When friends ask what I like about teaching in an independent school, one of the qualities I am sure to highlight is our involved, dedicated parents. Yes, I know there are fantastic parents in every corner of the world and in all walks of life. However, caring, invested mothers and fathers is simply the “norm” around here, and I am deeply aware that our students’ success is largely due to that. For that, I am grateful!
One of my favorite events honoring our parents is our Mother’s Day celebration, held in Grades Pre-K through 2. We do our best to make a big fuss over our students’ mommas. 🙂 We recognize the value in the mothers who pull their children onto their laps to read together, who check Math homework religiously in spite of hectic days, and who communicate with us regularly.
They are our partners in education, and we hope we’re theirs in raising up their little ones to be all that they can be. The Mother’s Day Tea is a team effort involving all three team members and our students, but with our Learning Community Leader firmly at the “helm” steering the ship. 🙂 The mothers were greeted in this area, where a line of melt-your-heart Second-Grade boys stood waiting to proudly offer, “May I escort you to your seat?” I love this tradition.
I believe that learning manners during childhood is an empowering practice that not only teaches respect, but also allows students to feel at ease in any situation later in life. We don’t shy away from taking our students to plays, symphony halls, or restaurants, because they are fabulous learning opportunities. When we raise our expectations, they never fail to blow us away by exceeding them.
Our mothers were graceful guests who beamed and accepted each offered elbow (in spite of having to crouch a bit to walk arm in arm). 🙂 A parent who owns an art studio, Uptown Art, invited our entire Learning Community to come in and create works of art for their moms. It was a great experience for the students, and they clearly know how to tailor their classes to young children. They were warm, friendly, and encouraging to every child. Our team leader added this thoughtful greeting. This table eventually featured “old-fashioned” root beer floats and cookies galore. We hoped to convey a sense of nostalgia for the simple moments that make childhood grand.
We spent a Math class making the batches of cookies together, and it turned out to be a perfect way to tie in our unit about measuring volume, temperature, and time! The floats featured paper straws and a cherry on top. 🙂 It was all hands on deck when our mothers sat down with their kids. Our administrators rolled up their sleeves to pour and prep floats, and I walked around with a tray of floats to offer to each table, mumbling prayers that I wouldn’t spill! Our Science room became a concert hall as each grade sang two songs to their mothers. Our Music teacher made great selections for the event. Picture adorable kids in their Sunday best, the smell of flowery perfume, children’s voices, and sniffling and crying galore.
As one dear child sang, the sight of her mother brought her to tears! The majority of us in the audience followed suit. 🙂 The Math room, all set for the “meal” of lots of sugar. Elementary School is not for the faint of heart or for people on a diet. Isn’t my co-teacher’s Reading room precious? She worked so hard to make it inviting and cozy. The students made these pinwheels themselves! I love that this simple, kid-friendly (and CHEAP) decoration made such a big impact. They also made cards, place mats, and pouches to house the cookies they baked. As for my team, you’ve never met two more lovely mothers than ones on either side of me. Their love for their respective daughters is unspeakably beautiful.
We are truly the three amigas. 🙂 I like the way this translation puts it:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)