Dear Teachers: You’re Not Fooling Me

Dear teachers,

As a mom to a gaggle of kids, I’m a little consumed this time of year. I’ve spent hours at the store going over different school supplies lists and checking off stuff as I throw it in my cart. The total adds up in my head as I travel down each aisle, and I get a little sick to my stomach. I’m well over my budget and have a full cart before I even get to the aisle with the lunchboxes. I don’t even want to think about packing lunches for the kids each morning, and I’m exhausted just looking at the Pinterest posts on how all the good moms do it. I’m praying that no one laughs at my kids when they pull out their Lunchables.

We have six kids in our home that we are sending off to school this year—five of whom are girls. Do you know what it takes mentally to school clothes-shop for five girls? Aside from emptying our bank account at Target’s and Old Navy’s clearance sections, we also have to schedule eye doctor appointments for the teenagers because we fear they may have damaged their vision due to intense eye rolls.


My nights for the next nine months will be filled with trying to get dinner on the table at a decent hour while managing piles upon piles of forms I need to fill out, slips I need to turn in, meetings I need to attend, box tops I need to cut, and t-shirts I need to buy. And let’s not even talk about trying to find the lost library books that have completely vanished in the kids’ rooms.

Then there’s the emotional hit I’ll take when I drop my babies off with their new backpacks snugly hugging their bodies. I’ll quickly snap as many pictures as I can in an effort to catch this moment that will soon be gone forever. I’ll face an empty house when I return home, and while that can be a blessing for a few hours, it’s a quiet I haven’t experienced in months. I’ll miss my babies when they’re gone. The upside is that I’ll have a clean house, if only for a few hours, and I’ll have few moments to just sit and breathe.

Bottom line, sweet teachers: school just started, and I’m wiped out. I’m a little sad, and my bank account is definitely a little lighter.

Then I see you – and you’re not fooling me.

I see that you’re dressed in your nicest outfit, which I have no doubt you carefully planned and possibly changed a time or two. Your makeup is fresh, and every hair on your head is perfectly placed. Your smile is beyond inviting, and I almost blush as I walk into your room.

I see that you’ve gone all out. As I set my bags of supplies down on the desk, I see my child’s name written in the most beautiful handwriting, carefully added to her desk and sitting next to a princess cup to hold her pencils. Well done. I’ll admit that I’m completely overwhelmed by your room. Seriously, where does one get all of those alphabet letters, addition and multiplication cards, tubs for literally everything, and adorable banner above your desk? How many hours did you spend in this room before you decided it was ready?


I see every detail you’ve added to my child’s learning environment.

I see that you’ve spent a good amount of your summer and almost all of your “spare” money making sure your classroom is a warm and inviting learning place for all the precious children who walk into it. I know you had a supplies list that was much longer than mine and carefully checked off each item as you put it in your cart, knowing that you were well over budget. I’ll bet your cart was full with teaching supplies before you even made it to the lunchbox aisle and that you pray the other teachers won’t laugh at you when you pull out your Lunchable.

I see that the next nine months will be filled with trying to get dinner on the table at a decent hour while you manage piles upon piles of forms you need to fill out, slips you need to turn in, meetings you need to attend, box tops you need to count, and papers you need to grade. And let’s not even talk about trying to recover the lost library books that haven’t made it back to school yet.


I see the emotions behind your pretty smile. You’ve been anticipating these students since the bell rang on the last day of school last year. You eagerly awaited your class list and carefully went down and checked it out, name by precious name. Your classroom has sat empty for the past three months, and you’re excited to have it filled with tiny voices again. I see you patiently pose for pictures with each child as their parents fumble with their cameras, trying to focus through the tears. It will be a while before you get to just sit down in the quiet and take a deep breath, but I see you rejoice in that.

Bottom line, sweet teachers: school just started, and I’ll bet you’re wiped out and definitely a little lighter in the bank account; but I see you.

I see how hard you’ve worked before the first day of school even started. I see that you chose this job not to get rich or famous. I see that you chose this job because you love it and the kids, and because you know that the sacrifices you’ve made, money you’ve spent, and hours you’ve dedicated outside of that building are molding our younger generation to grow up to do big things.

Wonderful teachers, we’re in this together, and I see you.


This article was originally published in August 2015. It was updated to correct links and to reflect the current ACM and CMC branding.

Alamo City Moms  is a locally focused parenting website written by San Antonio moms, for San Antonio moms and is part of the City Mom Collective.

We are passionate about the San Antonio community and the families who live here, and our goal is to make this big city that we all live in feel just a little bit smaller.  By using both our website as well as various social media outlets, we are able to keep you up to date on family friendly activities around town, provide advice on parenting and motherhood, and encourage each of you to get out and explore all that our wonderful city has to offer!

Interested in learning more about us? Get in touch with us here.

What does being part of City Mom Collective even mean or are you curious about starting a site in your community?
Our Sister Sites are written and run BY local moms, FOR local moms in over 70 markets across the US and internationally. The City Mom Collective comes alongside these women to empower and enable them to make their passion a career!
As for our Sister Site Owners, well they are just like you – Moms! We come from diverse backgrounds, life experience and motherhood journeys to support each other in creating online communities and resources unique to the cities in which we live.

Are you interested in joining the City Mom Collective? Learn more here.

Candice Curry is a born and raised San Antonio mother of 6. She and her husband escape their kids by taking backroad drives in the Texas hill country seeking out the best whiskey and coolest antiques. When she grows up she wants to own an ice cream truck and travel around Texas selling ice cream and french fries with her family.


      FIRST AND ALWAYS GOD’S AS HIS HUMAN BEING, then me,then a mommy, then a wife, then a teacher♡

  1. What thoughtful, eloquent words of encouragement for an under-appreciated profession: teachers. Your truthful post inspires selflessness, empathy, and kindness. The fact that some would even think to criticize this commentary shows the positive IMPACT you are making. Thank you for all you do. You and your family make this world a better place.

  2. Warning, if you read past this comment you will find a lot of hateful things being said about the Author and other commenters. this was a tongue and cheek glimpse at the start of school by ANY family, attacks on how many kids, where they shop, teachers who spend money on the classroom, all is below. If you venture down you will find many haters, and one lady who is a self appointed ladder safety monitor (true read for yourselves). Great post, may the higher power you call on reward you. good luck to you and your brood and also to all teachers, you are truly front line heroes.

    an old codger who remembers when !!

  3. Im a mother to a 3rd grader, a 7th grade math teacher/ coach in Texas. There are hundreds of replies to this article, with a million plus words (i assume). To sum it all up

    THANK YOU, for understanding.

    It takes a village….

    Coach G.

  4. love this article. my son just started 2nd grade at a brand new school and his teacher is brand new too. just moved here and has only been teaching as a substitute for the past 4 years, after she graduated college. i know it’s going to be a bumpy first year at this school but i am so happy my son has a brand new teacher. i am sure she’s so excited to finally have her own class of students and be able to teach her class her own way for the first time. i am so glad my son gets to learn from her excitement and joy! hooray for brand new teachers! they are just starting out and i applaud them!

  5. Thank you so much for this. Even though I am a high school teacher and I don’t give out many princess cups (although I’d like to), I really related to your description of the school supplies list, the extra money spent, the first day of school outfit choice and the teenager eye rolls. I read this article the night before the first day of school and I had to read it again after the first day of school was over. It made me emotional both times. Thank you for noticing!

  6. I teared up when I read this. I spent seven years teaching kindergarten, left my job and was hired to do first grade and ended up in middle school. But, of course, I still went all-out. No matter what grade I teach, I’m still a TEACHER.
    I always wonder if it’s worth it, and this year has already been tough (a week into it) and I wondered even more often if people actually notice. Thank you for noticing what we do! We do it because we love it, but it’s so nice when it’s appreciated! Thank you! <3

  7. I am so touched with your article. I am glad that a parent like you have noticed the dedication given by this teacher. I am one of the teachers here in the Philippines, and I have never read and heard praises like this from other parents. Some parents are looking for the light mistakes teachers can do. We are also human being, who can make mistakes, we never stopped studying and thinking of our students even we are no longer in school. Yes, this profession will NOT give us wealth, not receiving high salary, but the dedication we are giving is 100% to make our students learn, to mold them the best we can do. Imagine we are handling 15-30 students and sometimes there are schools who have more than 40-50 students per class with different attitude, different cultures, and yet we never complained, you can still us smiling at all times.

    As we teachers enter our classrooms, we always put ourselves to the shoes of all parents, to love each student without asking in return. I hope that this article will be an eye opener to all parents.

    Thank you so much for writing this and sharing your thoughts and observations. I salute you….

  8. Getting ready to start the second week of school for the 23rd time. It is never the same thing twice. 🙂
    What a well-written post, Mama. From one mom to another, I second your emotion. From a teacher to parent, I am thankful for your words of appreciation. You can rest assured that we will do our best for all these kiddos.

  9. It’s really refreshing to hear such positive words from a parent with a full house. This article was emailed to us by our librarian and I read it as I was completing my check list of things to do before tomorrow’s first day of school. I was writing out my dismissal list so that I had it ready, making sure that we would have a smooth and safe dismissal and that I knew how each child was getting home. This is the start of my 28th year in and it still does not get old. So many things to do and not enough time, but we do the best we can to make it a positive year for our students. Teaching is a work of heart! I loved your post and appreciated your comments. Thanks and have a great school year with your children as well.

  10. This was awesome- thank you so much! I have been an elementary school teacher in New Jersey for 16 years; your perspective and kind words are appreciated more than you’ll ever know. My administrator shared your post with our entire staff this week. Your words were powerful and touching! What lucky children and teachers have you as their parent… have a wonderful year and enjoy every exhausting minute!

    • I don’t think that was a kind remark Andy. I’m sure she meant that having 6 kids is a joy but at times can be overwhelming. If that’s all you got out of this post I would say you missed the whole point.

  11. You are a class act mom. ty so much for recognizing what going into being a parent and being a teacher. Success in your career.

  12. I’m about to start college tomorrow to be a teacher. Every time I tell someone my major they look at me like I’m crazy. They give me pity and hard times for my future career. As I unpack my bags, set up my home away from home for the first time and think about the future, I want to say that it’s hard to be a teacher but I think it’s also hard to become one. To look past all the haters and nay-Sayers and see the reason why we pick the career. To do all the things that no one does. To shape minds and have just one child come up and ask for more, more reading, math, science, more education. That’s why…right? This post brought me to tears. Thank you as a future teacher for seeing the real meaning of the job. Not the money, or lack thereof, not the long hours or annoying emails. Thank you for seeing what I saw so many years ago. Thank you for not being fooled.

  13. As I sit here on Sunday afternoon writing out the name tags for my students desks, all I can say is thank you for seeing what makes most teachers choose education as a career and valuing the choice we made. Kudos to you for seeing the “bigger picture”!

    • Mr. Jay, having a bunch of children is not “irresponsible.” Children are a gift and a blessing. Yes they can be difficult to handle with so many, but every parent is different and some people can easily deal with that many kids. My parents have five children, and I am thankful every single day that they had every one of us. I can’t imagine life with fewer siblings. Yes, it’s crazy, but it’s amazing. My mom actually homeschooled us, which mean she had to buy textbooks, workbooks, curriculum, and every thing else for every one of us–much more expensive than pain old school supplies! Yet none of us would have it any other way.

      Next time, please keep your personal opinion about how many kids people should have to yourself.

  14. Candice, in a day and age where public school teacher bashing is the norm, your article is so incredible. Thank you so much for your compassion and insight. I am a public school teacher and have been for 22 years now. Every year I use money for my classroom taken out of our family budget and I end up feeling so guilty for taking from my hubby and 2 children to care for my “second family” of 18+ students. Yet you get it. I’ll never forget the shock another teacher expressed one year when she heard me tell a student that I loved him. But I do!! Why else would I pray for them, spend so much time and money to make their environment inviting and welcoming, and buy and store resources to liven up the curriculum or motivate their best behavior?I am a strict teacher with high standards. But I love my classroom students. I hug them, rub their backs, and hold them if they cry. When I taught kindergarten, I even kissed their boo-boos and rocked them until their anxieties faded (and got in trouble for doing both). So thank you for your tribute and insight and appreciation. We are under attack and we NEED that!! Your blog strengthened my joy and determination. Thank you!

  15. As an AHISD teacher, please know that we appreciate this!!!! and that teacher appreciate parents like you! 🙂

  16. I am a mother of 3 boys and an elementary teacher for 17 years. Thank you for showing your appreciation of my chosen profession. And for reminding some teachers that the beginning of school is hectic for parents too. We all have our stories to tell but as you said we are in this together.

  17. Hi Candice,

    Thank you so much for the kind words. As a pretty new teacher I’m still getting used to how much it actually costs to be a teacher and how much extra, unpaid hours are required from me. Sometimes classrooms really suck when you first get them. Last year it took me over a week to just clean my classroom up after the last occupants and sometimes they’re a blessing, this year it took 4 hours to organize and set up my classroom. I worked at Staples for almost 5 years and saw how much teachers spent on their classrooms so I started collecting earlier. I thought I’d share a little school shopping tip with you.

    About 1 to 2 months after the back to school shopping rush, all those really cute back to school items go clearance at Staples. Backpacks go to about $2.50 for Character and off brand and about $12.50 for Jansport. Not all backpacks are clearenced but enough to give you a wide selection. Rulers, pencils, crayons, markers, book covers, locker gear, flash drives, and almost any other school supply item drops to 50 cents. This happens again in December and May before the new shipment comes in.

    Better yet, if you can’t wait for your supplies, just wait a week. A lot of teachers come in the weekend after school starts to return supplies their students donated. (It disgusts me, those that do that). These teachers want everything the same for their class set so the students don’t fight so instead of sending it home to get the parents to return and replace they take it to Staples. Not everything was bought from staples but if Staples once sold it they will take it back. Products that were probably $5+ are returned at 50 cents to staples so the teacher can go buy a hole punch. Those returned items are sold at the clearance price as that’s the price in Staples’ system. I’ve seen automatic hole punchers at $13 before. If you wait a week after school starts (which I’m sure the teacher won’t mind if your child doesn’t have everything the first week anyways) head down to Staples and look for that person returning a million school supplies. Stop the cashier who’s putting them in go backs and ask to look through it. Get the items priced check if you see something great. It’ll be worth it.

    I’m sure other stores with back to school have the same kind of system but I only can vouch for Staples. Good luck and have a great year.

  18. What a kind blog post. Thank you for acknowledging the efforts I’ve seen year after year in the schools where I’ve taught. Teaching is a joy and a privilege and I have been lucky to have celebrated my 25th year in the classroom in 2015. I have two children of my own, but have been lucky enough to borrow more than 500 great kids from other families. I am very lucky.

    • Having grown up in San Antonio (Alamo Heights class of 79), and being a sixth grade math teacher in Franklin, TN…this makes me so proud. Thank you for recognizing the efforts, time and money that goes into being a good teacher. We can most often feel the love from our kids, but hearing it from a parent goes a L…O…N…G way. Your kind words are so appreciated.

  19. As a first grade teacher, I cannot say Thank You enough for your beautiful post. As a fellow blogger, please know that your post is incredible, inspiring, and loving – ignore the crazies out there who like to talk for the sake of talking. 😉 You are a *blessing* to teachers and parents everywhere. <3 I hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful school year! <3 🙂

  20. I loved your article. I loved it because it made me think back to yesterday’s open house when I was rushing to the new room to drop off the supplies, meet the teacher and talk to her about my child (who has ADHD and ODD) and things that might make her life easier. The room was gorgeous and all the names were placed, forms neatly on desk, etc. The teacher was happy and well dressed in cute, purple pumps, all to make a great impression. Thank you to all the teachers for the extra work, support, creativity and LOVE you give to children. It’s truly amazing the teamwork it takes to raise a well prepared child and I know teachers appreciate when we do our jobs as parents.

    • like your post ,but ,theres one thing ,when school is out , us custodains are in there working as hard as we can too get the school looking new for when the kids return back to school and the staff ,its a lot of hard work , teachers and parents have no idea what goes into doing this work . We paint and clean the walls strip the old wax and put new wax on floors ,if its not nail to the floor it all comes out of the class room to get this done then put back in ,boy am I tierd right now . yesterday was meet the teachers day 8/21/ 15 ,as I drove home not even 3 min, I was falling asleep as I was driving home thank the lord I only live close to school I work at .

      • Johnny, my step-dad was a school maintenance man before he retired too and boy do I know what you mean! There was never enough time or money to really get all the jobs needing attention done. You are my unsung hero 🙂 thanks for all you do!

      • Amen to those who clean up the days mess…..I admire you immensely. You are the ones we rarely see but keep our schools clean, toliet paper in the RR and the classrooms tidy. Among the other million things you do. Thank you for an enormous job WELL DONE !!!!!

      • No thanks are complete without thanking our custodians. You and we and everyone else work as a team! Thanks! 🙂

  21. As the mother of a teacher with 134 students in one class (6th grade orchestra) THANK YOU for seeing teachers for who they really are!

