Friday, September 9, 2016

A letter to my students

Dear students,

I love you. But I need to get some things off my chest...

Please stop calling me Mrs. Staples, Mrs. Stapler, and Mrs. Staplehead. It is Mrs. Sta-ple-TON.

You don't have to tell me every time you find a paperclip, a piece of fuzz, or a string on the floor. Just take care of it. Put it in the trash for heaven's sake.

Students, don't fall into peer pressure. Just because the student next to you needs to pee doesn't mean you need to pee too. Don't start a disruptive ripple effect.

And what's the deal with bathroom sinks? Boys, why do you see it as a competition to clog the spout and see if you can get water to spray on the ceiling. Girls, why do you see sinks as opportunities to slick up your hair and come out confidently looking like wet cats.

Students, we are really going to have to work on what a "question" is. Anytime someone says, "Do you have any questions?" It seems like you guys always follow it up with... "My dog died when I was 3." Or "My baby brother ate a bug once."

Let me get a few more things off my chest...

I love you so so much.

I love how much you make me laugh. I have loved hearing things like
"We need a questlamation point at the end of the sentence!"
"The state flower is called the blue vomit!"

I love how badly you want to please. I love that you laugh at my jokes...even when you don't get them. I KNOW you don't get them because I know how 1st grade brains work. You are just laughing to make me feel loved.

I love that you are innocent. I love that you still have a wonderment of the world around you. I love that you are motivated to learn.

I love it when you say, "We are a team. We are a family." I love how when someone cries, you all want to stop class to make sure they are ok. I love that you rub their back and say, "Its ok!"

I'm sorry that some of you live with uncertainty. Wondering when you are going to eat next, where you are going to live, who you are going to live with, who will pick you up that day. I wish I could tell you that everything at your home will be ok. But I CAN tell you that everyday that you come to school that you will eat, you will be loved, and you will be safe.

I also want you to know that I don't care what's "wrong" with you. I don't care what labels you have. I don't care about your history or how you did last year. You are mine. I don't love you because you are a good student. I love you because you are MY student.

Thank you students for filling my days with smiles and joy. I'm so impressed with you all. You handle so much in life with more grace and maturity than a lot of adults do. You love and forgive better than a lot of adults do. So even though I might teach you some "stuff." You teach me so much more.