It is one of those beautiful days that stick in your mind as the perfect fall day …. the leaves are starting to change, the temperature has dropped enough to make you need a jacket, the sun is out and I am outside walking to Global Leadership Academy charter school. We are visiting a school that has just opened a few weeks ago and I am helping the Greener Partners Explorer Truck (this is one of the Get HYPE Philly! partners) which brings the farm to schools – in their truck – pretty awesome right!
I get there and there are a lot of kids and I mean A LOT – hundreds. At first, I am slightly overwhelmed but than I gain my footing – I have kids – I know kids – this is not out of my comfort zone. So I start … by saying hello, interacting, being silly, laughing, giving high fives, just paying attention to them. The children come out in classes from pre-k to 3rd grade. We show them in the trucks about vegetables, fruits, herbs, and even bugs – I think the bugs were the hit! We than let them pick carrots which I cut up for them to taste and guess what almost every single one tried it – just knowing they picked it out made them want to try it – genius huh? Than we make kale popcorn – and all the kids love it- now realizing you can add something healthy to a snack and it still taste great. And we repeat this same act over and over. But every time a new class comes out and I get time just to spend having fun, playing, listening as they tell me their story … my heart breaks open. The love I can feel for a child that is not my own shocks me honestly.
Driving home I have this epiphany – this is what teachers get to feel every day and I am slightly shifted off balance because my mom & sisters & friends are teachers. This is why they do this! Why they miss their own children’s events at times because they can not take the days to go to the holiday party or the school play. These seconds of knowing they not only touch their hands, their minds, but also their hearts makes any sacrifice worth it.
So this is a thank you to the teachers who sacrifice and love our children when we are not there. To the teachers who show children that they believe in them and give them hope that they can change the world. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for and do not forget when you pick your child up or are fortunate like myself to go to their Thanksgiving party to tell their teacher thank you as they are leaving a lasting impact on your child!