Thursday, March 27, 2014

Letters to my students

Dear favorite student,

I like you a lot. Not because you're the smartest, or the cutest, there's just something about you. You have a great sense of humor. You understand jokes and sarcasm, which not a lot of kids get, especially in a second language. Good for you! You show up every day, you volunteer to read, and you're not afraid to speak up and potentially make mistakes. You're not mean to anybody and I don't think I've ever seen you in a bad mood. Everybody genuinely likes you and you set a great example for the other kids. I look forward to your class because you're such an awesome student. Thanks for making my day easier.

Thankful teacher

Dear funny boy,

You have a dry sense of humor and your funniest answers usually come out of left field. Sometimes you are very inappropriate and you seem to know things beyond your years - maybe ease up on the mature video games. But man, you make me laugh. Sometimes I should be scolding you but you catch me off guard and I can't keep a straight face. Luckily a lot of what you say goes over the other kids heads, and thank you for not explaining it to them. You make my days way more interesting and you've given me some great stories.

Entertained teacher

Dear unprepared child,

You. are. killing. me. News flash: you are going to need a pencil, an eraser, and your English book every single day. Quit acting like this is brand new information. I'm not asking for the moon here, I think this is pretty reasonable. I genuinely wonder what you're thinking as you walk to English class with nothing to use. Did you forget about yesterday when you needed a pencil and didn't have one, or the day before that, or the day before that? Do you think if you don't bring anything I won't make you do anything? Or do you maybe just not think at all? Whatever your reason is - do not bring a backpack full of shoes and snacks but nothing useful into this classroom one more time. Would you show up to soccer practice without a ball or cleats or orange slices? No you would not! Get it together child.

Baffled teacher

Dear mom of the boy who never does his homework,

It's the end of the month and your child has done his homework 3 times, literally only 3 times. He is definitely smart enough to finish it pretty quickly every night, so I have to assume he's just being lazy and you are a little bit too. After all you're the parent, and you see the homework sheet where your child writes down his assignment every day. He should be responsible and do it, but if he's not going to it's your job to make him. I don't know if you realize this but you're paying for this. Don't you want to get your money's worth? If he keeps this up you might as well funnel that cash into something more useful, like more smartphone apps. I bet your kid plays his phone games every day.  

Frustrated teacher

Dear English beginner,

I started teaching you 2 months ago and you didn't know half the alphabet. You made my job pretty hard because you were so shy and quiet, I could barely get you to practice making sounds. It was also really hard to tell when you did or didn't understand what I was telling you - I felt like I was talking to a brick wall half the time. But now! Now you can read! You make a lot of mistakes but you're doing it. You've learned how to sound out words and you stammer through anything I give you. It is very rewarding to see how much you've learned. You've tried really hard and you're doing a great job. 

Proud teacher

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