M. Colleen Cruz

Writer, Educator, Consultant

Day Five - Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 8, 2015

Tags: thank you, other side of the desk, other people's children, trust, love

Today is my final Teacher Appreciation Week post. I have had a lot of fun doing this - reflecting on what makes me grateful for the teachers in my life. And I am really appreciative for your responses and sharing and retweets.

I wanted to take today's blog post as an opportunity to honor my son's teachers. He has been in pre-school for a couple of years now. He starts elementary school next year.

We have been incredibly fortunate to have had some of the most inspiring teachers I have ever known teach my son - and in many ways they have taught my partner and I. These teachers have made sure his initial years of schooling are filled with a love of learning, lessons in communication, dealing with adversity and understanding of self. In a nutshell my son adores school and learning and it is because of his remarkable teachers.

What I have appreciated most about them is the way they talk to students and to us. When my son notices someone doing something that in my day would have classified that person as 'bad', he will say, "Mommy, he just doesn't know about that yet."

When his teachers talk to me about my son, they always start by saying, "We love him." A simple statement. Not a fluffed up compliment. And I believe them. When they discuss anything he is struggling with or perhaps not up to snuff with, they will say, "He's working on that," or "He hasn't learned that yet." This way of viewing teaching, by starting with love, and then moving onto next steps - that when a student isn't doing whatever it is he or she is 'supposed' to be doing, that it isn't happening YET, has made a huge impression on me and on my son.

I am reminded by my son's teachers, whenever I work with children, my own or someone else's, to begin with love. And then to know that the student is still learning and growing, and to trust that with a little elbow grease from all parties, the learning will happen in time.

I am surrounded by mind-bogglingly intelligent, kind and insightful educators who teach me new things everyday. And for that I am profoundly grateful.

Next week on this blog - the week my new book will be published - I will share why I chose to write THE UNSTOPPABLE WRITING TEACHER.

Selected Works

A book that addresses some of the most common and challenging struggles a teacher of writing might face - and offers solutions
Professional Literature
A practical resource for 3rd grade teachers looking to teach writing workshop
A practical resource for 4th grade teachers looking to teach writing workshop.
A practical book and quick read from Heinemann's Help Desk Imprint
Co-written with Lucy Calkins, this book is a part of the Units of Study First Hand Series from Heinemann.
Designed for teachers, this book discusses the ins and outs of teaching students to cultivate independent writing lives.
Young Adult Novel
A finalist for the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, this book follows the story of Cesi as she embarks on a journey to Mexico in order to learn more about her family, and herself.