Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A letter to my first graders

Dear boys and girls,
You don't know me yet, but my name is Miss Pea and in two weeks I am going to be your first grade teacher. Even though I am not your first teacher -- heck, I'm not even your first FIRST grade teacher -- you are my First Students. This is a big deal in my world, and not something I take lightly. I am scared, much like you all may have been one year ago upon entering your first day of kindergarten. What a RESPONSIBILITY you undertook, and I will undertake. But I am so excited and happy to become a part of your world, and I have full faith that my placement as your teacher has a great purpose.

I love you all already. I will be there for you, making school fun and fascinating. I will be there to confide in, to comfort, to reassure on days when all seems to go wrong. I will be fair and equal, open and honest. I will keep you safe and secure while you are in my classroom, and I will instill in you the importance (and the rewards) of being a responsible citizen, in the classroom community and beyond. Be equally assured that we will sing and dance and be goofy on many occasions, all the while accomplishing our main mission of Learning.

My job may be the easy one. You will have to work harder than ever before. You will learn to read and to be a friend. You will learn to add and to work cooperatively. You will learn the parts of a flower and how to embrace diversity. You will learn the pledge of allegiance and how to use your indoor voices. You will be part of a family full of unique individuals who have come together to achieve common goals, both academically and socially. You will be part of a classroom democracy in which you will be given the right to help make the rules, but you will also be solely responsible for upholding them for yourself. You will work hard, it's true. But you will succeed and you will have had a great time along the way.

Above all, we must remember that no one is perfect and mistakes will be made. Someone wise told me that "Every mistake is a rebirth", and what that should mean to you is that mistakes teach us valuable lessons, if we are willing to forgive ourselves quickly enough. So when it happens, remember to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try try again. (Did I mention I will help you up and assist in the dusting if you need me? Just checkin'.)

I know that we will be a great team. You can help me from the very start by reminding me that, just as you got through that first day of kindergarten -- just breathe Miss Pea -- so will I get through my First Day. And the rest is a breeze so long as we all remember why we are here and what we are capable of, each and every one of you, and myself.

Your teacher Miss Pea.

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