Monday, August 17, 2009

An Open Letter to Teachers of Military Kids

PHOTO: My military kid heading off to his first day of school.

Dear Professional Educators,

For most kids, Back to School means school supplies, new shoes, and a reluctant farewell to the lazy days of summer. For military kids, it might be a bit more complicated. If you have military kids in your classroom, this letter is just for you!

On the first day of school, many of our military kids will be attending yet another new school. They will have to learn new rules and procedures, introduce themselves to new friends, and try to find their place in a world that is brand-new to them.

Remember that they may have just moved into the area, leaving behind close friends and familiar surroundings. It could be that they are still living out of boxes since their family’s household goods were delivered the day before. Or they might be the ones who stayed in their home while their closest friends moved on to a new installation in another state. Thank you for providing them a comfortable, safe place at school to learn and grow.

If these military kids have a parent deployed, they are in a special group all to themselves. This group of children may need additional support, extra attention, and a touch of compassion for their unique situation. When a young mind is worried about the safety of their parent, it changes their perspective on life and could affect their school performance.

If one appears uninterested in geography, it may be that he is distracted, thinking about countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, where his hero has been and is currently deployed. If another becomes aggressive at recess, consider that she may be acting out on emotions she doesn’t even understand. They miss their Soldier-parents. Thank you for showing them kindness and helping them learn appropriate ways to handle their frustration.

Finally, thank you for taking on the challenge of educating today’s youth. We appreciate your dedication to teaching and encouraging our children. Along with their peers, they need teachers like you, who will care about them, set high standards, and work to ensure their success. We look forward to working with you to determine the best learning possible for our kids and making this a successful school year.

Very Sincerely,

Military Parents

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