Dear Students and Family Members,
It is difficult to believe that an entire school year has passed already. It has definitely been a year full of learning, fun, interesting events, some tears, much laughter, hard work and effort.
As always is the case, some events do indeed stand out from the rest, like hearing a child announce, “I did it!” after saying, “This is too hard for me.” There are too many memories to list, but some are:
Morning Meeting Celebrations that had us clapping like seals, setting off fireworks and impersonating Elvis, Knock, Knock jokes, group dances and singing songs like, “Black Socks” and “Do Your Thang!” Discovering what “Kind of Minds” we have, read alouds that caused us to laugh, cry and stretch our “Fantastic Elastic Brains.” Class quotes like, “Everybody gets what they need,” We’re all perfectly imperfect,” You don’t have to be perfect, just give it your best shot,” and “Being this awesome takes practice.” Appreciation Circle, inner coaches, positive affirmations and group projects (watching students work together and then beaming with pride over their achievements).
What will stand out the most, however, is the uniqueness, the creativity, the many talents, and the multiple intelligences of each student that made up the classroom community of [our room].
In the spirit of being a classroom community where we valued each other’s voices and were hopefully free to take risks and believe in ourselves, we want to share this poem entitled “I believe in me!” by Peter Reynolds.
Our hope is that every student leaving [our room] will always be a thoughtful learner, an active observer, an ally for those in need, a creative thinker and above all a risk taker:
I Believe in ME!
by Peter Reynolds
I believe in me.
I promise to remember who I am.
I promise to think about where I am,
Where I’m going, and where I want to be
going, and what I need to do to get there.
I promise to be a creative thinker,
A constructive problem solver,
A curious explorer,
A real listener,
A caring person,
An active citizen. I promise to help others.
To help others discover their own dreams
And be proud of who they are.
To believe that with time, patience,
And positive energy,
We can move the world to a
Love, Peace and Happiness,
It was in that environment – one that fostered respect, self-esteem, personal and communal responsibility, celebration of diversity through honest discussions about difference, risk-taking, a love of learning, the power of laughter, the importance of creating time for being silly – that my kid wrote THIS —
And then THIS …
I just keep reminding myself that you don’t come here for my photo-editing skills. Right? Right. Moving on.
Dear Future 5th Grade Teacher,
My name is Brooke. I live with my mom dad and sister I have 2 dogs named Winston and Lucy, I also have a fish named Swisha. My favorite color is pink. My favorite zoo animal is a monkey. I love to sleep in my bed.
There are some things I really like to do in school. I like quiet time because I get to pick an activity. I also like to sing in chorus. I am good at writing stories, and I am an awesome speller. In school I am working on playing with kids at recess. I am also working on reading in my head and thinking about the story. Outside of school I am working on doing homework by myself, I am also working on playing my clarinet and finding the right keys.
I am excited about having a 5th grade concert. I am looking forward to the field trips. Also I can’t wait to learn about math. I don’t know what class I am in, but I can’t wait for next year.
And so it is that today, I write THIS …
Dear Ms J, Ms H, Ms C and Ms J,
This is what love, respect and a little bit of silly allows our kids to do — to be themselves, to take pride in who they are, to recognize and celebrate their strengths and talents, and to be able to share those thoughts with someone else.
There are no words big enough for just how monumental that is.
If you ever doubt whether or not you’re making a difference, I implore you to come back here, think of the anxious little girl who started your class this year and then read what she had to say about herself and her beautiful, glorious, awesome head.
What you do matters.
You are creating ripples in the water that will continue their journey outward long after your kids — OUR kids — have left your care.
You are doing it right.