Dear Mrs. Izzy,
I was a teacher, and I know how challenging busy little boys can be. The energy, the questions, the silliness . . . THE ENERGY.
Sometimes they call it “gifted and talented,” sometimes “enriched.” When I taught middle school, it was called “Advanced Social Studies.” Whatever they were calling it, I knew one thing . . . this teacher was not interested in leading it.
People often think these types of classes would be easier on a teacher because the students are so excited about learning. I know the planning, patience, and persistence it takes to lead a class full of overly eager students—and it is no easy task.
My middle son has always taken to learning. His mind needs to be busy.
As a toddler, he literally used to wake us up at 4 a.m. just to ask questions and begin his day. He was always excited about life. It is endearing . . . and exhausting.
He has balanced a younger sister and an older brother with autism for basically, his whole little life. His bright and busy mind sat idle in waiting rooms while I shuffled him to pediatric occupational therapy appointments. He sat with babysitters for speech therapy and IEP meetings because I knew he wouldn’t complain.
Finally, he had preschool, and he loved it. Watching him thrive was an absolute gift.
Then came COVID. The preschool program he adored was cut short. The following year much of kindergarten was online. When he went back to first grade, it was a challenge. The little boy who was once so excited about school and had perfect behavior was now getting too silly, getting calls home.
All of his silliness comes from the biggest, loving heart that just wants to be seen.
My middle has had to rise to more occasions than most in his short life. The little boy his little sister cries for when she has a nightmare and for many years, his older brother’s only friend. I think he almost feels like a third parent in our family sometimes even though I don’t want him to feel that. I probably rely on him more than I should.
When second grade rolled around, I was very nervous.
Then came you.
With the most calm and cool demeanor. A room full of interesting seats—even one with pedals. Candy bribes. A special math group that boosted his confidence.
Not a single call home. The most loving and kind comments at conferences.
I know what it takes to manage a bright boy with endless energy.
I see your patience, your effort—the endless, tiring effort it takes to keep a busy boy focused. It is work . . . often unseen, thankless work.
My mama heart swells when I see how much my son likes you. You have made him feel seen. You have made him feel special. He rises to the occasion because of you. His self-confidence has improved because of you. His behavior is better because of you. He is on track because of you.
Words cannot express my gratitude to you for the beautiful gift of not asking my son to dim his light; instead, you have focused his light and allowed him to shine brighter.
Forever grateful to you, Mrs. Izzy,