Meet the students and their parents


It’s that exciting time of the year again! Children go to school for the first time or students return for a new school year. Even though I’ve been absent from the classroom for years, the same feelings come back.

As I stood in front of the open door to my classroom waiting for the kids to come down the hall towards me, I felt nervous, excited, and extremely responsible for the incredible little ones I would be responsible for. Would I recognize the needs and gifts each child had to share? Would children look forward to their “world of work and play” every day? How could I manage to help tie 30 pairs of shoes, put on and take off 30 pairs of winter boots, wipe away the tears and listen to the story of someone who lost a beloved pet, to say each name more than once a day, to invite a very shy child among us, to hold all the little hands while they learned to form letters? Would my patience have no limits? And above all, would I have enough love in my heart for everyone?

Through all of these concerns and more, I felt hopeful. Full of hope for all of us as we began our new journey. I hope that every child will be accepted and respected for who they are so that one day they can bring the gifts they brought to our class to school and society. I hoped everyone would come to love learning and feel success doing it.

Although I got to know the kids for about a week before we had a parents’ open house, I needed parents’ night to fully appreciate our class family. It wasn’t until I watched the amazing parents sitting at their child’s desk or in chairs arranged around the room that I finally realized we were all in this together. The little ones who came to see me every morning with their giggles and their stories were only lent to me. These same parents trusted me and shared them with me for a few precious hours each day.

It was wonderful to connect children and parents, as they arrived to show their support, ask questions, look around their child’s ‘home’ and share laughs. I came to know for sure that I couldn’t do for the kids alone. The parents and I needed to support each other and work together. It was important that I communicate regularly with the parents. Because after all, they entrusted me with the most important person in the world for them.

All those worries I had inside with the first two days of school melted away. Every year it was the model of my thinking. The parents did not disappoint the children or me. We served and supported each other, side by side. I will never know why, at the beginning of each school year, my new enlightenment awaited me. Thank you parents and children for teaching me this most valuable lesson.

I smile just thinking about the parents who came into our room every year. They were all talking and laughing at the same time and having fun. I reminded them that the children entered our room exactly as their parents had done. It was a noisy and joyful atmosphere!

Here is a reading I shared with the parents when we first met in our class. We went through the school year together, taking care of our children… our future.

“I dreamed that I was standing in a studio and watching two sculptors there.

The clay they used was the mind of a young child, and they molded it carefully.

One was a teacher…the tools she used were books, music and art.

The other, a parent, worked with a guiding hand and a gentle, loving heart.

Day after day, the teacher worked with a touch, it was careful, skillful and safe.

While the parent worked alongside it and polished and smoothed it.

And when at last their work was done, they were proud of what they had done,

For the things they had molded into the child could never be sold or bought.

And everyone agreed that he would have failed if he had worked alone.

For behind the parents stood the school, and behind the master, the home.

Sharon Capriccioso taught at Blessed Sacrament School for over 20 years. Here she writes about the lessons learned from her students. His lessons will appear the fourth weekend of each month in the Opinion section.


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