To Sir With Love
Dear Mr. Muto
I am happy that I decided to attend the parent-teacher meeting last Friday. I had become so tired of them, to be honest. You opened the meeting by saying Anayah can go all the way to the top if she continues working the way she was. Here is a little backstory, Anayah has always said she hated school. At first, I was a little upset with her, but then I realized that the cookie-cutter school setting does not fit every student. Anayah is a free spirit, she learns differently and having to sit in a classroom all day long is not very engaging to her. As a matter of fact, what we found is she does enough to pass in class but never gives that extra effort. However, when she met you, that changed.
Teachers are Superheroes
You know teachers have a way of connecting with children and being able to bring out the best in them. I find that you have used that teacher superpower, and you have awakened her. She is super smart; she is a good listener, and the weight of her questions are unbelievable for a child her age. When she started school, she was three years old and a bit unsettled, and it was perceived as her having a learning disability. I was sent a letter from the school board regarding her performance, but I politely declined their assistance because I recognised that they did not understand her.
To Sir With Gratitude
Now here it is; she is enjoying school and doing well in your class. When you used her Science test as an example of her performance, and you mentioned she was in the top 2 in the class, she was elated. In addition, you mentioned the way she answered her short and long questions and the detail she added. We could not have been prouder because I think that was the most effort she had ever put into anything regarding school. She finally believes she can do great things. We tell her this all the time, but sometimes I guess hearing it from a third party makes a difference. A light went on in her, a spark of sorts, and she is now ready.
Anayah’s Science Test. She got an A!
To Sir With Thanks
I know as she navigates her school life, she will have many teachers she will have to interact with, but I earnestly pray they are like you. I sit and listen to how you take time with her and her colleagues. It’s easy to identify the students in her class that require a little more attention and discipline, and I know it has to be wearing on your nerve at times, but you sit there and navigate with such patience. It’s amazing to see you work. I like the little jokes you make with them; I like the fact that you have told them a little about yourself. She repeated everything you said verbatim. It is always Mr. Muto this and Mr. Muto that.
I like the way you encourage them to answer questions using at least five sentences, the way you encourage them to pay attention to punctuation, grammar, and spelling. These simple skills will be the building blocks as they move up in their training. The level of homework you are presenting to them is impressive and challenging, but it will serve the students because it will force them to think and try harder.
To Sir With Appreciation
You are new to the teaching profession; you are young, and your exuberance is serving you well. My advice is to keep that exuberance going because you will need it as you navigate your teaching career. There will be challenging students that will make you question everything, and then you will have the students that just need a teacher to make them come alive. Stay on the course for all your students because you never know whose life you might be changing. You will forever be the benchmark among the teachers that made a change for our daughter, and for that, we are forever grateful. Our commitment to you is to continue to work with her, and together we can work as parents and teacher to help her realise her full potential.
Brent & Malaika Archer