  22. It’s clear that some people clearly don’t understand the blog post. Not sure if it’s intentional or if people are just looking through a post with a narrow perception of life. I wish people could get over feeling the need to criticize others without fully comprehending a situation. What I find interesting is that if they took the time to read your other blog posts, they would have gotten a much fuller picture. Life is difficult and stressful enough. Why we feel the need to tear each other down daily and be judgemental is completely baffling to me. I am thankful that Candice takes a candid approach to her blog. It keeps things real for a lot of people. Candice is relatable to so many people. If you can’t relate or have a negative opinion, maybe it’s not the blog for you. That’s ok. We all have our right to freedom of speech. Your negative opinions just won’t be tolerated in this crowd. Best to save your stones and not throw them until your world is a perfect place. Candice, thanks for sharing your journey. Your kids will be resilient and well adjusted….lunchables and all. #teamlunchables #oneofsixkids #twin #keepitreal

  23. As I read this, I think about how selfish it is to have 5 kids. I imagine if everyone had 5 kids, and then they all had 5 kids etcetera, etcetera. The amount of trash that quintuples every generation. Three generations later, leaving us with 125x more trash than we have now. The amount of clothing needed to be made in sweatshops (probably by a kid) quintuples, so that you can complain about how you have to “mentally prepare” to visit an air conditioned mall and buy theses things. GROSS. Then, they are only fitting your children for a year at most. Which leads to going out and buying more, creating more trash, and more demand for cheap clothes and cheap food. You know how people can give back, and be kind? Stop overpopulating the world EVERYONE lives in. In 200 years, when cities are built on monuments of trash previous generation have left behind, the lord isn’t going to come down from the heavens and make the world you think he gave us, habitable again. So I challenge you, think about what your families create, think about the children making the clothes for your children to wear. Think about the oceans you hope your children’s, children can experience, with 125x more plastic in it than there already is. Think about the air being 125x more polluted than it is now. Take a deep breath and try to comprehend something bigger than your family. You want to be kind and give back? Stop shopping at stores like Old Navy who cheat/exploit the poorest workers in the world. Im sure you will dismiss this comment as another person ranting on the internet, but I challenge you to actually sit down and think about if everyone had 5 kids.

    • Guess it’s a darn good thing not everyone is having 5 kids then. Seriously. This is not the place for this post.

    • I can only say (as a teacher) that children are a gift – and I understand your frustrations regarding the Earth and the importance of saving the planet for future generations. I also think to give a mom “guilt” for choosing to have 5 children is none of your business – you hope for the future, but to attack another person and make them feel wrong about their own situation is wrong – worry about yourself! Thank you!

    • You know what I think about as I read your comment, Person A? How selfish and arrogant a person you must be to make such a comment. This was a beautiful post dedicated to hard working teachers and you decided to ride in on your high horse and be a douche. It’s none of your business if she had five kids or one. Everyone is in this together and you need to quit being a Sancti-mommy and buzz off!

    • Person A, I encourage you to read her entire post and really focus on how she is as a person. If anyone were to have five kids, she seems like the best fit for it and like a wonderful mom- it’s not like she’s a deadbeat that can’t support them. She seems to have her priorities in line and a kind heart.

      Unfortunately, I have a medical condition and will never be able to have children. Her family of 5 balances out my family of two. They are more then entitled to buy clothes, use plastic bottles and do whatever they wish.

      If you really are concerned, then all you can do is make the choice for yourself and never procreate.

    • Person A, Think about about how much the world we live in would suck if there were only people like you rather than Candice. Talk about trashing the place! Thank you so much Candice for sharing your daily struggles and recognizing the struggles of others!

      27 year middle school math educator!

    • For all you know these kids could be adopted, ethier way that’s a Rude comment. You don’t know if they donate all the cloths, only eat organic good or recycle or compost everything. None of your business ethier way

  24. Thank you! Reading this made my heart swell. You get it. And thanks too for sharing the mom’s side of it. I get it too. So nice to be connect by those precious kids.

  25. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for writing a positive message to teachers in a time when there are many negative messages in the educational landscape. I’m slightly amused (but certainly not shocked) to see many hateful people writing comments on this blog–you’d think they could cool it for one moment in response to a warmly written blog of hope. Thank goodness for positive messages like yours that hopefully drown out these negative voices in our world. Peace and blessings! Thank you for taking your time to write this message.

  26. Did you know it is an OSHA violation to use a ladder that way (from the photo)? I hope you don’t teach any children such an unsafe habit.

      • I’m so sorry you see it that way. I found it a lovely and moving article, but as a safety professional, and as a parent, I always think safety first, even before moving articles, and feel compelled to TEACH others to also be more safety conscious

        • Debbie, you do the world a service by keeping everyone safe. Without you, there would no doubt be more injuries, and less teachers would be able to give their services to the children that they now serve. Thank you for the service you provide to all of us. I, for one, am glad that you do what you do. It benefits us all. I am a safety minded person as well.
          What surprises me is this: That as a person who looks after the safety (well-being) of others, why you don’t first notice the service Candice was providing person as well, in this article. Why not spend one sentence voicing appreciation for someone who looks after the well-being of others as well? Candice was clearly voicing appreciation for a group of people that is often maligned by the press. Lifting up a group that is often put down and that goes unrecognized. She clearly did a soul searching inventory of herself and observed that she wasn’t the only one who put their heart and soul into the care of her children. It was very open minded of her.
          I would only invite you to NOTICE the feedback you are attracting and let some of it IN. What you did was this: In your original comment you ONLY commented on the safety violation. No praise for the author. No expression of gratitude for her contribution to the numerous people who will read her post. You make your contribution to the world. She makes her contribution to the world. Why the omission of praise?
          If this is the way you are living your life (they say “the way you do ANYthing is the way you do EVERYthing.”) then you are missing a lot of opportunities to support others with kindness as well as with safety tips. Do you want to do the world a bigger favor than you were doing now? Do both. Just an invitation. I hope you accept it rather than repel it, as you have done with all of the comments above and below this one.

      • If everyone overlooked unsafe behaviors we would have even more work place injuries than we already do, do you know what a fall from that height could do to you? Instead of taking a photo of someone putting themselves in harms way, I encourage you to speak up and confront their unsafe behavior, let’s send our teachers home in the same condition they came to work. “Debbie Downer”, you’re a school nurse and a what, an 8 year old? Great example of name calling to all those little kids you serve. If trying to open someone’s eyes to unsafe acts at work makes me a “Debbie Downer” then I wear the name proudly!

    • If your kids a tad smarter than you, maybe they’ll take away the art of being self sufficient that’s a perquisite for being a teacher rather than the shallowness, or fear of being unsafe.

      • 43% of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder. My step-father is a retired school maintenance man because he is paralyzed from a ladder fall at work. What you call self-sufficiency ruined his life. Are you seriously calling safe behavior shallow? I sincerely hope that’s not something you teach your children. Clearly you aren’t going to learn until you or someone in your family is injured.

  27. Thank you for this beautiful post! I’m a teacher and it’s nice to be seen. My classroom is never adorable–actually rather Spartan–until it comes to life with the voices (hopefully the “inside” versions) and student work on the bulletin boards. Thanks for this intimate portrayal of what a parent is doing behind the scenes.

    • Debbie – we don’t usually get up this way on ladders in our classroom…as a matter of fact, that photo was probably taken for this blog… we do not ever climb up in unsafe ways (while the students are there and probably not in this way in particular!) – or allow the children to see this (in pictures) but what we DO is read books and discuss why this would not be a safe thing to do.
      Sad it is what you got from this lovely woman’s comments.

  28. I read this posted on a Scottish Teacher page on Facebook. I read it on the third day back at school teaching Primary 1 (4 and 5 year olds) during their first ever week at school. It actually brought a wee tear to my eye! Thank you.

    • Thank you so much! As a mother I understand. Now I’m a mother to a teacher and know how much time (she doesn’t get for) and how much of her own money she puts in. She sent me a letter last week from a parent letting her know how much they appreciate her. Usually they are negative and she reminded me this is why she does what she does. That one student/parent every once on awhile makes her day. Thank you again for sharing!

  29. A friend shared this on fb. Thank you to both of you. It brought tears to my eyes. As a teacher of 18 years…it feels good to be “seen.”

  30. I teach high school on a U.S. military base in South Korea. I have just returned from my summer home in the States, helping my daughter, who grew up overseas, shop for back to school for my two granddaughters. Two days before I left, I found out that I am coming back to a couple of chaotic and totally unexpected situations that should pretty well destroy my plans for the first two months of school. What was a great expectation upon returning, turned into a dismal situation that really depressed me. Then, I read your blog. I love my kids as I have loved them for the past 25 years. No matter the stress that I am under right now, what will bring me joy is seeing them. Always. It is the only reason I teach. I love my kids. Thank you for your wonderful words.

    • By the way, I read this blog on a DoDDS teacher page on Facebook which has a membership of over 6,000 teachers, all of whom teach the children of U.S. military personnel around the world. Many of us have lived overseas for years and only come home to see our families once or twice a year. I am just going to say thank you for all of us. It means a great deal to know that there are people who support teachers!

    • Dear Michelle,

      I loved your post but right now I am praying the Lord will wrap HIS protective arms around you and yours. I can’t help being concerned about the horrors that are going on between the two Korea’s. Just want you to know that someone is praying for you.


    • Not a Mom – so not qualified, But I am a retired military guy that spent 10 years overseas, Thanks to all the teachers that taught my 3 sons – much more than just school stuff.

  31. I really hope you are not serious, Andrea. By the way, responsible people do not murder their children. They let another couple adopt or they “suck it up, buttercup” and deal with it.

  32. Thank you for this post. I’ve seriously spent my first paycheck plus some on my classroom. After 20 years of this, I still love my profession. And to all the rude remarks above, you just lost 5 minutes of recess and I’m calling your mom.

  33. I believe that this is the sweetest, kindest, most precious tribute to and acknowledgement of teachers that I have ever read in my 30 years of being a teacher! Just yesterday, on the last day of our 1st week back with students at a school undergoing the massive transition of combining the staffs and students of 2 middle schools into one, I overheard a disgruntled parent leaving the office say, “This school sucks!” My heart sank. Only the weekend before, over a hundred volunteers from a local church congregation lovingly gave up their entire weekend to come to our school and work alongside the teachers helping to get the school ready for students on Monday. Most teachers, including myself, were at the school working frantically all day on Saturday and for the afternoon on Sunday (because the principal knew that the extra time was needed and offered to open the school for a few hours after church). I knew the countless hours that had been lovingly, and yes, sometimes frustratingly, put in. I knew the sacrifice of time given by the community – all of whom were non-educators; many whose children were long grown and gone. Yet that one callous statement, made by a frustrated parent, punched me in the stomach and deflated my spirits in one fell swoop at the end of an exhausting week one. So, thank you Candice for this! God led me to see this on Facebook Saturday morning. God led me to decide to open the link and read it. God led you to write it, knowing that I, along with many others, would need to hear the kindness from someone who cares and recognizes at the end of a long 1st week of school.

  34. You’re going on and on about how much you’re spending but maybe you should have thought about that before having six kids. Family planning really could’ve solved that problem.

    • Thank you for the advice. We had spontaneous triplets (that means we tried for one child and got three at one time) and we adopted my sister who needs us. I was going on and on about how much we spent but I’m not mad about it and didn’t ask anyone to contribute to it. My big family is an amazing blessing.

      • This brought tears to my eyes! I love our teachers as well and with three boys, I feel the same way with daily structure and money. Thank you for your words.

      • Thank you so much for that sweet article!! As a teacher, I feel that many people have no idea how much time and money we spend each year to make our classroom great!! Most teachers are not out for the small pay check. Thanks again!!

      • The number of children being bought for was only mentioned as a detail to add to the story’s interest. As a teacher, thank you. Your article made me smile.

        • I agree. The number of children in the family was not a complaint. God Bless you for being responsible for the triplets you created even though having three was not your plan. God Bless you for raising your sister which I am sure was brought on by a heartache in your family.
          As a retired teacher, I thank you for your kind, appreciative words for what teachers do to prepare for the school year and what they do all year. Even during the summer, many teachers have thoughts of school and what they could do better or how they could integrate an awesome “find” into learning for their children.

    • This was not about the lady having 6 kids but rather about the teacher that gave her all. Your response was totally off base.

    • What a terrible thing to say. Each child is a blessing, I could not imagine my life without any of my children. Each child a family has brings something special to the table, and without them there would be a large void in that family’s life.

    • @Natalie – what a tacky & uneducated statement. Not all families are “planned”. There are times that parents plan for 1 child, only to find out that they’re having twins or triplets – after they’ve had 1 or 2 children. My nephew and niece have 5 children. 3 are their biological children and 2 are the biological children of his sister who tragically died, leaving 2 babies behind. Thank God that there are those who will raise another person’s kids. A good rule is count to 10 before you speak and 20 before you post.

    • You’re gross. What an awful thing to say. This was a beautiful post about how parents often forget, during the chaos of back-to-school, how hard their kids’ teachers work to teach and care for their precious children. It’s pretty apparent you’re childless. Why don’t you keep awful opinions like that to yourself? No one needs to hear a bitter little troll spout off repellent opinions about which she has no idea.

    • Shame on you, God gives us what HE wants us to have. Just remember when you are pointing the finger at someone you have three pointing back at yourself.

    • Natalie, I believe the author was writing only to get you to understand what she was feeling at realizing what she put into “back to school” so you could see the comparison between her and teachers. She also mentioned time, lunches, dinners, the quietness of an empty house and more. The author put all that in there so she could get you to understand that even a mom with a more than average number of children puts a great deal into back to school but it is never as much as what our teachers put in. She also showed that teachers happily do it every year for as long as they teach. I believe her thankfulness for teachers is the main point. Which she did in a way that we can all related to.

    • Is that the planned parenthood type of family planning? Apply for your share of the profit on parts Natalie….

  35. Thanks for this! As I continue reading, it brings tears to my eyes. Who takes time to notice how teachers feel, how much effort we put in our work, how much we love it? I am a Theater class teacher in Puerto Rico, and you don’t imagine how bad this semester started for me. But reading this, is uplifting. At least a mother sees that teachers do care. I’m amazed by how sentimental I got while reading this. It means a lot!

    P.S.- please excuse the bad grammar, if any. English is not my first language.

    • Teacher from PR, I salute you! Im from PR too, and my mom is also a history teacher…I know how bad it is but also how much dedication many teachers have, which is only appreciated elsewhere, unfortunately.

  36. Thank you for your post! This past year my family experienced a catastrophic health event that still rocks our world. I could not provide what I usually provide for the classroom or my own children and work with children in poverty stricken neighborhoods. However, that did not matter! Endless days and nights to utilize daily limits that you can use again and again at the local teacher center, hours creating things I could not buy. Meeting the kids and families at the school garden with simple gardening fellowship, take home harvest, and lemonade on the menu for fancy enough, and the support and sharing of colleagues exemplified what you write about. As a teacher and mother I feel such respect and emphathy for what we as parents all must do and feel and also rejoice in the moments we share with our kids and students. I love the partnership you write about!!! we all must care for the WHOLE child with whatever resources we have and make them feel special and noticed. I see my own children in each and every student in some way and myself in every parent in some ways on our best, worst, and any which way days! That is the parallel you write about! Thank you for a nice post!

  37. Aww, what a lovely sentiment. Feel a bit guilty that I might not have spent as much time as I should getting my class ready, but there’s still time before the little ones enter the room. Sometimes it’s good to look at things from another persons perspective, I especially smiled at the lost books comment, as a teacher it can be frustrating when they don’t come back in time but we are all only human and those little books can sneak off into the most unlikely places. Hope your children’s first day and everyday goes well. Oh and yours too.

  38. Dear Candice,
    I am sending you a huge hug from Michigan. I am about to embark on my 20th year in third grade? I feel so very blessed to be a teacher. Your words were precious and melted my heart. Just knowing that a sweet mom across the country took the time to acknowledge teachers means a whole lot. May God bless you and your lovely children.

  39. Wow, Candace. I did not know one of your girls has my daughter Liz for her teacher this year! She is going to have such a good year. You have no idea how much love my daughter adds to each student’s heart bank. I can tell you that besides the encouragement and guidance she’ll get learning how to learn this first grade year she is going to walk out and remember how much Mrs. Brown loves her…. years from now. Decades from now.

    Oh, and I am the retired teacher that gets to full time watch my precious grand daughter 10 hours a day to financially help out their family financially. She certainly did not choose to teach because that was the best financial exchange for the college debt she is living under yet, even after 4 years of teaching.

    • Thank you so much for writing this! So often I feel overwhelmed and undervalued while teaching but comments like this really help. I appreciate all my parents do to support their children through school and appreciate it when all that my TAs and I do is recognised too. Thank you

  40. As I usually say to my friends, “Never read the comments under any article.YouTube video that has the word ‘teacher’ in it.” Some of that is true in your little corner of Blogland.

    I must say this, however, thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. It means the world to us to know we have your support-for us and ultimately, for the students.

    Well played.

  41. Thank you. It never occurred to me that parents might actually notice how much work and money goes into preparing a classroom. The thought that someone actually notices and appreciates all the time and effort I put into my classroom, lesson plans, and especially my dear students is gratifying. You’re right. I’ve thought about little else all summer! I don’t teach for fame and glory. Not even for hugs, smiles and those darling handmade notes the children make for me. I teach to make a difference and because it’s who I am in the deepest part of my heart and soul. A teacher. I have been since I was 5 years old when I used to round up my younger siblings and my dolls to play school and will be long after I retire from public service. So I’m grateful to know that someone notices. Thank you.

  42. Nice to see a post that acknowledges the efforts of teachers, thank you. I can remember going to a workshop for teachers when the presenter asked everyone to look in their purse for a particular item to win a door prize. As a male Kindergarten teacher I pointed out that I had no purse, and the embarrassed presenter quickly provided a small token I could use in my classroom. Granted, I was a rarity 36 years ago, and perhaps the first or second male Kindergarten teacher in Austin, Texas, but I put in the hours and dollars you mentioned, and then some.

