Tuesday, September 04, 2007
You've Got Mail
Today was the first day of classes. Some of the kids I have taught before, but most are new to me this term. As much as I hated the first two days back, I loved today. Kids from last year all came over to say hello. My favorites are the hugs from the kids who I had to fail. They know that I did my best to help them get through and that it is not my fault that they failed. They know that I still respect them as people, and love them for who they are. Their abilities, their work ethics and their attendance matter in their grades, but not in the kind of people that they are. They know that I will keep on encouraging them and helping them and be their loudest supporter at graduation.
Right now, I am sitting at the computer waiting for the "you've got mail." I give an e-mail address to my students every term and tell them to send me an e-mail, with their name and class so I can create a class list and send it out. I get so excited hearing that expression. I know some teachers don't like to use e-mail. They are afraid. I keep my e-mails impersonal. I write nothing that could be taken wrong. The kids love it. I don't mind answering homework questions. It is an easy way to get in touch with parents.
Most schools out of NYC use e-mail all the time. What I am doing is not rare or unusual. It is for a NYC teacher. It gives me a way to get to know the kids a little better. It is not an invasion of my personal time. I only have to answer what I want to answer.
So now, instead of waiting for the phone to ring, with maybe some bad news from my sister, I am waiting for the mail to come.