Wednesday, May 7, 2014

As you go out into the world, this is what I want for you.

Dear Students,

Life is not like a multiple choice test  You are not limited to four choices, nor should you be encouraged to carefully stay within the lines.  While I am sure that you are better at taking tests at the end of your 2nd grade year than you were at the beginning, I can assure you that this is not the most important  thing for you to learn.  Not even close.

So as you move forward to 3rd grade, then 4th grade, then 5th grade and on and on until you are an old person looking back at your life, I hope it is these things that you take with you.

6.)  THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!  The world is a BIG place, and it is only limited by your imagination!   Your imagination has no limits.  The world is limitless.  THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.  There are infinite dreams that you can dream, infinite ideas that can flow through your mind, and billions of people with whom to collaborate.  Dream your big and beautiful dreams, then do something to make them happen.

5.)   Listen.  Observe.  Appreciate.  Celebrate.  Do not judge.    I hope that you look back at collaborative projects this year and appreciate that  every single student in your group brought different strengths with them.  I hope you understand that they might not think the same way you think, that they may not believe all of the same things that you believe.  I hope you know that this is not only okay, but that it makes the world a more beautiful place to be.   I hope that you will remember to never dismiss a person's ideas without carefully listening and thinking about their ideas.  Everybody's voice should be heard and celebrated.

4.)  Rosa Parks.  Susan B. Anthony.  Martin Luther King Jr.   Nelson Mandela.  Helen Keller. 
What do all of these people have in common?

In class this year, we have talked about many people who saw problems in the world that needed fixing.  We spoke about people who faced adversity .  We spoke about people who were ridiculed, hurt, and berated.  Remember the names of the people above and look at them as role models.  If you see a problem in the world, do what you can to fix it.  If you are going through something difficult, keep on working through it.  Work to make the world more beautiful and inclusive.

3.)  Everybody deserves to feel welcome.  If you see somebody alone on recess, ask if they want to play with you.   If somebody is left out of the circle during class meetings, scoot back and make some room.  Think about how much better you feel when you feel like an important member of the group.  Help everybody feel good!

2.)  Sometimes you will feel angry or upset.  This is okay.   It is a part of life.  I hope that you remember how to be calm but assertive in moments where you may feel like losing your cool!  I hope that you remember to be patient with friends and to realize how your actions affect others.  In times of stress, I hope you remember to take a deep breath and think before you act. 

But the most important thing that I want you to remember is:

1.)  You are loved.  You are cared for.  You are respected.  If you ever need somebody to listen to your ideas, to give you encouragement, or to help you think through an issue, know that I am here.  I want to be this person for you, and I hope that you will try to be this person for somebody else. 

Now, go out into the world and let your light shine!


Your Teacher

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  1. What wonderful advice and reminders for not only 2nd graders, but their parents and grandparents as well. What a beautifully written testament to the caring teacher this young lady must be. It seems that so much emphasis is placed on testing, when the true importance should be on the showing children the great things in this world and building the quality of character within, and enabling them to share that character with the world. Although my own children are grown, I am happy to know that such teachers exist, and pray that the love and passion they have for educating children is not extinguished by the regimented testing schedule they must follow.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Every teacher has heart, but not all of them have the ability to express it so touchingly and eloquently. As adults and educators, we might wonder if our students will remember us down the line. But I remember my elementary teachers so clearly and all of the wonderful experiences I had with them. I know that your students will remember just as many lessons, about school and life, that they've learned from you. Congratulations on a successful school year!