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Letter to My Students for the 2013-2014 School Year

To My 2013-2014 Students:

My name is Mrs. AuburnChick, and I have the distinct honor of being your fearless leader this year.

I wanted to take a few moments to share my thoughts as we embark on this nine and a half month journey.

First of all, I would like for you to know that I rested…a lot…this summer so that I could enter the new school year refreshed and with a renewed perspective.  I’m known to have energy galore, so make sure you hit the ground running.  My enthusiasm knows no bounds, and I think you’ll find yourself unable to resist the pull being sucked into the vortex of learning that is housed within the four walls of my classroom.

(It’s a good thing the walls are made of concrete or else the entire school would be able to feel the effects.)

Second, I want you to know that though it’s only been a week since I crawled out of the pajamas I hibernated in all summer, I have spent most of these past seven days ruminating on how best to engage you…how to draw out the best in you…utilizing the talents and interests that reside deep inside each and every one of you.

I have been in contact with your parents and guardians, and they have provided insider information; thus, when we meet, it will not be as complete strangers.

Third, I want you to know that my primary goal is not to help you pass a standardized test.

Oh sure.  The State of Florida says this is a graduation requirement.  Obviously, I get that.

However, my primary goal is that you will learn to think critically…that you will not take things at face value…that you will question what is set before you (except for my classroom procedures, which I assure you are not really up for debate)…that you will learn to share your opinions and support them with solid evidence.

See, these are skills that will carry you far beyond any pass/fail test.

These skills will help you make a difference in the world by thinking outside of the box…by inventing new things…by improving those that already exist.

The people who created FCAT will one day look to you to improve their standard of living, and although you may harbor ill feelings about the angst you faced in high school trying to pass an impossible test, you will do the right thing (because you are all humane) and will come up with cures for such things as Old Timer’s Disease.  You’ll apologize that there’s no cure for ignorance, however.


It is my hope that you will not measure your success by a letter grade or the percentage of questions you get right or wrong.

Life is so much more than that.

Success is measured by how much progress you have made.

Success is measured by how many times you take a fall and get back up again to start over.

There is no such thing as perfection.  Trust me.  I’ve learned this the hard way.  You’d do well to learn it while you’re young.

What there is is imperfect progress, to quote Lysa TerKeurst, a newly-favorite writer of mine.

The last thing I want you to know is that when you walk into my classroom, I ask that you do not allow your past to hold you back.  You are starting off with a clean slate as far as I’m concerned, and I will accept you just as you are.  I hope you will extend the same courtesy to me.

Our year will have its ups and downs, of this I’m sure.  I ask that you be patient with me on the days that lesson plans flop, I make you take notes forever, or my quirkiness and corny jokes get on your nerves.

You see, although I am an adult, I am much the same as you…striving for imperfect progress each day…shrugging off the disappointments in my life…carving out positive experiences from the moments I am given.

I cannot wait to see what this year brings!

You are special, and you have already earned a place in my heart simply by being on my roster.  Once you enter my classroom, you will forever be one of my children.

Let’s make this a GREAT year!


Mrs. AuburnChick

2 Responses

  1. Awesome! Have a great first day.

  2. I’ve said it before, but you’re students are incredibly fortunate to have you as their teacher. Here’s to an AWESOME school year!

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