    • I am a kindergarten teacher that is lucky enough to work with some male teachers. It saddens me that there is a stigma against male teachers in kindergarten and elementary school because I see the positive effect having both gender teachers around has on the students. Thanks for ignoring the stigma and giving it your all!

  43. This is a very sweet article for teachers. However as a parent you should feel shame if you’re feeding your kids lunchables every day. They don’t even fit within our healthy lunch scheme. They are super fattening and creates obese kids. Your children did not choose to be born in a large family. You need to spend the extra time and cut up fresh fruit and veggies.

    • You should be ashamed for being so incredibly judgmental of another mother doing her best to raise her family (who she very obviously loves, and I’m sure she is doing her very best to provide for). If you had read what she said, she said that she couldn’t always find the time to pack lunches, not that she packs a lunchable every day. I can say with almost certainly that she most likely packs them lunchables only on occasion. I can also say with quite certainty that the horse you’re on isn’t quite as high as you think it is, and I’m sure on occasion, you feed your kids meals that aren’t perfectly nutritious. Maybe McDonalds here and there? Even if you don’t, if you’re raising your children to be as judgmental as you are, rather than being thankful and appreciative like this sweet women appears to be, than in my opinion, you should be ashamed anyway. Being a parent is an incredibly difficult task, and rather than judge and bring other moms down, we should applaud and support each other. I applaud this woman for being so appreciated to teachers who are so often underappreciated.

  44. I read this post last night, and loved what it had to say, and then it actually happened to me this morning. I had a student show up for the first time today (missed the first 2 days of school), and I told his dad that he was welcome to come in with him, and check things out, and talk with me if needed while the students started their morning work. He observed for about 5 minutes while I was showing his son around, and explaining our morning procedures. Once his son was settled in, he (the dad) asked if I had a few minutes to talk. I’m happy that I did. He told me that he had been looking around my classroom, and that he was really impressed with how it all looked. He told me that he could tell that I really put in a lot of time and effort to make it a welcoming and inviting place for the students and the parents, and that he really liked the way that everything was set up and organized. He told me how much he appreciated the time and energy that I spent in getting things ready for the school year. It was a great way to start off my Friday. I have now made it through my first week of teaching 3rd grade (coming from teaching 5th grade for the past few years).

    Thank you for your post, Candice!!

  45. Thank you for writing this. Truly and deeply, thank you. As a teacher who just started this year, physically, emotionally and financially exhausted, it means the world to me to feel “seen” for how much I put into my babies’ home away from home. Your post made me cry, in a good way. It rang so true. So thank you, I really appreciate your words.

  46. Wow! What an amazingly perceptive letter. Everyone should read this. And pass it on.

    Let me only add that, as a teacher and a mother, I have had double lists – “well, son, I can’t buy this for you today because my student needs…..” And yes, I can (kindof) imagine shopping for 5 girls. I don’t want to. I don’t like shopping with my two!

    Bless you!

  47. I’m very confused by some of the comments here. I usually don’t read the comments, but this post really touched me, and I wanted to thank you for writing it…and it’s a long way down here…

    I truly do not understand why so many are leaving such critical comments. Parents do the best they can, and I (teacher) appreciate you (parent) for putting so much money and time into your kiddos’ education. I see you, too, and I thank you so much for caring.

    Thank you for recognizing that we (most teachers) spend our lives trying to help our students, because frankly, when they come in my room, they become my kids,too. And what does money really matter when it comes to our kids? I’m not saying that money doesn’t matter because, hey, we all have to eat. But I have no problem spending a couple hundred dollars of my sad salary to make my classroom feel like home for my students. Thank you for noticing. Your writing is beautiful and has so encouraged me after the second week of school. God bless you!

  48. Teachers do deserve a lot of credit they have to deal with children in a lot of areas that parents do not bother to teach the child anything except by their own bad example.

    I do not however understand complaining about costs to get your children reading for school yet you have 5 children????? Did you not have an idea of the costs to raise a child?

  49. Teachers do deserve a lot of credit especially these days when in so many areas children are not taught basic manners and how to behave in public at home. Some “parents” leave it to school to teach them everything.

    However one thing I don’t understand is complaining about costs to get your kids ready for school, but you have 5 children…..did you not realize how expensive it would be to raise that many?

  50. Wow! Thank you for this heartfelt article. As a 5th grade teacher, I sometimes forget all the energy that the parents have to put in for back to school and it is great to be reminded.

    I had my first ped day this morning (although I had already been back 3 times to set up my room) and I had butterflies in my stomach at the idea of seeing my class list for the first time.

    Thank you for supporting us teachers and for realising all the work we put in that often goes unnoticed.

    I still cannot believe that people can write such hateful comments, even under the cover of relative anonymity, and I hope that the students that have passed through my class would never resort to such things as I have tried to teach them the importance of respect.

    Thank you for sharing your experience, thank you for raising your children and being there for them!

    Good luck and have a wonderful school year.

  51. A great write-up when teachers in the USA seem to be the whipping-boy for all the educational problems in the public school system. Your observation is so true about the classroom teacher; being excited to start a new school year and creating a positive learning environment. Fortunately the majority of my teaching career has been teaching overseas at accredited International schools which is totally a different scene: supportive parents, generally a supportive board of directors, and highly energized group of teachers who set a positive example of what we professionals are all about -caring, confident, and continuing professional development. (By the way, there are male elementary teachers and we do not wear make-up and it would be best for schools to have uniforms instead of free-dress, this eliminates the competition of who has the brand name fashion and cost. The students as a whole look more academic also.)

  52. Thank you for the understanding and heartfelt sentiments! As a mother AND a teacher I can relate to your struggle and celebration! It promises to be a great school year!

  53. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I teared up while reading this post. Knowing there are people in our society who still appreciate teachers warms my soul. I met my new students today, and you bet I was there way early making sure things were “just so.” Thank you for seeing us like we see you, it’s needed more than you know.

  54. Wow, you made me cry – reading that was such a blessing! Thank you! BTW, I grew up in Kerrville, TX and have great memories of school there :). Thanks again, what you wrote means a lot. Have a great school year!

  55. Bravo! This so poignant, and so beautifully written. My sons are grown, school days shared with me long behind us. My daughter-in-law (and in love) is a teacher. I teared up from both sides of the desk. Thank you for your wonderful tribute to moms and teachers alike. We really are in this together.

  56. As a daughter of a wonderful teacher, I am upset by your article. If you are trying to praise teachers you are going about it in a bad way. My mother was an accountant and went back to school to become a teacher and has put her heart and soul into shaping young minds. She has spent this whole summer taking care of her dying father. In another state I might add. She only had 2 days to put her classroom together before she had to return to bury my grandfather.
    I might add that living in the state of Utah, I have found when talking with coworkers, their schools do not provide supple list. So, you should be thanking your lucky stars they provide you a list.
    So, please, don’t be so quick to judge.

    • Jen I thought the article was great. I buy my grandsons supplies from the list and always buy extra to take to a school in a poorer neighborhood. Several years ago I adopted a classroom in a financially strapped school. I bought supplies for the teacher, supplies for the kids, backpacks (walgreens had them on sale for $5.00 but had a limit of 3. After talking to the manager, he allowed me to buy as many as I needed). I went to the classroom and helped the teacher get set up and if we needed anything I went to store to purchase it. I can’t do this all the time but the kids adopted me as the classroom grandma. I baked them cookies etc and helped them in class

    • Are you kidding??? This was/is a very thought out post. Maybe you had a rough summer and I’m sorry for that, but she is not judging and as a teacher I appreciate her words.

    • I saw no judgement in this at all. Did you read it all the way through? She was essentially showing just how much work teachers do that goes unappreciated or unseen.

    • umm Jen? I sure you could find something much more “sensible” to nag on that this. I mean seriously, come on. This blog has nothing but heart and soul; a gift of the writers time to thank a teacher.
      I am a teacher at a private school. We don’t supply a full “list” until the kids get there and each teacher may have very different requirements.
      I also pay for my OWN materials if I want anything for my students (middle and high school age) that my VERY small budget cannot give me.
      You sound bitter. Hard to believe you came from a teacher-family.

    • Serious question: did you finish the post? I could see how one would have the reaction you had if they stopped in the middle, but otherwise I totally don’t get it.

    • did you even read the article – there was not a bit of judgement in it, she praised and thanked teachers for what they do! Maybe you need to take your negative glasses off and re read

  57. Thank you for “seeing us”. I want you to know that your post just gave me the courage to face the challenges thrown at me this week. It’s lovely when parents see us and how much we care about their children.

  58. Lovely post and something that was wonderful to see the week before school. And though I am not entitled at all as to opinions about your family, it is clear that your children have a wonderful role model. Thank you, truly, for this post. And thank you for showing so much grace when replying to comments.

  59. May i please copy this and distribute it to my local teachers ( all of them).
    They work so hard being a small school of 200 or less (prek-12 grade) I’m sure this would make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside just as it did for me 🙂

  60. Thank You so much for these wonderful words. I can’t begin to count how many hours I spent on Pinterest, the books I’ve bought and read during the summer so that my kids will have questions that they can think about and share with the class. Preparing lesson plans and ways to help my special education kids. Keeping up with the next best tv show for the children so I can talk to them about the new disney channel movie and Nickelodeon show when I would much rather watch NCIS, Supernatural, or even a movie or two of the newest horror films.
    It always makes me happy when the parents really see everything we teachers have put into the school year. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and many times thank you.

  61. Thank you for your beautiful words. Today was our 2nd day of school and I have been working all summer on plans, decorations and such. This was much needed today. 🙂

    Don’t mind the negative comments. Sometimes it’s best to realize not everyone understands, or chooses to understand; and that’s ok.

  62. I have been teaching for 11 years now. Your words are so thoughtful and kind. I teared up while reading. It is nice to be appreciated. Parents like you make my job just a little less stressful. There are always so many internet trolls who completely miss the point. Please don’t let them stop you from sharing it. I see you, as well! Thanks.

  63. Just wanted to Thank You for the acknowledgement! Teachers do have lives out of school! We are all individuals with lives and families of our own. We also have our ups and downs in life. But as a Teacher and a Profeesional, I put all that aside when I walk into my classroom. The very first thing your child (and you) will see is my smile. Then you will hear my words, “Good Morning____, I’m glad you’re here! This is going to be a Wonderful Day!” Some parents forget, we are raising your child with you and we also want them to be the very Best “They” can be! So when you think about it, Thank a Teacher, we’re on your side!

  64. Thank you for this beautifully written article that brings to light the hard work parents put forward and the equally hard work that teachers do to ensure that children are well taken care and educated during the school year. As a special education teacher, this article brought tears to my eyes as I often feel ‘invisible’. At the end of the day, my hard work is for the children and because I want to “do all things as unto the Lord”. However, your wonderful reminder that I am ‘seen’ came at a perfect time. Continue sharing your thoughts- they are beautiful and truly appreciated. Blessings.

  65. Pretty much hit the nail on the head! Here are a few more things to consider when thinking about teachers….
    Their family members and friends who become “assistants”….

    We are garage sale experts and haul things around, sometimes without a define purpose…. Knowing it will be used and it needs to be ready at a moment’s notice!

    We are experts on school supplies…. We know brand, quality and who has it the cheapest!

    We know every teacher store, office store and Hobby Lobby in a hundred mile radius! We make great interior designers!

    We have Pinterest accounts!

    Our living rooms, garages, dinning table and beds are full of “school” stuff except when company’s coming!

    But at the end of the day we are just as satisfied as our teacher is… Because we hear the stories of how Cindy finally recognized the difference between B and D or how Tommy read an entire book!

    It is all about the kids…. and us “assistants” are proud to be apart!
    Thank you Debbie Modawell (Pre-K) for being all about the kids and allowing us to share your joy!

  66. I feel like I should write 2 comments, because I have 2 very different things to say:

    1. I got choked up reading this! I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 9 years. I love my job, but it takes up so much more time than most people realize–and so to be appreciated is so affirming! Thank you!

    2. I don’t know WHY I do this to myself–I get mad every time I do it–but after reading your lovely post, I thought I’d read some comments to see how everyone else appreciated your words. I am appalled at how people can twist words–and then, in turn, lash out at you. Please realize that your words are clear, and those who are interpreting them negatively are choosing to see them in the wrong light. We’ve become so self-centered that we need to find a way to make everything about us, it seems…when in reality, this is just a beautifully written post.

    It’s okay to get discouraged–that’s human nature!–but please don’t let those people or their comments affect you for more than a few minutes. You have a gift for writing, and it blesses FAR many more people than those who negatively misinterpret your words.

  67. This…made me cry! Just finished our first week of school and it was EXHAUSTING! But, please know that teaching is my passion and I SO appreciate your perspective and understanding.

  68. After reading through some of these posts I have to say, “What is wrong with you people?” Candice wrote a beautiful piece about how she feels abut herself and her children’s teachers…..leave it at that! Why do you all think that you are the one to point out what she has wrong in her thoughts? They are her thoughts. Try for a moment to understand that what she really said is she sees us all….we all struggle as moms and dads, our kids fail, the system fails, we fail, life fails….it’s hard but we are all in the same boat. Let’s try loving each other instead of tearing every stinking thing apart!

    I see you!

    Absolutely love that line 🙂

  69. I’m a mom to four girls and a high school teacher. This year, my seven year-old and my eleventh and twelfth grade students returned to school on August 5, way earlier than we have ever started. My twin three year-olds start head start on Monday. The baby also started at a new sitters this year. At times it is overwhelming, and the world often feels like it is falling to pieces at my feel.

    I wept at your article. Thank you for understanding, for caring, and sharing just how hard both parents and teachers work, save, and spend to build our children’s success. I am determined to make a difference, and it feels good when someone notices what we do.

  70. To anyone reading that Candice has five kids she sends to school AND feel so compelled to comment only in that regard, keep in mind she and her husband provide for their precious little babies out of their own paychecks.

    To the rest asserting a wide variety of inane comments remember this: the next time you, someone from your circle, family, neighbor, etc needs school supplies to protect a child from the sting of having nothing those first days need to thank a teacher. Teachers give so much more than they get credit for (most without paychecks over the summer) and least able to add even more school supplies for students without.

    Be a hater, it really is OK; but do not accept charter school money, participate in school choice, or whatever program your state provides (even those with the private school big bucks), keep your children at home and do homeschooling for a year before you ever complain about a blog post such as this.

  71. This was such a joy to read Candace, brought me back to the days when my kids were in school and how it felt so overwhelming at times trying to make everything perfect for my kids,now they are grown and I listen to my daughter in law as she prepares to send the kids back to school,lists of supplies a mile long! I have a couple teachers who are family and friends and as you said it takes a certain person to be a teacher and they both love to teach even though it is financially draining and dinner is late most nights.Teaching is what they love and what they were called to do!

        • Candice – I am so sorry that there are ignorant people making disparaging comments about the number of children you have. Some people are so self absorbed that they aren’t able to fathom taking care of that many children. Your children are lucky and blessed to have such a caring and observant mom, who obviously has a big heart. I really wish I didn’t read the comment section (it’s really never a good idea) because I was really grateful for what you wrote. I am a secondary teacher, and I put in a lot of extra time to make sure I have created the best learning possible environment in the space provided. This year each of my class rolls increased by 4-7 students compared to last year. I want my students to be able to move around in different collaborative groups and have plenty of room, so I got rid of my teacher desk. Yes, teachers do sacrifice for the benefit of their students – good parents do that for their kids too. Thanks for the article, and don’t listen to the crazies! 😉

    • Nowhere does she complain about having 5 children and the expense or work they cause. She wrote a lovely post and actually made this teacher of 30 years tear up.
      Thanks so much for the words of recognition, affirmation and appreciation!

    • You’re an idiot!!!!!! Wait, an ungrateful idiot! You obviously had a good teacher to teach you how to read- too bad their time was wasted on idiots like you!!!!!

  72. So what are you teaching if your example is that to not follow ladder guidlines? Top of ladder is not a step! It’s not a seat either? So don’t follow safety advice is ok to show as example? Don’t listen to rules just do as you wish????

  73. Absolutely fabulous post! Thank you! As a retired teacher and a mom of grown up kids, I saw my earlier days in both sides of what you wrote. I love being retired, but this time of year always brings back memories of those exciting back to school days.

    • Thanks for adding your perspective. I too am semi-retired, and can see the many sides to what all these women are saying. My hope is that people will recognize that it is very difficult to walk in someone else’s shoes. People who make things look easy have oftentimes have put in hours of work and planning.

      Every time I have had to do someone else’s job, I have gained respect for the work they do. Let’s all give each other the benefit of the doubt, and assume that each person is doing the best and the most that s/he can do. Let’s enjoy a cheerful or rosy post, but perhaps add a different perspective. I think there are times when it is hard to celebrate someone else’s point of view simply because of one’s own fatigue or frustration, but I think it is important not to be angry just because someone doesn’t see the same world you do.

      I think a blog is supposed to be a polite exchange of ideas–among people who might possibly become friends. Let’s try to make our responses as friendly as if we had the good fortune to be sharing a cup of coffee together.

      • I agree – a blog SHOULD be a polite exchange of ideas and give responses that are friendly. Even if you don’t recognize that people have chosen to be a mom (and a great one!). Also,
        to recognize that a teacher has (in most cases) put his/her heart and soul into getting every-
        thing ready at the beginning of the school year (as well as all the way through) for the children
        and to have parents notice and applaud the teacher (I am just beginning my 29th year of teaching) is just wonderful – but not to approach what this mom – or the teachers involved
        in educating her children need to be treated in a negative way – that is not the point of this blog at all!

