Not a Goodbye But A See You Later

Sad news this week. One of our favorite preschool teachers in Chicago has decided to retire. Yes, sigh and sniffles for Ms. Edwina Klein from Portage Park Elementary School. After 35 years, she has decided to take off her teachers hat and bid farewell the life of being a second mom to preschool students and their parents.

Yes, 35 years.

Imagine 35 years of counting one to ten every day. She has been instrumental in the growth of more than 1,400 kids by learning the basic skills through play and nurturing.  She also showed her kids how to share, hold hands and make new friends while they explore and discover every nook and corner of their classroom and  beyond. She has touched the lives of kids under her tutelage and their families. Truly, things will be different without that wide bright indelible smile of Ms. Klein.

Imagine singing the “Reindeer Pokey” without Ms. Klein? Nah … What about singing to “Hello, hello, hello and how are you?” Do you think you can dance to “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” and not laugh as your remember how Ms. Klein moves her arms, hips and legs to that tune? Field trips will be different without her singing at the top of her voice as the bus rolls to the Pumpkin Farm with her signing “Ram Sam Sam” as she walks across the aisle of the bus and holding on to dear life at the same time. What about serenading her students and other guests of the Shedd Aquarium who were lucky enough to be in the elevator with her? She would tell jokes and share her knowledge of sea creatures to make the field trip even more enjoyable and enlightening for everyone. Even Nickle the Turtle will surely miss her.

However, it is not a “goodbye”, but a “see you later” for someone like Ms. Klein whose friendship and love is now a part of a lot of families in the community. Even better, as the school year comes to a close, those who know her will probably want a chance to say “hey” or “good luck” and of course, “thank you” for all those years of passion and dedication.

Did you know that she is a fan of the Cake Boss? With you help, we can knock, tap and ping the show to help us send off Ms. Klein in high fashion. Share this post with them or write your own, so we can make the big bright smile of Ms. Klein shine not only for Portage Park kids, but for the whole country.

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