Details on voting for this post in the 2013 Edublog Awards can be found below the post.
It’s already back-to-school time in many parts of the U.S. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be publishing, or re-publishing, much of my back-to-school content to help you start the new school year right. Today, I feature two “Dear Student” letters that I wish all students, of all ages, everywhere would receive from their teachers. The letters were written by Arin Kress, a self-described “5th grade teacher in Ohio who is constantly learning.” Arin is on Twitter @KressClass and her blog is Hate Chalk.
The first letter encourages students to think about what their genius is. The second tells students they matter, and encourages them to let others know they matter as well. They are succinctly written and full of hope and encouragement – shouldn’t every student start the school year this way?
Dear 5th graders,
Hi! My name is Arin Kress and I will be your math and science teacher this year. We haven’t met yet, but every day this summer I’ve thought about you.
I know that sounds odd – but please keep reading. I haven’t thought about you individually, because I don’t know who you are yet, but I’ve thought about you collectively. I’ve thought about the amazing group of 5th graders that will cross the threshold of my classroom in just a few weeks.
- I’ve thought about challenging you.
- I’ve thought about embracing your differences.
- I’ve thought about your strengths.
- I’ve thought about your weaknesses.
And I have a secret that I can’t keep in for another few weeks.
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but really you are. I know deep within you, your inner genius is ready to come out! I’ve worked with geniuses for seven years now, and let me tell you something – it’s amazing. And this year won’t be different.
So, before you walk through my door on the first day of school, think about YOUR genius. What are you an expert at? What do you enjoy? What can I learn from YOU? How are YOU going to change the world? I can’t wait to share my genius with you and for you to share your genius with all the other geniuses in the room: your classmates!
Dear 5th graders,
Today I learned what it means to matter. I know it sounds silly, but it’s a powerful message. Two simple words – You Matter.
So many times we go about our daily lives and no one stops to thank us. No one seems to care if we go the extra mile. It’s odd really that we would find it odd for someone to tell us that we matter – because it’s such a simple thing to do.
So, I’m doing it right now – I want you to know that you matter to me before I even know your name. YOU are why I became a teacher. YOU will make a difference in my life. I hope to learn as much from YOU as you do from ME!
I want you to understand this: YOU MATTER to your family, YOU MATTER to your friends, YOU MATTER to so many people – You already matter to ME! Stop right now and think about who matters to YOU. (Most likely you matter to them too!)
So here’s your first assignment. Tell as many people in your life that THEY matter to YOU and, of course, tell them why. (Don’t just run up to strangers yelling, “You matter!” You might get a lot of confused looks!) Please take this seriously. It may be just one of the most important assignments you complete all year.
I hope you are enjoying your summer, because the ride you’re about to embark on will be full of ups and downs and winding curves. One thing you will learn about me is that I hate roller coasters – but I can’t wait for the ride to begin that we will experience together!
I look forward to telling you in person how much you MATTER to me. I hope to see you at Open House on August 19th!
P.S. If you have a mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.), bring it to Open House! We have some fun, interactive activities planned!
I am excited and honored to announce that this post has been nominated as a finalist for Most Influential Post of the Year! If you valued this post and enjoyed reading it, please take a few moments to vote. Simply locate this post in the list below and click the up-vote arrow beneath it. In the List.ly pop-up, sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account; the window will then disappear. Simply click the up-vote arrow one more time and your vote will be cast! Thank you for your support!
Още когато бях ученичка се вълнувах от наближаването на първия учебен ден. Не знам дали това ме е правело „зубърка" или „задръстена," при положение че повечето ми съученици виеха от мъка и се оплакваха на всеослушание, че животът свършва, а скуката ще се шири месеци наред до следващото лято.
Dear Minister, My daughter Hazel (5) and I recently had an interesting exchange concerning our education system which I feel compelled to share with you. To grasp the true beauty of this exchange, please take a moment to study the image below. Hazel: What are the kids doing mammy?
Dear Teacher, I need to tell you something. Thank you. Thank you for your diligence and hard work to prepare our children for the future. Thank you for giving them the chance to succeed, for pushing them harder, and for showing them how to correct their mistakes.
"Teaching is a high pressure and stress filled profession, Justin. Lots of people just aren't cut out for it." My principal's words were salt in an open wound. They cut deep. And they hurt. They hurt because I knew he was right. The after school conversation was not what I had hoped.
In this article, I'm, not just on a proverbial hobby-horse but whipping it frantically as I gallop wildly into the Valley of Death. I may even end up offending some readers but hopefully make some new friends along the way. So saddle up and join the posse!
During our philosophy seminar this week, we were talking about John Locke's theory that at birth the human mind is like a blank slate (tabula rasa) upon which sensory experience writes when the issue of fear of the dark arose. Is it learned or innate? You know, the ol' nurture/nature argument.
When I first started teaching, I spent nearly every second of my life in my classroom. If I went off to my own mental space, the class instantly got out of control and I was screwed. I spent the drive to and from school reflecting on how things were going.
It's already back-to-school time in many parts of the U.S. Over the next few weeks, I'll be publishing, or re-publishing, much of my back-to-school content to help you start the new school year right. Today, I feature two "Dear Student" letters that I wish all students, of all ages, everywhere would receive from their teachers.
Get a bunch of kids. Let them walk over a big hill, eat outside, run a bit wild, jump in a river, toast marshmallows and sleep under the stars in their clothes. Here is what happens: Many thanks to all the children and teachers involved in this microadventure.
Increasingly teachers are speaking out against school reforms that they believe are demeaning their profession, and some are simply quitting because they have had enough. Here is one resignation letter from a veteran teacher, Gerald J.