    • I think everyone touched some part of what I would have added….especially about the part of being a teacher and having your own children. We teach all day and then go home to more school work with our own!
      The part I would like to add is that it is UNBELIEVABLE how people can take a well-meaning, nice thing that someone has written and make it into something negative!!! You people need to get a life and write negative things to people who deserve it.

  74. I love teachers. As the daughter of two, I do know what a skill it is and how passionate they are. I will also take exception to the idea that teachers are saints or martyrs. I’m sure someone will come down on me here “That’s not what the author said!!!”And although that’s true, the spirit of this says to me “moms you are SO lucky because teachers work way hard and you have time off now that the kids are in school.”
    First, My parents (teachers) did work hard. It is also true that they (for the most part) worked only from 8-3, and that they had several months worth of vacation a year which brilliantly corresponded to my own school schedule saving them trouble of paying for extensive summer childcare. They were able to earn pretty good money with a bachelors degree, and were paid to take continuing education. And for new teachers, there are quite a few benefits in terms of paying for the education since there are more grants for teachers-to-be than for any other profession with the exception of medical doctors. Teachers usually love what they do AND have a good, family-friendly job that pays decent money. I’m sure they are busy, but most of us are! So lets not feel real badly for them.
    Flip side; this writer-mom who feels a sense of relief once the kids go back is in a minority. Since 71% of moms work and since about 40% of those are the primary breadwinners, most of us don’t get a “quiet moment and a clean house” when the kids go back. The idea of “school as a break for moms” only cements the idea that most women are at home, and have nothing to do when the kids are back to school. Aren’t we lucky!!! Realistically 71% or more of us simply get more hectic days.
    Gratefully, school means I no longer pay half of my weekly check for full time childcare as I do for the majority of the summer…but in terms of time, school makes it many times more challenging to balance work and parenting. I get out of work, pick the kids up from after-school care, stop at the store or the post office, and bring them home …only to deal with 2 to 3 hours of homework, permission forms and dinner. Then we shower everyone and lay clothes out. I have 1.5 hours to do this between our arrival home and bedtime. How you fit almost 3 hours of homework and regular evening activities into a period of 6:30-8pm is beyond me, and I don’t feel like keeping a 9 year old up past 8 is acceptable. Sometimes I have to take a half-day of sick time to attend an IEP meeting. The nurse calls me nearly every day from school because one of my kids is medically complicated and she doesn’t know what to do. I get asked to bake cookies and send in supplies for projects, usually only one or two days before they are needed. I am informed about concerts and open houses with short notice that take place during the day when I cannot attend them anyway. School makes things a lot more tenuous for me, and because I am a widowed single mom, I do this alone. I crash into bed at 9 pm, at wake up at 6 to do it again…. all year long, every day, without a multi-month break. Half days and other school vacations are not vacations for me, so they become a planning nightmare.
    I work from 8 to 5, and get home at 615. With 2 graduate degrees, I make just a little more than a new teacher, and I have no opportunity for loan forgiveness. I think this is the case for a lot of people, and so I just ask that when we commend teachers and act like they are miracles that offer the rest of us a reprieve….we also consider how the systems we have in place can be challenging for most parents who are just trying their best.

      • Interesting, that you should write lengthy opinion pieces but me snippy when people offer additional, respectful thoughts or opinions.
        I never said anything about you sitting around all day, If that’s all you got out of it, then you clearly didn’t read closely. Most mothers even those that don’t work at all don’t “sit around.”
        You never mention if you work or not, you simply state that “I’ll face an empty house when I return home, and while that can be a blessing for a few hours, it’s a quiet I haven’t experienced in months. I’ll miss my babies when they’re gone. The upside is that I’ll have a clean house, if only for a few hours, and I’ll have few moments to just sit and breathe.” and so what I hear you saying is that for you, this offers a break. If it does, then that’s wonderful and doesn’t make you lazy. It does make you lucky, and helps me understand why you’d perceive only the brightest parts of this situation.
        My point was clear, and twofold, that in my experience the teachers I know that I am close with will be the first to admit that they are lucky and have great jobs, and aren’t saints. And secondly, that for most of us, this time of the year means anxiety and not quiet moments.

        • I feel like you missed the point a little. Nowhere is the article meant to diminish the difficulties any of us face; rather the author chose to acknowledge the hard work teachers put in. Period. Candice’s eloquence in paralleling the preparation parents and teachers put in illuminates her final point…”I see you.” Why would you make this article about something its not? She never said teachers are saints so why are you disputing it?

          Let it be what it is, a beautiful way to thank teachers, from working moms and stay at home moms alike. Stop making it about you and your difficulties and just see it for what it is, because we all are in this together and there is no point in trying to make it more difficult for others.

          • Thank you, Mom of 5. The point has been missed and that’s okay. I think Amy/mom did have a valid point when she said I was being snippy when someone stated their opinion and for that I truly apologize. I think maybe all the negative comments and comments that truly have nothing to do with the point of the article have made me a little defensive. Luckily all the positive comments with love and support far outweigh the hurtful ones. “Mom”, I am sorry for the snippy comment and for misunderstanding your comment. My point was to write an article letting the teahers know that I understand how hard they work.

          • Wow! The teachers you know must be super organized and not have much planning, meetings, conferences, special events, phone calls, correcting, or committees to attend to after the school day is over. Lucky for them I guess…that is highly unlike most teachers who put in work on their unpaid time before and after school as well as on weekends and barely have time for their own families. That is why I am taking a break from teaching, because it is so time consuming. As for loan forgiveness, that is only if you work for 5 years in a low-income Title 1 school full-time. And you are only forgiven $5000. You really don’t have any clue what you are talking about and have offended teachers, work from home moms and stay at home moms alike. I suggest that you thoroughly think through your responses before posting them next time.

          • I am a teacher, and I take issue with you, MOM! Here’s why…I am a non-traditional teacher, which means I entered the teaching field as a second career. When I was outside of the teaching field, I felt the same way about teachers…meaning I thought teachers had it made considering their hours and their vacation days. In order to make my story complete, I must tell you that my first career was as a counselor at a maximum security state prison for violent male offenders. During my prison career (after interviewing inmate after inmate) I came to realize every inmate in some way expressed a need for intervention in their lives. When asked where that intervention could have taken place, so very many inmates said SCHOOL! Despite family, economic, social, and cultural conditions….THEY SAID SCHOOL! EDUCATION was the factor that could have made a difference in their lives! After interviewing one specific inmate on one specific tragic day, I picked up the phone and immediately figured out how to become a teacher. I’m not an 8th grade ELA teacher. Every single minute of the day I think of my students. Sinfully, I think of my students more than my very on kids. My students occupy my mind absolutely all of the time. My former students occupy my prayers every single silent minute. I plan, I worry, I invest my spirit into my kids. It is my responsibility to teach their minds, their spirits, and their souls. Sure my students’ “scores” are high on standardized tests, but their spirits are more educated, inspired, and compassionate when the leave our school. Every teacher on our team makes the same efforts! My students never, ever leave my mind because it is MY CHOICE to be invested in their lives. More of my pay goes to my students’ needs than my very own kids. I’m at work at 7am to help kids with homework and projects, and leave at nearly 7pm or later every night. Once home, I spend about 4 hours nightly on grading and communicating with parents. Sunday night I make at least 3 hours of parent contact phone calls. All summer and vacation days (even snow days) I spend researching and planning. I chose my job! I love my job, and it is my obligation in this world to be a teacher. Please know that there are more teachers like me in this field than teachers who are “riding” the system. Please take the initiative to hold teachers accountable, but please consider these comments as well. I welcome absolutely anyone to look at my team of teachers because WE CHANGE LIVES. We continue the effort you parents are making….to teach inspiration, compassion, empathy, academics, self-efficacy, wisdom, problems solving, leadership, team-work, etc. What would you pay someone who has obligation is to (1) inspire and (2) what would their working hours look like? ((Answer Key: (1) invaluable (2) endless ))

        • I’m a teacher of nine years. I make just over $30,000… We work well over 40 hours a week to care for each and every little body and mind who walk through our door. I begin work at 7:15 and stay until about 4:00. We attend evening meetings, weekend fundraisers, and there are days with no prep time in addition to recess and lunch duties. While I love what I do, don’t we all have a choice in selecting our career? To the Mom with two graduate degrees, I suggest you savor the choice you made in having a family and the career that you have and choose to enjoy your children and life.

        • I have to agree with your input regarding ‘school time’ being a more strenuous time. And let’s not forget that all teachers are not created equal and shouldn’t be lumped into one round basket. Although I do not like confrontation and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, both of my children have had their ‘fair share’ of really sub-standard teachers. They are in the 5th and 6th grades and between the two have had one exceptional teacher. Besides decorating the rooms on the initial first day of school, it seems to be the parents who contribute mostly to the classroom, including refreshments, supplies, chaperoning field trips and the list goes on. Prior to 2015, teachers were able to write-off these things as a business expense on their taxes, but we as parents are unable to recoup that money. Lastly, I think ‘tenure’ is a joke. What other job allows you to be ‘locked in’ or guaranteed their job, even if their abilities or class scores reflect that they are not such a great teacher after all? For the most part it is the child who consumes the whole fault and the teacher is not held accountable. Could it be that a teacher is really not good at teaching? Could it be that my child is doing poorly in math because of the teacher? I’m just saying, it is not always the kids’ fault.

      • Ugh. Not sure where all that came from, but would love to clarify a few things…
        First, teacher loan forgiveness programs are out there but extremely difficult to actually qualify for. I’ve only met one teacher that got one and it was because she went back to the state, specifically, to a village, where she was originally from.
        Second, how many teachers actually work 8-3?? My husband (and many others) works with kids before and after school with homework help, make-up work/tests from being absent, iep meetings or other conferences (just to name a few), which takes up his prep/planning time. This also means the lesson planning and grading has to be done at home.
        Third, yes, teachers can have opportunities for continuing education that don’t cost them, (continuing ed is required for the renewal of their license), but they pay out of their own pockets for their graduate classes/programs, which allows them to further their professionalism and move up the pay scale.
        Finally, as far as the pay, my husband is at the top of the pay scale (which means he paid for his masters degree plus 60 additional graduate level credits) and we are close to qualifying for free and reduced lunch for our kids. He has a steady paycheck, which we are so thankful for and he does have good insurance. Pay varies from state to state and even within each state.
        Nobody is playing the martyr on this side of the coin. Be careful that you get your facts straight. It really bugs when people belittle this profession.

      • Candice – wow – what a snarky comment. i read your article and also read the response from “mom” a couple times. then i went back to read your “about me” on your website. so you are a stay at home mom who is raising her children to love Jesus and be kind to others?? was your comment to Candice “kind” or even well thought out? you claim to be a writer but you have no ability to respond to those who criticize your writing or opinions. you gush out praise to those that “love” you but if someone disagrees you make a nasty comment. you also commented to someone’s criticism of your article asking them if they were a drama teacher. strange.

        in any case – “mom” makes a lot of good points. let me preface this by saying my mother was a teacher for 40 yrs – back when teachers made next to nothing. i work in a school district office and I see plenty of teachers who do NOT spend the summer in professional development, or working on curriculum – they are at their beach houses and come back on occasion to our office to drop in and complain that they ONLY have 5 more weeks of their 9 week summer vacation left. do these caring educators stop to think they are talking to staff that has worked all summer while we pay for daycare or summer camp for our own children. teachers, if you have 5 weeks (or even *only* 2 weeks) left of summer vaca – don’t complain about it to us.

        regarding teachers not getting paid in the summer. in our district and most that i know of teachers receive a contract for 186 days and they receive a salary for that – which in many cases is tremendously more than I make for being at work 12 months of the year. (i have a degree and over 25 years of work experience). when they sign their contracts teachers are given the option of taking their pay over the 10 months OR they can take less per paycheck during the school year and get a balloon payment in late June that is equivalent to what they’d be paid if they were at work over the summer – the equivalent of getting all those weeks of pay at once. in the teachers contract in our district they receive additional stipends and hourly pay for extra work like “curriculum writing” (something my mom did at home for free) – to the tune over well over $30 per hour. when they go in for a “meet & greet” at the end of the summer the parents are allowed 45 minutes to be in the classroom – the teachers get paid that hourly rate for the whole hour. when my mother taught she did those things out of the goodness of her heart and because (as so many teachers here have mentioned) you were already there fixing up your classroom. if you doubt what i say about teachers pay level and stipends just check most school district websites – the union contracts are online for anyone to download and read.

        “mom” makes a good point that in many cases we get next to no notice about events. many of my full-year working friends complain as well that they didn’t get the father/daughter dance notice until it was too late for their husbands to be able to attend because they work nights and couldn’t take off time at the last minute.

        my mother worked very hard as a teacher – she was amazing. but even she will admit how nice it was to have the summers off – let’s be real here people. most 12 month employees get 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks (if they are really lucky) of vacation each year. teachers get the summer, a week at Christmas, typically a spring break week, etc. this is NOT typical of what is happening in the rest of the working world.

        regarding school supplies for your class – when i did turbo tax last year i am pretty sure there was a section where teachers (and only teachers) could deduct that from their taxes.

        are some teachers amazing – yes! my children have had some great teachers over the years, and I was happy to come in and help in the classroom when i got enough notice so i could get a day off approved.

        it would have been nice if people had a more open mind about what the “mom” poster wrote and spend less time criticizing her.

        and Candice, if you really want to practice what you claim about teaching people of Jesus’ love and being kind to others you could have tried to reach out to her in another way other than a snarky comment to her.

        • Thank you for stating the truth – it is so hard for teachers to hear that they are not special. Again, will state my parents and my husband are/were teachers. They worked from 7-3:30 each day. Used their prep time effectively to finish their work so they did not have to work after hours or during their breaks from school – there is no job that gives so much time off for the same amount of pay. Any teacher doing it differently is very ineffective at time management – that is their fault.
          All other professions have the same issues as teachers – using their own money for supplies, etc…but they have to work many more hours and do not get the 10-12 weeks of vacation either.

          • You’re a misinformed troglodyte. It’s abundantly apparent that you have no clue what the hell yours talking about. Please keep your mini formed drivel to yourself.

    • I only taught for 1.5 years because it was much harder than anything I’ve ever done. Teachers do teach because they love their job, but most days I would get there at 6am and leave around 8pm. On top of that, I was a coach. About the loan forgiveness bit… A lot of teachers are like me and got out ASAP and districts were having shortages of qualified teachers. They needed to offer incentives. Would you rather your children be taught by Joe Smuck or a qualified teacher? A part of your child’s future success has to do with the teachers in his/her life.
      Homework is necessary because most kids need extra practice to cement it in their heads. If homework and signing papers are so awful, it makes me wonder why you had kids in the first place. Think what your parents went through to help you get through school.

      • Shame on you for talking to her that way. She said she has little to no time left in her day once she gets home. She has no time to spend with her children because she spends it all doing homework. I think as the child of two teachers she understands the challenges, and she wonders, as many of us do, why people who do the job complain so much. Personally, after reading your reply to this woman who has a special child, and is a widow, I would have to say it is a blessing to the community you taught for that you realized it was not the place for you!

        • Dear Joale, you don’t hear what is being said you. She does not criticise the article or the woman who wrote it. She cries out about a problem that is destroying root and branch everything that this article praises. She cries out because this is a thing worth protecting, and we should all be making noise about it, not sitting back and idlying dissing those who try to save it by showing others the problem. 40% of new teachers quit in their first year, more are leaving within five, and even those with long experience are being pushed further and further than ever before. People don’t go into teaching for the money or the fame. They go in because they care, and they want to make a difference. Imagine how hard it is when you find yourself falling short of what you want, seeing the children, the parents and the teachers all failed because the system wants robots instead of people. A system where 2 points of steady progress is more important than the wellbeing of the child, because children learn automatically at the same rate every day. A system where children whose parents are in the army are expected to make more progress than their peers – because clearly £500 of extra funding is better for kids than knowing mum and dad are safe. A system where kids are kicked off and denied special status for budgetry reasons. Where teachers have no lives whatsoever, and that joy becomes a day where sleep and food and toilet are luxuries rarely enjoyed. Where families are seen so little you see more of them working abroad. This is not Disney. All the dreams and wishes in the world will not cover the cracks of fundemental problems destroying the foundations of our schooling. Something needs to be done.

        • Mom asked for the comments she got. I agree. If mom didn’t want the responsibility of chidren why did she have them?! And if she is burdened by the IEP meetings just refuse the services. Teachers have to do extra planning for the special needs students and would probably like to have that time back to focus on the students that have parents that realize how important their own child’s education is and it is their responsibility to attend the meetings unburdened. Just as she should do with a doctors appointment. Does she think those are burdens too?

          • I really hate your comment… you say that teachers would rather have the time spent on IEP meetings back to focus on “students.” However, you are attending an IEP meeting for your STUDENT!! I’m sure it wasn’t your intention to give that message, so I urge you to choose your words more carefully in the future. As a parent of a special needs student and a teacher, I was offended.

    • As a teacher, I am appalled at your lack of respect. I seriously cannot wrap my head around the fact that you think (for the most part) teachers go from 8-3. Let me give you a little insight. School hasn’t even started yet here, and I have been at school since August 12th. I have sat through numerous mandatory trainings in order to prepare myself for the new curriculum we get every year. Not only have I done this, I have also been setting up my classroom in between with the little time I get. I don’t think you understand how much goes into things before the kids actually get here. As far as our “few month vacations” with (what you think) is a “decent” paycheck is usually spent buying school supplies for the NEXT school year. I am dead broke because we haven’t gotten paid since June. So you are wrong in thinking that we get a decent paycheck. Who do you think buys pencils, pens, arts and crafts, borders, books for the classroom library, computer paper, manipulatives, etc? We definitely don’t get the supplies from school so it comes out of our pockets. As far as IEP meetings, as an ESE teacher I am horrified that you would even say you have to take a half day to come to a meeting. If you don’t want your child to get the services he/she needs then you can always pull them out of ESE and save yourself the trouble. IEP meetings are in place so your child can get the accommodations he/she needs to succeed. You don’t HAVE to go to open house, concerts, OR send in school supplies. In fact, you don’t have to even have your child in school if you think it’s tenuous. Home school them and see how far you get. You sound very ignorant for someone who claims to have graduate degrees.

