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This one is for the middle and high school teachers.

The ones no one is bringing a fist full of dandelions to and who will receive nary a handmade card during teacher appreciation days.

The ones whose desks aren’t overflowing with gifts and who might do a double take in shock when a student remembers to say thank you.

The ones who might never meet the parents of their students. And who might not always be sure they are getting through to the students folded into the desks in front of them who are somehow always half glancing at their phones.

The ones who are juggling sometimes over a hundred young adults in a day and who know the stakes for these kids are high.

The ones who overhear the conversations about boyfriends and girlfriends and deep family troubles. Who are privy to some of the secret lives of our teens we will never see. Who might be called upon at a moments notice to deal with the big stuff and also the small stuff that feels like big stuff…because hormones..

The ones who give advice and hugs and so many bathroom passes even though they know kids are leaving only to stretch their legs and chat with their friend who also just needed to get out of class.

The ones who lead our students through lockdown drills even though they learned nothing about these in their college training. The ones who try and catch the needs of their students so the lockdowns never become the real thing.

The ones our kids (sometimes secretly) admire, who take the lost under their wings and who cut through the teenage attitude to make these kids care about the environment and grammar and sometimes even math.

The ones who work tirelessly after school hours with kids who are signing and acting and sporting and studying and drawing their hearts out. Who give their time to go over problems just one more time or who talk about that book for 10 more minutes or who just stick around and listen.

The ones who are at all the games and the matches and the meetings and who do all the things no one seems to see.

The ones who have dedicated their lives to working each day to shape the next generation as they are on the actual cusp of being themselves. The ones who help our kids find their passions and their gifts.

The ones I tend to forget to thank as I swim upstream trying to parent these same teens they see before them each day.

But I want each of them to know, although I do not say it enough, I am so thankful you have come into my kids’ lives.

Some of you have challenged them.

Some of you have loved them.

Some of you know you are loved.

And some of you might wonder.

But hear this I’m forever grateful for the gift each teacher and counselor and administrator gives me by shaping the minds and hearts of not only my kiddos but all the almost adults in your building each day.

The gift you give all of us by helping these kids become the best versions of themselves they can be.

The world needs you more than ever. Our kids need you more than ever. And as a parent of the next generation so do I.

Be Where Your Feet Are Sweatshirt