I love letters, especially letters that are from the heart. It’s doubly good if they are handwritten.
I’m not gonna lie this year’s group of kids loved writing letters. They wrote letters to me all year long. But, end of the year letters, oh they’re my favorite, there is so much to reflect on . . . and it gives me one last chance to hear each of their sweet voices before another teacher steals them away.
And so I’d like to share these with you, because I think it’s okay with them. Here’s a few lines from the letters that let me know I might be doing this teaching thing right. . . (Disclaimer: I could have typed many many more of these, but each paragraph is from a different kid and well, I think you’ll get the point.)
Dear Miss Smith aka Rachel, Smidty, RSmidty, the teacher that watches Harry Potter with students ect . . .
This letter is written on the last blank salvageable page in my journal! So this letter is nothing short of important to me, as I’m sure it is to you. This letter will probably not feature many writing strategies and/or sentence patterns, but this letter is from the heart.
I’m not gonna lie, coming into this year I thought I was going to HATE your class. I didn’t like writing, reading, or Language Arts in general. I came into your class with a chip on my shoulder, because I honestly thought all I was gonna do was be miserable. But then you opened my eyes to a different type of writing, not writing to boring prompts, but what we wanted to write about. I can’t thank you enough for that . . .
I enjoyed how you don’t believe in writing prompts and that helped me with my style. It gave me a chance to really find what and how I like writing. I will admit I didn’t like writing everyday, but when I started realizing I actually could write good things, I became proud of all my writing! It shows me how I grew as a student. Thanks for teaching me to be me.
The atmosphere of the room was great. Having the time to work with our partners really helped me engage in my writing. I also liked how you let us use our iPods in class to concentrate on our work. Last but not least, I loved the lights off and having your lamps on.
And I still remember when you gave me The Maze Runner and I was obsessed with reading. To be honest, before I read that book, I used to open a book and pretend to read, but you got me into it; you’re the best.
One of the most helpful things was to listen to your words. Any teacher could tell you to write, but you showed us how (with amazing examples from you). I also love how you put feeling into your writing or when you read a story.
Before I walked into your classroom, reading and writing was pretty much the death of me. By the middle of September, I found myself staying up late, just to finish my book. You taught me so many things I’ll never forget. I learned that the semicolon is used for more than just the winky face, if you want something chase after it cause you never know what will happen, and that FANBOYS are awesome.
But one of the most important things that has come out of this year is becoming a writer. A real writer.
Those are my kids. Oh how we learned. And oh how much it makes me smile that they admit it . . .