Last year I mentioned on Twitter that I had just finished writing letters to my students-to-be. Someone asked me to share the letter, which I did. I was surprised at how many people were interested in that letter, so this year I decided to share it without being asked.
Communicating is what we do all day long as teachers. Doing it well is important to the success of our students and to gaining the understanding and support of their parents. I like to start that communication off well, so every August, I send a letter to my new grade one students. I write to the students because
- It gives us a connection before the school year begins. “I got a letter from you!” is a common remark on the first day of school.
- Our first contact is positive. It sets the tone for the year.
- It creates anticipation.
- My pre-readers learn more about communication through the written word.
- It gives me a chance to remind them about school supplies which, as you will see by the letters below, is a perennial issue.
- Everyone likes to get a letter!
It’s a bit early for this letter to go home, but I have some commitments later this month, so I’ve written out and stuffed the envelopes so they will be ready to go when I want to mail them. The letter has morphed and changed a bit every year, but here is this year’s version.
New Student Letters
I’m glad I get to be your teacher this year!
I hope you have been having lots of fun this summer. Did you buy your school supplies yet? Don’t forget to bring them all with you on the first day of school. I’ll put everyone’s supplies together and we’ll share them.
We are going to have an exciting year. You will get your own iPad to use in our classroom and we will get to learn with other classrooms from all over the world. The best thing about grade one, though, is that you learn to read!
I want you to think about what else you would like to learn this year. Then, ask your mom or dad to email me and tell me about it.
On the first day of school, I will meet you in our classroom
(Room 2) at 8:55. Look for the door with pictures of iPads on it.
I’ll see you soon.
Your Grade 1 Teacher,
Returning Student Letter
This year I will have a one/two split classroom. Eight grade twos and I will be looping, so they needed their own letter.
I’m so excited that you are going to be in my classroom again this year! I loved watching you learn in grade one and now we can learn even more things together.
You might see some new things in our classroom when you come back in September. You’ll have to wait to see!
I went to some garage sales this summer, and I bought some new books for our classroom library. I’ll put a couple of them that I think you will like into your reading bin to start the school year.
I also bought some new apps for our iPads that I think you will enjoy and will help you to learn. All of the pictures that you took in grade one are still on your iPad and waiting for you.
Don’t forget to bring all of your school supplies with you on the first day of school. We’ll share them again, but be sure to put your name on your scissors and on your headphones or earbuds.
I’ll see you on September the fourth.
Your grade two teacher,
Letter to New Parents
Last year, I decided to also write to the parents of my students. I included their letter in the child’s envelope. Here is this year’s version of that parent letter:
I’m looking forward to this year and to getting to know your child. You can help me with this.
Before school starts, would you please take the time to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me anything you would like me to know about him or her? With your help, I can better help your child to be successful and happy this year.
Your child may also have ideas about what I should know. I would appreciate it if you would also tell me some things that your child is interested in or passionate about. Sometimes this is dinosaurs, or snakes or Lego or horses…each child is different. This will help me to tap into your child’s interests as he learns to read.
By emailing me, you will also be sharing your email address with me, and I can use that to help keep you up to date about things in our classroom. If you do not have an email address that you use regularly, or would prefer paper copies during the school year, just mail me a letter with the information instead. The address at the school is 1100 Currie Crescent, Moose Jaw S6H 5M8
Watch for information from me very early in the school year about a parent information night.
It is not necessary to put your child’s name on all of his supplies as we will be sharing them. Please do put his/her name on the headphones or earbuds and on the scissors.
I’m anticipating a wonderful year of learning together! Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you may have.
Letter to Parents of Loopers
I decided to also include a letter for the parents of my returning students.
I’m very excited to be teaching your child again this year. It has long been a dream of mine to have students for two years in a row as it eliminates all the “getting to know you” phase at the beginning of the year and helps students to quickly feel comfortable and ready to learn. I know your child’s interests and strengths and we can just pick up where we left off at the end of last year. Students also feel more comfortable with someone that they already know. It’s going to be a great year of learning!
Your child will have an iPad to use throughout our school day just as he or she did at the end of last year. I’m looking forward to finding more ways that these devices can enhance learning in our classroom.
It is not necessary to put your child’s name on all of his supplies as we will be sharing them. Please do put his/her name on the headphones or earbuds and on the scissors. that will save us some time on the first day of school
Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you may have. Also, if there is anything about your child that you think I do not yet know but should, please contact me about that as well. My email address is still email@example.com
I’m anticipating a wonderful year of learning together!
I’m sharing these not because I think they are perfect (the’re not!) but because they may be helpful to someone. I’d love to see letters that other teachers write to their students or parents. Are you willing to share?