Who Was Your Mr. W?

I took the kids to meet my husband at his work for lunch.

They hadn’t seen him in days.

I was a tad bitter and low on patience from one too many days solo with the kids and my crankiness grew as someone knocked at his office door before I had even passed around the last of our sandwiches.

My bitterness balled into a lump in my throat as I saw the glassy eyes behind the knock at the door.

Watering saucers looked up at my husband and asked if he could talk. My husband crouched down to 10 year-old level, asked if everything was okay and when a little voice quivered “no,” he looked back at us with an apology on his face and left the room while I kicked myself for being so self-involved.

He was going where he needed to be.

Our kids were taken care of and he needed to be Mr. W more than he needed to be Daddy at that moment. My little ones are still young enough to spend their days in the comforts of home. When they argue or get called a name or can’t find a favorite toy, I am close enough to run to for comfort.

Soon enough they will spend nearly as much time at school as they do at home and I want them all to have a Mr. W or a Mrs. S (as my oldest does) or a Mr. Z whose door they can knock on when their eyes get glassy or when their stomach is in knots or if something just can’t wait until they step off the school bus.

I have never forgotten the teachers in my life who made my days easier, the ones who shaped my love of writing and poured confidence into my teetering self esteem.

What an amazing job to have.

I know the hours are long and the pay does not nearly cover them.

The investment most educators make in taking care of our children is so much more about heart than about time.

I think about my husband, how he will always get to be somebody’s Mr. W, probably a lot of somebodies. And how neat that is.

Maybe that teary-eyed little guy will always remember the time my husband dropped everything for him and want to be a principal when he grows up or maybe he skipped back to the playground and forgot what he was upset about to begin with. Either way my husband did his job. He did what every parent hopes for when they send their children off to school, he took care of their child as if he was one of his own. And there are hundreds of thousands of other educators who do the same thing every day.

So take an extra moment to thank your favorite educator for reassuring phone calls and extra emails and replacing forgotten lunch money with no expectation for repayment and all those other little things they do to make our children’s days easier that we may never even know about. Give them a Starbuck’s giftcard for their wife flowers or a hug (unless it’s my husband and you’re super cute, in that case a handshake will do).

Many, many thanks to all of the educators out there for the home away from home you give to our children each and every day.

I hope you know you are appreciated every day just as much as you are this week.

boy at desk

Who was your favorite educator growing up? What do you remember most about them?

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  1. says

    My son’s preschool teacher just had to resign to go home and take care of a family member. Beside me, this is the woman whom my son spends the most time with. She was amazing and wonderful. It has been pretty hard on my son. I felt so comfortable knowing that he was in her care. I find myself looking at her replacement with skepticism and then remind myself to at least give her a chance, but man, we sure miss Teacher Adrianna.
    The Mommy Psychologist recently posted..Have You Seen Enough of Jamie Grumet Yet?

  2. says

    I couldnt agree more! We often take for granted the great work educators do and the things they provide our children with, we just expect it. This perspective was excellent an eye opening.
    Leighann recently posted..How Will She Know?

  3. says

    This is heartwarming! I am a first grade teacher and it just tickles me to pieces to hear of the love that anyone holds in their heart for a teacher. Thank you for sharing!!

  4. says

    I wish that teachers were valued more – they are so important and have such an important job. My Mr. W was Mrs. Garrett and Mr. Drown – they both had such a positive impact on me. Please thank your Mr. W for me. Take care.
    Lanie recently posted..Once Upon a Playdate

  5. says

    My favorite educator was my math teacher in the primary school. He was an old little man with a beard, he was always relaxed, but we all respected him. He never had to turn up the volume and scream with us. We respected him for his intelligence and character, he respected us for behaving ourselves. He was such a great man.
    Sigrid recently posted..Tolle Speisen, gesundes Leben

  6. says

    Oh, such a stunning ode to your guy, and to teachers everywhere.

    (As a former teacher, this one warms my heart so very much, you.)
    Galit Breen recently posted..Fat

  7. Giselle says

    I can’t actually forgot all my teachers and educators because my dad was a teacher before and my sister is a teacher now.. They should be appreciated for their hard work and patience with the students..
    Giselle recently posted..Stopping A Panic Attack

  8. Nancy Percha says

    Since my daughter died my grandkids have had a couple of really terrific teachers. I feel a certain level of comfort knowing my grandkids are in their care during the day and know that every day since mommy died is not an easy one and that is priceless to me.

  9. says

    What a wonderful man you have for a husband! I wish he was my children’s principle. One of my children had a particularly rough year and we ended up having to switch teachers. Her new teacher has been so loving and kind and has gone the extra mile to help her catch up in her school work. It is things like that that makes me want to kiss my children’s teachers! Educators can be absolutely amazing and how wonderful that your husband is one of the amazing ones!

    It is so hard when Dad has to spend so much time away from his family though. I know that from way too much experience.

