Dear Mrs. Smotherman,
I don’t even know how to start.
Every time I try, tears fill my eyes and I have to stop. So I will just tell you this:
You changed my child’s life.
I know, I know, that seems probably super dramatic that a nine year old’s life could be changed, but trust me, you did. And do you know how?
You believed in him.
Look at him. My Eli.
Full of joy today.
You didn’t quit, even when he was frustrating.
You didn’t give up, even when he was at his end.
You didn’t dwell on the negative, you gave him a clean slate.
You didn’t believe the test scores, you believed what you knew he had.
For most of his school years he has been the kid that seemed to lag behind, that was a bit wild, that they thought needed extra help. You saw him beyond all the energy and the crazy and met him where he was and unearthed the brilliance tucked behind the surface.
Because of you I have a child who loves school.
I’m sure there are days that go by where you sit there and look at that room full of third graders and wonder if you’re making a difference. Well, after today and chaperoning those third graders, let me tell you first that you are beyond amazing. You must have the ultra gift of patience. But, you know, I can tell you care for each of those kids and that you love them for WHO THEY ARE. That, that is such a gift.
As a mom every day I drop my Eli off and tell him to “super focus” and “to have much fun” and then I trust you to be the leader of my son during the day.
And you have done amazing things.
I’m sure there are also days when the thanks you get seem thin. When the problems are many and the parents lost in the mix. So please, please let this be the day where you hear my words:
Thank you for doing a job I don’t think I could ever do. Thank you for believing in my son even when he doubted himself. Thank you for not quitting. Thank you for making learning fun. Thank you for giving of you every single day.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt the boy that sits in my house is more confident today because of you. Look at those words below: he wrote them. Earlier this year he could barely write and was frustrated with himself. And now? Now this.
So tonight, tonight with tears in my eyes, I humbly say thank you again.
Why did you change his life?
Because you care, you give, you believe and you, well, you are a gift.
You are amazing.
ps. As the school year ends, it’s time to really thank those teachers who are such a part of our kid’s lives. My Eli will forever be changed by his teacher who loved him for him. That’s a gift of a lifetime. And that? That is why she changed his life.