Dear Student

The day is almost here… that day when students across our county set early morning alarms, stumble out of bed, and head off to catch buses or rides. My early alarm began a week ago as I met with teachers, leaders, and presenters to prepare for a new year. Already I find myself going to bed earlier and getting in quick afternoon naps! It will take me a few days to adjust to the schedule but I will get there. After all, I’ve had many years to practice- today begins year 25!!

Usually about this time, I write a post to encourage educators as they gear up for school. Today, I offer a different perspective as I share a note I wish all my students would read- those that walk through my classroom door and those I pass in the hallways.


Dear Student,

You may not know me yet- O, you may have heard my name or maybe someone told you about me or maybe you were in one of my classes last year. No matter our history, I have a few words you need to hear as this new school year dawns. After you read this, you may sit back and doubt them. You may think these words apply to others just not you. You would be wrong! This not is to You- yes, You! And these words are true about you… so let’s just jump in!


  1. You can do more than you think you can! The question is whether you will student-up and push through the obstacles and difficulties to get there. Maybe reading is difficult… what are you doing to get better? Where/how are you seeking help? Does math seem like a foreign language? Then who are you going to for interpretation? Don’t write yourself off or ever say ‘I’ll never be able to do this’ because I don’t believe it and neither should you! This is why I will push you this year and push you hard! I believe in you… will you?
  2. You are worth every effort! Even if you don’t believe it yet, I do! You are the reason I put in extra hours, offer tutoring after school, go to trainings, seek out new technologies, and write lesson plans that change right in the middle of class. You are the reason I cheer at ball games, work concessions, and root for you at band competitions… not because I don’t have other things I could be doing but because YOU are worth it- trust me on this!
  3. You have a bright future ahead of you if you will just reach for it. If you have a strong support system at home, you may have heard this one already and I’m just another voice echoing this truth to you. Yet maybe no one has told you this truth before. Maybe you come from circumstances at home that I can’t even begin to understand from my safe, secure, and loving home. Every year I encounter students who break my heart because of what they must go through at home just to walk through my door. I understand why Algebra 2 is not your top priority. Yet I also know the power of a good education and the value of learning to push through struggles to overcome. Let me share an important truth with you- the circumstances at home do not define you. Struggles with school work do not define you. Who your family is does not define you. What you are facing today is just a page in your book not your whole story. Learn from the past. Fight to overcome today and with each choice to fight to victory, you pave the road to a bright future.

My dear student, if I didn’t believe in every word I just wrote, I wouldn’t work as hard as I do. I wouldn’t expend so much energy than I wonder how I will make it home on some days. I wouldn’t invest so much of my heart into your life.

You CAN do more than you think you can!

You ARE worth it!

You have a BRIGHT future ahead!



Your loving teacher

(& yes I did say LOVE!)

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