Dear Mrs. Albright,
Today I bring to you my daughter, Katie. She’s so excited about first grade, and, as she always adds when she’s talking to someone about it, “a little nervous, too.” I wish you could have seen her elation when she got a post card yesterday in the mail from her first grade teacher! She read it out loud to me with a big grin pasted across her face. Thank you so much for reaching out to my little girl with your time and your obvious care for the students entrusted to you.
I wanted to write and tell you about my beautiful daughter. She is open, loving, and loyal, and so tender-hearted that I just ache with worry and hope for her with every new step that she takes into the world. You probably know from reading her file that she has Asperger’s Syndrome, so she’s still working on learning things that you and I take for granted, like respecting personal space and coping with disappointments. She has trouble with transitions and a frustrating attachment to doing things her own way. I know that she will present some challenges for you in the year to come. But there’s so much more that the file doesn’t say.
Every day I see new depths of tenderness and compassion in Katie, new expressions of her unique creativity, new wells of joy that seem to spring up around her with every experience, every person that enters her life. She really cares for others and their feelings, and she reaches out constantly to bring them closer to her. She loves to write notes—to me, to her friends (you’ll probably be getting quite a few!)—and she loves to plan special days. In fact, one of her favorite things to do is to make up holidays and announce them to the family with much fanfare: “Video Game Day”, “Summer Celebration Day”, “Dance Crazy Day”! Just lately she has taken to proclaiming when she gets out of bed, “Today is going to be the BEST day of the rest of my life!” She has a zest for life and a love for people that amazes me—she sees the world in exclamation points.
I’m writing this to you so that you will know what a precious treasure is delivered into your care. Teachers bear the hopes and expectations of the future, and I know that it’s not easy. Being a parent, too, takes a special kind of courage—the courage to open the door a little wider each year and to trust in the kindness of strangers to nurture and teach and comfort and correct with the same warmth and care that you strive for yourself. I have to tell you—it’s still hard to watch the bus door close behind her in the morning, even knowing that she’ll be back in the afternoon.
Thank you for reading this, and for letting me share my wonderful Katie with you this year. We’ve been praying for God to send her a special teacher, and I’m sure He has. I’ll be thinking of you and your class full of fresh-scrubbed, newly-minted first graders today, and keeping you all in my prayers this year.
God bless you,