Creating Partners with Parents- Series Introduction - Down River Resources

Creating Partners with Parents- Series Introduction

Howdy, friends. 

On the first day of school, August 26, 2013, I was wrapping up a busy day as a first-time kindergarten teacher, when my phone buzzed. As soon as I was able, I went to its location and read the devastating news. My sister notified me that our mother took Dad took to the emergency room, two hours away in our hometown. I frantically got the kids packed up with all their belongings anxiously awaiting the dismissal bell.

Putting on a happy face, I released the students to their parents letting each of them know their child had a super day (which they did!) After fifteen minutes, I still had three students left with no lingering vehicles in sight. I waited...and waited, which seemed a lot longer in my situation.

I eventually decided to walk them to the front office where I notified the principal of my family's situation. My principal, of course, told me to leave, but I waited until each of the students' parents picked them up. How could I leave these babies alone with a stranger on the first day of school? They'd never want to come back to school again. Two hours after the dismissal bell, yep, two hours, I got in my car and drove to my house. I met my husband and jumped in his truck. He made me some hotdogs to eat on road and drove me to my hometown. We met Mom at the hospital one minute after they took my dad in for emergency surgery.
This long story brings us to one point: my father's life was saved that night by a parent, a very well-skilled surgeon, whose son I taught back home in New Mexico two years before this long day.

After the situation was resolved, the surgeon and I chatted in the hospital room where my dad was recovering. He remembered me as his son's teacher in such a personal way. I was touched that I was able to reach his child in a way that created a lasting memory with his father (a very busy man, who often works late nights at the hospital doing what he did for my family). I am eternally grateful for his vocation and his family's commitment to it. His wife came through the hospital's sliding glass door the night of the surgery, upon the request of their three small boys wondering where their daddy was so late at night. We made eye contact as she saw me sitting in the waiting room. I told her, crying, your husband is saving my dad's life. She, also being a doctor, scrubbed in and assisted. Talk about an amazing family!

In our business of teaching, it's not about location. I have taught in beautiful schools with students who can afford a generous amount of school supplies. I have taught in schools where I struggle to get supplies and the buildings have cracks in the walls. There is one constant, the basis of relationships.

Our business is about relationships. Relationships, relationships, relationships. There was mutual trust and respect shared that day of my dad's surgery, and everyday before that one. I took great care and concern, for not just the students who enter my door each day but their families as well.

Over the next couple of days, as I begin to prepare my classroom for a new group of students, I want to share with you a few ways that I support the families of my students. These are some things that have been shared back to me by, none other than the parents themselves, so you can trust that they have impacted them. The surgeon was not the only parent who resurfaced during my dad's journey for restored health this year.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more on powerful ways to partner with parents.

Happy Sleeping!

Laura, a relieved daughter who loves her daddy

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