F is for family

The school year has ended in many schools, but my daughter has a few more days left with her students. Each year she has a theme and spends a great deal of time investing in designing meaningful lessons that reach beyond her classroom.

Today was one of her letter days. Each letter represents a particular word and lesson. The children always look forward to these days. One of my favorites is P is for pancakes. They enjoy reading, measuring, mixing, and cooking up their pancakes.

She is a special needs teacher who sees the strengths in every child. Her school is located in a low economic setting. Many children she has had over the years have experienced some form of trauma. One of the most critical aspects of the job she believes is to provide positive supports, establish trusting relationships, and help children grow.

As I have watched her teach for years now, heard people describe her as an excellent teacher, and read notes from students and parents, the most crucial thing I see her do is to include everyone like family. There has never been a time in her life when anyone has ever been left out, felt different, or thought they were not welcome. Our family has always been this way, and she is teaching this to others.

Today was picture perfect with matching clothing for the entire classroom as they celebrated family day. The girls even got a little extra attention with painted nails (toes) at lunchtime. They gathered around to take family photos of their excellent school year.

This is the teaching children need in the classrooms across our country. Enjoy, respect, include and celebrate each other as a family. We are all in this world together to make it the best we can and these kids are on their way to brighter days. R is not about race but for respect. Respect for individuals and to appreciate each individual. C is not for critical but for courage. Courage to stand up for what you believe and to help another in need.

I know there is one classroom where children are happy each day. They know the adults at the school love them. The children work together to learn it is okay to be different, look different, and be unique. Every individual has great things to offer us.

I am beyond proud of her and what she does each day for children. She does the same as the mother of three exceptional children. I pray daily she can continue and other excellent teachers continue to provide for the children they serve. Lifting people is the solution and helping them to continue to grow.

Published by Brenda Yoho

Christian,Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Aspiring Author, Motivator, Survivor, Leader, Coach, Mentor and a service agent living a life of purpose. Started my career in education as a teaching assistant, moved into the teaching role, followed by administration serving as Assistant Principal, Principal and Director of Educational Support Programs. Over my more than two decades of educational experience I have served as the Illinois Principals Association Illini Region Director and most recently as a mentor/coach for principals. In addition, I have presented at their conferences over the years. In my final years in administration I served also as the Illinois Association of Title Directors Vice President and Treasurer. I am a survivor of an indirect hit of lightning and an almost fatal accident with a semi truck that hit the car I was traveling in with my family. My daughter, granddaughter and close friend survived as well! My injuries were the most significant leaving lifelong damages.

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