I have a long stretch this morning of no classes. And, since it’s the third day of school, I don’t have much grading to do. What I have been doing is reading my students’ letters to me. I have a tradition, going back to my 2nd year of teaching, of having students write me a letter introducing themselves to me for their homework on the first night of school. I write them a letter and they write me back.
I really love how I get to know the students through their words. They tell me a lot about their interests and hobbies that I wouldn’t necessarily learn for quite some time in the regular day-to-day conversations that we have in the first few weeks and months of school. I get a lot out of their letters to me.
But yesterday I was reminded of how my letter to students is a really important part of the process. When I was collecting letters from the students who printed theirs out yesterday I happened to glance down and spot this:
To think that my letter helped someone feel less anxious about their first day of school–wow! That’s something.
It’s a simple thing, really, once you’ve written your letter. I edit my letter every year (to update the number of years I’ve been teaching and how many National Parks I’ve been to) but I don’t do a lot of thinking about it. This sentence made me think about how my letter to students helps create the strong relationship I generally have with my students–starting from day one.