Monday, May 3, 2010

Students: Letters To Themselves

May 17, 2000
Dear H***,
You have lots of friends like L**, E**, C**, K** and L** of corse.
You have a goal for when you grow up which is an artist and an actriss and of corse a person who helps wild animals. I hope that one day I will have three kids and an understandable husband. I just hope that I'll have a dog (golden retrever).
Also I hope to learn cursive soon. I've had many teachers but I think Miss Christian has tought me the most inportant lessons in my life.

The letter above is from a second grader, typed exactly as she wrote it in May, 2000. She's in this year's group of students about to receive a letter from their younger selves.

At the end of each school year I had my students write a letter to their future selves. I saved the letters, then mailed them to my former students the year they graduated from High School along with a letter from me, talking about what I remember of them and what has happened in the past five to ten years.

I love sending these letters each year and reading about forgotten memories from the child's point of view. Most of this group wrote about becoming veterinarians and seeing dancers from all over the world perform at the local theater. There's also a note about coming home from a field trip and one of the parent's racing another back to school with students in the cars! I wish I'd read that back in the day. Wait, on second thought, maybe I don't.

The BEST part of this process is when I receive letters back from students telling me about their lives in the present.

Yes, I miss teaching.