Friday, July 7, 2017

Thank You To My Children's Teachers #CatholicTeachers

This post is part of they and Ontario Catholic Teachers #CatholicTeachers sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

When I think back to my school years, there is one teacher that really stands out in my mind. Her name is Mrs. Revells and she was my fourth grade teacher.  I can't really pinpoint WHY, but I definitely think of her with fond memories. I often walked around with her at recess, and she always had the greatest stories to share.

Now that I am a parent, I feel very fortunate that up to this point, my kids have had some fantastic educators in their Catholic school. I don't think I could have hand picked better teachers if given the chance. They have all been wonderful.  This year, Mr. K's Grade 1 teacher, Mrs. Stewart-Smith (or Mrs. S) has definitely made an incredible impact - not only with Mr. K, but with me as well.

Mr. K is a pretty fun kid. He has a quirky personality that I absolutely adore, and hope that he doesn't change. He is also pretty sensitive, and quite shy/quiet at school. He has been in speech therapy since he was 2, and I think his speech issues have played a little into his quietness - for fear of not being understood.  He has struggled with language (reading and writing) in school, and I was very worried about him going into grade 1. He was behind his peers when it came to these areas (which is to be expected given his speech issues - we were very aware this was a possibility, and actually went through similar struggles with Mr. J) and his confidence was pretty low.

Mrs. S made such a difference. There was consistent communication between her and I to discuss strategies and what not. We were both concerned about not pushing him too much, because we worried he would shut down.  She made things fun for him, and kept me in the loop throughout the year with his setbacks and his progress. We would reassess how we were approaching things, and change what wasn't working if needed. Mrs. S made sure that we were right on top of it as soon as she noticed there was an issue.  She referred him to the resource teacher in the school for extra help when she realized that it wasn't just a matter of him taking a little bit longer to "get it".

Her impact wasn't only made in terms of education though. Mr. J had some health issues earlier in the year, and it definitely affected Mr. K. He was more emotional, more clingy and needed that extra assurance from the role models in his life.  When I let Mrs. S know what was going on, she made sure to be there for him when he needed it.  He had started to play less at recess and spend more time with her when she had yard duty. He enjoyed walking around chatting with her, and having the responsibility of holding her clipboard.  I think he just needed that connection with an adult, because we were spending so much time with Mr. J running around to different appointments - he was feeling the lack of attention at home.

He always talks so fondly of her, and I can completely understand why. He was incredibly sad to find out that she would be teaching grade one again next year - he wanted her to move to 2nd grade so he could be in her class. If I am being honest, I will admit that I also was a little sad that he wouldn't be in her class again  - however, I do know that those students moving into her grade one class are incredibly lucky.

Mrs. S is such a kind, caring teacher. She makes learning fun, and it is apparent that her students love her.  She definitely brings the values of compassion, respect and fairness into her classroom - setting the kids up with great lessons to take with them as they move on in their education.

the sign Mrs. S had on the door of her classroom

Mrs. S - thank you for being you. Thank you for such a wonderful year and caring about Mr K (and the rest of your students) they way you do. Thank you for making sure he had such a positive learning environment. We are so lucky to have you as a teacher at our school.

I also need to mention Mr. J's grade 4 teacher, Mrs. Lewis.  She is so much fun; always happy and a smile on her face.  She has been such a support to Mr. J this year.  With everything that happened last fall, he would never really talk to us about it.  I think he was trying to put on a brave face.  However, he was talking to Mrs. Lewis. He would tell her that he was nervous about the MRI, and that he hated having them etc.  I am so thankful that she was there for him, to listen and encourage, when he didn't want to talk to us.

The fact that he was comfortable talking to her shows me just how great of an educator she is. The kids trust her and are easily able to talk with her - so important to have those adults in your life as a child.  He started out the year shy and quiet, but he has matured and grown so much over the last 10 months. He has come out of his shell, and I think some of that can be attributed to Mrs. Lewis and the way she is with her students.

Mrs. Lewis - thank you for being there for Mr. J when he wouldn't open up to us. Thank you for helping him through such a rough patch. We are so happy that he had you in his life during this time.

Not all education is about the curriculum. Catholic teachers also teach lessons for life - having interacted with both Mrs. S and Mrs. Lewis, this is very apparent to me. They taught my kids so much more than math, english, science and religion.

Lessons for Life - Resilience in 3D from OECTA on Vimeo.
You can read why we chose a Catholic education for our kids in my first post for the #CatholicTeachers campaign. To learn more about Ontario's Catholic Teachers, be sure to follow on twitter and facebook. You can also watch a few videos about the life lessons taught.


  1. Teachers do so much for our children, they help guide and mold our children into amazing adults!

    1. Yes! They spend so much time with our kids and really do help to shape them.


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