Dear Teacher, 

Summer is almost here. My kids and I are running on fumes. And if I had to guess, so are you. But I’d never really know because you still get all the papers sent home on time. You are still trucking through each day with the same amount of communication and excitement as you had at the beginning of the year. And you still take time to write, “Great!” or “Beautiful!” on my kid’s assignments I pull out of his backpack.

I doubt I’ve said it enough this year, but teacher… I think I love you.

I know. It’s a bit forward to express my love for you as you and I have spent very little time together. But I feel as if I know you. And better yet, I see that you know my child. And I have to say, that is one of the best gifts a parent can receive. 

I know you see my child for almost as many waking hours as I do. I know you see them as they read. And write. And add. And subtract. But there’s so much you don’t see, teach

You don’t see my child beaming with pride as he pulls his finger painting out of his backpack exclaiming that he made a rainbow. You don’t see that in my mind, I am so impressed that you can get 12 preschoolers to listen long enough to make anything resembling a rainbow.

You don’t see my 6-year-old retelling the excitement you shared with him when he created 97 different inventions out of classroom supplies. You don’t see that as his mom, I am overwhelmed with comfort knowing that you allow the kids in your classroom to have so much autonomy and creative development.

You don’t see my 8-year-old telling me that it’s important to him to recycle and take care of animals because it’s important to his teacher. And it’s important to the world. You don’t see that I am so proud that he is not only learning to be a student but also a thinker and a world changer, because of what you help him become excited about.

You don’t see that my child tells me all about his friends and his snacks and his teaching team because he knows all the details about all those things. Things he couldn’t effectively communicate to us months ago. You don’t see how much the compassionate environment you have created at school has taught my child how to be kind and interested in other people beyond himself.

You don’t see how my child smiles so big when he talks about his highs of his day. And the fact that you are the reason he has so many. You don’t see that as his parent, I am so humbled to have adults in my child’s lives who choose to make a difference on the daily. In the classroom. And in their hearts.

You don’t see how my child gets excited about tests. And about positive reinforcement. You don’t see how things that I would ask him to do at home — things that might cause him to grumble or become anxious — you don’t see that you have created an environment where challenges and adversity seem to fuel them to try harder, do better, and prove that they can.

You don’t get to hear my child do his Thankfuls at the dinner table every night where he lists off every teacher he has. You don’t see that he is so happy for each one of you. And you don’t see how it still makes me smile so big with each and every time.

You don’t get to see how my child tells me about your family and your dog and your life. Or how he tells me he wants to have you at his birthday party or over for a playdate. You don’t see how it makes this parent so thrilled to know that my child just feels like you are a part of his world… not just a teacher. 

You don’t get to see how my child relays facts about the Lunar Phases and Kangaroos and Harriet Tubman. You don’t see how much excitement he has over the fact that you also love Harry Potter. You don’t see how I find myself thinking, “So much of what this kid knows is due to his INCREDIBLE teachers,” every single time I tuck him into bed.

You don’t get to see all the ways you are not just teaching them… but helping them become better. 

Oh, teacher. I could go on and on. Because I know that you don’t get paid the big bucks. I know that you have to deal with scatter-brained parents like me. I know there is more red tape than ever before. I know that you are busting your buns for assessments and funding. I know that you use your own money for room supplies. I know you have to handle scores of personalities on the day. And I know that you love it. Maybe not every minute of it {let’s be real… who enjoys every minute of anything?} but the bulk of what you are educated to do. And that, teacher, is just a portion of the reason that I love you.

I know that you see my children. And all of your students. I know that you see their progress throughout the year. Their test scores. The big and little goals met and victories attained. But teacher, what you don’t get to see is how much you are a part of their mind. Their hearts. Their world. And that all the parts you don’t get to see… the parts of your teaching moments and style and lessons that they carry with them beyond the walls of your classroom… are the reason that my kids tell me that they want to be a teacher someday, too.

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at