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.


  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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….

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here