Dear Student I Have Yet to Meet,
I am writing this letter to introduce myself and help you get an understanding of what your new school year will be like. So, how are you? Did you have a good summer? I hope you did fun things. Did you read a lot? I have to be honest, I didn’t. But now it’s back to school and we both need to make sure we are ready to work very hard!
First off, I am a man. You probably never had a man for a teacher. Most of the time the kids are scared, like I’m going to be some big meanie. I guarantee you, I am not a big meanie. So you can stop worrying about that.
I should tell you that I did talk to your teacher from last year about you. Don’t you worry about that. I remember some of the good stuff, but I seem to have forgotten all of the bad. Oh, well. I guess it wasn’t that important! Anyway, you will show me lots of wonderful things. I don’t need your old teacher to tell me about them. I just need you to show them.
I want you to feel safe in your new class, safe to be yourself, and safe to take risks. We’re going to talk a lot about people’s differences and similarities and I’m going to do my best to establish an environment where you feel you can be yourself.
I think you will like the way the room is set up. I think it’s really nice. But, I have to tell you, while your class will be fun, it will also be challenging. I am not accepting work that doesn’t show what you’re capable of. If you are not pushing yourself, I will let you know. Plus, I won’t be too happy about it.
That doesn’t mean you have to come in knowing everything. In fact, I kind of get a little annoyed when a student thinks they know everything! I am many, many years older than you and even I don’t know everything! So please allow me to work with you and help you learn a few things here and there.
Part of the challenge I have set up for you is that you will not be babied in my class. At your age, you are ready to start being more independent. I have set up a few items around the room that will help you be independent. Guess what? You won’t need to come to me for every little thing this year. You’ll be amazed how much you can figure out without your teacher.
There are some other things in this new class that you have to get used to. For one, when you’re working independently, you can sit wherever you want. Makes no difference to me. At times, I may ask you to join me at a table or in a chair just so we can be eye-level with each other, but other than that, knock yourself out.
Also, I am one of those teachers who doesn’t mind too much noise, as long as it’s academic. I’m sure you agree that screaming and having side conversations have no place in a classroom where kids are trying to learn. If I feel like the class is kind of getting out of control and losing focus, I’ll get everyone back on track with a hand signal. Don’t worry about it.
There are two grades in our class this year, but that shouldn’t affect the way you socialize with or treat kids who are older or younger than you. In fact, you will find yourself working with all the kids in the room at one point or another. You will be amazed what you can show them and what they can show you. Lots of times, the other students will be an even better resource for you than me!
Because there are two grades, you will see that many of the kids are able to do things very differently than you. You may be a good reader and be shocked to see that some kids’ levels are really low. That’s okay. They’re going to do their best and that’s what matters most. (And, by the way, you may find that you have a lower level or struggle in math. No worries. All I ask for is that you do your very best.)
That’s basically it for me. If you have any questions, you can ask me tomorrow when you arrive for your first day. Until then, sleep well, eat breakfast tomorrow morning, and let’s have a great year!
Your New Teacher