Friday, December 21, 2012

An Open Letter To The Oakley Elementary School Staff:

Dear friends, 
It is with great honor and pride that I write this letter to you.  My family wants to take the time this Christmas/New Year season to celebrate you and what you do.  We are very grateful for you and the part you play in our lives and in our neighborhood.  

When Jubal started kindergarten, we as parents, were nervous.  We didn’t know what to expect.  I (Stephen) was a missionary kid, moving around every 3-6 years for the first 20 years of my life.  New schools, new friends and a new language or two…every 3 years, left me feeling lonely and often rejected.  
The first day of school came, and we dropped the kid off for Kindergarten, then we walked out to the parking lot and cried (we have cried a little less each year since). 
As the days turned into months, then years, our confidence grew.  We gained faith and trust in our school system.  We formed friendships and our respect grew for the people who were responsible for our child for a large portion of the day.   

We want you to know that you all are doing an awesome job.  Sure, the little “life” things creep in- personality conflicts, stressful events, bad things.  But, good things happen too.  Not just good things, GREAT things.  This little kid, who just 3.5 years ago, could not read or write,  is now doing research, using creativity, critical thinking, using math skills that will soon surpass mine (I can still run faster than him).  The media simply does not spend enough time sharing all of the thousands perhaps millions of great things that happen at schools on a day to day basis.  

We notice.  We notice the little things: the warm smile, the comforting pat on the shoulder, the constructive criticism.  We notice the stacks of paper being graded, the cleaned out desks, the charts, the efforts to teach the kids more than reading, writing and arithmetic.   

This is a great school and spending time there has provided healing in my own life, along with insight on how to provide a better childhood for my kid, better than I ever could have imagined. 
We are honored to be able to say that we are part of the Oakley Family!  

Thank you. 
Your Friends,
Jubal’s Dad, Jubal’s Mom and Jubal

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