Thursday, 18 July 2019

An Open Letter to Aoife's Nursery Teacher

You may not have known at the time, but handing over my first born to you without having met you before was hard. When it came to childcare I had always met the providers first before entrusting them with my daughter. Yet, here I was, willingly waving my baby goodbye for a few hours that afternoon. 

I remember being so worried about whether she will understand the new language that would surround her, if she would be brave enough to ask to go to the toilet, and if she would get on with you. I was also worried about how young you were, although I never doubted your capabilities as a teacher.. I just felt old! Thankfully I didn't need to worry about any of that; on the drive home all she could talk about was how amazing and nice her teacher was and about how much fun she had had that day.
We have had a few blips in the road; the start of full days took it's toll on her and we had some outbursts. However, her face always lit up when there was a mention of yours or the TA's names and she couldn't wait to go back the next day. 
Learning in a different language worried me the most. I do not speak Welsh and had never introduced Aoife to the language before now. She had learnt snippets of it in pre school, but knowing that Welsh would be the primary language in her school sounded daunting. At parents evening you reassured me that she was doing amazing and was one of the top pupils in the class. I may have acted reserved, but inside I was beaming and so so proud.
The intention of this letter is to thank you for taking Aoife under your wing and helping her in her first experience of school. You teach over twenty children at a time, so I was always worried about how each child would have the same amount of attention and time spent on them, but again, I soon realised that I was worrying over nothing. Aoife has told me stories of how you make counting fun, has corrected me numerous times on my Welsh pronunciation, and tearfully told me how you and one of the TA's removed a splinter from her hand when she was upset.
When Aoife had a filter day up to her reception class, she came home telling me about all the fun she had, but suddenly became upset. When I asked what was wrong, she said it was because you and her TA's weren't in that class and that you didn't want a new teacher. To see the impact that you had all had on her made me smile, but also made me sad as this was the first time she had ever shown any attachment to anyone other than family before.
I have a friend who is a primary school teacher and has been for a number of years. At one point we lived together and the sheer amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is astounding. Before then I always thought teachers finished work as soon as the children walked out of the door. People are quick to criticize teachers, I probably did at one point too, but when you realise how much work and effort goes into each day of teaching, and knowing that teachers don't really have "time off" during half terms, it makes you realise just how much is being done for our children and how much of an impact you have on them.
So, once again, thank you. To you and the assistants that you have. The work you have put in with Aoife this year has astounded me and I am confident that your guidance and patience has helped Aoife become much more ready for reception class than I ever thought possible. I know that she will miss you, but she will be heading into reception class with all of the skills that you have taught her (especially Welsh as there was no hope in her learning that from me!).
Thank you!

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