. Are you and Mir on some kind of mission today to ruin my makeup? That was so sweet. Aren't we so blessed when we find someone who loves our kids as much as we do.

    Michelle sounds like a wonderful person.

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  17. Awww, I'm so sorry that such a wonderful teacher and person is leaving. She's sound fantastic. How wonderful to have had her for that important time in Alexis' life already.

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  18. Awwww! That is so sad. I hope A does okay with it.

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  19. I feel the same way about the Thing's teachers and we dread the end of school year goodbye. This is a great post idea...more to come!

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  20. Just from what you have told me, when I read this I was bummed! Why is she quitting? Poor Alexis! Oh, and I'm telling you, when I taught in daycares, these kind of notes made me deliriously happy. It's great that you let her know how much she was appreciated.

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  21. Aw, that is a sweet post. I hope Alexis is lucky enough to have more of the same kind of teachers in her life as she gets older.

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  22. Oh I'm so glad! I hope that I am that teacher for some of my students! Glad Alexis has such a great teacher and experience.

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  23. how sweet is that? great tribute to a fabulous teacher--poor Alexis! she will be missing her for sure-extra hugs for the little kiddo --she is so adorable, don't ya just want to cuddle ALL THE TIME?

    oh wait, I forgot she likes to be your helmet......

    most of the time though?

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  24. Gosh, make me cry why don't you! LOL I'm sorry Michelle is leaving, I know what it's like to lose those special teachers.

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  25. ImpostorMom3:41 PM

    behind as always :)

    It's so wonderful to have these great people in our little one's lives but it is also heartbreaking for us all when they leave.

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  26. That is so sweet of you to post such a great tribute to Miss Michelle.

    How is Alexis doing at the daycare without her special friend. It's so hard for babies to understand "gone". I hope she's doing OK.

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