    • It seems as though you don’t quite understand what a teacher truly does. we are salaried, not hourly workers. This means that although our contracted hours are from 8-3 (which is not the case in all schools, mine being 8-4 and my husband’s being 7-4) we are there from possibly 6:30 or 7 until we finish planning, grading, coaching and supervising clubs. I too have a degree and over 50,000 in student loans. I work at a private school and will receive no loan forgiveness like my husband will after 10 full years of teaching. In addition, a lot of teachers are also parents. Not only do they care for 10-30 children through-out the school day, requiring thought out lessons which will shape their minds, but they then pick up their own children, feed them, take them to soccer, ballet, karate (which they can hardly afford on their small salaries), and then bathe and put them to bed, just as you do. Nobody is discounting your hard work as a working mother, the author is just giving equal respect to someone who provides care, love and knowledge to her children while at school. I hope this does not offend you, but I felt these ideals needed to be addressed.


    • Your parents were done at three. That is not the norm. We’ve been back with kids for a full week and I’ve been able to leave before 7:00 twice. And one of those times was because I took papers home to grade. Bus duty begins here at 6:45 a.m.

      I love what I do. I work through at least half of every vacation because I want to give my kids the best chance for success I have it in me to give them. I spend my own money on many supplies for over 100 kids. I don’t see friends for weeks at a time. I work weekends. I lose sleep over lesson planning and students’ home situations.

      I don’t ask for sympathy. It’s all been my choice. But this article was one of the first I’ve seen that acknowledges the true challenge of teaching and made me feel appreciated. AND WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?!?!?! It doesn’t belittle anyone else’s struggles to take a minute and give a shout out to hard-working, worn-out teachers who love their kids and make them feel safe. Why on earth would you feel the need to criticize that voice of appreciation? Why would anyone ever want to criticize or edit anyone who wants to say thank you to someone? Let them, for the love of everything holy! Stop using your limited time on Earth to try to limit someone else’s gratitude! I’m just in complete awe that anyone would feel so strongly about someone going overboard in their acknowledgement of someone else’s sacrifices that they entered their name and email address so they could post a lengthy response to inform the world that the objects of that person’s appreciation, in your opinion based on such limited scope of experience, may not be worthy! Shut up! Go back to throwing rocks at sick puppies or whatever you were doing with your time before, and let this woman express her thanks!

      • I actually do throw rocks at sick puppies. I call it being a healthcare provider (NP), and I specialize in systems change. But lets let that one lie, I’m not here to make comparisons, since I literally do NOT think that what I do, or what anyone does is “more important.” I simply cannot stand when people need to argue around a statement that they fully misread.

        I believe this entire thread has become a game of telephone. If you return to the original post and disregard the comments coming after my statement, you will see that I was not rude to or belittling of anyone, and that my tone, (unlike yours) was conversational and not argumentative. I was simply making a point that, as I said before verbatim, “in my experience the teachers I know that I am close with will be the first to admit that they are lucky and have great jobs, and aren’t saints.” This is a fact. And secondly, “that for most of us, this time of the year means anxiety and not quiet moments.” I am speaking out about the many challenges of this time of year for everyone, and adding to the conversation. Another respondent put it mush better….

        “you don’t hear what is being said you. She does not criticise (sic) the article or the woman who wrote it. She cries out about a problem that is destroying root and branch everything that this article praises. She cries out because this is a thing worth protecting, and we should all be making noise about it, not sitting back and idlying (sic) dissing those who try to save it by showing others the problem. 40% of new teachers quit in their first year, more are leaving within five, and even those with long experience are being pushed further and further than ever before. People don’t go into teaching for the money or the fame. They go in because they care, and they want to make a difference. Imagine how hard it is when you find yourself falling short of what you want, seeing the children, the parents and the teachers all failed because the system wants robots instead of people. A system where 2 points of steady progress is more important than the wellbeing of the child, because children learn automatically at the same rate every day. A system where children whose parents are in the army are expected to make more progress than their peers – because clearly £500 of extra funding is better for kids than knowing mum and dad are safe. A system where kids are kicked off and denied special status for budgetry (sic) reasons. Where teachers have no lives whatsoever, and that joy becomes a day where sleep and food and toilet are luxuries rarely enjoyed. Where families are seen so little you see more of them working abroad. This is not Disney. All the dreams and wishes in the world will not cover the cracks of fundemental (sic) problems destroying the foundations of our schooling. Something needs to be done.”

        This. This right ^ here.

        My PARENTS were teachers. I understand it doesn’t make you rich, and that sometimes depending on where you are; and what your system is like and how much you put into it, you may work past 3. And that sometimes teachers correct homework. I get that they also have families, and that they get stressed out. I am not even comparing my job to theirs, or my pay to theirs. I am not saying anyone’s work is more or less important!!!I guess we all have benefits and drawbacks to whatever we choose to do.

        But initially I think what prompted me to comment was the idea that this article, like many doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It slaps a sticker and a sunny face on the hard work of teacher, and pretends there is not a huge amount of issues with all of the things. Things for them. Things for others of us.
        As a systems change person (in healthcare but it can be applied broadly) and a woman who provides care to people as well, I understand that THE way to support teachers in this case is to be honest about the fat that things are screwy. The system is bad for teachers. It doesn’t pay them enough….(of course I’d say most of us are underpaid.) it doesn’t offer enough funds to teachers for supplies, or for kids with special needs to get the care they require.It assumes that all kids learn the same way at the same rate. It forces people who went to school to learn how to enrich children’s lives to teach to a test that means nothing and doesn’t (imho) constitute real “learning.” It also forces on families days that are out of control and which don’t make sense…requiring young kids to stay up too late (not healthy) and causing everyone undue stress (also not healthy.) It’s a system where parents like me with special needs children are asked to have them medicated as a first line by the special ed department whose #1 concern is typically budget…..
        Let’s not bring that up. If you can’t just say “oh what a nice article” and move on, you’re being a jerk. This is not the place to air frustrations or concerns or talk. How is that for supportive of teachers!?
        Because again, GO BACK. I was never critical of teachers. I simply added a voice to the conversation showing how complex all of this can be. And in response, for the most part, people have stated…wait for it…
        *I shouldn’t be a parent (this one hurt the most as a widow and mother of two boys with needs and was fully uncalled for)
        *I should “shut up”
        *I am “ignorant” and know nothing about teaching (utterly false)
        *I could optionally “just pull my child out of school if it’s too tenuous.” (really?)
        I could go on….
        I guess I should know by now that offering a respectful opinion online is destined to get nasty remarks, but thanks to the one lady who said that I had a right to speak about what concerns me in a public forum on a subject that is related.
        Because I do. And provided that I am not being nasty, you shouldn’t be either.

      • Well said, Dogtired. Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for understanding that the writer was simply showing appreciation for educators. Thank you for not making this all about you. Too bad others couldn’t do the same. Wishing you a wonderful school year!

    • It must nice to get to bed by 9:00. This from a teacher that stays up way past that planning for my own children and yours. Most teachers don’t take their responsibility lightly and therefore, work well past 3. We also don’t get breaks during the day like other jobs do. It is 7:35 to 3:00 daily full out then all the planning and preparing after that.

    • My response to you “mom” is the ONLY reason you have any kind of degree (2 as you stated) is because of teachers… So yeah, I would call us a little bit of miracle workers!!!

  75. Thank you! This article brought tears to my eyes! I am an elementary school teacher and often feel as though parents don’t always understand how much effort, personal time, and money we put into our classrooms and for our students. Thank you for understanding!

  76. What a wonderful, sweet understanding. Having raised children with ADHD I had a special fondness for the teachers who got my kids and had a clue to the awesome, brilliant, funny and frustrating children they are! Not to scare you – but college is a whole new ball game for ‘back to school’ shopping! On move in day for our first child, the dorm room had to be set up, organized, then off to the bookstore for books that cost our mortgage. A tour of the campus to find all of his classrooms. The welcoming ceremony, meeting his dorm mates and friends made at orientation. Then that moment it was time for us to leave. Watching him walk away was 10 times harder than every first day of Kindergarten. By the last kid we had it down to a tee, and just let him go back with his brother for move in. Now the last one is a Junior on college and is helping with the big ‘move in’ day at his university. Helping all of those excited, scared, stressed parents and their pups leaving home for the first time. And the professors who are excited to have them in their classes and getting to know a new crop of bright, brilliant, funny and frustrating kids!

  77. Thank you so much for your post. It was so fun to read. Thank you for making me cry and take a deep breath. It was nice seeing this from your point of view. I see you.

    Have a great year!

  78. As a single mother to 4 sons and having recently retired from 30 years in education, please remember that along with preparing for your children I was also sending my own off to their respective schools and classrooms. When I stood by the doorway to your child’s room I was also feeling my own heartache at not being able to hug mine at the doorway of theirs.

    • Kathy,

      I was just thanking the same thing. I didn’t get to go to my daughter’s open house last year for kindergarten and I won’t see it for first grade either. I’ll be in my school hosting my students and their families. I didn’t get to take her to her first day of school and I never will because I’ll be assuring other parents that their child will be just fine.

      Those of us who teach and have our own children not only fill up our carts for our classrooms, we also fill our carts for our own children. We fill our carts even more because we know so many children will come to school without basic supplies.

      Yes, we do what we do because we love it, even on the hard days when we have to try and determine if we can find away to make it to that conference for our own child because some parent has demanded our time for their child. But, we love our own children and we love the ones we teach, too.

    • Yes. I was a full time teacher and single parent. I too was unable to attend many of my daughter’s school functions because I had to attend the ones where I taught. I relished my summers because I got to spend more time as the only support system my daughter had. During that time, I also took classes and prepared for the next school year. For a single parent, it is not as though teaching pays a lot. I spent loads of money on my classrooms and the climate now is far worse for teachers. i’ve actually had people tell me “thank you for your service” and had parents express gratitude. It is appreciated. We care a lot about your kids.

    • Candice and Kathy,

      Thank you! This upcoming school year will be my 9th year as a teacher, but my first as a mom of a child in school. My oldest will be heading into kindergarten, and as proud and excited as I am for him, my heart breaks a little knowing that I will not be there to put him on the school bus on his first day or even hug him when he gets off the bus at the end of the day. I will be in my classroom, being that welcoming hug to my new second graders. I will be organizing their school supplies, giving supplies to the students that came with none, wiping their tears, helping them make friends, all the while putting my own babies out of mind. I’ve spent the last week preparing my classroom for my students, in the building from 7:30 AM until about 7 PM. I’ve spent over $500 on supplies for my students and classroom as well as the supplies that my son needs for his kindergarten class. No, recognizing he sacrifices and effort that teachers make will not “fix” the issues in our school system, but when has empathy and respect every hurt anything? There are many, many days when I wonder if my administration can see me, if some of my parents can see me, if our district sees me at all. Having someone acknowledge our hard work doesn;t change the other issues, but it does tell us that our hard work isn’t completely invisible.

      Thank you.

    • Candice and Kathy,

      Thank you! This upcoming school year will be my 9th year as a teacher, but my first as a mom of a child in school. My oldest will be heading into kindergarten, and as proud and excited as I am for him, my heart breaks a little knowing that I will not be there to put him on the school bus on his first day or even hug him when he gets off the bus at the end of the day. I will be in my classroom, being that welcoming hug to my new second graders. I will be organizing their school supplies, giving supplies to the students that came with none, wiping their tears, helping them make friends, all the while putting my own babies out of mind. I’ve spent the last week preparing my classroom for my students, in the building from 7:30 AM until about 7 PM. I’ve spent over $500 on supplies for my students and classroom as well as the supplies that my son needs for his kindergarten class. No, recognizing the sacrifices and effort that teachers make will not “fix” the issues in our school system, but when has empathy and respect every hurt anything? There are many, many days when I wonder if my administration can see me, if some of my parents can see me, if our district sees me at all. Having someone acknowledge our hard work doesn;t change the other issues, but it does tell us that our hard work isn’t completely invisible.

      Thank you.

  79. I just want to say thank you for writing this. It brought tears to my eyes. As you can see here in the comments teachers are faced with so much negativity. We spends hours at home preparing bc we are not given enough time at school, we are forced to go to meetings rather than prepare. We spend time after our work day is over to grade and prepare lessons for our students. However, teachers are seen as a public enemy. But in the end our stundents are what’s important. Regardless if others shame us for being teachers. Again, thank you!

  80. Thank you for such a great thank you. I needed this for sure. I just recently felt so unappreciated by a clerk at a tool store. He was offering a discount to my husband and first asked if he was military? No. Police? No. Fireman? No. So I quizzicaly asked teacher. He scoffed no and in such a demeaning way asked if I was enjoying my 3 month vacation. My husband swiftly put him in his place essentially saying something about me continuing to work at school well after the students left and the halls went dark and quiet. The clerk didn’t get it, rolled his wrinkly old curmudgeon eyes and went on ringing orders. I’m a bit sad for him. He must not have had a teacher who really made a positive impact on him or he’s forgotten. Thank you again for getting it and sharing your appreciation.

    • Paul – I’m not sure how to answer your question. I guess I have to say No. (it just sounds weird to say “No I have never met a male teacher.”) Next time, please phrase the question with the word ever instead of never – that would make things much easier.

      Now, what was your question again?

      • Customer Service,

        Excellent response! I was thinking the same thing, it is very sad if that is the only thing that Paul got out of your blog!!

        I have to say that when I started reading your blog, I thought it was another “angry parent” complaining about all the money they have to spend on supply lists for their kids. So in my head I had a response already formed, but then I kept reading and one by one my responses in my head were deleted!!!! It’s nice to see that parents see how teachers spend A LOT of their own money on classroom supplies & they spend most of their “summer off” time thinking how they want to set up their room. So thanks for showing both sides!!!

    • Paul, I am with you. I thought, “Well, aside from the sexist language this was a great post.” Because, seriously.

      • Most teachers are woman. Likely this mother has never had a male teacher teach her children. I do not find this at all strange. My granddaughters so far have never had a male teacher either.

        • It’s most often an age thing – male teachers are less common in earlier grades and become MUCH more common in middle and high school. It is sexist (because yes, there are definitely male preschool and elementary teachers) but it’s also understandable for it to be someone’s experience NOT to have encountered a male teacher for their young child(ren) yet.

  81. As a mother of 3 adult children all of whom either ARE or HAVE taught grades 5 – 12, this post brought both tears to my eyes and put a lump in my throat. I it is nice to see someone truly appreciate what these dedicated people do.

    So many times one hears people comment on how someone goes into teaching so they only have to work 9 months out of the year and can take their summers off. Well, these people do not know what a dedicated teacher does.

    It is not a 7:30 to 2:00 job. More often than not, these dedicated people work from sun up to sun down. And, much of what they are doing is not within the terms of their contracts. Between school plays, chorus and band competition, show choir competitions, debate team, bus duty, lunch room duty, etc. etc. these people never have a moment to call their own. Do people thing the “extra curricula activities fairies” come in and coordinate all these extra things? No. That is work done above and beyond what is written in the contracts. And some of which is paid for out of the individual teachers’ own pockets. And, as for being off all summer…..many of these dedicated individuals attend college or seminars or workshops to meet job requirements for the licensing certifications.

    So, Hug a teacher! They deserve it. And, much more.

    And a big shout out to my favorite teachers – Bryan, Robin and Valerie.

  82. A lot of teacher prep work is done at the end of the school year, putting things away, organizing, moving, saving stuff, etc. I know since I was a teacher for a bit. My husband is also a teacher.

    I also did that as a mother, with the supplies my children brought home at the end of the year – I reorganized, stored, recycled and if it was in good condition (like a lunchbox or backpack), kept it for the next year, and checked it off the list when school started up again. I realize the lengthy description of the woman’s purchases was a setup for the lengthy description of everything teachers must do. I get that. My point is that we are so conditioned to give our children new things every school year. I couldn’t do that on our budget. My kids got new clothes, lunch boxes, and backpacks when the old ones wore out or when a birthday or Christmas came around. And sometimes the backpacks or lunch boxes were from Goodwill. Some things like paint sets lasted three years, and more than one kid! Most of the new things I bought new were because those ran out. Or if something else was on the list that we didn’t have That probably doesn’t sound like much fun, or very caring, yet my kids love school and learning, and the people that mattered did not look down on them for not having new things, nor did they feel their learning experience was compromised by bringing gently used items the first day of school. I’m not judging people who like to do that and can afford it, to each their own. Just pointing out other options, and that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t go “new” to school every year.

    It’s a pain for families to have to buy snacks, hand sanitizer, tissues, paper towels, as our schools should be well enough funded to provide those things. I know they’re not, and in Kansas it’s getting worse… A lot of teachers are still having to provide those things out of pocket, too.

    Having been a mother, daycare provider, teacher, and now a substitute teacher, I understand all the perspectives here. I like how the author doesn’t make it a contest between teachers and parents.

    I just had to have my little “ranty” opinion sort of off the main topic. Thanks!

  83. Dear Candice, just spotted this on FB. Thank you for making my day. I am a struggling mum and a Teaching Assistant in London. ????

