“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to email us – we greatly appreciate it.”
A note at the end of an email from a parent. An email I initiated, an email that I wrote simply to note a student’s improvement, and a confession that she made in class that she understood why her parents had grounded her. But it is not time out, it is one part of teaching that I love. I love watching the development and growth that young people make, and if I can share that insight with a parent, it may just make a difference.
And now the 11 o’clock news is on about a 16 year old getting shot in Randolph, on his front porch. It is not time out of my busy day, it is my day, and it ought to be something we all take a pause to consider.
2 Comments Add yours
Time is a concept, it includes the time to think of doing the action, the action itself, and concern that the action is not done correct. I’ve realized that the people in our young people’s lives appreciate any little message. It does not have to eloquently written, it does not have to follow any rules, and it can be brief and to the point. As much as I would like to explain the “whole” thing, the little gem is enough. So by accepting that I avoid step 1 + 3 of the time problem.
Notes on tricking teenagers:
– Ask when they least expect it
– Slip it into another activity
– make it seem like it was their idea
So for the contact information, on the very first day of school, I lay out index cards to assign them their seating order. Their 1st warm-up is to write their name, own email, phone #, house/parent/family member phone + email, and their favorite movie. Because it is done right when they enter my classroom for the first time, they tend not to think too much about it. (I DID NOT COME UP WITH THIS IDEA, IT WAS TAUGHT TO ME BY A MENTOR TEACHER.)
As far as the reading piece, I can say I have never read all of The Wealth of Nations, I find critical academic pieces on such text more valuable. But even better is a series of books that illustrates complex philosophy. In this case Capitalism for Beginners and Marxism for beginners. And these texts can be loved by students as well.
From a friend, via email, but i’ll respond in public:
1) Where do you find the time to email parents and how did you get an email address that is accurate without having to kill yourself to get it? 2) I need to return and re-read The Wealth of Nations and the Communist Manifesto. Any other places you think I should start?