Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dear Students...

Beginnings are an interesting concept.  I wonder if there is really such a thing.  You have begun a new chapter in your educational experiences, but the story began long ago.  I like to think one door closes but a window opens.  This is the window of your seventh grade year.  Welcome to grade seven, the middle school wing of the school, ipads, a new ELA curriculum, a new math curriculum, a new science curriculum, a new social studies curriculum.  New rooms, new lockers, new friends, new teachers, new schedule, new new new.
     Last week I asked you tell me a little bit about you, the past and present you.  What's important to you.  What you most love about learning.  What you like and dislike about school. How you learn best in the classroom...and a few more questions.  I learned lots.  Some of you are interested in learning a second language and how cool is that!  Many of you said you learn best in a quiet classroom, and you hoped to improve in reading, math.  A few of you mentioned science is your area of improvement.  So many of you went camping this summer and went to Fun Town.  Many of you mentioned how important family is to you.  Neato.  I learned that several of you love motors and want to learn more about automotive engineering.  Cheering is a big interest for many of you and basketball was mentioned more than any other sport as a favorite!  Video gaming sure was a popular interest as was horseback riding and one of you loves archery.  How cool.  I wanted to cry when I saw how many of you love learning but I shouldn't be surprised.  It shows in your personalities and interests that so many of you are readers. Well, you've come to the right place.  Have you seen my library? lol  I can't list all that I learned about you, but it's been pretty darn interesting learning about you.   Now I will share a bit about me:
     Most important in my life if my family, my career, my dearest friends, and my love of books, swimming, gardening, and my home.   One of the best days of the summer was a day I spend at Tunk Lake with my granddaughters.  Floating and staring at a blue summer sky is like heaven to me, and sharing this with my sweet grandkids is an awesome bonus.  Now I have a sweet little border collie named Pearl who will join me in my trips to Tunk. Yay!
     Next I must share my favorite book.  My favorite book in the world can I choose?!  If you twisted my arm I would say Anna Kariena, a wicked long book about a woman who is struggling to be independent and free from society's expectations of her.  A lot of historical details about Russia are weaved in the story, especially Russia's social classes and their struggles.  Good book.  Took forever to read but worth every word.  I want to read it again someday.
     More about me...I cannot wait to teach my first year of the new Springboard ELA curriculum.  New to me, new to you, it looks like a terrific learning experience.  I am sad about losing some of the time for ELA classes which I've had in the past, but I am happy students have a study hall this year.  I am an optimistic person who will find a way to make it work.  If I can't, I fight for change.
     In closing, I wish to say I am thankful to be a teacher, one who teaches at HGS, and I think I am darn lucky.  Spending the day at Donnell Pond with a clan of fun kids reminded me of this.  Telling you a little bit about me has reminded me of just how fortunate I am.  I look forward to your letters about you.

Mrs. Leighton

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