Thursday, August 12, 2004

Letter From a Mother

Dear Ms. T.:

I see you are going to be John's kindergarten teacher. We got the letter yesterday confirming his teacher's name and whether he'll be in morning or afternoon kindergarten.

I am not trying to tell you how to do your job. But there are some things about John I would like you to know.

Ms. T., he will do just about anything you ask him to. Please use your power wisely. He is so eager to learn and ready to try new things, it is easy to manipulate him.

He is a Power Ranger with prophet hair and a tender heart. In any situation he is ready to offer a hug or clench his hands into defiant fists. His world quickly falls into moral absolutes, and I'll just tell you right now he's ready to offer an opinion on the presidential race. He might ask you if you're a union member.

Please do not diminish his empathy or expression of feelings. If someone gets hurt in your classroom, John is likely to feel it, too. Stories of people getting hurt or lost are likely to send him into a serious blue period, and you may have to gently bring his attention back to what you're doing in class.

An example: He's decided to stop looking at his "Noah's Ark" illustrated story after realizing that the flood drowned everyone, including little babies, who wasn't in the ark. "But I LIKE little babies," he whispered, eyes filling with tears.

I'm just trying to give you an idea of what you'll be dealing with.

We have taught him to use his words when he is feeling frustrated or angry, or wants to be alone. He is not trying to be a brat when he is being honest. I know sometimes it's hard to tell the difference -- it's hard to stay calm when someone says "I don't want to BE with you right now!" instead of taking him for his word and walking away until both of us are calmer.

While tender, he is also tough. He is your average five-year-old in that he can be stubborn, obnoxious, silly, loud and physically daring. He can read well and do some math.

I won't be one of Those Parents. I know you will have many children with many different abilities to look after, and that you take your job very seriously. What I'm trying to say is that I love my son so much. You are the first non-family authority figure he is going to love, and in giving you his own heart, he's giving you mine as well.

8 comments:

  1. Our son starts kindergarten this year too and like you we're so afraid of how the system will stifle him somewhat... he's very sensitive, empathic and spiritual.

    What a beautiful letter!

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  2. That is so beautiful!

    Makes me want to write one for my son's kindergarten teacher.

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  3. If I were the teacher, this would make me love your little boy sight unseen.

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  4. I had written this as an exercise for myself, but perhaps I should send it!

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  5. Krup, you're killing me, here.

    This is just incredible.

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  6. Anonymous10:13 PM

    Oh Krup! You must, must, must send this!

    It is amazing!

    --Maggie

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  7. Anonymous6:28 AM

    This is so beautiful. I think you should print it and put it on your wall...
    Nella who can't be arsed to log in at blogspot

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