My favorite time of the day is walking my children to school or picking them up from the schoolyard after school.  I love seeing the multitudes of tall and short people walking in the same direction in the morning. Parents, with their young ones circling around them, utter their parental litanies for the day – be good, listen to your teachers, solve problems calmly.  Children, eager to greet their friends, nod in agreement and beg to be released to play for a few moments.  School personnel, pull up in their cars and rush into the school to set things in order before reappearing outside in front of orderly lines that administrators have required of the children. 

My heart is warmed by the organized chaos of reminders, good-byes, greetings, and preparation.

Author Christina Saxton with her family

Years before I was a parent, I was a teacher. I remember the 8 AM hour of the day with anticipation matching the butterflies I felt before my high school play performance. Am I prepared? What did I forget? Will I hit the mark during my lessons?  Will my audience (the students) pay attention to me? What do I need to do differently from yesterday?  How do I compare with my colleagues? 

My tiredness matched the week of final exams in college because I continuously put in twelve-hour days of lesson planning, paper correcting, and parent communicating. 

As parents, our responsibility is to our children, to make sure they have the best education and preparation for their adult lives. 

One of the simple ways we can support our children is by encouraging their teachers.

I try to keep this in mind when I walk my child to his line on the play yard in the morning.  After kissing him goodbye, I turn my best wishes to his teacher with a heartfelt, “Thank you for all your hard work! And have a great day!”

It means a lot to me that there is a certified and prepared person pouring into my child’s social and academic well being 180 days of the year. I want that person to know that they are appreciated. That affirmation of the teacher in front of my child lets him know that I have a vote of confidence with the person who he is going to be relating to for the next 6 hours.

He can feel secure that he is in good hands because his teacher and I both are invested in his success.

Post contributed by Springboard parent, Christina Saxton. As a former ESL teacher and a current professional developer for Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), Christina Saxton has a passion for family engagement and literacy. All of her school-aged children have participated in Springboard.