An Open Letter to the Teachers of Cannon School:
I see you. For fourteen years, I’ve seen you hauling loads of stuff into the school before it’s light. And I’ve seen you carrying stuff out of the school hours after the buses left. I’ve seen red marks on papers. Smiley faces. Notes to “see me.” I’ve seen you hug my children. Lots of hugging. I’ve seen you march at graduation and sit around a table in the cafeteria, hoping nobody will interrupt those few moments of adult conversation in the middle of the day.
I’ve heard about your witty comments. Your passionate lectures. Your disciplinary decisions. I’ve heard about what you do in your spare time, and I can’t believe you have spare time. I know the number of papers to grade. Tests to correct. Essays to comment upon. I know your day doesn’t end at 3:00 or start at 8:10.
I want you to hear this from my heart: what you do matters. And more than that, you have made a profound impression on my children, which they will carry with them forever. The words you say every day spark new thoughts, observations, and opinions in those who hear them.
Thank you for teaching. Thank you for treating my children with respect. Thank you for sharing yourself with them over and over and over, even if it seems like they are daydreaming and will never remember a word. Trust me, they remember. And they are better for your words of wisdom, encouragement, wit, and truth.
And thank you, again, for the nights in your home that you spend grading and planning and doing other stuff for work when you could be at play yourself. Your work is some of the most important work in the world. The kids may not really understand this until they are ready to enroll their own children some day. But I know it.
I see you when you laugh with students in the hall. When you walk to your car by yourself. When you show up at a game you are not coaching. And I see those who coach.
There are not enough words in the world to express the gratitude you deserve. So I guess I just want to say this: I see you. I can’t imagine not seeing you doing the things you do every day. You are helping us make wonderful people and send them out in the world to do wonderful things. This is your job. You do it well.