Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear First Grade Teacher

 (This is a modified re-post of what I wrote last year at this time.)

Dear First Grade Teacher,

     Monday, August 23rd, will be a big day for you because that is the day you will meet my grandson Harrison.  

He will be excited to meet you, as will his mother.  

     I know this because I took her to school on her first day of school.
It is now her glorious, wonderful turn. Thank you God for ongoing, inherited, ancestral blessings.

     There are a few things that I would like you to know.

*He is very, very smart. 
This is not bias. This is fact.  By knowing this ahead of time, you will be able to enjoy it when he says “well, actually...”  
This usually prefaces a very polite correction.

Enjoy it. It can be great fun waiting to see where his thinking will lead. As adults we don’t always have to be right, do we? 

The smartest teachers I know, and I know quite a few, actually enjoy it when their students are right.  Just something to think about. 

One of my favorite teaching memories occurred when one of my high school students said,"No, that’s not right either”, after I answered one of his questions. 
That makes me  laugh thinking about it. 

I hope you are laughing reading about it.  

You are, aren’t you?

*He is very kind and generous.  He enjoys the company of others , and he will never intentionally hurt another’s feelings. His nature is inclusive, not exclusive.
He enjoys order, and he will follow the rules. 

You know there is a difference between a rule and a procedure.  Procedures are the way to go; they make all the cylinders click in a classroom. 
Rules are all after the fact and punitive. Rules become abstract- procedures build self-discipline. Again…just a thought.

*He is great with his hands, and he is very analytical- which we both know is a powerful combination.  He can take an advanced Star Wars Legos kit, labeled far beyond his age, study the illustrations, and assemble it completely- all without reading the instructions.
He also has a large collection of Pokemon cards, and his knowledge of various Animal Planet series will help you teach your other students about animals- especially your lessons on fish and the occasional river monster. 
I hope you will ask him about these hobbies and interests.

*He loves to fish with his Dad and his younger brother.  
He goes fishing often.  If he wants to talk to you or his classmates about his fishing experiences and prowess, please let him do so.
He DOES NOT exaggerate.  He ALWAYS tells the truth.

*He is an 'old soul' of the best kind. Allow that to grow unfettered. You will be amazed if you do.

     Oh- and one last thing.  
His mother and I like to ask questions.
You know- the usual-
“How was your day?” “Who did you sit by during lunch?” “Did you enjoy your lunch?” “Who did you play with on the playground today?”
     Please encourage all of your students to answer their mother’s and grandmother’s questions cheerfully.  That is such an important life skill, don’t you think?

     Good luck.  You are in for the greatest teaching year of your life.
                                        Ma- Do

PS.   Let me know if you need anything.  I am just seven hours away, and I can be there at a moment’s notice.
PSS. He gave me my grandmother name, and I will treasure it always.  In case you need to know, it is pronounced Ma (short a sound) and Do (long o sound- as in Just Do It!) His little brother calls me Do. 

I treasure that too.  Wait till you meet him!


Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

Love it!

Carole and Chewy said...

This is what I wanted to say when I handed my daughter over to her kindergarten teacher - I believe I settled for muttering to myself as I walked away something along the lines of "You better not mess her up."

It's nice to see former teachers have small reservations too.

Kat said...

This is so precious! I especially love the line "I'm only 7 hrs away and can be there at a moment's notice". It sounds like you have a wonderful grandson, and it also sounds like you were a wonderful teacher! Kathy

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Laura!

Beth said...

How sweet! Your grandson is one lucky little boy to have a Ma Do like you :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, that is one of your best blogs so far. I love it. Grandchildren are the very best thing God ever created!! I love ya girlfriend.

blushing rose said...

This is soooo FUNNY! Our Ansel is always saying 'actually .....' We get such a kick out of Ansel raising that little hand upward & saying it so adult-like. Aren't they such FUN. We can sit for hours & just watch him & his little brain working.

Enjoy! TTFN ~Marydon

trash talk said...

What a wonderful post. I hope his teacher understands when you say "you can be there in a moment's notice" that you CAN be there in a moment's notice! Joey's kindergarten teacher was a dedicated bundle of encouragement, Jenn's was a "I can be there in a moment's notice". Some are just not cut out to teach and it's not their fault. Isn't it something you have to find out in the classroom?
Let me ask you another question,if you don't mind. What are your feelings on children addressing their teachers by "Miss/Mrs. Cindy, etc." instead of by their last names? Just something I think about.

Unknown said...

I LOVE it! What a great post. We all want teachers to know our children. I retired from teaching two years ago and would have treasured notes like yours. You can bet your sweet self that I would have you in my classroom as often as you could visit. I hope your grandchild has a wonderful year.


Glenda/MidSouth said...

Yep! Sounds good to me! What a great post!

Elizabethd said...

YES!! Been there, done that, especially the glaring forcefully bit!

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

As a teacher and a grandmother, I appreciate this. We know what those teachers are thinking! And we know what those grandmothers are feeling! Righteous pride! Love it! Linda

Anita@Theycallmejammi said...

You are so right on...this teacher is going to say, wow - not only am I getting a wonderful student, but just look at how wise his Ma Do is. Being a Jammi to my 3 Grandbabes, I can tell you that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and that saying probably came from another Jammi or Ma Do, just like us.

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

I love this post! So precious!! It made me tear up a little and remember when...

Lou Cinda

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Oh Laura, what a dear and wonderful post. It's a big day, isn't it? I still remember crying all day on my daughter's first day of kindergarten. I'll be there for my little guy's first day too. He's starting third grade soon. I can hardly believe it.

Grandkids are such treasures, aren't they? I can't believe how much I love it.

Hugs sweet MaDo


Vintage Chicken said...

So cute!

As a mother it is so hard to 'turn' our babies over to the kindergarten teachers. The State may say they are old enough, but they are just babies! Sweet and innocent angels that still need a few hugs during the day!

Southern Fried Gal said...

Love this post! Sounds like a pretty special little boy. I can see some similarities with my boy - he's a big actually user as well. Oh and he named my MIL Ma-Mu (Ma pronounced the same as yours and Mu sounds like MOO but we dare not spell it that way!)

Bring Pretty Back said...

This is one of the most precious things ever!
Have a pretty day!

Nancy's Notes said...

What a precious post Laura!


Laura's Rose Garden said...

Absolutely precious!!!!..... You, your grandson, your letter. Absolutely precious!!
Hugs, Laura

Karen said...

Just like last year, Laura, I half laugh and half tear up reading this. So sweet and so like a grandmother and so like a teacher who knows her stuff. This is going to be quite a year, isn't it with our two grandchildren in first grade. Lots to look forward to.
Ladybug Creek

Amy Kinser said...

What a great letter from a great sounding grandmother. Love this...

Kelly Frances Dunn said...

What a great Ma-Do you are. He sounds precious and is so blessed to have someone like you watching over him. I lived through the drop off once...I'm holding on b/c next year goes my baby #2. You are so sweet with your words!

Crafty Housewife said...

This was such a sweet post, it reminded me of both my mother (with my sons) and my grandmother (with me). I immediately shared this with them! Harrison is a very blessed kid to have such a neat Ma-Do!


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