  10. says

    This is such a wonderful reminder, Jessica. My mom is a teacher and she tells me everyday how meaningful it is to hear “thank you” said in her direction about her work. I have had so many teachers who’ve shaped me and my passions. I am forever grateful to them. Truly.
    Jessica recently posted..$50 Visa Gift Card Winner

  11. MommaKiss says

    I think educators are incredibly under appreciated and I try to do my best with my kid’s teacher. They’re with them for so many hours of the day.

    So thank YOU Mr. W. So many times over.
    MommaKiss recently posted..Exhale

  12. says

    Kids do need those special teachers/educators to be there for them. I’m sure it’s hard to not have your husband around as much as you want but at least he’s helping.
    Jessica recently posted..A Failed Attempt

  13. Corey Feldman says

    That is great and I admire your husband. I tried teaching and loved it. I just couldn’t deal with the pay. Maybe if I had started right out of college it would have been different, but I tried it as a career change and just couldn’t make the financials work. I like to think in those 2 years I made a difference. I miss it though.
    Corey Feldman recently posted..Sam teaches Egret and Mocha how to paint

  14. says

    I love this post for so many reasons! I read it today on my phone at lunch & was truly crying in my tuna salad. Since I’ve witnessed Mr. W in action with kids, I can only imagine how great he is at work. Charlie & I were both just saying last Saturday how awesome he is with the little ones at soccer. Honestly, being a mom now has totally changed the way I am as a teacher. I’ve been trying to put it all into words for a post, but now with every single situation, I think ‘what if this were Lanagan or Cooper?’ That mentality has made my job so infinitely harder emotionally; yet so much more rewarding as well. It breaks my heart when bad things happen to teens at school – I just sob & sit there and hope that things that I’ve seen never happen to my boys. Ok, now I’m crying again. ;)

    I love that Mrs. S got a shout out – I’m glad she’s been that person for Ashlyn. I had several Mr. W’s, which made me want to be a teacher myself.

    Awesome post, Jessica! Truly awesome.
    Elena recently posted..Number Thirteen

    • says

      Oh I’m so glad you read this, I was hoping you would. There is another amazing teacher at Ashlyn’s school and I always think “I bet that is Elena in action” because I know you are amazing at what you do, just as your sister is.

  15. says

    What a lucky school to have such a wonderful principal. I had more terrible teachers than great ones but the great ones I recall with much thankfulness. My favourite teacher was my Drama Teacher in high school. Sadly he’s since passed away – he was vibrant with life – such a lovely man. I still think of him often – he truly brought me out of my shell. I also remember my kindergarten teacher well. She must’ve been in her mid-50′s when she was teaching us so who knows if she’s still around. She was also a sweet lady. It’s true – the good teachers are not appreciated nearly as much as they should be. Though in Canada they’re are a lot of not so good ones because the pay is much better for teachers here…so they get into teaching for the wrong reasons. Not for the joy of teaching children…but because there’s great pay, pension and benefits.
    January recently posted..When He’s Gone

  16. says

    I hope that everyone knows how lucky they are to have your husband there as their principal. I don’t have one teacher that stand out as having made in impact on me or my life when I was younger… it’s sad isn’t it? We move a lot so I never actually settled into a school and made those types of connections with anyone.
    Jackie recently posted..#iwillrockthis Week 2

  17. Kristen says

    What a lovely tribute to not only educators around the globe but to your husband as well. The teacher that I most remember was my 5th grade history teacher, Mrs. Windsor. She brought history to life for our class. We always had many creative projects to go with every new lesson. I still have a love for history to this day and love to share it with my girls. We are nothing if we do not know how we got here.
    I didn’t know until I was older that all of those projects were paid for with her own salary…a single, female, teacher in 1983. Teaching us history was her priority.
    Kristen recently posted..Our Furry First Born

  18. Debi says

    As always–a perfect post. You make me want to forward this to ours. We had curriculum night last night (along with the Spring Concert) and I went (sans kids) and spent a blissful hour talking to their teacher (who is wonderful). Our principal is retiring this year (21 years at this school) and their is a community-wide party planned at a local park next weekend for him. I’m sure it will be packed.
    As for me, lots of wonderful teachers (Miss Chase–1st grade, Mrs. Lambert-5th grade, Mr. Clark–band–who taught me it was ok to want something different for myself than what my parents wanted for me, Miss Fussell–10th grade–you can have fun cleanly even as an adult (still keep in touch with her), Mrs. Hill–AP English, whose class I use nearly daily. Administrators–Mr. W (middle school principal) and Mr. E (high school principal).

  19. says

    Oh, bless you for writing this.
    And to your husband for being Mr. W.

    Mine was Mr. Litten. I was 15 when he became my English teacher and it is because of him that I pursued a career teaching high school English myself; and then took a leave of absence 16 years later to write a novel.

    Because of him.

    And for every single day of my years teaching I tried to be a Mr. L. Or a Mr. W. I really did.
    I hope somewhere there is a student or two who feels this way about me.

    So thank you for putting a face to those who give so much to the education of our children;
    for using your words to be our voice.
    julie gardner recently posted..My Favorite Post

    • says

      I have no doubt there are students out there hoping they can be a Mrs. G someday.
      Mine was Mr. Stewart, he was my English teacher and pushed me to be the best writer I could be on every assignment, still love him for it.