  84. You are such a wonderful stay at home Mommie !!!! Sorry to hear school is such a heartache for you! You are blessed and should appreciate it more. Sad to hear the burden school puts on you.
    Peace and love

    • Ouch! That was harsh! I think Candice was just trying to point out that teachers and parents have a lot in common and working together with a respectful understanding will go a long way toward a successful school year.

  85. Very nice article! And we do all that but we also have to prepare our kids for school. Mother-Teacher… never ends ! Bravo again!

  86. What a wiener !! You made life decisions, now live with them. So tired of self-righteous cry-babies! Always about you, and how it affects you!
    As a christian, I wonder how the Lord would have felt if you expressed your issues directly to him? Oh wait, you did! Because he’s always here. I wonder if you looked into his eyes and voiced your concerns and saw his reactions, how you would feel them. Tell him how much work this is and how much you suffer!
    I am sorry you have so much to bare during the school year!
    Peace and Love.

    • Well, Grow Up, one can hope that you “bare” nothing this school year. I can assure you that no one will set up a GoFundMe account for your bail money. Perhaps you should reevaluate your reading comprehension skills and try reading the article again.

      OP – Well written. Excellent perspective. I hope that this school year is a successful one.

    • WOW! Did you even read the whole article? Your comment betrays that you only read the first two paragraphs and then went straight to the comment section. She not only expressed the feelings that many mothers go through at the beginning of the year but what a stress it must be to be a teacher too. I would suggest reading an article before commenting. (thought- maybe pray before you comment! 🙂 j/s)

    • Dear “Grow Up”:
      Go look up the meaning of “internet troll” and then take a look in the mirror – because that’s how you’re presenting yourself and you hide behind your little screen name.

      Do you have trouble with reading comprehension as well as spelling and vocabulary words? Your comment on this lovely, heartfelt post makes absolutely no sense. Zero. Zip. Zilch. You seem to take some sort of pleasure in just being mean spirited without offering any sort of productive discussion or even criticism.

      Somewhere out there, there’s an underside of a bridge with your name on it…I’m certain of it.

  87. They are not exhausted; I work in the schools all summer. Staff doesn’t show up at all, and if any do, it’s 2 days before school is open. So all that “setup” is a rush job before your offspring arrives. Not to mention, the first two days are teachers only, here at least. You know what happens on those days? They cluck like hens for about 4 or 5 hours and maybe an hour, two max, is a meeting with the principal for the upcoming school year. The people that don’t show up at all before school, or the ones with the least impressive “setups” and do it in those mandatory days before the kids appear.

    Get your head out of your ass.

    • You could not be more wrong. The school SYSTEM forces the rules on the teachers. Those days without students, you know what they are spent doing? They are spent in BS training and team meetings that some superintendent or political official decided was important. Teachers have less and less say or control in what goes on in their own jobs. The setting up shit is all done on their own time, not the schools time. If you only saw the countless nights and mornings they invest to get your offspring prepared to face the world you might have a different tune. Get your head of your ass.

      • Many parents also don`t know that we teachers spend a lot of our own money on their kids because they either refuse to purchase, don`t think it is important enough to purchase or simple don`t care to support their child. Every year I have to spend more and more out of pocket….last year was $3,000. But, oh can they come to school with their $300.00 sneakers and ipads, and iphones….even though 97% of our school is on public assistance and free or reduced lunches!!!

    • i’m sorry that the teachers in your district are like that. some of us do care and put a lot of time and effort into making the classroom a great place. it is great to see that parents do recognize this and appreciate our efforts.

    • So, laff, because a few teachers at your school cut corners, that somehow is representative of ALL teachers? That’s like someone reading your comment and concluding that all people are ignorant.

    • Not all teachers are equal. When I was teaching, I spent most of my ‘vacation’ at the school preparing for the upcoming year. I spent more than I should have on decorating my classroom, to make it an attractive learning environment for my children, aka students.
      Candice, I appreciated your article. It is good when the parents can see that we do care about the children!

    • As a kindergarten teacher I am deeply offended by this comment. You made a comment that is both hurtful and completely untrue. I have not been in my classroom this summer but I have spent countless hours prepping activities, getting supplies ready, making lists, and hundreds of other little things that will be needed once school starts up again. Just because I am not in the classroom does not mean that I am not working.
      To the author of this post – thank you! You brought tears to my eyes, and I appreciate your support! Thank you!

    • Exactly true. My parents were both teachers and spent one day making their classroom nice for the upcoming year. The myth that teachers spend all of their summer preparing for the year is laughable. All other jobs have similar problems with out of pocket money and time outside of work, plus they do not get the extended holidays and summers off.

      • Exactly not true at all, Don. You’ve made comments along this vein several times. Frankly, it sounds like your parents were, frankly, shorty teachers. They are the exception, not the rule.

    • As a teacher, I agree that I only come in 2 days before school starts. Why? Summer school uses my classroom all summer so I get kicked out at the end of the school year. My keys must be submitted or, I dont get my last paycheck. I do not have the option of going into my classroom. I take my textbooks and plan at home.

      So before you judge, you should realize that it may not be the teacher’s choice. I spend those two days after the countless mandatory meetings preparing my classroom and cleaning the clutter left behind well into the evening.

  88. Oh how I cried as I read this because I have been on both sides. I was a stay home mom for many years preparing to send my babies off to school. I have 6 children, 4 of whom are still in school. I teach Kindergarten and spend countless hours prepping my classroom and more money than I should, for those precious babies, so they can have a wonderful school experience. Teaching is a profession that you do for the outcome, not the income.
    Meet the teacher for our school was last night, and since only 4 of my 16 students brought school supplies, I have already made a shopping list so that I can provide for the ones who do not have.
    Thank you for your post. It means so much to those in this profession.

    Sincerely, Tammy

  89. Thank you for this article – I really needed this today. As a middle school teacher, it is often much harder to get to know kids like I would as an elementary school teacher, but I try. I did not start teaching for fame or money – I did it because a teacher changed my life when I was in middle school and I have always just wanted to pay it forward. I don’t have any children – mine are the 140 I see each day; I pray each day that at least one of them will walk away a better person and pay it forward too one day.

  90. Thank you for enlightening others with your powerful words. I might add that many teachers go back to school with tears in their eyes as they leave their own little ones in the hands of daycares. We miss our children too, but understand our calling.

    • Candice: I am a lifelong educator. I am also a mom to four amazing (now grown) sons. I was shocked at your bitching and moaning about the tasks, efforts, and purchases required for the new school year. I would no less complain about this joyous rite of passage for my sons than I would about taking a bullet to save their lives. It is part and parcel to being a parent. And there is NO RULE that states you have to break the bank to buy what you most likely have at home. Why fuel peer pressure? Many years my sons picked huge ziplock bags of crayons, pencils, rulers, colored pencils; WHATEVER! It was a great lesson about recycling, spending wisely, and not being followers. They all became huge leaders in school and college. I invested in one LLBean backpack which took them all the way through high school. Extra large paper lunch bags were perfect for growing and active boys to make their own lunches. If not now, when? Instead of false “awe” at what we spend to get or rooms inviting, warm, and ready for the elementary room kids, bring your kids to school two week before school begins and help with the set-up. Kids love to be needed. What an example you would set. Or, go through your house and bring in extra age-appropriate books, paper for coloring, a shoe-box with crayons, extra office supplies for teacher’s desk…..the list goes on and on. If you are so “strapped” with 6 children, there is NO RULE that says you must provide a gift card or brand new supplies. Come in once a week to sharpen every pencil in the room!!! Huge time sucker! Go through all the markers and throw out the dried out ones!!! There is A TON OF maintenance! And about those Lunchables, they are a fortune, are loaded with sodium, and have no fiber to speak of. Keep in easy reach healthy food-stuffs, ziplock bags, bags of whole wheat bread or crackers, bowls of unsalted almonds, and a huge bowl of fresh fruit on the table. Making THEIR OWN lunch is a snap. Get the idea?!?

      • What goes on in your head, Marcia? Seriously. Let me be the first to call BULLSHIT on you being a professional educator, drama teacher or otherwise. You’re a sanctimonious quack.

  91. Although the article complimented teachers a little towards the end, I felt she was doing a lot of complaining about how hard she works and how expensive it all seems … Maybe fewer children would have been better for her, I’m just say’in.

    I spend A LOT of money out of my pocket every year for a job I love and I chose to never have children for a variety of reasons.

    I am not getting rich at this chosen career but loving children costs me nothing and I never miss the money once it is spent on my classroom. That just goes with the territory. I do not ask my students to bring much to the classroom. We get by on a little and share things… not everyone needs to have everything.

    I carry my lunch everyday in plastic bags from the produce department, no lunchbox and no cafeteria meal daily … all done without sacrifice or complaint … I save a ton by doing that which I use to travel

    I am an overseas teacher.

    • Dear Overseas Teacher,
      You completely missed the literary style of this article. By first recalling her own experience of preparing her children for a new school year, she is able to paint a picture for the reader of how thoroughly she identifies and appreciates all the efforts and expenditures on the part of the teacher. I am puzzled as to how you could miss this.

    • Marcia, Marcia Marcia!!!

      Set down the red bull and lets have a deep conversation that involves a little grace and less judgement. Awww never mind – lets just talk about those nasty Lunchables.

      You have to ask yourself a question, “Do I even care about Sodium?”. My answer: “Na”

      (you see what i did there – my science teacher made me sharpen pencils while i memorized the periodic table)

  92. Thank you, as a parent to 4 and a teacher I identified all too well with your words; I appreciate that you recognize all the effort teachers put into prepping their classes and the costs involved.

  93. Thank You, I literally cried while reading this. So many times hard working teachers go unnoticed.

  94. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This was a beautiful tribute to the teachers who put their heart and soul into their teaching.. Thank you for noticing us!!

  95. Candice,
    I am a male educator in an elementary school and I did not take any offense to your article nor did I think you were trying to slight male teachers in any way. I did find the article inspiring , motivating and with a good deal of truth. Yes, as from reading all of the comments, there will always be those non-teacher supporters out there for no other reason than a lack of understanding of the educational world and challenges teachers face. I ignore those negative comments, cherish my students , and do the best job I can everyday to instill the love of life and learning to our future generation. Thank for your article.

  96. Lovely post. A child’s education is much more successful when parents and teachers work together for the sake of the student.

    But please, please, please do not sit on a ladder like that. It’s incredibly unsafe. Imagine trying to teach a classroom of young students with a broken hip.

  97. love the article. My question is where is a classroom empty for three months of summer. I know of two June/July or July/August . I did work all summer getting my room ready for the following year. It was my passion. After 30 years, I retired and still admire the dedication of teachers and the hard work of parents. If you happen to be both, as I was, God bless you!

    • I agree that it’s two months, but let’s focus on the intent of this…we are all in this together…and together we will get through another year of learning, and hopefully it will be fun and successful for all.

      • Wow, that is a long vacation for kids, nice! I’m in CA and the kids generally get two and one half months. Teachers have two months and one week approximately. An actual three month summer is unheard of here.

  98. Candice,
    As a young teacher without my own children, I really appreciated being reminded of the parent’s point of view at the start of the school year. But I also really appreciate that you took the time to acknowledge the energy and love so many teachers put into their classrooms to make it as welcoming and comfortable for those children that will come to feel like our own children over the next nine months.

    It is parents like you and gestures like this post that reignite my energy and remind me of the real reasons I teach.

    Thank you.

  99. Thank you for writing this. I love teaching and my students, but so many times I have felt like many parents don’t understand how much time and energy (and sacrifices to our own families) goes into this profession. The first day of school this year was tough for me because while I was excited to meet my new students, I was missing my son’s very first day of school. I will miss many things that go on at his school because I will be with my own students. So thank you again for letting us know that there are parents who understand.

    • Carin, I am a fellow teacher. Thank you for raising the issue that so many miss. Those of us that are teachers as well as parents, lose an opportunity in our own parenting. We don’t get to go take those photos or give a little one that last hug before they line up with their class. We can’t volunteer in the classroom or attend PTO meetings that are held right after school. We are not martyrs, but it helps to read a piece like this one. It helps to raise the awareness of the work and love that goes into what we do every day.

  100. As I head into my last in-service day before school starts, my heart is racing. I am completing my student teaching semester with the ninth graders. While we may not decorate and fill the room the same as y’all, I can’t help but tear up at this. I know how hard we all work. Thanks for writing this sweet article.

    • Ellen, your comment made me smile and made me want to give you some unsolicited advice and cheerleading. 🙂

      From one freshman English teacher to another, don’t be afraid to love on those freshmen! They like to think they are grown up, but every once in a while if you bust out an activity they remember from elementary or middle school, they will slip into their old comfort zones and play with you.

      Transition is so hard for some of them, and the start they get in your classroom at the beginning of this year will set the tone for their high school career. Enjoy student teaching– it takes someone special to work with freshmen. Bless you!

  101. That was a nice article, trying being a parent and a teacher at the same time. I taught for many years and went through this, but I was also a parent all the years I taught and had to do both of those things at the same time. Shopping for school supplies was two fold for my children and for me, sorting forms, again two fold, but I loved my job and of course, my children. It was very hectic many, many times!

  102. An extremely good friend just posted this to my timeline. I’m sitting in a store parking lot grabbing “just a few things” I need for school. I’m going through the mental list and cringing at the things I’ve already bought for my classroom this year. I’ve spent at least 12 hours at school every day this week and was upset I could have gotten into my classroom a week earlier and didn’t know it. I just want to say, thank you. Thank you for recognizing that this is a team effort. Teacher’s appreciate parents that are present and truly part of the team. I really needed this post. I appreciate you.

  103. This was such a beautiful article. Many of my dear friends are teachers. And my oldest son has Tourette’s and does virtual public school at home. He has had amazing teachers that while we can’t always see their faces, their love shines brightly for their students. To all the teachers out there, THANK YOU! God has truly blessed you all with a gift and I am so thankful for all the time and energy you spend on each child. Thank you Candice for shining a light on these amazing people! And God Bless!! <3

  104. May I print and distribute to teachers at my kid’s school? I’m the PTA president and think this is great!!

    • Maybe we now say “teachers I see you, take a step back” ?
      I see a few teachers at my school in after hours and on weekends BUT sadly not putting in the time for their own kids. Whether it’s help with homework, getting ready for an assembly or even illness some teachers’ kids are drawing the short straw.

  105. Thank you. During a time when parents and society say teachers aren’t giving enough, it is amazing to find someone that not only appreciates our struggle, but knows it’s “cost”.

  106. As both a mom to 3 little girls (2 in school) as well as the wife of a high school teacher, I see both sides of this each year.
    I’d always respected teachers. In high school I realized how much dedication it took to be a teacher when I took an “Intro. to Ed.” class…then I married a teacher and realized how much I didn’t know.
    Thank you for writing this beautiful “thank you.” I couldn’t agree more heartily.

  107. As a teacher of middle school students and a mom of grown children, I know the angst that comes with the start of a new school year and the joy that overrides those late night vigils.

    My notebooks are filled with new ideas to try this year – my bank account is definitely lighter with new things I want to add this year, my tables are filled with new projects I want to integrate this year but my heart is filled with old love for this profession I am so passionate about and my soul is filled with God’s Grace to put on His robes of righteous as I take to task of guiding another set of middle schoolers through this pathway of their journey. To God be the Glory for the work set before me.

    • This could possibly be my favorite comment ever. Thank you for giving God the glory. Prayers for your new year. God bless you and I love you

  108. I am so happy you wrote this! I’ll be honest, when I saw it on Facebook I thought you were going in a completely opposite direction. I’m no longer in education, but last year I was a preschool teaching assistant. I was trying to prepare for my fall wedding, but at the same time I wholeheartedly remember preparing for the school year as well… Deciding on our various centers in the room, purchasing what the school would not provide in sensory play, art, etc… Spending painstaking hours punching out, laminating, cutting out and labeling cubby tags, behavior chart name tags, chair name tags, center name tags, hall pass name tags… And the full on week it took me to decorate a classroom door as a big 3d apple tree with construction and tissue papers and, once again, punching out, laminating and cutting out the letters to spell “Welcome to Room 108”. All of that work… was for a three year old class. It is an enormous amount of work and teachers preparing for the new year will love to hear the gratitude, as opposed to the complaining.

  109. How refreshing! As a teacher, we often feel that folks think we pulled out classrooms out of some magical hat. Thank you for recognizing that it takes time, creativity, planning, and lots of that “spare change”. That’s just what you see. But you are right! It’s not for fame and fortune. It’s what we love and it’s what God called us to do! Thank you for your inspiring words@

  110. Please make sure that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who’s running for the President of the US read this and ACKNOWLEDGE the appreciation of teachers by restoring teachers union ASAP!

    • To anyone reading that Candice has five kids she sends to school AND feel so compelled to comment only in that regard, keep in mind she and her husband provide for their precious little babies out of their own paychecks.

      To the rest asserting a wide variety of inane comments remember this: the next time you, someone from your circle, family, neighbor, etc needs school supplies to protect a child from the sting of having nothing those first days need to thank a teacher. Teachers give so much more than they get credit for (most without paychecks over the summer) and least able to add even more school supplies for students without.

      Be a hater, it really is OK; but do not accept charter school money, participate in school choice, or whatever program your state provides (even those with the private school big bucks), keep your children at home and do homeschooling for a year before you ever complain about a blog post such as this.

    • Sonny – I just got off the phone with Governor Walker and he assured me that he would acknowledge whatever you want him to (as long as you and all of your rich country club buddies vote for him).

      He then asked me to call Joey Butterpoolcue – President of the Wisconsin Teachers Union – and request that he too read the article.

