A Teacher Shares Her Love for All Saints
Last week, we held our donor appreciation event for individuals, families and friends who have given at the $1,500 level to the school’s Annual Fund. I was so touched by the remarks shared by Second Grade teacher and Kindergarten Parent, Ronnie Loving, that I asked her permission to reprint part of her remarks here. Ms. Loving is a shining example of the wonderful teachers we are blessed with at All Saints. Teachers play a critical role in what makes All Saints the wonderful community that it is – not only for our students, but for parents, teachers, staff and the broader community as well. I am sure you will be as moved as I was by Ms. Loving’s dedication to our school community.
Before I even start I want to say two things. The first is that I love this school. The second is that the reason I am able to love this school in a way I never thought I could love a job is because of all of you, the gifts you give each year, and your commitment to the school, your children, and the teachers.
My name is Ronnie Loving Lohan. I am fondly known at school as Ms. Loving, and in my “double-life” I wear the Lohan hat when I proudly parent two wonderful children, one who is lucky enough to be in Kindergarten-South right now. I am seriously committed to this school and have been giving 110% to my work her since I started in the fall of 2006. I serve as the faculty rep on the Board, am a member of the Parish, hold the position of Elementary Team leader, and have worked on countless curriculum projects and initiatives to help move this school forward. When I was in Fifth Grade, I said for our yearbook that “in 20 years I will be…teaching first or second grade” and I am truly fulfilling my dream at All Saints. This school and this community are so deeply rooted in my identity that I seriously think I would be lost without them.
I have been asked to speak with you a bit about the importance of your gift to the annual fund and how it directly affects my life and the lives of all of the teachers at this school, which of course, directly impacts your children.
The first thing I can say is that we are on the 32nd day of school and I have already been a part of four different professional development workshops this year. One was a summer retreat that focused on our spirituality curriculum and how it relates to nature, the next was Responsive Classroom training, the third was an anti-bullying workshop, and the most recent was about ways to make math more visual for students. Each of these workshops has been enlightening, and the Responsive Classroom training inspired me to completely revamp my Morning Meeting practices, bringing a stronger sense of community to my classroom.
So you give, and it provides me with training and resources, which help my classroom and all of the classrooms at this school provide deeper, more meaningful teaching that is in line with current best practices and research.
Being on the retreat not only inspired me professionally to improve my classroom and curriculum, but also gave me the opportunity to be a part of the wonderful and collegial community of teachers and administrators that has been created and nurtured here at All Saints. Opportunities like an overnight retreat for faculty and staff are made possible through your gifts.
Now all of this is definitely “behind the scenes”. We have these trainings, good benefits, and administrative support, which is what we love about All Saints. But for the past two years, I have had the benefit of seeing how the benefit of what we get as teachers truly affects our students. I see my daughter as someone I could have never successfully molded, shaped, or taught to be as confident, articulate, and interested as she is without the help of this school community. I know how well trained and supported her teachers are and I can now understand how the opportunities she is afforded at All Saints compare to those of my friends who have children in other types of schools. I can tell you, there is only one field trip a year at most other schools and teachers do not email daily with general or personalized updates, but here – we do – because you are committed, you care, and you understand that the gift of a rigorous education coupled with a compassionate community is one of the best gifts that you can give your children.
Now, I’m telling you this because you need to know how your gift is directly affecting me, which is of course directly affecting your children. I am (and all the teachers are) on the front lines of instruction, development, and care each day. And although I am asking you to give, I want you to know that I, too, give each year. I give because I’m a teacher committed to this school’s vision and mission and I want the school to move forward with every possible resource it needs. I used to give only for that reason, and then I had a child, and then she came to this school, and now I have another child who I hope will have the benefit of being here. I now also give as a parent because I know that each dollar makes a difference in helping my child become someone who is going to be even more successful, more confident, more articulate, and more interested in the world around her. Each year I do earmark a portion of my gift for financial aid because I want to ensure diversity in the student body – not just racial and ethnic, but socioeconomic diversity, as well. I want children and families who might otherwise be unable to afford an independent school education to have the opportunity to experience our wonderful community. Having families here who are invested and deserving enhances the lives of all members of the community.
So thank you. Thank you for giving, for parenting well, for listening and being open-minded when it comes to feedback about your children. Thank you for giving the teachers an opportunity to grow and develop. As you consider your gift for this year, please think about the many ways your gift will impact the life of the school, its teachers and your children.
-Ronnie Loving Lohan