Dear teachers,

In less than a week you will be welcoming my children to your classrooms. Something you have done for hundreds of thousands of students. But this year will be different.

It is different for me, too. I normally begin the year by praying for my children to be confident in their abilities and themselves, to be curious about new things and ask lots of questions, to be kind to friends, and to respect their teachers. Next, I pray for their teachers to have patience with my children’s unending energy, to accept them where they are, and to lead and guide them toward scholastic improvements and to be kind humans. I will pray for each of these things, but there is something heavier on my heart this year. And I’m sure on yours, too.

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This year I ask you for three things and I will give you those same three in return.

1. Unending Grace

Please give me grace when I ask you more questions this year. I am trying not to be consumed with worry for my child’s health. I, too, will give you grace. I know you may have health concerns as well. We are both entering uncharted waters and doing our best.

2. Trust

Please trust me that I will check my child each day to make sure they are healthy to be in school and to keep you safe. I, too, will trust that the decisions you make at school will also have my child’s best interest in mind.

3. Teamwork

I have always valued the teamwork between my child’s teacher and me. I entrust them for nearly 40 hours per week in your presence, and I respect the hard work and love you put into making them better humans. This year, more than ever, we will strive for teamwork. Please lean on me when you are strugglingask me questions, let me know if you need more supplies at school. I want to help. I, too, will lean on you. When I am struggling at home, I will let you know what my child needs. We are in this together!

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Although this year will look different, I am excited to embrace the lessons it will bring.

We will persevere through this year together, adapt to changes, and dig a little deeper to provide for our children.

Let this year teach us about grace. I understand we will both make mistakes and that is OK because we will give grace.

Let this year teach us about trust. We will need to work together to make the best decisions each day as we support each other.

Let this year teach us about teamwork. We will need to lean in to make this year work and lift each other up, even amidst negative social media.

Let this year teach us about compassion.

We each have very real and valid concerns about starting this year while also feeling a sense of pride being able to give our children a strong foundation.

Let this year teach us about flexibility. We will need to be flexible to the ever-changing environment as we possibly pass the baton back and forth on the location of school.

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Let this year teach us about resilience. We will adapt to each obstacle, even in the face of adversity, and rise above each challenge.

I pledge to give you unending grace, trust, and teamwork. I pledge to be positive and uplifting for my children and for you.

Cheers to a year to remember, a year to learn, a year to grow, and a year to love!

Brynlee and Brayden’s mother

Shelly Koch

I am a wife, a mother, and a nurse.  I have 2 beautiful children who have brought me closer to God and a husband who loves and supports me through it all!  We live on a farm and enjoy being outside.