Dear Mama Educators,
As the spring of distance learning is behind us, and the joy of summer has come to a close, the new school year has officially begun. With the start of another year, you may be feeling tired and weary, wide-eyed and optimistic, or anxious and unsure of what this year will hold. As an elementary teacher, writing this letter to all the mamas who have kicked off a new school year, my hope is to encourage you in your new normal, empower you in your impact, and remind you of your purpose as a mom.
If you’re anything like me, you likely ended the past school year with a sense of relief – the hard season of distance learning had finally come to a close. Yet, here we are, a new school year has arrived. While the unique challenges continue, starting with new teachers, new grades, and children who no longer felt the same excitement about online learning or going back to school, in the way before. We never could have imagined the lasting impact of this pandemic, nor did we think we would have to prepare our hearts and minds to take on the role of “mom” and “educator” this school year. But mamas, teachers believe in you and value you more than you will ever know.
As educators, we tend to share the core belief that a child’s parent will always be their first and most influential teacher. So, while you may feel overwhelmed and unfit to take on the role of both mama and educator, you’ve already been doing this your child’s entire life. Since your child was just a baby, you came alongside them, you showed them the world, you taught, and empowered, and developed their tiny brains and hearts. You may have never viewed yourself as an “educator,” but you were educating and teaching your little ones then, and you still are now. With every car ride, answering every question under the sun – a teachable moment. With every dinner table conversation – a teachable moment. With every trip to the zoo or the museum or anywhere new – a teachable moment. With every lovely and hard conversation, processing relationships and joys and trials, every single one of those conversations – teachable moments.
So, let’s reframe our minds. Let’s view this year as one big teachable moment. Let’s partner together to turn these difficult and unexpected times into a year of wonder, of purpose, of joy. Let’s take on a new perspective, of no longer just “getting through it,” to believing this year holds purpose and growth for both our hearts and theirs. As educators, we have immense grace and understanding for you as the mamas, and we pray you have the same for us. We are all doing the very best we can, we are learning and growing together, we are making mistakes and moving forward. We are all on the same team and we have immense gratitude for you.
We know your lives are already filled to the brim, and we see you as you continue to work your normal jobs, get breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table, plan and schedule out every child’s day, mediate all the emotions and conflicts within your home, and all the while try to “keep it together” for your child(ren). While you are mamas, we know that you are also employees, chefs, maids, administrators, mediators, counselors, and now, adding the title of “educator” to the list. Thank you for taking on this new role, thank you for investing in your children, and thank you for loving them with all you’ve got.
As an educator myself, my personal hope is that you simply show up. I believe that you just being there and being a part of your child’s learning is what matters most. You are impacting every ounce of their life and their love for you is beyond what you will ever know. While you may never hear the fullness of their gratitude and love for you, we as teachers do. We overhear them as they share story after story of the adventures and memories you are building with them. The place in their hearts for you is deeper and wider than you will ever know. They are always thinking about you, always thankful for you, and you are enough for them, just because you are their mama.
Thank you for showing up, believing the best in your teachers, and loving your child with all you’ve got. You’ve got this, mama!
An Elementary Teacher (& Mama)