Thursday, March 26, 2015

Joy in a Jar

On my desk, a small glass jar sits.  Each day, my students fill it up with notes to me from students and with what we call virtue tickets (or good news prize tickets).  Notes range from nice to know things like “I like your dress and please copy my essay for me” to need to know like “Suzy hit me or Johnny is being bullied”.  

Students mostly feel comfortable enough with me to write their names on their notes and if they don’t in case someone else sees it, we have code words that are picked at a different time.  The little notes are our little secret unless of course it’s something that needs to be addressed.  It’s nice in the hussle and bussle of our day to have a place students feel comfortable expressing themselves.  It feels good to be heard even if it’s by a paper ear.  
To my surprise one day recently, a student left me a larger than normal note .  Most are scrawled on paper scraps or sticky notes.  This particular note was handwritten in Sharpie on a piece of full sized notebook paper and was addressed with “Please Read” and even requested “Please Retern”.  This in itself intrigued me.

I opened the carefully folded paper and found it was a story written by the student.  I read the title which suggested a scary story was about to be told.  I read the story word for word.  

I was so impressed with this student’s willingness to share this with me.  I was even more impressed with how it ended.  I would not be able to come up with a more suspense-filled ending to a scary story.  I am hoping this young author continues the story. Or at least leaves me more! For this language arts teacher, it was like finding a little love note.
Do you have a system for your students to tell you things? What are some ways your students leave you little "love notes"? Leave me a comment with your answers.

-C

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