Tuesday, February 15, 2011


ACTUAL comments i put on students' essays from semester I:

1) "Dear _____,
There is nothing you cannot achieve if you work hard enough. Life puts up walls not to block you from your dreams, but to force you to prove the strength of your desires. Build a ladder, climb a rope, go around, or dig a hole . . . Whatever you must do to get to other side of life's walls, do it. Work harder next time."

2) "Dear _____,
People can take everything away from you . . . cars, clothes, money, family, friends and even your dignity. The only thing people can't take away from you is what you put inside your mind. Work harder next time."

3) "Dear _____,
You're beautiful, but only your brain will get you into college. Long after your beauty has faded, your mind's radiance will still shine. Work harder next time."

do y'all see a theme developing here?

4) "Dear _____,
I was born in another country, came to the US as a poor immigrant who didn't speak the language, my father was killed by a drunk driver when I was just 10, crime and drugs ran rampant in my neighborhood and I have dyslexia. I was also on varsity cheerleading, practiced karate, did student council and volunteered at a home for senior citizens in high school, then graduated at the top of my class and obtained a full scholarship to UCLA, where I, again, graduated with highest honors.

You can make excuses or you can make it happen. Make it happen. Work harder next time."


5) "Dear _____,
THANK YOU for working so hard on this piece. Your dedication to knowledge and self-improvement is an inspiration to me. You make being a teacher worthwhile."

i work my ass off teaching, and it really sucks when, despite my best efforts, my students blow me off. fortunately, making me happy is easy . . . just one hard-working kid reeled me back into the craft.


Kal said...

Oh do I know that feeling. I remember going into the staff room bitching about those damn kids. One teacher listened patiently and then took a small piece of laminated paper out of his wallet. It was a thank you note from a kid - the only one that he had gotten in 30 years. Sometimes what we do is thankless but at the end of the day we know we are doing the most noble thing a person can do. Glad I found you.

Lana Banana said...

i'll be honest, i have not one, but lots and lots and lots of thank you's. and i have not one, but lots and lots and lots of great kids. and even the ones who seem not to give a shit, i am certain WANT to give a shit.

but in a climate where, for the past several years, my job's been on the line for lack of fiscal funding, it's that one kid's effort above-and-beyond that really keeps me going.

glad to have you aboard.