This has been one of the most challenging groups of children I have taught. Considering that this is my 23rd year as an elementary teacher, that’s quite a challenge. Teaching in an urban district with children whose daily life is clearly outside of my own childhood experience, oftentimes means much more than academics are encompassed in a day’s teaching. I never am quite sure how the children perceive what we are doing or how we are doing it.
At the end of the school year, our children write a letter to the incoming class, the children who will fill this class during the next academic year. It often amuses me when I find out what they recall as “important”. This year there were lots of references to our lunchtime kickball games and to our frequent viewing of Reading Rainbow, as well as the expected reference to our Valentine’s Party.
Here, however, is my favorite letter this year — the one I will copy and look at on those days in future months when the challenge of teaching makes me feel as if I am getting nowhere fast.
Dear New Third Grader,
When you come to third grade it will be like an emoshinal (sic) roller coaster because when you come here Mrs. Bisson will get mad at you if you do something bad and trust me you don’t wanna (sic) go down that path. I’ve been there before and it was not so good.
Anyway in third grade it will be very fun. I mean in third grade it is kind of a little competitive but you will get through. Even if Mrs. Bisson can be a little hard on you she lets us do fun things like play BINGO, watch movies. We even have our own journal so that is why its a good place to be.
I also think that if you have Mrs. Bisson that you are the luckiest person walking on this earth. Oh, one more thing. Have fun in third grade.
I will think I am the luckiest person walking on this earth to have worked with you, my friend!