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Sukhi Benning

The following testimonial was given at a meeting for new parents, held in June 2009. The format of the meeting includes testimonials by existing parents. Each member of the teaching team is acknowledged with a short speech by a parent of a child in their class.


Our family joined BBMH 5 years ago. For the new families joining us, we have a 5 year old son just completing EDK and a 7 year old son in year 2. From my first phone call of inquiry to BBMH, I knew that we were on to something when it came to this school. What sealed the deal and has kept us here are the wonderful teachers who have touched each of our lives. But I was asked to express our thanks and appreciation for Jana, so my focus will be on her.

 

Jana...where do I begin? There are so many great adjectives one could use to describe you. Highly intelligent, trustworthy, fun loving, warm, funny....I could go on. But when I sat down to think about what I was going to say tonight, I had so many “Jana stories” that I thought I would share a couple with everyone tonight to illustrate how absolutely amazing we think you are. It was really tough, but we narrowed it down to two.

 

Jana was Aydan’s very first teacher—he spent three incredible years with her. He soaked up and thrived on what many of us parents refer to as “Jana-Time.” Like most children at that age, Aydan’s world revolved around his mother. He would often jump in my lap and play this wonderful game with me. He would ask me, “Mom, do you know who my favourite person in the whole wide world is?” Having played this ‘game’ before, I would respond with, “Who?” He would cover me with kiss and say, “You.” What mother’s heart wouldn't melt playing this game? One day during Aydan’s 2nd year of preschool, Aydan asked me again, “Mom, do you know who my favourite person in the whole world is?” I in turn asked, “Who?” With pure love shining in his eyes, Aydan smiled and said, “Jana.” My heart must have stopped for a moment and I literally paused. “Jana?” I repeated. “Yep,” beamed my son. That truly was a defining moment in my life as a mother. I am not going to lie, I was a little astonished that I had been usurped.... But I had tears in my eyes as I hugged my son and covered him with kisses and squeezed him tight! How could I explain to this child how much it meant to me, that he had such a strong and positive connection with his teacher? He obviously understood and appreciated how wonderful you are!! I was bursting to talk to you that very moment....but I held my joy and excitement in check until the next day. When I told you what Aydan had said, you had the “I am not so sure how to respond to the fact the your son loves me as much as he loves his own mother” look. I attempted to explain to you how overjoyed I was that Aydan could see and appreciate all the fine qualities that make you one of the most valued teachers to have influenced our lives.

 

When our youngest was finishing his first year of pre-school, George and I contemplated moving to a different city. My parents were thrilled at the prospect that 4 out of 5 of their offspring would be living in the same city as them. As we weighed the options one key factor that always had us hesitate was that Ashton wouldn’t get his fair share of “Jana-Time.” Now some people may find it absurd that we would make such a huge family decision on moving cities based on our child’s teacher. I honestly thought that my parents and siblings would think we were nuts, BUT I was so wrong. I guess over the years George, the boys and I have shared sooo many stories about our interactions with you and how you have been such a positive influence on our family, that when I told them that I couldn’t possibly deprive Ashton of “Jana-Time” they all paused and agreed that would be wholly unfair – so we didn’t move mostly thanks to you! More recently, while we were in Cuba, Ashton must have been horsing around. My brother got down to Ashton’s eye level and simply said, “Ashton, what do you think Jana would say right now?” Wow, talk about instant reaction and correction of behaviour and attitude. So not only have you touched the lives of your students and their parents, but you have impacted people who live in another city...and even they appreciate the beauty of you!

 

So Jana, I am confident that I speak on behalf of all of the parents you have “taught” not to mention our children who are your students: Your love for guiding our children and teaching them the fundamentals (scholastically and socially) are valued more than words can ever tell you!! Your ability to always see the glass as half full and your love for life and for those around you is a treasure that will grow within our children into adulthood. Very simply, thank you for being you!!