The following was posted on social media by my best friend & fellow teacher @lkevke. It was her gift to her son’s kindergarten teacher.
Dear Mrs. *****,
We told you at conferences that we have been saving the rocks that come home daily in B****’s shoes, and that we would be sending them back at the end of the year. Somewhere between the second or third fundraising packet and the fourth or fifth rock sucked up into my poor vaccuum, it became a running joke in our house that if everyone saved the rocks they wouldn’t need to hold fundraisers (I know school’s need money – no judgement!). Weeks later, as the rocks filled the smaller container and we had to move them to a larger one, they began to take on new meaning.
Each day as the rocks were emptied from the shoes and added to the jar it became clear that these weren’t just rocks anymore, they represented bits of knowledge that he brought home with him each day. Some days they were handwriting skills or learning to write his last name and other days they represented sight words and counting by tens. It’s now the end of the year and his jar is full of these little pieces of knowledge that you and other teachers at ******* have enriched him with over the past 9 months. For that we are very thankful.
What you do with the jar of rocks is up to you. One option is to keep it in your classroom as a reminder that you are making a difference each day in the lives of your students’ one rock at a time. You are also more than welcome to throw them back out on the playground for your new students to take home in their shoes next year (the playground is bound to be running low). Whatever you choose please know that we are forever thankful for the “rocks” that he came home with each day!
Enjoy your summer,
B***** & Lori K***** (and little B*****)
Now, I know I’m biased. I have loved this woman as the Sister-of-My-Heart for more than twenty years. But this…is just beautiful.
I could bore you with their family story, but let me just say that this family knows perseverence in the face of difficulty & Lori’s creative (and heart felt) way of showing her appreciation to the teacher who has had the responsibility of her son is what a few of my local law and policy makers could use a dose of remembering: we are not a business, we are caretakers.
This past Monday I had the true pleasure of reading names at graduation. I teach at my state’s largest high school & having 1,068 names on that list was a bit daunting for my fellow name readers and I. Toss in a crowd of close to 20,000 & my stomach was certainly in knots as the show got started. Yet as the evening progressed, I realized I had the COOLEST job of the night: I was in a position to get to personally congratulate half of the seniors as they walked past.
From high-fives, cheeky grins, & a few quick hugs between names… It Was Awesome. The kids were so proud! And nervous. And just adorable.
So bless you parents who get that we grow to love your kids too. And thanks for the notes like Lori’s that we mushy types keep to remind us of that love when things get tough.