As I venture into my last week teaching at Prairie Hill, I am flooded with moments of reflection and pause. These last six years have offered me numerous gifts and challenges. I am grateful for them both, for each is as important as the other in fostering personal growth. I am most struck by all the insight and knowledge that your children and you, as families, have shared with me on my journey as a teacher. Most of you may know of my strong interest in fires and fire building. Something I have discovered and often tell the children as we are building our fire for the day is that ‘kindling is the most important part of the fire.’ If I don’t take the time and care to gather the right amount, dry enough, and small enough kindling, and layer and stack it with just enough space for air to pass through, I often end up spending more time later on my fire trying to get it started, fixing the smoldering beginning that was a bit careless and rushed. I compare this importance of kindling to early childhood. If we put the right amount of care and attention into what truly will help the fire in a child grow and thrive, rather than be rushed, careless, or without thought in our beginning, we will create a warm, bright, powerful hearth that will grow, get stronger, and they will then share these strengths with others. As parents, you have done this for your children. Thank you for trusting me as a partner in this important work of building and feeding this fire inside all of your beloved children. They have been my greatest teachers. Each and every one of them have left an imprint of themselves on me and have helped me become a better person. As teachers and parents we sometimes share hard conversations. Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability, trust, and thoughtfulness in that work. It is not an easy task to raise a child and your children are lucky to have such loving guardians looking our for their best interest. As I put things to close, it was important to share this gratitude with the families I have worked with during my time at Prairie Hill. I wish you all many blessings on your continued journeys and look forward to bumping into you along the way.