[pullquote_left] by Melody VanderWeide [/pullquote_left][clear]

Warts are gross.

I know this because I had warts on my foot as a kid. Turns out my husband had a few himself. So I don’t know why I was surprised to find warts on my beautiful seven-year-old daughter, but I was.

She has one on her knee and two on her foot.

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I’m not writing to tell you about how we got rid of the warts–she still has them, although they are in the process of dying and hopefully going away forever. (We had them frozen at the pediatrician’s office last week; it was a painful process that she was so brave about. We had tried OTC remedies for quite awhile with no luck and she wanted them gone, so she opted for the freeze-removal method.)

I’m writing about warts because of how anti-climatic warts been for her at school.

Thirty years ago I was seven. I was in her shoes. But I was in a school where kids teased and ridiculed and there was no such thing as anti-bullying campaigns. I’m guessing most parents can relate.

Thirty years ago having warts on your leg made you a target.

But not today. At least, not at my daughter’s school. She’s gone to school wearing shorts for many days now, with a visible wart on her knee, and not once has she come home with a sad story to tell about teasing. The wart is a curiosity for some, for others, it’s a similar experience. It’s a part of life; it’s no big deal. It’s awesome that the school has put programs in place to help kids relate to each other and make schools a true bully-free place.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are still many improvements we can make in education today. There are still bullies. There will always be things we can do better. But I wanted to take a moment and celebrate something that is working and give credit to where credit is due.

It starts with the amazing teachers that interact with our kids hour after hour, day after day. Teachers rock! They care so much about the kids in their classes. Not only do they prepare lessons, but they take time to develop a community and culture in their classrooms. They know our kids and pour into them. They set high standards and our kids live up to them. It is not just another way to get a paycheck.

Teachers, principals, support staff, and everyone else involved in our schools: thank you!

We notice and appreciate you.

We wish you a restful summer filled with learning, new ideas and recharging.

LEAVE YOUR TEACHER (OR SCHOOL) A MESSAGE

How about it, parents in Grand Rapids (and beyond) – How have your teachers blessed your children this year? Let’s make this an open card to all the wonderful teachers in our community. Leave a comment below and tell us who your child’s teacher was and why you’re thankful for them. You can leave your well-wishes for them as well.