To my children's teacher - It's June....

Dear Teacher -
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to teach my children this year. As a former teacher myself I totally get how rewarding and exhausting it is to stand in front of a class of kids every single day, to be at the top of your game, and to constantly have to reinforce curriculum with discipline and pray that in between it all they are actually learning the concepts. I also know that you are in the end of year slump just as much as me. 

When the school year began I was all about helping my kiddos with their homework and signing the folder every single day. I made them read every night and made sure they went to bed early on school nights so they could get up and get to school on time. I even volunteered for class parties, chaperoned a field trip, attended award ceremonies, turned in picture money on time, kept their lunch accounts in the positive, and made my kids sell stuff for the PTA fundraisers. It's really not anything that I enjoy doing but I want to have a semblance of responsible parenting. 

But sometime around mid-May the days got longer and warmer. The neighborhood pool began to gleam brightly with hope and promise of no schedule and kids entertaining themselves for hours. Stores are selling sunscreen, pool floats, and Popsicles. I paid my final deposit for the lake trip over the 4th of July week. I cook on the outside grill more than I cook inside. My deck really is a lovely place to hang out while kids jump on the trampoline, blow bubbles, and swing in the backyard hammock. 

How can I possibly be expected to remember to sign their homework folder or even clean out their backpack anymore? I forgot at least three times in the last two weeks to sign anything and my son got a "strike" for not having his homework signed. I asked him what that meant and he told it takes three strikes before you can't play during recess. 

If I do the math right, he's got 6 more days of me forgetting to sign his folder before he loses a day of recess. I think that if I just initial the folder in different colors of ink for the next week we should be in the clear. I mean we are in the last weeks of school. Can't we just let it go?

My 10 year old is packing his own lunch now. He gave himself a bag of chips, a pack of crackers, some mini candy bars, a snack cake, and a packet of jelly last week. About six months ago, I would have made sure he had a healthy and balanced lunch. I'm just glad he remembered to fix himself lunch. I've had four phone calls about the lunch account being in the negative balance. I sent him to school with a $20 and told him I didn't want anymore calls from the cafeteria. 

I have had more notes on end of year activities and how I can "volunteer" the last week of school. I forget to read most of them and try to ignore the rest of them, but then most notes are included with an email and a connect-ed phone call. Some of these activities have included helping to proctor end of grade tests and supervising the obstacle course in June for field day. God bless you. What level of crazy would volunteer for such madness? I know that there are parents out there who do volunteer for this type of stuff. I am so sorry that I am not her. I love you sweet teachers for having the gumption to even ask. 

And getting up in the morning to get to school on time is a sheer act of will power for every single one of us. I am trying to be the responsible parent and get them to bed at a decent hour but it doesn't even get dark until 9 pm. Thank God that pre-K doesn't have the same schedule as the older kids because dragging my 6 year old out of bed at 8:00 and to school by 8:20 has become the norm. Summer days are calling and sleeping in is so close at hand.

So let's make a deal...I'll give you a break if you'll give me one. I won't judge you for letting them spend the afternoon watching movies in the classroom and you don't give me a hard time for not volunteering for the end of year class party. I'll send you a nice basket of flowers for an end of the year gift and you'll let the homework folder go, right? After all, we're already past Memorial Day and the rest of the country has celebrated the official beginning of summer. We really shouldn't be held responsible for any other activities to occupy our mind that doesn't include a little freedom from the schedule. 

We've been doing this dance together for the last 170 out of 180 days and you've been a great partner. Let's say our goodbyes and we'll pick back up in September because by then I'll be ready to send them back to you and we will all need a little schedule back into our lives. But in the meantime, enjoy your summer off and know how much I adore you for doing your job. Cheers to long days by the pool and warm summer nights, no cafeteria meals, and no more #2 pencils! 


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