Dear First Graders,

I have been waiting for you since the end of May! I have wondered who you are, what you will look like, how you will behave, and what I can do to make learning fun for you. (Forgive me for sounding like an expectant mother!) I have prepared the room, read lots of books, reflected on my teaching and planned ways to make it better. Now you are here. There are 14 of you, smiling big and eager to discover what I have in store for this school year.

We have talked about our hopes and dreams and I have quite a few for you. I want you to feel successful and be successful. I want our classroom to be a community. I want us to a be family. I want us to help each other and cheer each other on. I want us to be happy for each other and pick our friends up if they fall. I want us to learn from each other.

I want your parents to read my newsletter each week so they can talk to you about what is going on in our classroom. I want them to help you with your homework and remember its purpose is not only to show them what we are learning, but also to teach you responsibility and organization. If we start building these skills now, it may be a little easier later. I want your parents to be honest with me and respect when I am honest with them. I want to be a team with your parents as we work to do what is best for you! I want them to be involved in our classroom and in your learning. So far so good!

I want you to love learning. I want you to be excited about reading and writing and math and social studies and science! I want you to believe in yourself and know that everybody learns in different ways. I want you to try new things and live a little! I want you to think before you speak. I want you to use kind words and have a nice face. I want you to be a problem solver.

I want a lot! That is a good thing though. I have high, yet realistic expectations for you and I know you can do it!

I am thrilled to be your teacher. I love spending time with you each day. I love getting to know your favorite sports, how many sisters and brothers you have, your favorite food and where you like to go on vacation. Those tidbits are almost as important as your reading level and math ability.

In nine months, our time will be done. Yep, I'm already thinking about it! I'll always have a special place in my heart just for you. We will still be family and I will always want to know what is going on with you. I want to know all about your successes! And as I always say, "even if you are 35 and need something, let me know."

Love,
Mrs. S. :)

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