It’s appreciation time for nurses AND teachers! Some of my very favorite people in the world are superstars in either occupation and while I appreciate them EVERY day, I’ll amplify it today with a little blogging love.

My first grade teacher was meaner than a box of snakes and could have easily set the tone for a lifetime of hating school. Oh wait. I kinda did. But I won’t blame her. I am convinced that I suffered from some ADHD (minus the hyperactivity component) and just couldn’t focus. However, there was no such diagnosis back in my day and I just had to muddle through until a teacher cared enough to reach out to the painfully shy and academically struggling – yet deliriously adorable – little Sarah. I’ll admit, all other teachers – besides the evil first grade teacher – did a pretty good job of showing me a lot of love. Miss Marshall, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Worrell/Mrs. Toma and Ms. Kaschak got me through elementary school. Once I transitioned to middle school, I got lost. That sensation lasted until 10th grade when a wonderful Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Doran, insisted that I put all those emotions of being lost into writing. I’d been keeping a journal since fourth grade (what I wouldn’t give to still have those!) but Mrs. Doran encouraged me to take it further. I also learned that I was pretty good at photography thanks to Mr. Moll. Without those two teachers, I probably would have slipped through the cracks entirely. When Mrs. Doran suggested I apply to college, I remember how foreign it sounded. I honestly never thought I’d go past high school. I don’t know why, but I just never did. Unfortunately, during college, I got lost again. I finished, but I wasn’t where I planned to be. By then, I’d abandoned writing and photography altogether – the two things I’d gone to school to further develop. I really regret that.

Regardless, many teachers put their heart and soul into developing these little people every day. It’s a selfless – and often thankless – job. My children have had AMAZING teachers from the very beginning. I love everyone in the Cherry Creek School District, from the teachers to social workers to administration. Everyone has been so accommodating and loving where Ben and Madeline are concerned. Madeline’s entire academic career has been a severe struggle until this year. Her teachers would often report that Madeline would simply “zone out.” She acted like school was something that was being “done to her” – almost like some sort of punishment. She was flat. She was glazed over. And anyone who knows her realizes that this is NOT her personality. Her third grade teacher, Mr. Campbell, was able to pull her out some. Madeline adored his energetic teaching style. And this year, Maddy has Mrs. Burgeson. This amazing teacher has been instrumental in helping us figure out how to help Madeline. And not to promote the use of pharmaceuticals, but using an ADHD drug for Madeline has made a WORLD of difference. If it wasn’t for Mrs. Burgeson’s support on this, we’d still be at square one. These teachers go above and beyond the classroom. It’s not just a job. I know they don’t leave the kids at the door when they exit the building. There is no separation. It is a labor of love. And I would be lost without their support.

I have to give special kudos to another teacher who has touched our hearts and will forever be a part of our lives: Ms. Brenda. She was Ben’s home/hospital teacher for a long time. I LOVE HER. She was so patient with Ben. She incorporated fun into his lesson plan. She came to us wherever we were. She saw Ben at his sickest. She saw me at my depressed worst. And when it came time for Ben to choose a hero for a school project, he chose her. Not a doctor or one of his parents or another family member, but our beloved Ms. Brenda. She has made such a rich impact on all of our lives.

Thank you to Ben’s teachers: K-Ms. Debbie; 1st-Ms. Gay; 2nd-Mr. Willsea; 3rd-Mrs. Burgeson/Ms. Brenda; 4th-Ms. Brenda/Ms. Cartwright; 4th (do-over) Mrs. Clayton; 5th-Mrs. Simonich and the sixth grade staff at Thunder Ridge Middle School for getting him started on his middle school journey (we’ll be back!)

Thank you to Mad’s teachers: K-Mrs. Curry; 1st-Mrs. Willsea; 2nd- Ms. Klem; 3rd-Mr. Campbell; 4th-Mrs. Burgeson.

And, of course, all the support staff and volunteers. Mr. Monley the art teacher, Ms. Willett in the computer lab, Mr. Smith in the gym, Mrs. Lemmon-Elrod in music… so many wonderful and giving people. I know I haven’t mentioned a few, but it doesn’t mean you’re not important! It just means that my brain is on overload.

All these wonderful people have more than made up for the Medusa I had for first grade. THANK YOU, Teachers, for everything!

It’s clear that I’m going to have to celebrate nurses in a different post (don’t worry, I can’t possibly let my appreciation for all our beloved nurses go unmentioned, tune in tomorrow.)

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