An Open Letter To My New Teacher! - A Blog for Principals and Teachers - School Matters | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

An Open Letter To My New Teacher!

 
 

 

 

iStock 000021074305XSmall 150x150 An Open Letter To My New Teacher!Dear Mrs. Newteacher,

I hope you had a restful summer and are in a really good mood to teach our class. Whatever Mrs. Oldteacher from last year told you about our class is probably true, but we are willing to let bygones be bygones if you are.

Before we begin the new school year next week I wanted to give you some advice. I know a kid like me shouldn’t be giving advice to my teachers, but the same thing happens every year and it drives me crazy. It’s about the first day of school.

Mrs. Newteacher, I think I speak in the name of thousands of kids like me when I say that I really couldn’t care less about what the rest of the kids in the class did in their summer vacations. So, please don’t ask them and make me listen. Let’s face it, if they did something cooler than me, I’ll probably get depressed, and if they did something less cool, I’ll just be bored. If I really care, I’ll ask them!

And, whatever you do, don’t ask us all to write an essay about it. What better way to kill a really enjoyable summer than to make us write about it. How would you like it if you came home after enjoying a really good movie and your husband said, “Honey, I’m so happy you enjoyed yourself, why don’t you write me an essay?” (I’m guessing that you’re married and that your husband calls you honey.) I’m sure you can come up with some more interesting subjects to write essays about. How about what my summer would’ve been like if my parents had let me land on Mars with NASA.

Another thing, Mrs. Newteacher, could we please not start with rules of the class. First of all, do you really think that your rules are any different than all the other grades we’ve been in? We know we shouldn’t talk out of turn, always raise our hands until called upon, be nice, not chew gum, hand in homework on time, not cheat on tests, etc. We really hate having to spend our first day going over what everyone already knows. Did you think any of us were going to say, “Cool, Mrs. Newteacher didn’t say I can’t bring my firecrackers to class. I guess that means it’s OK!” Just say, “Guys, you know the rules. Anyone need me to repeat them?” Also, it almost seems childish to assume we don’t know how to act. This isn’t rocket science, we’ll figure it out.

Finally, I have a great idea what we should do on the first day of school. Let’s do something we haven’t done in a long time: learn. While we might seem to moan about that new math chapter, I really miss learning something new every day. So, if it’s not too big a problem, could we spend our first day just learning? I’ll leave it up to you to choose the subject.

And, by the way, that shiny apple you’ll find on your desk, that’s from me.

Sincerely,

Everystudent

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4 Comments

  1. Vicki Schwartz says:

    Dear “Everystudent”, First off, you don’t represent every student since different grade levels of students have different interests than do you. You might be speaking more on behalf of the older student, but I can tell you from 16 years of teaching the younger ones that most of them want to share their summer experiences, and it is a subject that motivates them to participate in a writing lesson during the first couple of days of school. By the way, my third graders do start the third grade math chapter the first day of school. Sincerely, Vicki Third Grade Teacher P.S. Skip the apple and do me something more meaningful, if you a California voter, do NOT vote for President Obama and don’t vote for Jerry Brown’s tax.

    • Karmi Gross says:

      I guess California kids just have more fun.

      On a more serious note, the ‘What I did over my summer’ was a metaphor for teachers who feel children are not ready to learn yet on the first day. As an experienced teacher always do what works for you. You know your students better than anyone. I am happy to hear that you do start that Math lesson on the first day. Maybe I should send the apple to the White House.

  2. Cute and funny, but how about learning how to function in a math class by doing some creative activities that model asking questions a teacher can answer, how to take turns sharing when working in groups and how to cooperate as a team member in a classroom? Oh yes, and also how to wait your turn and listen to others while they speak?
    All of these are valuable skills for learning as a community and often not brought in by students in this century of instant gratification, fast answers and touch technology.

    • Karmi Gross says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Rules that reflect the realities of learning and working as a cooperative and creative unit are those that should be taught and reinforced.

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