Dear French-speaking student from Africa:
You improved so much this year, in more ways than one. Last year I used to see you sitting alone in the corner when I covered your class, and that made me feel badly. But this year, though you had some bumps, you interacted so much more and tried to participate. You tried so hard all year, and you really impressed me. Keep it up- you made such amazing progress this year. I think you probably picked up as much English on the playground as you did in the classroom.
Dear Prima Donna:
I've had kids like you before, kids that others flock to even though you're not really that nice to them. You're very charismatic in your own way, but your behavior points to a lot of anger. It still surprises me, the way you get into near knock-down-drag-out fights with some of the girls, and a week later you're the best of buddies. You're Miss Popularity, but I don't think you have any real friends. And your constant challenges to me and the other adults and our authority won't help you either. I wish your mother could see what you needed, instead of throwing pretty clothes and expensive jewelry at you, because I know that's not what you need. But does your mom realize this? Do you?
Dear Future Valedictorian:
I love to tell people about the card you made for your best friend, the one you addressed, "To Mah Bitch Jessica". Maybe I should be appalled at your use of the word "bitch", but deep down I saw it as a sign that you seemed to loosen up a little this year. Earlier this year, Ms. Assistant Principal said that you needed to be a kid, and I agree. You work so hard all the time, and have more focus than people much older, and I know you have responsibilities at home. While I want you to continue to do your best, I also want you to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and having time to relax is necessary for success too.
p.s. I can deal with the use of the word "bitch" but the "mah" part has to go.
Dear Student Hovering On The Brink of Thugdom:
You're another kid I speak of to my family and friends, for the way you walk to school reading, making sure to stop on the corners so you don't get run over by a speeding livery cab, for the way you're just SO smart. For much of the year, I found myself annoyed with your other teachers, because I felt that they were unfair to you at times. I never found you to be disrespectful; I never had any complaints. But what you did last week nearly broke my heart, and I still can't believe that you vandalized another student's property. I wouldn't believe it if other kids hadn't seen you do it. What happens next? I don't want this to define you, and I feel like you tried so hard this year, but in one fit of anger at a classmate, you threw it all away.
Dear Mr. Malarkey:
Any man who gets up at 5 am to make lunch for his wife, takes care of an infant all day, and keeps the kitty litter box clean deserves a medal. I love you.
I love being your mommy. Leaving you every morning is so hard, and at the end of the day I race home to be with you again. In fact, I race away from school so fast that I've taken out half the fifth grade, a couple teachers and half the cafeteria staff. I can't wait to be home full time with you again.