This Thanksgiving the language teacher had the students write papers or letters. This student requested to be able to write his letter to me. She agreed and noticed he was very secretive about it. When finished he gave to her to give to me. I was floored. I knew we had made a connection but I also knew his behaviors this year were not always good. I share his letter for a few reasons. One, you are making a difference in children's lives. Two, even if the "behaviors" seem to still be there do not give up. Three, that child is depending on you, even if he/she doesn't act like it.
Dear Mrs. Moss,
Mrs. D is making us write letters about what we are thankful for and I chose you! I know I can count on you to help me if I mess up somewhere down the road and if I need anything I know I could go to you. You would be there! I know you think I'm not trying to change , I really am! I have already stoped some things, and you know what I am talking about. I couldn't have done it without you. It's not that I was scared you were going to tell my parents, I was scared I would have disappointed you and you would stop loving me! And I still fill like that sometimes but anyway I still need help to change my ways so don't give up on me!
Wow! Talk about powerful. After a lots of tears I came to realize our job is so much more than test scores and data walls. Our job is all about the connections we make with the students, because without that we have nothing. Has he changed for the better? Some. But more importantly, I hope I have changed for the better. Take this letter and replace my student's name with "That Student" in your school right now. What would you do or say to that child if he/she wrote you that letter?
I tell you what I did... I told him to never be scared.... I will never stop loving you.