Letters from the Edited

I have children everywhere. But not in like a pro football player kind of way. More of a Jesus-y kind of way, if I may be so bold.

When I started my winter quarter in January, my schedule changed and I was no longer able to help the 5th grade teacher at my kids’ (genetic, just two of ’em) school with essay writing. Mind you, the teacher didn’t need help with her essay writing, she needed me to help her students with theirs. And so, of course, to help her with the task overall. (But I wax Dickensian again). I never felt like I was doing a very good job, it being my first effort at teaching 5th graders anything. Neither of my kids have gotten there yet. And I never could tell whether, while guiding them through their outlines and intros and theses, I was giving them too much credit, or too little. Expecting more than I should have from them, or thinking them less capable than they are, and not expecting enough. The thing I did was to try.

In December, just before the Christmas break, one of the students gave me a little Christmas card. She had made it herself, and another student nudged between us to say “it’s from me, too.” I scolded a warm tear back into its dungeon, and thanked them for being so thoughtful.

This was (is still) the card from Katie (and Sydney, too, if I am to believe her in spite of a paucity of evidence. I do):


Yesterday a letter came in the mail. Official school envelope, addressed only to me. It worried me some. I wondered what kind of trouble I was in. The only thing troubled, though, was my heart. My 5th graders – the heading says they belong to the school, but I know better – wrote me a letter:


For the record, I don’t remember ever criticizing a single one of them. Couldn’t have happened. Not me.

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