Mrs. W and Mrs. R.--Walnut's Kindergarten teachers. Walnut had two AMAZINGLY wonderful teachers this year for, what we've deemed, his "inaugural school year." Both Mrs. W. and Mrs. R.really made school fun and meaningful for Walnut. I will never forget the day that I picked him up from school and he said to me, "Tomorrow we are having turkey tetrazzini for lunch, Mrs. R. said it will be really good. I'm going to buy tomorrow." Bewildered, I thought 'Perhaps I should have Mrs. R. suggest a few other things like cleaning the house?!' By the way, he ATE the turkey tetrazzini. Talk about influence!
Nevertheless, the year-end parent/teacher conference approached and I figured the conversation would take up the slotted ten minute period, we would discuss Walnut's strengths and weaknesses, Mrs. W. would suggest some enrichment activities, I would provide a few thank yous and it would be over. simple.
After a few tissues and tears, I truly realized what it meant to have Mrs. W. and Mrs. R. as Walnut's Kindergarten teachers. Every day, Walnut attended school with two of the most caring and wonderful women I have ever met. They taught him more than reading, writing and arithmetic. They were his "mothers" away from home.
Mrs. W. and I discussed the special bond that the Kindergarten class had developed. She mentioned that they were kind and compassionate children BUT I would be remiss if I didn't place the praise in the teachers' hands and hearts.
We made a decision to send our children to Catholic school. I remember when I was in my first or second year of teaching in a public school system and my mother-in-law said to me in a probing manner, "Surely you'll consider Catholic school when you have kids."
"Why would I ever send my children to Catholic school? I am a public school teacher."
The 2010-2011 school year proved to be a year of growth for Walnut. I never expected it to be a year of growth for me, too.