Thursday, 26 June 2014

An open letter to my old students

Dear students,

So, we have finally finished! School is over and now you are all on

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Image credit: Pixabay

I am not on holiday yet, of course. I have a few more days of drinking coffee working hard at school to make sure everything is ready for next year. However, next year (as you know) there will be a big difference – I will not be here. I will be teaching at a new school in Gabon, Africa!! This is a very exciting opportunity and I hope it will be a lot of fun.

But, in this letter, I want to say a few things about the year of learning we have just finished. The first and most important thing I want to say is:

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Image credit: Pixabay

Last September, I wrote you a letter (but never showed it to you!) about what I wanted this year to be like, what I wanted from you, and what I wanted you to learn. And you did it! You gave me a chance to be your teacher and didn’t expect me to do the same things as your old teacher.

And we had fun! I enjoyed our lessons a lot – you told me interesting and funny stories, you joined in with the drama activities and games, and you made some fantastic projects and presentations. I could understand that you enjoyed these tasks and that made me happy – we had fun but learned at the same time and that is what I always want to see in my classrooms.

And, even when the lessons were more ‘serious’, you were the same. I know some of the pages we had to read in our Cornerstone book were boring but you still tried hard and completed the tasks. The only small thing that wasn’t so good was homework – a few of you ‘forgot’ or couldn’t do the homework sometimes… But I’m not a big fan of homework anyway and I understand that you get a lot of homework from your other teachers so I tried not to give you too much. I hope you understood that.

I was also happy to see how much you changed and grew in our lessons. I know some of you were worried at the start of the year because I always spoke English in class. Some of you were very shy and quiet too. With time, you started to understand more and then you started to speak more. The worried students became relaxed. The shy students soon couldn’t stop talking! And the (sorry to say it) lazy ones started to speak more and work a little harder as well.

But it wasn’t only you speaking in English that I liked. I also liked what you said. I enjoyed listening to you and your stories about your life, your experiences, and your interests. I hope you know this and I hope you enjoyed hearing my stories too.

Now, it’s time to say goodbye and time for me to go. I am happy about my new job but I was sad on the last day when some of you asked me to stay here. It is very difficult to leave wonderful students like you but sometimes we have to make difficult decisions in our lives – you will learn this when you are older.

I hope my new students will have the same enthusiasm and energy as you. I also hope that you will show the same energy and enthusiasm with your new teachers next year and in the years after. Your new teacher will not be me and might do things in class very differently but, remember, I was not your old teacher either! Having new teachers who do things differently is good for you and your learning so make sure you give your new teachers a chance. If you listen to their lessons, follow their rules, and do the tasks, you will see that all teachers like mixing learning with fun! You don’t have to give your new teachers Toblerones though – those were just for me!

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So, the only thing I can say now is:

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Image credit: Pixabay

I will tell you all about my African Adventure through our Facebook connections. Make sure you tell me about your life in 6th Grade as well.

Our journey together has just ended but life’s journey never stops. Good luck!

Your old (and favourite!) teacher,

Mr Dodgson

P.S. The ‘goodbye’ film we made together is now on YouTube. Thanks for helping me make it!

Smile