February is the month of hearts and flowers and Valentine’s Day, so I am sending you this love letter. It is not as much about you, as it is about someone we both love dearly—your child.
As parents, you are the primary teacher and guardian of your child, and I know you loved your child first. But I get to spend a large part of each day with your precious child, and even though I didn’t plan for it, I fell in love—with your child, and all the other children I am privileged to teach.
We both want the same thing for your child—that he or she can be holy, healthy, and happy—in that order. I want your child to learn about science and math and great literature and music, and I want your child to develop good character and healthy relationships. However, nothing matters as much in the span of eternity as having your child develop a personal relationship with Jesus.
I teach at a Christian school for some very important reasons. First and foremost, I believe God has called me to this work. It certainly is not about the money, although what I am paid is needed to help support my family. I know I could make significantly more money teaching in a public school, or leaving education altogether. Sometimes, when I am able, I take part of the salary I have earned and use it to purchase materials for my classroom—because I want our children to have the best education possible, and I don’t want to put additional stress on our school’s already stretched budget. I teach in a Christian school because I believe there is nothing more important than your child’s eternal salvation.
I know you make great sacrifices to have your child attend this school. In addition to the tuition, you are often asked to help out—with fundraising, classroom activities, cleaning and repairing the school building, and much more. We all want what is best for these precious children, although sometimes we see it from a slightly different perspective.
May I gently suggest a few ways we can accomplish our shared goal?
As a teacher, I do my very best to provide a safe, loving environment for all of my students. Most days go well, but some days can be overwhelming. If I have things outside of school that are worrying me (like my family’s finances, or health, or a million other things) I do my best to leave them at the door. But some days, it bubbles over and I may lose my patience. I suspect that happens occasionally to you, as well.
When your child has had a tough day at school and tells you about it, please listen to your child, and ask your child about the good things that happened, too. But if you have concerns, before you reach a final conclusion, please talk to me to see if there is more to the story. There often is. If you agree not to believe everything your child tells you without doing a little fact-checking, I promise not to believe everything your child tells me happens at home, especially if they are in preschool or kindergarten.
Please encourage your child in his or her studies, and take an interest in what is happening at school. Set them up for success by being sure they are well-rested and well—nourished, and consider limiting the exposure to electronics, especially in the evening hours. And above all, let them know that they are loved—by you, and by their Heavenly Father. No matter what craziness is going on in the world, it is going to be OK. God’s got this.
Although not expected, a note or word of encouragement is always appreciated. Likewise, if you have concerns about your child that I can help address, I would like to know. We each have a challenging job, but it is better if we are “in this together.” And please remember to pray for me and our school–as I continue to pray for you and your child on a daily basis.
Your children are among the most precious gifts God has given to you. Thank you for sharing them with us. We promise to love and care for them to the best of our God-given ability!
Your Child’s Teacher