Thank you for your smiling eyes, brimming with excitement as you climbed the stairs into school this week. Thank you for hand-delivering the beautiful flower cut from your garden.
Thank you for controlling your sadness to leave your family and your anxious feelings about following your masked and visored teachers; for practicing self-regulation at such a young age. When you had tears, there were only a few, and you dried them quickly. I watched a different teacher carry a crying, heaving, gagging child into the school. Her face protection proved its need, separating the four inches of space between their mouths, with one of them coughing tears. Both were likely feeling fear at that moment.
Thank you, my little child, for accepting each pump of hand sanitizer and happily going to the sink to lather and wash every time without complaining. The request came often.
Thank you for quickly catching on to strange routines that involved more sitting on chairs than Kindergarten normally requires; more listening and following fast-paced directions. “Orange Team, line up to the washroom. Green Team, get your lunch bags from the shelf. Blue Team, go into the cubbies to get your jackets.” Thank you for learning your color, and preventing me from having to repeat my visor-mask-shouted instructions too often. My throat has been relatively quiet for six months. The strain is shocking.
Thank you for resisting your child-desire to hug your friends and teachers, using our touchless Greeting of the Day instead: Day 1 – thumbs up; Day 2 – bow or curtsy. We’ll make it fun, won’t we?
Thank you for understanding (?) that we can play together from a distance; for sitting your bottom on a coral reef fishy decal so you are three feet away from your floormates. Thank you for learning to communicate through your plexiglass window when sitting at your table.
Thank you for practicing at home to become independent with your jacket zipper, your lunch containers, and your washroom business. There will be times when you need help, and that’s okay. We’ll be there for you. But each day we get through with a score of zero for bathroom accidents will be a victory for our team!
Thank you for walking in the halls with robot arms separating us in line, following the direction of the green arrows, and staying on our side of the red line. You are learning the driver’s rules of the road very early. What a safe driver you’ll be over a decade from now!
Thank you for wearing a mask to school when masks are not mandatory for your age, and for wearing it for as long as you are able. You are a superhero, and now you look like one too!
Thank you for remembering to cough into the crook of your arm when parts of your snack or water attack your throat. Your quick response is a superhero power.
Thank you, my one little friend, for missing your very first day of Senior Kindergarten because your sister had a runny nose. You sacrificed to keep us all protected. We will make your first day super special.
Thank you, my other little friend, for enduring a COVID test this weekend and waiting for the result before returning to school. You are being careful, and that means you’re ‘full of care’ for your friends.
Thank you for loving to learn new things and for asking questions. Despite all the changes to keep us safe, this will never change: no one can cover your curiosity with a mask or hide your joy of discovery. You come with wonderful ideas, and we will endeavor to expand on them and show you how you can find your own answers for the rest of your life!
But for now, thank you for being a very special member of our class. You make it all worthwhile.
Your JK/SK Teacher,