I am lucky to have several family members and friends that are teachers. They provide me with insight and support as we navigate the school years, and I am proud to know them.
It's report card time, so I've been hearing about long days and late hours.
The kids don't see that though—their teachers working long after they've left the building—but it's important that we do.
It's not just report cards that have our teachers going the extra mile. Often it is the ordinary in-between moments in the classroom or the hallways of the school that stay with our kids.
My three school-aged kids have the same gym teacher, and last week he said something very kind to one of them. And it's not the first time. He can be tough and have pretty big expectations of his students, and I was admittedly concerned that my kids wouldn't appreciate his approach.
He is an athlete, I never was. In fact, gym was a very stressful and emotional class for me. I felt rejected and ostracized for not being sporty. It still resonates with me all these years later.
Although my kids are all active and fit, they will never be listed as jocks in any future yearbooks. But that doesn't deter them or dampen their enthusiasm. And I've come to realize it's because of their teacher.
He takes the time to make a big deal about small triumphs, and he's teaching the kids in his classes that they are worthy of being included and capable of being as good as they want to be.
Recently, I wrote a short email to tell him how much my children enjoy his class and how much I appreciate the messages he's been teaching them. When I ran into him a few days later, he expressed his surprise and gratitude.
I am huge believer in showing our children that we support and believe in the people we trust to teach them. There won't always be a perfect fit, I'm not that naive. But I also know there can never be enough thanks shown to the ones who are helping me to raise my family.
When I came across DIgital Chalk Art a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of our teachers and placed an order for the end of the school year (I wasn't an athlete, but I was always a keener). My cards are finished and on their way already.
The artist, Tanya, creates made-to-order customized prints (and she prints them for you, so they're ready to frame when you receive them), and she has generously agreed to give an 8 x 10 print (approx value: $35) to one of my Canadian readers.
The giveaway includes printing of your design and shipping within Canada. You can choose whatever theme you would like (go visit her site for more ideas), such as: first birthday, new baby, anniversary.
This one tugs at my heartstrings and, knowing my readers, I'm sure it will tug on yours, too.
Just leave a comment below and let us know what design you'd love to win.
Don't worry, we won't hold you to it. We know there a lot of great ideas.
I'll randomly select a winner on February 1st. Good luck!