We divided and conquered, my husband and I. With children in many different schools, and this being my first week back at work, orientation day was a team effort. He took the female middle schooler, I took the female fourth-grader and the male middle schooler.
Note that the middle schoolers are at separate schools.
We structured the day so that there was one-on-one time with each, not easy in a large family, but important and necessary. This meant reporting back to each other on how things went, who our children’s teachers are, and our overall impression of the school situation.
Steve came back with news that our daughter’s homeroom teacher had once upon a time worked at Good Shepherd. There is a girl in her class from our church, as well as children of others we know from the community. He is all about connections.
I walked into our elementary daughter’s school to be greeted by one of my dear friends and another sweet friend from church. The first will be her PE teacher, the other, an assistant in her classroom. There was a lady whose children have been in the same piano studio. My daughter’s team teacher once had a child at Good Shepherd during my first decade of teaching. He is 23.
Leaving the gym, we passed the office of another lady who has returned to teach special ed at the school this year. Her children and my high school senior are friends. We shared connection and conversation.
The final open house of the day was for middle school boy. He reluctantly headed out with me after dinner to pick up his schedule and tolerated me wanting to meet his teachers and see his classrooms. The DQ Blizzard prospect might have been a motivating factor.
I was overjoyed to see that his science teacher is a friend from church who I didn’t even know taught at the school. His other teachers were engaging and kind. There were the ones he moaned and groaned about, but overall, this year looks promising. Hopeful.
I commented to my fourth grader, See. Even though I won’t be with you this year, God is with you always. You have one of my close friends as your PE teacher just like you would have my friends for teachers if you were still at Good Shepherd. One of your classroom aides is also my friend. You have people who care about you and who love children and want to help them learn.
Maybe I was also speaking to my own heart.
I feel it, though.
I feel God’s kindness, reminding me of his care for my children. Reminding me that he is everywhere and bigger than I could ever possibly be. Reminding me that his people are everywhere, and that he cannot be contained. Reminding me that relationships built over the years matter. That kindness counts.
He’s got this year. That’s all that matters. Thank you, Teacher Friends, for being there. All of you.