Dear New Teacher,
You don’t know us yet, but we can’t wait to meet you! You have fun ideas, a passion for helping us learn and a desire to make a difference in our lives. To help make our year even better, we thought we would share a few things that we need from you.
1. Love and Respect
We know that you are super busy, that the paperwork demands will be larger than you expected, that deadlines and schedules will make you feel rushed and worried. But we need you to love and respect us and our time. When the minutes get short and the schedule says we must be finished with math and on to science…just breathe. We thrive off of your energy (both good and bad) and we need you to love and respect that we will get it. It may take us a minute or ten longer than the posted schedule, but we will get it through your love and support.
We need boundaries. We will push against them. We will push against you. BUT we like those walls. We like knowing what you expect and we like meeting those expectations. Meeting your expectations makes us feel proud. We will respect the walls once we know how far we can push it. Be patient with us. The stronger the walls, the quicker we stop pushing.
We love choices. We don’t all love orange. Just like writing with your favorite color we like showing you what we know in different ways. Yes, we know that you have requirements like 30% quiz grades, and 9 formal assessments, but let us have some choice in learning and demonstrating what we have learned.
We may sigh, roll our eyes, and/or groan, but we like helping. We like knowing that we are contributing to the classroom community. We hate doing the dishes at home, but we love the satisfaction of a clean sink and a smiling mother. Our desks may get messy (we get in a rush sometimes), but we like taking the time to get it straight. We like taking messages down the hall, passing out papers, and straightening the library. You are only one person. You can’t do it all. We know that, so let us help.
Along with the choices and responsibility, we want ownership. We are protective of our school “home” and community. Let us make some decisions on rewards, and rules. Let us discuss consequences and topics we want to learn. If we can buy in and feel like we have a say, we will strive to give our best. Hey, since we made the rules, then it is easier to remember and follow. Just like Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
6. A Safe Environment
Let us have a safe place to learn. Many of us have our own fears. Fear of speaking, fear of being wrong, fear of large groups, the list goes on and on. Some of us don’t have the safest environment outside of school and this is our safe haven. We may act out in this safe place because we can relax and just be ourselves. Let us know through your expectations, your respect, and your love that we matter. We want to matter just as much on our “okay” days as we do when we are at our best and worst.
Thank you so much new teacher for guiding us this year. Thank you for filling our brains with amazing new wonders and letting us know that we matter. We can’t wait to get this year started.
Your Future Students
Would you like more information about setting classroom expectations? Check out these posts. Just click on the picture.
And please join our New Teacher Mentoring Community on Facebook. It is a safe and positive environment for sharing and asking questions.