To The Parents Of The Child Who Should Be Starting Kindergarten — They Can Join My Classroom

Summer is winding down and I’m gearing up for a new school year. Yesterday, I sat down to finish my mailing for my new Kindergarten students. I worked my way through the list, personalizing each letter with my student’s name (I feel like it adds a little extra love when you put pen to paper for someone.) and daydreaming about the year ahead.

Then, I thought of them; the children who should be coming to Kindergarten. I imagined the families who should be receiving letters from new teachers, but instead, they are receiving yet another dose of heartbreak at the milestone their child did not reach.

So, I have decided that, for this year, they can join my classroom. I will be their teacher.

Here is their welcome letter.


Dear Friend,

Welcome to Kindergarten! My name is Mrs. Whalen and I will be your teacher. I am looking forward to holding space for you in my classroom this year. Even though you can’t physically attend, I will feel your presence in my classroom every day.

Kindergarten is an exciting place and how I wish you could experience it with me! I want to teach you all about letters, the sounds they make, and how to make words. I wish you could be next to me as we learn lots about numbers, plants, and animals. I’ll be thinking of you when we learn about life cycles and watch as our classroom caterpillars become beautiful butterflies. I just know you would have so much fun studying the work of famous artists, making scientific discoveries, and learning so many other wonderful things.

I know how much your families wish you were here to share the joys of Kindergarten with them. They want to walk you to your new classroom, help you hang up your backpack, and hear all about your day. Please know that no matter how full our classroom is, you will always be missed.

So, on the first day of school, please make sure you send a little extra love to the ones who are missing you. They will be doing the same for you. I am so honored to have you as part of my classroom and to hold space for you in what should be your year in Kindergarten.

Mrs. Whalen

If you are missing your Kindergarten student this year, you can take part in the KinderCares program offered by Scared Sidless.

Find more information here:


5 thoughts on “To The Parents Of The Child Who Should Be Starting Kindergarten — They Can Join My Classroom

  1. This is amazing. So beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. I am a kindergarten teacher who finds herself teaching 3rd grade this year. The kindergarten year IS so special, so full of joy and excitement. What a beautiful tribute to those who wish they were walking the halls with their little one and a beautiful reminder to those of us who are lucky enough to do so. Happy beginning-of-the-school-year!!


  2. My daughter would be starting Kindergarten this year. Thank you for this letter, Miss Whalen. Thank you for being my daughter’s teacher.


  3. I had this thought this year as I’m pulling together all the supplies and new backpack and such for my rainbow baby to start preschool… her older sibling would have been starting kindergarten, showing her the ropes of the bus and lunches and such.. I’m glad to know there is a teacher out there thinking about the kids who didn’t get their name read in the roll… Thank you Ms Whalen.


  4. Thank you so much. My youngest son Micah would be starting Kindergarten this year. He died in May of 2016 suddenly due to a severe life threatening complication of his Still’s Disease. My daughter Kathryn (my middle child) would be starting first grade. She died in May of 2011 at 12 days old. As a mother who has lost not one, but two of her three children, both on the month of May, and each just a year in age apart, sometimes the grief can simply suffocate. Reading your letter gave me the chance to open up the floodgates a bit and let some tears out that I normally try to keep “in the box” (or really HAVE to keep in the box, if I want to be the mom I want to be for my oldest son). It was a very difficult first day of school this year for me. You would love havin MIcah in your class. He would be your most challenging and life giving student you’ve every known 🙂


  5. This is so beautiful ❤ I hope I will read this the year my son would be starting Kindergarten. You are such a special human being. Thank you so much for holding space for our precious ones ❤ ❤ ❤


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