January 4, 2016
Dear students, parents:
I am excited to be teaching your students in the upcoming semester. I can’t wait to get going. The fall semester is behind us, and it is time to look ahead to the Spring Semester. The Fall Semester was difficult because I started teaching a month into the school year, and we played catch up the entire semester. The Spring Semester offers a fresh start for students, parents, and me. It is essential that we all work together so that our No. 1 objective is attained on a daily basis: learning.
As I plan for the Spring Semester, communication is at the forefront. I spent the break working on plans and seeking better ways to communicate the message of learning. The communications message starts with me in the following ways: 1) communicate my expectations in the classroom by letting everyone know when classroom and homework assignments are due, in class, through emails and on a new classroom web site; 2) I will use new techniques to manage the classroom better so that my expectations and daily instructions are conveyed in an environment for learning; 3) and I will give the necessary consequences when students fail to follow directions or turn in assignments late.
In order to properly hear this message, we must all stop making excuses that permeated the Fall Semester. No more blaming the substitute or the transition. No more using the excuse of not understanding my expectations. The objective as we move forward is this: My job is to teach and students’ job is to learn. Anything that interferes with those two objectives will require me taking measures to correct whatever is blocking the learning. Last semester, I estimate my classes lost an average of 150 minutes of learning, mostly from students talking while I’m giving directions. Those 150 minutes that can never be recovered.
Should you have questions, please feel free to contact me for clarification. Please note that my classroom web site is now up and running. You can also see the January classroom schedule on Tuesday, January 5. Thank you for your time.
Fredom High School, English II, World Studies teacher
(925) 625-5900, Ext. 3557