Saturday, January 13, 2007

To my students...

Well, it’s official. You may now breathe a sigh of relief. It’s over. You’ve either earned credit or you haven’t. If you have, I’ll be excited to see you in three weeks for beginning of the spring semester. If you haven’t, I’ll be excited to see you around in the halls, and again next fall for a repeat my class.

If you did not earn credit in my class, it is my hope that you’ll spend some time thinking about why this happened. It would not do, after all, to go through the same class a second time and end up with the same result. Consider these questions: Did you spend time every day with the material for the class? Did you do your practice work when, and how, you needed to? Did you ask questions, so you could understand what you were doing? Did you make an effort to contribute to what was going on in the classroom? All these are things that teachers consider essential for students to do if they’re to be successful, and it is no different for me. I may not ask you to consider my class as the primary focus of your life, but I will absolutely expect that you can demonstrate these routines as part of your work.

Please understand that the choice to succeed is yours. The choice to learn is yours, too. I am here to help you in any way I can to accomplish your goals, and I am willing to go as far as you are to do so. I want you to be successful!

You can learn what I have to offer you, you know. It might be new, different and intimidating at times. It might feel like you’re not a natural at it, like others in the class. It might seem as though it’s hard work. None of that matters. What matters is that YOU CAN DO IT. Trust me. Have faith in your abilities. Work to develop the routines you need to make things happen, and the rest will come as it should. Be patient. No one gets to be good at something overnight. You will get there.

As a final word, I hope that you know that your performance in my class has nothing to do with my appreciation of you as a person. I will still smile enthusiastically when I see you in the hall or outside during lunch. I will still be there for you in every way; I will continue to act as your advocate in all things. I will miss having you in my space every day, and I will be very glad when you are back, fresh and ready to succeed. When that day comes, I will be ready.

3 comments:

mrschili said...

Oh, this is beautiful. May I copy it to distribute to my classes?

Wayfarer said...

Of course! Use it freely, and with my blessing. I hope it makes a difference where it's needed.

Fran said...

Not lurking! I like it too. It so requires people taking responsibility for themselves - a trait sorely laking in this culture, from the top on down.