This morning at my daughter’s school, the 3rd graders presented their Veterans Day program. It’s always a little more hectic than normal on days with special events at school, but my 8 year-old had laid her clothes out the night before and both girls were mostly cooperative this morning. Despite having to find and add warm layers before we walked out the door (thanks to yesterday’s cold front), we made it to the bus stop without a hitch.
My four year-old continued to be mostly cooperative as we readied ourselves to go the elementary school. Her big sister had been so excited about the program that she’d been singing all the songs for weeks (months?) and so it felt like a big deal to them both.
Because it was an event for only one grade level, parking wasn’t terrible even if my preschooler and I did have to walk for a block in the wind chanting, “The quicker we walk, the sooner we’re there,” over and over. And when we made our way into the cafeteria we even found chairs! Always a plus when your companion is a little one.
Though we had all those extra steps this morning due to the program, the teachers involved with this event have been working on it since the beginning of the school year. My morning may have been a little off kilter and required a little extra attention, but for my daughter and her fellow third graders, this was the culmination of weeks of hard work. And it showed.
The Veterans Day program has the reputation of being very emotional, but what I didn’t count on was the emotion from the teachers. Sure it was touching to hear these 8 and 9 year-olds sing patriotic songs, even more so when the veterans themselves stood up to be recognized, but the main music teacher was so emotional at the end of the program that she couldn’t even talk.
And you know what? I don’t think she’s the exception. I think she’s the rule.
These teachers give so much of themselves to our children. We can debate curriculum and length of school days all day long, but the fact is our teachers invest their own lives into our schools and the lives of our children. And if your child is in their class, it undoubtedly makes your life easier and better in some way.
Today I am thankful for the wonderful teachers that have been in my life and my daughter’s lives. I am thankful for the care and attention they give to our children, even when their mandates change year after year and they have to use their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.
At the end of today’s program, the veterans in attendance were asked to come to the front to introduce themselves and share with what branch they served. One of the veterans present is a third grade teacher at the school. She was also too overcome with emotion to talk. She is a great representation of the fact that these teachers are more than just teachers; they are parents, fitness instructors, small business owners, veterans. They have other parts of their lives they are committed to. I am just grateful that they have chosen to commit to our kids as well.