Dear Kindergarten

Do you know that your voices stay with me long after we’ve parted ways each afternoon? I hear them in my head after I wave goodbye at 3:30, after I leave you under the patient oversight of the aftercare teachers. I hear your voices- distinctly, unquestionably you- as I live my evening hours; eating, working, cleaning. Through it all, I can hear you. You stay with me throughout the day, really.

I prepare for you, each day. That’s kind of a given in the teacher realm; planning lessons, organizing worksheets and activities, inventing ways to reteach a concept again, to help you understand more, grasp deeper. I prepare for how you might not quite master it the first time, or how it takes you longer to write, or how you get frustrated when I erase your wrong answers too quickly. I think about all those things and a hundred other things every morning.

I think about what you need, too. I know your mom just had a baby and you’re feeling a little displaced. I know you’re feeling clingy and your five-year-old words just can’t tell me that. So when you stand up during math, lean your head on my shoulder while I teach, I let you stay there. I know you had a busy weekend between parents, I know you didn’t get nearly enough sleep and Monday morning beforecare was a hard shock to your little system. So when you fall asleep right there on the floor during phonics, I let you stay there, I let you sleep. And when you wake up two hours later, rubbing brown eyes groggily, I greet you gently, with a smile, because no one likes to shouted at when they’ve just barely woken up.

I know you’re frustrated that you don’t understand, I know you’re upset with yourself for making wrong choices, for not following directions. I know that she hurt your feelings, that he bosses you around, that he won’t let you look at his Pokemon book. I know, I know. And it hurts me, too.

I wonder sometimes what you think about me, if you know how I feel about you, how I love you. When there are just one too many calls of “teacher! teacher! teacher!” and my tone is exasperated, fed up, I wonder. When you come tattling to me for the eighth time on the same kid, and I sigh and tell you I don’t care what he said and can you just play somewhere else for a little while. I wonder then if I’m doing the right thing, if I’m caring for each of you as well as I could. I wonder when you still throw a tantrum, even though I used a sticker chart, spoke gently, clearly stated the expectations beforehand. I wonder when the math pages come back half right, hard evidence of confusion on concepts I thought I taught well.

I wonder if I’m enough for you.

But really, I know I’m not. I know I never will be enough for you. Teaching you, discipling you, molding you is an unbelievable responsibility, especially when I spend more waking hours with you during the week than your own parents. I carry that weight, heavy on my heart and my mind, but I’m not the only one. I am part of a team, a family, of teachers and administrators, PE coach, art and music teacher; we all work for you, we all care for you, pray for you, love you.

And around us, beneath and above, encircling and encompassing everything we do, Christ guides and Christ gives. He provides and He encourages and He pours out. And what I have is nothing compared to Him, and what I give is a drop in the ocean of love and grace that He is. But He’s working through me and He’s working above and beyond me, and every morning, every afternoon, every evening with you, my precious kinders, that is enough.

I love you.

~Miss Shull (aka Teacher)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Grandma S.
    May 14, 2015 @ 08:25:55

    Beautifully said, Natalie.


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