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Proud mom

February 19, 2010

I opened an e-mail yesterday with a subject line that simply read “Dylan.” I noticed right away that it was from one of my son Dylan’s teachers. Dylan is my 13-year-old son. He’s a good boy, and has never ever been in any trouble at school (oh, except for the one time I sent him a text and — being the good boy that he is — thought he should answer his mother right away, even though he was in the middle of taking a test). Oops! The young girl next to him reported him for cheating…etc…it’s all good now, but point is that Dylan is a good boy so I couldn’t imagine what this random e-mail could be about.

I won’t publish it here verbatim, as he’ll already be mortified that his mother is writing about him (again) for all to see, but I will say this: when I got to the end of the e-mail I had plenty-o-tears in my eyes.

The teacher, who had taught Dylan at his old school and now again at his new school, started the note by apologizing for the impersonal e-mail, in lieu of a phone call. And trust me, no apologies were needed. What followed is something that I will treasure (and print out and add to the box under my bed that is filled with 1st grade paintings, field day ribbons, Valentine’s day cards, colorful macaroni necklaces, and a clay vase or two).

Excerpt: “I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy having Dylan in class. He is a mature, bright, considerate young man, and I consider him an asset to the class… Dylan is always attentive, volunteers to answer, provides appropriate feedback…His class is a better one because he is a part of it, and I consider it my pleasure to teach him. I know he has a bright future ahead of him, and I just wanted to let you know what high regard I hold him in. You should be very proud of the young man you are raising.”

Beaming, I showed it to him the note when he got home, and in typical teenage style, he just nodded. Didn’t say a thing. But I could see the smile. I could see, as I’ve seen before, the shoulders rise, the face brighten. Who doesn’t like to hear nice things about themselves?

Later that evening, he said, “Can you send me that thing from my teacher?”

“Okay, sure. Why?” I asked him.

He shrugged. “I just want to have it.”


I sent an e-mail back to his teacher, thanking her for taking the time to share those words and telling her how much it meant to me.

We always hear about the “bad” things our kids do: they forgot their homework, left their shoes on the bus, lost their lunch money, talked in class (all of my kids…)…and so on. But it’s not often that we get a personal note dedicated ONLY to the good things. Negativity is so much easier to focus on, isn’t it? And as much as it matters — no talking in class, for example — I think if more people shared a little more of the good things going on around them, we might even see a shift occur.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Patterson permalink
    February 19, 2010 7:09 pm

    I am beaming just reading this blog. What a proud Mom you must be, and with good reason. That email from the teacher was not only a reflection on what a great kid Dylan is, but also on what a great job his parents have done in raising him, and what a great family he comes from. I know his Grandma here in London is going to love reading all of these posts.

    Beautiful post, Gwen, absolutly beautiful!


  2. 5kidswdisabilities permalink
    February 19, 2010 10:00 pm

    What a great thing for a teacher to do! We would have a much better world if all teachers found the positive in kids rather than just writing to complain!!
    Lindsey Petersen

  3. Dina Kucera permalink
    February 20, 2010 4:05 am

    Very cool and good for Dylan. Teachers are so busy it was nice for her to take time out to do that… Why to go Dylan:)

  4. Dina Kucera permalink
    February 20, 2010 4:07 am

    Way to go…. Not why to go. This is why I never got a teachers note…

  5. February 20, 2010 4:17 am

    Thanks all! We are very proud of him…

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