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.

4 comments:

Jose said...

Love e-mail. I actually have a teacher myspace believe it or not, and it's been good to me. Anyways, good luck with the rest of the year.

proofoflife said...

The very best part of my day was having one of my students run up to me and say, " Can I have you for the 37.5 minutes?" it cracks me up that the kids say 37.5 minutes! After all I have read in the news and online it was nice to have one of my little pets run up to me and hug me! I will try to remember the real reason I became a teacher. Maybe I can do this!

beth said...

Thanks for your advice. I did (after getting home, reading your comment, and thinking about it) email the principal, but only to politely ask what will happen if the intake numbers do not maintain their pace and my class does not gain more students. Just so I have an idea of what may come down the road. I kept it very positive ~ how having the two will allow me to get their Brigance donw more quickly and I can more easily get their IEPs done and make suer I have their goals for the year set early. We'll see what happens. My principal is usually very open to our questions and concerns, so fingers are crossed.

beth said...

Thank you so much for your support. :) I've got a separate blog that's exclusively teaching ( http://teachinglizzie.typepad.com/learning_to_teach ) so that's why I've said I'm going to try to not do a lot. But I find that most of my friends will inevitable ask me about stuff. I guess it'll be more generalized on my non-teaching exclusivy blog.

But you're right. It's VERY therapeutic!!