As promised, I have several teachers I'd like to highlight. That said, if I had to pick any teacher that made the longest lasting impression on our family, it is Ms. Eileen. I know she is no longer Dani's primary teacher, but Ms. Eileen made such a significant impact on Dani's learning that we are forever grateful that Dani had the opportunity to be in her classroom. Ms. Eileen's reach was beyond academics- it was holistic. We never once doubted that she cared about the academic and social successes of Daniella. Ms. Eileen took a real interest in making sure that Daniella felt respected, cared for, and pushed to her potential. Both Dan and I felt comfortable approaching her with any concerns and trusted that she would do the same if she felt something wasn't quite "right" with Dani on any given day. I loved picking Dani up and watching Ms. Eileen getting right into the mix with the kids. She was on the playground having fun, dancing with the kids, doing art projects, and always with a smile on her face. I cannot think of a single time when I've heard Ms. Eileen raise her voice. That's not to say she doesn't set limits or hold kids accountable, but she does so in a developmentally appropriate and supportive way. Seriously, I could go on and on and on but I'm sure you get the idea: we have the utmost respect for that woman. We are so pleased that she played such a foundational role in Daniella's early learning years. She's got a love for learning and a lot of that has to do with the support she received from Ms. Eileen for so long.
I'd also like to send a shout out to Ms. Kristin, who has bravely helped guide both of our kids during their early school experiences. Most recently, she had the task of welcoming Max into a classroom setting, something he had never experienced before. I have a photo that I took from one of his first days at KinderCare (you know, back when he would scream and cry his head off!). The photo is of Max sitting on Ms. Kristin's lap as he looked around, taking everything in. It is really, really significant to me just how quickly he trusted her. He felt safe with her and because of that, he is now the little boy we see today- the little man who walks over to the breakfast table and shouts, "bye dadda!!" It is the safe, supportive, loving environment that Ms. Kristin provides that allowed Max to be this kid who loves school. I am certain this will continue to foster a love for learning, which will follow him into his educational career. I'm always in awe when we are in the car and Max starts singing a song I've never heard before, or when he comes up with all of these words that he's clearly picking up from the work that Ms. Kristin and the rest of the Toddler room team has done with him. To be honest, it broke my heart nightly when I first started picking Max up and he seemed so sad, but to know he was with Ms. Kristin really alleviated any concerns very quickly. We have so, so much to thank her for!
Ok...this is a novel, I know. I just have to add that we are incredibly, incredibly, so incredibly thankful that Daniella was able to squeeze into Ms. Angela's Prekindergarten class!! Ms. Angela is such a gem! Dani is learning much, much more than we ever expected and we have Ms. Angela to thank for that. From Spanish to site words and everything in between, we are amazed by what Ms. Angela teaches her in such a short period of time. Ms. Angela is patient, understanding, and incredibly supportive of Daniella as a whole person. We appreciate the time she takes with us at the end of the day to tell us how she did. It is clear she is engaging and creative in her curriculum. Dani is thriving and we know she will be super prepared for Kindergarten thanks to the preparation this year.
I can go on and on and on (yes, I know you are surprised), but there is a line waiting outside of my office. I do, however, want to make sure we give recognition to Ms. Helen, Ms. Maureen, Ms. Renay, and a super, HUGE shout out to Ms. Carol, who I don't think is recognized enough for the nourishment she provides and the care she puts into that, especially when we were trying to figure out Max's allergy situation. We have been THRILLED with our extended family at KinderCare and just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
And, of course, all of this comes from awesome leadership. Thank you to both of you- Lori and Krista.
Angela and Dan M.