Back in 2016 Miss MIP started in your class – we weren’t ready for her to start school but she was totally ready. She was coming in behind where she should have been but she’d been discharged from NHS Speech and Language so we assumed she’d just make up the time. She was cheerful, fun and a happy little girl but really struggled to communicate with children her age and adults.
She quickly connected with you and found great reassurance from you and from the TA -which was remarkable in itself as she wasn’t sure around new people and didn’t take to change well generally. Under your expert eyes you noticed that something wasn’t quite right though – you saw her struggle and alerted us that she was very language delayed and quickly needed 1-2-1 assistance and you found her the help she needed.
As the year progressed we got to see just how gifted you were as a teacher as she came on leaps and bounds under your care. She’d come home most days smiling and was actually trying to communicate with us rather than just getting frustrated and shouting. She learned to try and regulate her emotions and how to deal with her frustration at not being able to keep up with her classmates. You listened to me when I cried and reassured me that time, care, early intervention and assistance would help. You took time out of your own day to give us visual aids to help her at home and never said anything was too much.
We got to our last parent consultation in 2017 and when I asked if Miss MIP was going to be ok in year one you were frank and honest with me. You explained that you were very concerned and we discussed the options – one of which was to have her repeat year R. This was a very unusual step and hadn’t been done in the school before but with your expertise, along with a SENCO, an Educational Phycologist and a very sympathetic Head Teacher, we worked our way through it. None of us were 100% sure that it was the right thing but we were all more sure that she would struggle in year 1. She was a summer born baby so wouldn’t be that much older than others in her class – especially with more parents deferring their summer children.
And now we are here at the end of her second time round in year R and she is thriving. She has been discharged from speech and language and you’ve arranged for her to have dyslexia screening. She still has quite a few areas she struggles in but you’ve given her such confidence she is still our happy, outgoing and confident little wonder.
Teachers like you are what our children need. You care, you are sympathetic, you are kind and you get to know the children in your class as individuals. They aren’t just numbers in a class or statistics or results – they are tiny humans who need teaching and you take that responsibility very seriously. They are part of your life and you are part of theirs – you allow them into your world and accept them as individuals with individual needs. Miss MIP still talks about the time you brought in the veil from your wedding and allowed the children to try it on – that was such a kind and personal gesture that wasn’t lost on any of the parents.
You are an exceptional teacher and I cannot tell you how often we have been so very thankful that her start in education has been with you. There are some teachers out there who would have done the minimum but with Miss MIP and so many other children you have repeatedly gone above and beyond what is required.
I know the weekends and evenings you’ve spent making projects – cutting, sticking and laminating, I know the sales you’ve scoured to buy materials for the classroom out of your own pocket and I’ve got a nidea of some of the sacrifices you’ve made to be the kind of teacher you are. You have your own pressures at home but you never bring them to work. You are nothing but a fair, kind and generous teacher to your students and to the parents. You never turn us away but always make time even if we are asking you complex questions in the playground.
We worry about her going into Year One but in the same way as other parents this time.We know this isn’t the end of our SEN journey but we know you’ve equipped her with the strength and confidence that she needs to face the difficulties ahead.
So thank you. Thank you for embracing Miss MIP even with her difficulties. Thank you for making the start of her education a very special time. Thank you for helping her when she fell and celebrating her when she flew. We will never forget all you’ve done for her and you’ll always be considered as part of this family.