I saw a post recently from a teacher, reassuring parents that educators will indeed be able to catch kids up on curriculum once September comes.

It went on to say that what teachers need parents and guardians to do right now is help with social emotional learning. We need to talk with our children about their big feelings and continually remind them they are safe and loved in our world.

Sanessa Lindemann is a teacher in Aberdeen, S.D. I would bet she isn’t spending much time thinking about missing math assignments. She’s too busy keeping promises to her students through acts of kindness.

“My birthday was in September. I love my birthday, and so by default, my second graders love my birthday. We have so much fun!

“One of my little girls requested that I bring cupcakes for her birthday… in March. Flash forward to March: COVID-19 has arrived, and we won’t be in school for the little girl’s birthday.

“I knew I had to keep my promise, but I wasn’t sure I could do that. I talked to a few other teachers, and decided to go ahead and deliver a birthday cupcake. I had 100% freaked myself out leading up to the days before the birthday. Anything that pushes me outside of my comfort zone typically requires medication. But I knew just how much this would mean to my student, so I knew I could do it.

“I got to the house and knocked on the wrong door. A stranger told me to go around to the back of the house, and up some stairs. Being the Queen of Anxiety, my brain started racing about all the events that could unfold, like falling through the stairs and being stuck, cupcakes everywhere, a popped balloon, you get the picture.

“I knocked. No answer. I waited. I knocked again. I heard commotion, but no answer. I knocked. Someone peeked through the window. I waved. No answer. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

“This process had already taken longer than I wanted. I decided to leave the cupcakes on the step and go. I turned to go down the stairs and then, I saw the sign — metaphorically and physically. At the bottom of the steps was a metal sign that said, ‘Elect Cathy Lindemann For Register of Deeds.’

“I burst out into ugly alligator tears. Cathy Lindemann is my mom. She ran for office more than 20 years ago. I got rid of all those signs four years ago when I sold her house. Goosebumps? Me too. And more alligator tears.

“Just then, the door opened. My sweet student was singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song to me. ‘No no sweet girl, it’s not my birthday, just yours.’

“Not only was my mom encouraging me on Monday, but she’s been looking after my sweet little student for who knows how long. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.”

Thank you to all of our teachers who are creating new ways to teach and love our children from afar.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com.