      Unfortunately, Joey’s assistant informed me that Mr. Butterpoolcue was busy stapling hundred dollar bills to the side of his beach house in Fiji and would be unavailable to speak (unless I was willing to make a sizable donation to his cousin Billy’s charitable foundation).

      Thanks again Sonny!

  111. Thank you so much for posting this. As a middle school Special Education teacher about to start my 10th year in the classroom, so much of this rang true. What a great way to start the day!

  112. Loved this article. I sat in tears as I read it because at first I was irritated, then I saw what you did there. Lovely article. I am a mom, too, and so I do know all that parents go through. But, as a teacher, this article struck a cord. We just had Open House last night and I was that teacher with the hair and outfit. Well written! Great job! I see you too! 🙂

  113. Your article made my heart happy. I am printing this out and putting it in the staff lunchroom, the copy room, and taping a copy inside my paper closet door for those days when I need a word of encouragement. I’ve been teaching for 34 years, and while the cultural temperature has changed (from “open arms” to “open season”), the children’s needs have not. My goal is to have each of my students go home that first day with good memories and new friends and ready to come back for more. So thank you for your kind words. And bless you and your family- hope they have a wonderful school year!

  114. Thank you so much, from a teacher who is doing exactly what you imagined!! The best part of your post is that I know how lucky your kids are to have you as their mum. I bet you work so well as a team with their teachers to make them successful and happy. I wish you and your family a great year. I really appreciate hearing that a mother understands how precious your children are to us and how excited we are to be starting the new year with a new group of students. ?

  115. Candice,

    Thank you so much for your post! I am a teacher and I appreciate you taking the time to write this. I wish that all parents recognized and saw all of the work that teachers put into their rooms. Yes, I am well above my budgeted amount on classroom supplies, but the classroom environment is so important in education. Creating a warm and welcoming space is crucial for students. They need to feel just as much at home in our classrooms as they do in their homes. They need to feel safe and unafraid of feeling embarrassed about making mistakes. After all, no one is perfect and we cannot learn and grow without the mistakes.

    Thank you again for the recognition. I wish more parents were like you! Enjoy your time to sit and relax and know that your babies are in good hands.


    • Pete, I doubt that it was intentional, and I hope that that was not the only thing that you took away from this beautiful article. I know male teachers put in just as many hours of time away from their families, and are just as invested as female teachers. Having had a father who was a fabulous teacher, and now a son who is also a marvelous teacher (and I was an elementary teacher for 15 years), rest assured that they, too, give/gave unconditionally of themselves. So please go back and reread the article from the eyes of a teacher in general and see if you can find the beauty and praise and support of teachers that she is intending. I hope you have a fabulous year with your students. I’m sure you love and support them unconditionally and passionately. As a side note, male teachers in elementary classrooms are an incredible blessing to the kids. So thank you for choosing this career path.

    • Pete, I sincerely apologize if I wrote it in a way that shunned male teachers. That was not at all my intention and my kids have had several amazing male teachers. I tried to write in a way that did not imply that. I think the place that might imply that I am only writing about females is the make-up part. Sorry. Please know that I am grateful for ALL teachers and ALL staff at the schools.

      • I think you should edit it. Your language is sexist. At a time when we women are fighting for equality in the workplace I feel it is important to be sensitive and to ourselves not be limiting. Before I even read a couple of the comments by men I thought “wow… ‘pretty smile’? really?” Growing up I had some great teachers who were men and I know some men now who are fantastic teachers. I really think that your writing creates this divisive vibe that you probably did not intend. This is just my opinion, of course, and it’s your blog so you can do whatever you want to but I would encourage you to think about editing your entry or otherwise addressing it aside from the comment section.

        • I think you get offended much too easily. I personally know many, many male teachers, and not a single one of them saw fit to manufacture any sense of outrage over this issue. You’re being silly and trite. Let it go.

    • Peter, you should not feel shunned by the letter. As you know, most teachers are women and this parent never had a male teacher teach her kids. My 12-year-old granddaughter has never had a male teacher either. Many men do not choose teaching school as a career because the money is not great as you know. Kudos to you for your dedication.

  116. What a lovely blog to read as I am preparing to go back to school to welcome my new Reception class (4-5) thank you from a teacher in the UK. Last year to celebrate me successfully qualifying as a teacher and as a late honeymoon we road tripped some of America, didn’t make it to San Antonio but went to Austin while in Texas. Loved it! Keep writing.

    • Thanks, Emma. Good luck on your new year with the students. You were serously close enough on your honeymoon that we could have meet up for some good old Texas Bar-B-Que! 😉

  117. Great article. Remember though that when you are “enjoying the quiet” that teachers with their own children rarely, if ever have quiet. After a long day at school we have to shuffle our kids around to activities, make dinner, and help with homework, which is seriously the last thing we want to do. Cleaning the house and grocery shopping? We have no choice but the weekends. I’m truly not complaining but hope everyone truly has empathy for how hard we work. My students get the best of me while my own children get a tired mother.

  118. I recently retired after 44 years of teaching. Looking back I probably spent $500 a year of my own money on things I needed for my classes and things my students needed. Did I get rich teaching? Yes, I did. Rich in relationships, rich in caring, rich in shaping lives, rich in dreams and hopes and rich in humanity and love. All this has overflowed my life.

    • Don~ Well said and oh, so true! The commitment is great, but the rewards are endless. How lucky we are to spend our lives with kids! Best in your retirement!

  119. i cannot imagine the expense and challenge you face meeting the finiancial needs of six growing children. I have grown kids and only had two with lots of help from family. Just visited family in the UK. They have incredible charity shops that I wish we had in North America. I wish it was safer to go to streets that have charity shops. I wish it was more acceptable too. I wish I had become use to them more when my kids were young. It never crossed my mind enough. I really believe there should be so much more sharing of the wealth.

  120. “We have six kids in our home that we are sending off to school this year—five of whom are girls”.

    “Stiles is their oldest daughter and is 15, Myleigh, Justin and Bella are their 8 year old triplet girls and late at night they rock their 1 year old baby boy, James. They just welcomed Candice’s teen aged sister, Victoria, into their home as one of their own and bumped their kid count up to 6”.

    I’m confused. It says she has 6 children going off to school this year, 5 of which are girls. In the footnote, it says she has a 15 year old daughter. Then triplets, Myleigh, JUSTIN (a boy) and Bella who are 8, her sister who is a teen, and their one year old. 1st, that’s 4 girls and 2 boys, and 2, who sends their one year old to school?

    She says shes home all day and finds it quiet and misses her babies, but gets a lot done. So she’s home all day, but sending her 1 year old to school? She can’t be that hard up for money if she can’t look after her own 1 year old while shes at home all day by herself.

    If your going to embellish, check it over first. Or if its mistakes, read it over a few times before you post it.

    • Nice article. Justin is obviously a girl’s name here. Altho I agree, I’m sure the 1 yr old boy isn’t going to school. it wasn’t proofread, don’t be so critical 😉 Myleigh, Justin and Bella are their 8 year old triplet girls and late at night they rock their 1 year old baby boy, James.

    • Citizen here, concerned that you’re missing the point because your head is too far up your ass.

      Oh, and if “your” going to be an asshole, read it over a few times before you post it.


    • Maybe Justin is a girl with a “boy” name? Many one year old also go to a preschool program for part of the day. You sure have your judgey pants on.

    • Angela, she states that the triplets are girls. Justin is a girl. She also states her teenage sister is the sixth child. That’s 5 girls at school and the one year old boy at home.

    • Oh sweet Angela, thank you for going over everything with a fine tooth comb. Justin is a girl, she is named after her uncle who is in heaven. We have five girls and one boy. The baby goes to Kids Day Out twice a week because I work from home as a writer. So yes, I am home all day, working. Thank you so much for your concern over the post and what you’ve viewed as embellishing and mistakes but please rest well tonight knowing that we’ve got this covered. I’m so sorry that my post and bio confused you so much, I’ll work on simplifiying things. While you were busy picking apart my family, you missed the entire point of the article.

      • Candice,

        I LOVED your blog article!!!!! It is VERY sad that the few names listed above decided to pick apart your family tree as to how many girls & boys.. I feel they have MISSED the whole point of the article!!! But you have to realize that whenever you post ANYTHING on a blog or even on your OWN PERSONAL FB page there is always someone out there that will find fault with something you have either written or posted!!!! So SMILE & NOD, that is what I always say to myself when the “NEGATIVE NELLIES” get too crazy!!! I loved the blog so keep it up!!!

      • Candice is one of the most giving women I know. She is a wonderful woman of faith. She is a great mother to her children. She gives selflessly and without pause. To know her is to love her. Her children are respectful and well grounded. They have learned from great teachers(their parents) who have instilled in them what God can do if they just have faith. I could go on and on about the awesome things this godly woman does. As for their son, James, he brings joy, light, and happiness to our classroom. God IS Good! Much Love ? God Bless ?

      • Where in the world did she say that? You don’t think male teachers have the same experiences? My husband was a teacher and is now admin. He spent our money and his time the same way I do. The male teachers I work with came in early at the same time I did, with the same new posters to set up their new classrooms. Maybe you are the biased one. This was a beautiful post.

        • Thank you, Brandi. I tried to make sure that I did not imply that all teachers are female. Thank you for the support and kind comment in the middle of negativity.

    • @Angela…Methinks someone must have been absent when these teachers went over reading comprehension and math in your classroom.

  121. Candice, your article has really touched the hearts of 100’s of teachers in British Columbia! Our teachers have taken a beating for 10+ years at the hands of our provincial government. Your beautiful words have lifted many spirits today.

  122. Loved this post. I’m actually a school counselor…high school counselor, which I love! But as your article touches on, often times it does feel that our humanity isn’t always seen from the perspective of the parent or student. When you write about seeing that teacher dressed well, with her hair just so, likely with endless time at her disposal to put herself and her room together–I do often get that vibe, or parents actually commenting on this. And there is this assumption that calls and emails should be answered immediately, or if they need to come in and chat, we should be able to do so at the drop of a hat, or only on a Thursday evening at 7:30, because that fits their busy schedule best. But…I actually didn’t have endless time to ready myself that morning…as I had to wake my 1 and 3 year old at 5:30 am in order to feed, change, dress and pack them up for the day. And to hopefully, if God willing slap on some clothes and make-up myself. Then we hop in the car, make two kid drop offs, often times needing to stick around a bit to console one or the other as they cling to my leg, then finally head to school with the hopes that I don’t have a line already forming outside my door. Breakfast and coffee…ha! That gets thrown into my lunch bag, with the hopes that after we sort out all the issues of the students standing outside the door and they get to class, maybe I might get to snack on my granola bar while returning messages and simultaneously updating schedules.

    So when you look at that teacher, or counselor, or other school staff member, they may have had the same crazy, hectic, kid filled crazy morning you did, they are juggling a full time job that demands many extra hours while likely raising a family as well. They will likely go home, luckily by 5 or 6, rush to get dinner on the table, kids in bed, and then finally will get to sit down…to start grading essays. And summer will hit, and everyone assumes we are on a 3 month vacation – “must be nice” they say. But actually, not quite. I and many teachers are actually in working much of the summer, and when we’re not, we are in training or continuing education courses, working on curriculum, reviewing transcripts, teaching summer school. But we do these jobs because we care…we love your kids, we love what we do, and we want to be a positive influence. Just know that we are human too! (Yup, that even means we do need to use the restroom and occasionally eat lunch;).

  123. Thank. You. I sometimes take the media lashings too seriously when really I shouldn’t read them at all. As a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher you are spot on. I do spend hours and hours and dollars and dollars over the summer. And yes I do go down the list of each precious name. Sometimes I smile at the “stinkers” I see on my list and I hope their parents know how precious I see their child even on the difficult days. My job, my paramount job, is for each child to leave my room knowing they are successful, not in everything about school but in something. That knowing is what I want them to hold dear as they move out of my room and upward. I want them to learn in their early years that there is magic in learning, that there are ways to behave in a group and be part of a community bigger than themselves but that they are an important part of the community too! If they get all the academics we cover as well as this big picture concept I’ve done even more than I could have hoped.

  124. Thank you! Our Meet the Teacher event was tonight but our “day” to work in our rooms is tomorrow. Go figure! Every teacher spent weekends and late nights after a full day of training to make our school look great. It was so worth it to see the excitement of our students tonight.

  125. Please don’t succumb to the lunchables!!! They are evil! Go to and pack your kids some real whole food!

  126. This makes my heart sing. 33 years of teaching and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Thank you so much for your outlook in this very busy time.

  127. Thank you Candice; as a teacher, I appreciate what you see. But to me the most heartening line of your whole uplifting posting was the final: “Wonderful teachers, we’re in this together…” Oh, that is all we pray for- parents to realize we crave for you and I to be in this together. Nobody wants to see your child blossom and succeed more than both you and me. WE can do this- together we’re an awesome team.

  128. As a teacher, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you know what an impact you have made on teachers everywhere. Thank you for not only seeing us but sharing it with the world.

  129. Thank you. My daughter is a special ed teacher in Colorado Springs. She makes very little money for a teacher with her education/credentials, but she isn’t there because of the paycheck. She spends her spare time and money doing just what you said…making her classroom the most inviting and fun learning environment that she can possible create. Every detail is thought out, created, implemented, placed. It has to be perfect.

    She was in the ER Saturday after injuring her knee while preparing her classroom (ACL or LCL injury) and was right back in the classroom the next day (Sunday), with a splint and crutches, because school was starting Tuesday. The students, “her” children, were coming and she had to be ready, no matter what the sacrifice on her part. She cherishes and appreciates the commitment parents (just like you) make in preparing their children for school. Thank you.

  130. Has anyone noticed what time the majority of these posts were made – after 9:00 pm. Appears that the teachers do all of the above and more, but they put their own families first by “surfing” the net at an hours they should be getting ready for bed. Always putting others first – that’s our teachers and thank God for that!

  131. This is fantastic! I was surprised when my daughter, who just started Kindergarten, made the following comment to me when we were going to meet her teacher prior to school actually starting. “Why are the teachers at the school when it’s still summer?” It was a wonderful opportunity to share with her just how much time/effort teachers put into their jobs and that it does mean working long hours and also that they are there when we wouldn’t expect them to be there.

  132. This made me cry!! What is my deal?? Sometimes I wonder if parents notice all of the work that goes into our classrooms. I love that you noticed and understand all of the work and effort we put into it.

  133. As an English teacher… Nice narrative twist! Half way through, it seemed like you were getting ready to do some teacher trash talk, but that was far from the case. You didn’t through out empty gratitude, or cliche admiration for teachers, just because. Instead, you said ‘I see you’ and you noticed all the miniscule to-dos that teachers go through just to get ready for the first bell to ring… And that this happens everyday. Thank you for writing this.

    Teachers are okay with criticism though. In fact, most are more critical of themselves than any parent or administrator can be. The relation you made between what you do as as a parent and what the teacher was interesting. Since you do ‘see us’, you can help spread the word to end teacher bashing.

    For all those parents out there, that are so critical, some perspective might help:

    When you try really hard at something, you do it right, and someone criticizes you, it’s not only a slap in the face, it also makes invalidates the critic… For example:
    Say my wife does all the laundry one day, while watching our baby girl, and a myriad of other daily tasks, and then I come home. I look for a shirt I want to wear that night and find out its in the last load of laundry and won’t be ready in time. I yell and complain about it, and insinuate she’s lazy, and not pulling her weight (note: I would NEVER do this). That would be pretty negligent of me.

    The same is true for when parents complain about their kid’s bad grade, or whatever, the parent might be right, but he/she should remember that the teacher did 500 other things that day and almost everyone of them was for the kids and teachers deserve respect and hopefully parents can admire their kids’ teachers for all that can’t be seen.

  134. As a teacher starting my 28th year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is so nice to know someone truly still appreciates teachers.

  135. This made down tears roll. I love going back to school and I think you hit the nail right on the head. I feel exactly like you said. I never sleep the day before school because I’m going over in my mind all the things I have to make sure happen for the day to be a huge success. Thank you for seeing me.

  136. Thank you! We are seldom seen. We want every child to love and adore school. Thank you for entrusting us with your children! Please continue to pray for us and our politicians as this years starts. Please pray they remember our struggles in the classroom and how much we pour into each of our students. We need our load lightened and funding increased. I am not talking salary! I am talking about better benefits and better tools for our classroom. We never got into this job for the pay! Just the thank you’a are so precious to us!

  137. Thank you! I’ve had trainings the last three weeks and have been trying to get my room in order for next week’s meet the teacher. I’m drained by 6 but I want that room to be like a house, warm and inviting. This post hit every nail on the head for me.

  138. After a day filled with criticisms and new requirements, your blog popped up on my Facebook news feed. What a refreshing reminder that every moment as a teacher is worth it! Thank you for this. Thank you for your beautiful parenting choices. Thank you for your words.

  139. That was beautifully written and so kind. As a teacher we hear so many negative and hurtful things sometimes that we may forget that there are people who see the love, work and dedication that we have. Thank you so much for this uplifting post.

  140. Candice, this made me cry! Thank you for your beautiful words! I spent 20 years working with children as a teacher and have spent the last 3 years as a principal. I see how hard my teachers work and read how harshly our society criticizes them and it breaks my heart. Teachers come in all different “varieties” an some are better for our kiddos than others, but I’ve not yet met one who hasn’t worked HARD more hours than most people spend working other jobs! Thank you for supporting educators! That support is needed now more than ever! May your children’s year be blessed

  141. As a fifth grade teacher who just returned home after another long day of classroom prep, I thank you for your kind words. It is difficult work, caring for these little ones with their big feelings. I have the best job in the world and it’s nice to be seen.

