I understand that you sometimes feel as if you have the deck stacked against you. But we also have the deck stacked against us, in some of the same ways. I have written here some things that I would like to ask you to do.
Please hold me accountable. Don’t be afraid to give out an “F”, or any grade, that you feel is appropriate for work and assignments. In order to improve, I need to know where I am lacking. Giving me an “A for effort” is probably not going to make me try harder or strive to improve. Its going to encourage me to do the same work I did on a mediocre assignment as it would encourage me to do the same on excellent work I hand in. Your constructive criticism and kindness will make me challenge myself to do the very best I can.
Please get to know me. I am one of a kind and I need to you to know who I am! I need you to know how to teach me and what I need help with. Just like you can’t grow all plants using the same methods, you cannot grow an eager young mind using the same method as the growing young mind sitting next to me. My desire for learning may begin to whither if you tend to me the same way. I may need more sunshine or less water than them. Sometimes I may even need more TLC because my roots are not strong. And sometimes, you may be able to learn something from me by knowing me better. Life is full of life lessons as well as text book ones.
Please don’t be afraid to fight for yourself. If you know you are a good teacher, then you should be treated like one. You are not only part of the collective in your Union. You are an individual and need to have your needs addressed. You are sculpting this country, this World, and should be rewarded as such. You are engineering our future with what you are teaching us now. Don’t give up because you can’t support yourself, because if you give up now, I will not be able to support myself when I grow up. In fighting for yourself, you are fighting for me!
Please teach me life lessons you have learned. I like to here stories and there is nothing more interesting than a real life story with a lesson to be learned. Whether it is a life lesson about when you were in school or about how to buy the best quality, least expensive groceries, it is still a valuable lesson that I can benefit from. Taking a few minuets to tell me something that may not be on the curriculum your teaching will make me want to learn from you. Sharing your opinion about mistakes or victories you have made will help me decide my own opinions.
Please try not to forget me. All the lessons you taught me that didn’t work and all the ones that did will help you to teach your future students. I want all of your students to learn as much from you as I did. You are still learning too. If you forget me, you might forget what I had taught you.
I want to thank you, dear teacher, for making the choice and having the courage to share yourself with me. Out of all the people that I know, there are few that can influence me in the way you can. There are few who care enough to help me grow into a strong, smart, knowledgeable person. Your hard work and dedication to me will last forever and will shape your future as well as mine. Thank You!
Respectfully, Sincerely, and with Love,
United States Student