With Christmas round the corner and me thinking whether I should be getting you a little something to show my thanks, I thought instead I would simply say it......so thank you!
Thank you for being a big part of why my daughters love going to school each day.
Thank you for making that day happy and fun, as well as productive and educational, and for bringing out in them a love of learning.
Thank you for always being positive and enthusiastic. Your attitude is infectious and it has certainly infected my daughters!
Thank you for the imagination and creativity that you put into the displays in the classroom. Though it might not be the most affluent school in the world, my daughters' classrooms are happy places to learn and this makes the school a good place to be.
Thank you for doing this for my daughters and their many classmates. I am constantly in awe of how you are able to stand up to teach and entertain up to 30 children (and sometimes a little over).
Thank you for managing to balance (or at least trying to) the needs and abilities of all those children, even though increasingly you do not have the help of a teaching assistant to support the less able pupils.
Thank you for, as well as all of the teaching that you do, simultaneously managing the fact that some of your pupils might not have English as a first language. Some may have significant behavioral issues too.
Thank you for doing all of this, day after day, no matter what. Whether you are nursing the early stages of a cold, or dealing with whatever dramas might be going on in your personal lives (let's face it - we all have them!), you are there. Unlike most people in regular jobs you can't have the odd day taking it easy - you are performing up in front of 30 eager little faces, come rain or shine.
Thank you for going back in and carrying on with your work long after I see you at the school gate. Though I'm not there, I'm assuming that it's only when the children go home that the meetings can begin. And it's only after that that you can make a start on all the marking, planning, preparing for parents evenings and report writing. Oh and then of course, all that lovely paperwork too!
So thank you for putting in the extra hours. Though you've never complained about it to me, I suspect, if the national average is anything to go by, you are working way beyond your contracted hours each week.
Thank you for protecting me as a parent from what must be difficult and pressured times within schools. Due to funding cuts, I read in the media reports of class sizes going up, school trips no longer happening, and resources and materials being limited. There are also stories of teaching assistants' hours being reduced and teachers not being replaced when they leave.
Thank you also for absorbing the pressure caused by tests and exams, and also of inspections. Though you have never shown any sign of being stressed by this to me as a parent, it wouldn't be surprising if all of this monitoring and constant pressure to meet ever rising expectations did result in a bit of a strain.
Thank you for continuing to teach despite a lack of recognition by politicians and the media. But we can't just blame them - as parents we need to be more appreciative too.
I can't get you better pay or more invaluable hours of support from a teaching assistant. I can't even help with the mountains of paperwork under which you are surely drowning - sorry! But I can show my gratitude - to you and to all teachers, and teaching assistants, who give so much to the children they teach.
So thank you for choosing to stay in teaching. As clichéd as it sounds, you are nurturing and bringing out the potential of the next generation and will always be remembered by them as being a positive influence in their lives.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!