    Ms. Vice

  142. As a teacher, this just hit home. I spent eleven hours at school today making sure my bulletin boards fit everyone’s names and that their first day treats were just right. Thank you for this post.

    Ms. Vice

  143. A well written and insightful post. My perspective is that it takes a large and loving heart in addition to years of education to be a teacher. 🙂

    As a risk manager for public schools the photo of the woman on the ladder with flip flops makes me wince. Many workers comp injuries occur in the period at the end of summer when teachers are prepping classrooms.

  144. Thank you for such a lovely article. It made my day and as I get ready for my first day of school on Monday it encouraged me. I’m blessed to not only get to

  145. Thank you so much for the recognition. I am a first grade teacher that spent 17 days this summer setting up a new classroom and another 4 days preparing curriculum for the first 2 weeks of school. We have a new reading, math, and science program this year as well as a new report card. I, also, did 12 hours of in-service training. During the summer, I saw many of my teacher friends at school working just as hard and attending classes.
    As the parent of 4, I have spend many dollars and time buying school supplies and back to school clothes. I know that it is a very frustrating task shopping for girls since most clothes do not meet the dress code.
    I appreciate every crayon, box of Kleenex, pair of scissors, etc. that I receive because it help me have a better learning environment.
    Have a wonderful school year!

  146. Thank you. This brought me to tears. It was just what I needed after spending 11 hours in my classroom in the last two days, and still not being close to finished. You are so sweet.

  147. Thank You. You made this Teacher’s day a bit brighter. I seen and heard so many negative things recenty and been so discouraged. Your words made me misty, hearing that parents see how much we do and are appreciative. So Thank you from all the teachers for your wonderful words.
    P.S. I understand the eye doctor appointment, I teach high school 🙂

  148. This brought me to tears. I wish more people including some admin would see what you see. I am in a loss this year as the budgets really tight and things are back to the way they were when I was a child. I lost my job at the end of last school year because another teacher didn’t like me and made stories up about me to get rid of me so she could teach kindergarten. I am missing the kiddos this year and the prep to the beginning for the year. Thanks for the kind words.

  149. Ms. Candice,

    My wife is a 1st grade teacher. You are not far off base about your description of a teachers summer. My wife spent nearly everyday of her summer cleaning, painting, gluing, adjusting, buying, and most importantly paying attention to her future students.

    Many people don’t realize just how much work goes into taking care of your children and getting them to learn.

    Thank you for your words.

  150. I definitely cried tears of happiness while I read this. After just finishing in my classroom after a 2 week set up, I’m meeting my students tomorrow. This post is amazing in every way. I thank you so much for writing this. Also, please know, as teachers we are extremely thankful and appreciative of parents like YOU. Parents who care for their kids’ learning and love education as much as we do!

  151. Yes, this is a great write up….BUT….does no one else see the glaring fault with it?

    How many people reading and responding to this teach in an impoverished district? I do. And while I love the view of the teacher, because it is true, I struggle to keep a smile on my face when reading the parents experience of a new school year. And here is why….

    In too many school districts, there is no classroom supply list sent home…because 90% of the population can’t afford the supplies. So there are no bags of supplies being placed on a desk. Parents coming to the classroom the first day of school, and staying to settle in, are few and far between. Lunch boxes brought to school are rare….because 95% of the population get free/reduced lunches. The parent going home to an empty/clean/quiet home in the middle of the day….what’s that? Must be nice. Too many families are living in small, run down, sometimes dirty and unsafe (some even condemned) apartments….

    I could go on.

    I guess my point is that while this article is well written, has great intentions, and is sweet….it isn’t the reality for a very large majority of the population.

    • No, it is not the same. In every place I’ve taught, I never once received supplies from parents. There was no extra money for that. But guess what? The love is the same. My love and attention for the students has always been the same, no matter what district I was in. We have a huge education problem in this country, no doubt…but I didn’t become a teacher for the fame and fortune. I’m guessing neither did 95% of all teachers. 🙂

  152. I’m reading this as a college freshman who is studying to become a teacher, and I definitely cried. I can’t wait to talk to get in front of a great group of kids and teach! Great piece!

  153. Thank you so much for that post. This was shared on a Facebook post. I almost thought it might be negative, so I had to check it out. I teared up just a little. Thank you for being a great person.

  154. Candice, this is such a beautiful post. It really means a lot that you say you “see what teachers do”. Everything you said meant a lot to me, as a mother and as an educator. So many of us are working together for the good of the village. Bless your heart for taking a moment to recognize the true love and dedication at goes into all the book bins, alphabet charts, and carefully written name tags.

  155. Thank you so much for posting, it gets aggravating to hear people say we only work while school is in session. Just today i was working so much that I didn’t stop to eat lunch and only took 1 bathroom break and school doesn’t even start for 5 more days.

    • Oh girl, you need a Lunchable 😉 . Thank you for working so hard and for the sweet words. Good luk this year!

  156. Thank you soo soo much from a teacher of 26 kindergarteners that have been back at school since last week! (…and who definitely ate a lunchable last week and probably a pb uncrustable tomorrow.)

    • Lindsay, no shame in a pb uncrustable, those things are the BOMB!! Good luck with all your students and your new year.

  157. Thank You Candice for saying what mom’s see and can’t put to words!! I couldn’t have said it better!! I’m new to your blog and can’t wait to see what else you post!!!

  158. Candice, a fellow teacher friend just shared this post. I just want to thank her (Lora) and you! You were able to see both sides of the beginning of school so clearly. When my children were younger we all went shopping with our class lists. I know sometimes it seems crazy as to what we teachers are asking from parents. I also spend hundreds of dollars each year. Today I finished setting up my room and it took three days. The room is ready for my new crop of eager children and parents. I hope your children have a wonderful and exciting school year. I bet you make a great room parent.

    • Nancy, I have a confession. I’m a terrible room mom. I have triplets in the 3rd grade and they are all in seperate classes. It makes it hard for me to divide the time equally in the classrooms. But I promise I donate and volunteer when I can 😉 THanks for the sweet words, I appreciate it!

  159. And I see you dear mother of my student. I see the excitement combined with worry in your eyes. Will this teacher be any good? Will she know when my child has had enough learning and needs a mental health break. Will she know that my child doesn’t mean to be disruptive; they just can’t sit still for longer than five minutes before they get antsy. Will she love my child? Worry not, I’m certainly not the best teacher in this school, but I promise you I will do my best; I’m a little better than I was last year, but not as good as I’ll be next year. I will know when my students have reached that glazed-over-I’m-no-longer-listening-zombie stage and rest assured, I will bust out some silly dancing in which we will all participate and get those wiggles out. Our P.E. has been reduced and we lost a recess this year because our principal felt one was sufficient so I will take two or three minutes every so often to just get physical and be silly, so don’t judge me if you walk by my room and see me attempting to recreate some dance moves. And most of all, I can assure you with absolute certainty that I will indeed love your child, some days maybe almost as much as you do (some days…maybe more *wink*). I see you mother of my student, and I know the reason I love your child so much is because of the countless hours you’ve dedicated to raising this child of ours. I will call your child “my kid” because we are a team and they will forever be one of “my kids.” Thank you for all you do to make my job easier!! I love parents like you!!

    • Melissa, that is exactly how I feel. I want parents to know that I will treat your child as my own. Every child deserves my best. I love what I do! One of the joys of teaching is seeing children you have taught in stores and finding out they still remember you fondly! My four children have had some wonderful, loving teachers. Candice, I loved your article. Made my day after getting home at 7pm from preparing my classroom.

  160. Thank you wholeheartedly from this teacher in NJ. Your children’s teachers are lucky to have you in their corner. You get it. I wish your family a wonderful school year, and thank you for your eloquent support. Many people think this is a 9-3 job with the summers off. Nothing could be farther from the truth in most cases, and you see that. I applaud you, friend!

  161. to add a little…..most teachers have children of their own that they have to buy supplies, clothes, and lunch boxes for, as well as what they do for their students….It’s not a piece of cake, but a labor of love.

    • I totally appreciate that a lot of teachers are also parents and have the extra expense. I wish I could have fit every detail into the post but please know that I understand and I am very thankful for what every teacher does for her children and mine.

  162. As a tired teacher who spent the day working on creating the perfect classroom it was so nice to read this. I had to fight back tears as I was finishing the post!

  163. As a teacher with 38 years experience, I humbly thank you. What a beautiful description of two sides of a story that plays out, annually!

    • And I humbly thank you for taking time to read it. God bless you and thank you so much for the sweet words.

  164. Thank you for those kind words. Another thought, many of those teachers are also parents. Their carts are twice as full.

    • Thank you, Cathy. I know that many teachers are also moms and I appreciate them very much. I wish I could have fit every detail into the post and given thanks for so much more that teachers do.

      • Thank you so much for this. It brought tears to my eyes. I am not a mother, but one of those teachers who loves making her classroom a welcoming, supportive community for her students. Thank you for recognizing the time, energy, and money that we put into teaching. (I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love what I do.)

  165. We lost my sister last summer. She had what should have been a routine surgery. In and out of the hospital in under six weeks. Back on her feet. But, due to a doctor’s mistake, we lost a beautiful soul.

    For the past five years, she’s been teaching at a low-income school, in the K classes. I know how hard she worked for those kids, how much of her own paychecks went right back into that classroom. I know how she struggled. I know how many tears she shed. My sister, when a military husband was sent out on deployment, took the Mom and little girl under her wing. I know this because I got to meet them when she came up north for a visit, and brought them along. I heard from the mom how her little girl had been acting out, really struggling with her father’s absence, until Miss Theresa stepped in. I saw a little girl who was full of life, energy, laughter, mischief, and love.

    When we had the memorial service in my sister’s town, the school turned out. There were so many people who came to say goodbye to her. One little girl was clutching a slim hardcover book. It turns out, she was one of Theresa’s first students. Every year, my sister had those kids draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up. It didn’t matter if they wanted to be a spaceman or woman, a ballerina, a super hero, whatever. She encouraged them to draw their dreams. She would then gather the drawings and have them published in little hard-back books. Each child got a copy of the book to keep.

    Five years later, that little girl still had her book.

    Teachers are special people. As big an impact as my sister had on my life, it pales in comparison to what she left behind in that little school.

    Thank you, Teachers. For all you do.

    • Thank you for sharing your story with us and I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. She sounds like an amazing woman and teacher. God bless your sweet family.

  166. Thank you so much for this beautiful post! I shared it with my entire school. It was incredibly kind and offered a sense of appreciation and motivation as we embark on a new school year.
    Mindy 🙂

  167. This is seriously the sweetest thing. Ever. It puts both sides into perspective. Thank you for taking the time to write this! It brought tears to my worn out teacher eyes!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read it, Audrey. I really appreciate it!! Thank you for the sweet words.

  168. I agree with the scone half about the teachers.
    But, I don’t empathized or sympathetic to parents who feel Back To School means a big round of shopping. Most children have clothes in their closets. Many have an over abundance of clothings at any time of the year. What’s wrong with sending your children to school with clean clothes and used supplies from the year before? Parents bow to commercialism big time.
    We are a middle class family with two children. My children always return to school every September with whatever “still good and usable ” supplies from June and wear clean clothes ( never newly bought ). Nobody has ever teased them or made rude comments. As a matter of fact, we stay out of the malls and go camping at the end of August to avoid the back to school craziness. My children have left school, left home. but they left behind their wooden rulers, some little pencils, crayons, papers, binders, and lunch boxes…etc from elementary years.
    So, there are those who choose to spend and those who choose not.

    • Many Schools do not let you reuse supplies from previous years, and most small children outgrow clothing from year to year.

    • EST, I’m not sure of the time frame that you are referring to, but now days, when you buy your child school supplies, they are not left in the care of your child. The supplies go in storage and are brought out when needed. For example; Sally’s mom bought her pink scissors? Well, too bad because Susie is using them. I have no issue with this. Probably saves time and space. But, it’s not as cut and dry as you try to put on.

      And I don’t know if your children grew every year? But, Mine do. Not to mention, there tend to be a more sales around back to school and christmas, so yeah, let’s shop, let us get you clothes that fit while they are cheap. They don’t have to cost a lot or be name brand. Let’s go really cheap, in the clearance section or in the thrift store. Sorry, I refuse to buy clothes in the middle of summer so they can ruin them outside and then have to buy brand new ones all over again.

      Just because something works for you and your children does not mean it does for everyone. You must be very blessed to have saved every school supplies and clothing item you ever purchased and then to have been about to use and reuse for years and years.

  169. Dear Candace,

    Your article has made me so emotional. I live in Ontario, Canada and our teachers’ unions have been without a contract for two years. Prior to that, our provincial government passed a bill that basically stripped us of some worker’s rights and the teaching profession was lambasted in the media. I was, and perhaps still am, broken. As a high school teacher for 15 years, I have truly loved my profession and, more importantly, loved each and every single student whom I have met. I have indeed spent thousands of dollars over the years, wiped many tears, bandaged many injuries and helped to heal many a broken heart. I know how blessed I am to have spent time with “your children”. Thank you for seeing me and for validating my work. God bless you and your family.

    • Tracy, thank you very much. I’m so sorry for what you all are going through and I’m sending prayers you way. God bless you

  170. Candice ~ I thank you for sharing. My fiance is a 1st grade teacher and year after year she continues to amaze me with her love for teaching. She has a degree in Biology but found her calling in teaching young children. She could make more money and work less hours yet she chose to give back to the community with her love and education.

    She is and all teachers are gifts from above. If others could see that a teachers day does not end when the bell rings and that it continues with grading, cutting out paper projects, setting up the room for the next day, etc., I think that people would begin to appreciate more what our educators do.

    Good luck next week to the teachers here in Texas and across the U.S.

  171. This is lovely. I teach high school Chemistry, and I spend a lot of time in the summer looking for new labs and planning better demos. My class might not look as perfect as an elementary classroom, but the effort is there.

    Thank you for painting teachers in a positive light.

    There is just one thing I take issue with. The school year is generally 10 months long with 2 months of in the summer. The schools that are done at the end of May generally have June and July off and go back in early August. The skills that start in September usually have a school year that runs through late June. It might seem like 3 months when you’re home with your kids (I know, I’ve got 2 daughters myself), but it’s usually just a little over 2. With so many politicians attacking teachers and saying that we have part time jobs, I hate to see the myth of the 3 month summer perpetuated. (When Phineas and Ferb was on, I also hashed hearing that there are 104 days of summer vacation. )

    • Hi Kathy, thank you so much! I bet your classroom is amazing and I totally understand that they differ from elementary rooms.

      My children are actually in year round school so we only have 6 weeks in the summer. I just threw out the 3 months/9 months thing as a round about number. I apologize if it was in any way offensive. Trust me, I know that teachers work their tails off!!

    • Here in North Dakota, schools get out at the end of May and begin again at the end of August. We still get in 175 days of instruction, but don’t have many breaks.

  172. Thank you for the beautiful post. I teach middle school 7th and 8th grade students and I’m excited to be setting up my room and getting ready for open house. We truly do teach because we love it and sometimes the negativity and the overwhelming feelings of it all can get to be too much. But then we have a chance to click on a post like this and we are once again reminded how amazing it is to be a teacher. We’re all in this together! Teachers, parent’s, and students!

    • Thank you, Julie. Wow, middle school, that has to be an adventure!! Good luck on your new years, God bless!

  173. Beautifully written sentiments! Thank you indeed to all of the wonderful teachers who pour into our kids!
    Father that you would watch over all of these teachers and students as they embark on a new school year. Bless them with ears to hear and minds to learn. Thank you Jesus for the amazing heart that you’ve blessed our sweet Candice with, thank you for her eyes that see with your lens of graceful perspective and thank you for her honest eloquence as she pours it out for the world to read. Father please continue to bless her beautiful family and ministry abundantly! In Jesus name amen!

  174. This made me cry! Thank you so much for being one of those beautiful parents who understand why we teach. I’m from Ontario, Canada and we teachers are going into this year very uncertain about the future of education in our province and country. It’s a blessing to be reminded that there are folks, lots of folks, who support what we do. Thank you so much for blessing my day!

    • This made me cry too !!! I’m in Ontario and grieving the new curriculum as we send our 5 year old to SK, 3 year old to JK and prepare our 2 year old to be without her brothers. I was so terified of the public school systems last year as we sent our first child to school, having been raised in The Christian schools, I was so scared. But upon discovering that two of Isaac’s teachers were Christians who attend churches with which I am extremely familiar, I just was so so thankful and felt overwhelmingly blessed. Reading this just made me gush with gratefulness at who they are and all that they have done for our little boy, and for whoever is at the door to my boy’s classrooms this year too. Thankyou for writing this, Candace.

      • Oh Heather, isn’t God so amazing when He does those kind of things in our lives to bring us peace! He’s the coolest. Many prayers for all the teachers, children and parents in Canada as you face this new year.

        • Next time at the time of cut raise awarness how many board office members are cut? So the budget of board office cut has to be 75% abd teachers & other staff 25%

  175. What a wonderful entry! It is with a heavy heart that I don’t go back to the classroom this year. Parents like you are what I will miss along with the daily interaction with the wonderful and not so wonderful (special place in my heart for them) kiddos. Choosing to retire was a tough decision and I pray for all the new teachers and parents out there! Enjoy your new year!

  176. This is such a lovely post, Candice! I felt transported back to those first four years of my career, when I was a young, single teacher pouring every “spare” minute and penny into my precious class of students. Now a mom of 2, I am so thankful for each of those families who trusted me with their little ones for seven hours a day. (It won’t be long before my first class of students become parents themselves.)

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