Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Dreams... Thanks for being much nicer to me last night.  I was a little nervous about going to bed last night, but you took care of me and gave me a great night of rest.

Dear Santa... Get ready.  Starting next Friday, my "Friday's Letters" post is going to be a special "Friday's Letters to Santa" for the remaining Fridays between then and Christmas.  I'm looking for some fun ways to spruce up the blog for Christmas - and I think a few letters to you will be the perfect way to do that.

Dear Motivation... Where are you?  We still have 14 days of work before Christmas break, yet you decided to go on vacation about a week ago.  You need to get your behind back here to me so that we can get through the next 14 days together.  Yes, I know you're excited and you're just ready for Christmas to hurry and get here... but you're going to have to suck it up.  I can't do these next couple of weeks without you.

Dear Inner Scrooge... There's not an ounce of my blood that wants to hold an inner Scrooge.  The way you've been ranting and raving at these kids the past couple of days because they're not focused and they need to pay better attention and that you're tired of repeating yourself over and over is getting a little out of hand.  I just can't allow you to interfere with my Christmas spirit one bit.  I am going to remind myself over and over that these kids just aren't interested in learning about subjects and predicates again, or what compound sentences are, or the bazillion steps to solving multiplication problems.  In order for all of us to get through, I'm just going to have to bring out my inner Christmas spirit and make the learning as fun as possible.  That means, Inner Scrooge, it's time to pack your bags and get on out.  I won't be hearing from you again.

Dear Frustration Level...  OK, I just explained to my inner Scrooge that I just can't allow any form of negativity around me while I'm trying to teach these kids just a mere 14 days before Christmas break.  Unfortunately for you, that also means that I'm going to have to lower you down to a non existent level.  I'm making it a personal goal that I won't allow myself to get frustrated one more time between now and Christmas. 

Dear Weatherman... Long time no talk!  So, I'm taking the kids to the zoo tomorrow to celebrate Jelly's birthday.  Yes, I'm fully aware that it's the beginning of December - but I'd really appreciate it if you could help us out and give us a semi warm day.. just for tomorrow.  I don't want hot, I just don't want freezing cold.  I know, I know, I've been wanting colder weather.. and now that it's here I'm asking for warmer weather.  But, it's just for one day.  I promise I won't bother you any more for the rest of this year if you could just do this one little thing for me, K?

Dear People on Facebook Complaining About the Whole Happy Holidays Ordeal - Again... I just can't believe that I'm seeing so much of this AGAIN.  Now that the election is over, you all just had to find something else to whine and complain about, didn't you?  The most wonderful time of the year is not a time to start fighting with people over the correct way to greet someone.  This time last year, I wrote an entire blog post about this very subject.  It just burns my britches that some of you think that people would be offended by being greeted by a total stranger based on a holiday that's celebrated.  If you are someone that would get offended because I went out of my way to wish you Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, then you need to check yo' self!  A greeting is a display of courtesy.  I don't know a single person that would give a greeting to someone with the intent to offend or upset.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, if someone wishes you well this holiday season - freakin' plant a smile on your face, thank them, and move on.  Geez, it just seems like no one can just be happy.  There's always something that's got to be fought over.

Dear Me... It's been a tough week.  Huh? Yesterday was the first time in a long time that you actually felt like crying.  To hear from any student that they think you hate them or that you are mean is tough to hear - especially when you hear it from two students in one day.  You know that isn't you.  Yes, you are firm.  Yes, you have high expectations.  Yes, I know you care and that you want the best for these kids.  But, at the end of the day, you have to take a step back and look at what you're doing - not at what they are not doing.  If they aren't "getting it" for the bazillionth time of talking about it - then something is wrong with the way you're teaching it.  You know that.  I don't have to tell you.  You are starting to fall in to that trap, again, of doubting your ideas and practices and trying to conform to the practices of others.  You see how much your kids' eyes light up when you're reading to them and discussing the story and breaking apart the stuff that's happening in the book.  Why on earth, then, do you feel like you have to shy away from that to fill out grammar worksheets or study guides for a reading skill?  You have learned through your very short time at teaching that kids learn best through doing.  When they are seeing and applying the stuff they are supposed to learn - they want to do it, they understand it better.  I am challenging you to walk in to that school this morning and take back your confidence.  You remind those kids your mission, you promise them that you're going to make things better... and then YOU DO IT.  I'm counting on you to get through this - and so is every kid in your class.  You are NOT a mean teacher.  You are a great teacher who sometimes cares a little too much.  Just channel that frustration and desire for them to succeed... and run with it.  I have full faith in you.


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