  20. says

    My grandmother was a teacher. To this day, when we are in the grocery store together former students (who are waaaay older than me) will come up, give her a hug, reminice on how wonderful she was and tell her how she made an impact on their lives. I am amazed by my grandmother every day – how a woman with four children of her own make such a difference in the lives of hundreds of children in her lifetime.
    Maija @ Maija’s Mommy Moments recently posted..EXACTLY Why I Don’t Post Pictures of My Kids Online

  21. says

    I had so many good teachers. I was very lucky. We’ve also been blessed that my oldest has had some really great teachers as well. I hope that continues to be the case.
    Jennifer recently posted..Five Things

  22. Christina says

    Sadly I cant remember many of my teachers or principals or having a favorite. My family moved around so much I never found any that I connected with fast enough to remember them before we would move again. I am happy to know they are out there and do care. I hope my kids come find that.

  23. says

    So, so sweet. I didn’t realize your husband is an educator. And I love your honesty about the frustration and the realization that he’s giving what every parents with children in school wants: someone to be there for their kids. Growing up in a home with educators, I know they can get the short end of the stick. So, thanks to Mr. W for what he does. And, I will be sure to send out a thanks to my daughters’ teachers throughout the years too.
    christine recently posted..I Send Out Love

  24. says

    I’m glad you wrote this. Sometimes the attention goes to those teachers who are well, not so good. I know there are plenty of good teachers and educators out there. Thank you for shining the light on them. My son has the best of the best right now. She is my rock and my son’s foundation right now and every day I thank my lucky stars she’s in our lives.
    Lizbeth recently posted..How cool is that?

    • says

      So glad your son had a good teacher this year, it’s such a relief isn’t it. My kids have great teachers this year to and I’m hoping for the same for years to come.

  25. says

    You’re so right…our teachers, guidance counselors, principals are so often underpaid and under-appreciated. And at times that can make some not care like they once did. What a blessing your husband is for continuing to care and for continuing to take the time to make a difference in a little one’s life. And thank you, Jessica, for the sacrifice you make as an educator’s wife. Having been a teacher in the past, I know the hours can be long…much longer than any school day or any typical 9 to 5!
    Elizabeth recently posted..10 Ways to Make a Better Sandwich

    • says

      So true! I laugh when people say was a nice schedule he must have and how he has the summers off. Little do they know that his hours are as long as a surgeon’s.

  26. says

    It’s so wonderful that he can be this to the students at his school. I had so many great teachers who shaped my thoughts about learning and education, and those are the ones who cleave to my memory, far more than the others. I hope my kids are lucky enough to have a principal or teacher like Mr. W. :)
    angela recently posted..Waffling

    • says

      Honestly I hope my kids get a principal like him too. I just know his heart is always in it and that’s the best you can ask for.

  27. says

    Oh, I love this. This year, Hayden has an amazing teacher. He just adores her. I need to do something to let her know what a special place she has in his heart.

    Thank you for the inspiration.
    Jen recently posted..Being a Writer?

  28. says

    We had our ups and downs before coming home from school .. but I remember an amazing art teacher who would read poetry to us and play opera and just inspire us to great things.
    I will always be grateful to him, he always made us think beyond.
    Your husband is a keeper- but you knew that ;)
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Maurice Sendak, a legend

    • says

      He is a keeper. I had a teacher who always read to us as well. It was American Lit and I loved the class and all of the classics he read to us.

  29. Catha says

    Thanks, Jessica! I needed to read that this morning before going in to be “Mrs. Too-Miss!” for my kids. Thank you for your support of the educators and particularly for the support that you give Mr. W. Your sacrifice and that of your family to help him do what he does is noted and appreciated daily by those who work with him.

  30. says

    Thank you very much for this. More often than not, I feel like not only are we under appreciated, but are often attacked by parents who do not think we should hold their child responsible for his or her actions or challenge them, academically or otherwise. it’s nice to read messages like these.
    Megan recently posted..Grilled lobster tails

  31. jennifer says

    Doing things worth effective is lovely appreciated this is the attitude that we need to acquire for attaining every goal in our life successfully…
    jennifer recently posted..SEO London

  32. says

    That’s very sweet. You’re completely right about how much teachers impact us and how often under appreciated they are. I remember my eight grade creative writing teacher, Ms. McCue the most. It is because of her that I truly fell in love with writing. I loved her class. I still look back so fondly on all of my assignments for her.
    Marta recently posted..Call Her Beautiful.

    • says

      I feel the same, I loved all of my English teachers but had one in high school that I loved the most and who truly kept me writing and believing in myself.

  33. says

    So often the educators are forgotten. When I was teaching, some of the parents would simply say “thank you” and that meant more to me than anything. At least my efforts and actions were being noticed. I appreciated that.
    Kimberly recently posted..The Perfect Family??

    • says

      I think, no matter what our job, it’s nice to be appreciated but I had no idea how far above and beyond many teachers went to take care of the kids they taught until I married a principal.