We are five days in, five days into our school year and the first letter arrives.
This will be 15 years at my current school, 3 years in Missouri, and year in Alaska. At the end of this current school year, I’ll have totaled 19 years as a full time teacher. I’ve been swore at, swung at, been called any number of names in the book by both students and parents. Yet, here I am, fretting over a parent letter.
It’s a great letter, very eloquently written. And because it’s that way, the author knows exactly what they are doing in it. Questioning my classroom, questioning my school, questioning my district, and in many ways the community at large, all done in a manner that leaves you wondering “what just happened here?”
I will respond. My response will be sunshiny and cheerful. My response will be complimentary and encouraging. My response will be one that will gleam with good will.
Why? Because that’s what we do, we are teachers. We take everyone, regardless of attitude, regardless of name, regardless of parental involvement and we make their kids feel like the kings and queens of the earth. We take those who are angry, sad, hungry, and upset and show them that life can be so much better. We take students who no one else would give a chance, and we give them that chance.
I will respond and make sure the author knows that I will take care of their child and if they have questions, I’ll give them 17 different ways to contact me. Why? Because that’s what we do, we are teachers. We allow everyone in, because we want the best for their children, period.
It’s a letter, but it hurts. Eventually, that will pass, but it’s raw and unsettled. But it’s also a challenge. We talked last night at #iledchat about how sometimes Twitter is an echo chamber, one where everyone seems to agree. This is real. I’m being challenged.
And I’m up for it. So let’s get ready to grind, because this year, letter and all, will be epic.