Mrs. B—an absolute legend of a kindergarten teacher at Julian Elementary. After 28 years at our school alone (and six more before that), Mrs. B decided this year would be her last in the classroom, and my youngest son was fortunate to be one of the last little people under her expert instruction and unparalleled care.
As such, we planned a surprise thank-you from Julian parents. Naturally, it was meant to be in the garden (Mrs. B was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic participants in the school garden program, growing a plot of winter vegetables each year and having her students regularly visit to pick up trash as part of their service learning.) The weather forecast, however, would have none of it. And so we moved the garden inside! Allison started hauling in the manzanita branches, I got the Christmas lights out of the attic, and we filled vases with fresh flowers.
Then at 1:30 our principal visited her classroom, told her that a substitute would be finishing out the day, and escorted her to the room where we were waiting.
Mrs. B is famous for giving the children a question and then making packets of their written responses and drawings. Before she arrived we asked parents to write something they wanted to thank her for. We read these aloud to her, and then we made her a packet!
We had two redwood planters. I explained that one was planted out, with a plaque that reads: Thank you Mrs. B for 28 years of teaching and loving the children of Julian. It will stay in the garden.
Another identical planter was filled with gifts and went home with Mrs. B. In years to come, our planter will make us think of her; her planter will make her think of us.
Mrs. B gave a beautiful (impromptu) speech, and there were tears all around. And then we ate goodies. (Allison made shortbread cookies in the shape of little B’s.)
Mr. and Mrs. B!