To my students now and in the future: A new year’s promise.

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When I launched this blog I intended to have more posts than I currently have, but I am content that I have a handful of posts and I have been able to reach people across the globe. I hope this next year I will be able to write and read more, and reach more people.

This is a latent letter to my students that I have been wanting to write for some time. Times are uncertain, and how we care and treat for our children now, will speak volumes about how we view our future generations. as people. In this letter, I am making a promise and declaration to serve and care for students so they may care for themselves and others, and to help create a better world. As my last post of the year, here it is.

To my students,

I don’t know what this next year will hold for you, our classroom, or myself. There are changes happening, and as your teacher I have to be ready for them so that I can make sure you succeed in our classroom, and beyond.
There are a lot of people out there who are trying to make decisions about how schools are run, and I don’t agree with a lot of those decisions or reasons. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of power to make decisions beyond our classroom, but while I fight on the outside for you, I want to give you some promises that will always be true in our classroom.
I promise to make sure I welcome you with open arms every day you walk into our room. You are safe, and welcome here.

I promise to help you know what true and factual information looks like, and how to seek it out for yourself. There will be people out there who will try to deceive you, I hope one day if that happens you can look that person in the eye and say “That’s false, and here is why.”

I promise to show you how magical reading can be, and how it will change your life forever! I will never restrict your access to literature by any arbitrary means. 

I promise to give unconditional love and acceptance, and to treat you as human beings when it comes to discipline. I will not use systems that offer anything less than respect and dignity.

I promise to always be there for you, well after third grade. Whether you come see me years after you leave elementary school, or if you send me an e-mail later in life. I will answer.

I promise to look at any curriculum with a discerning eye and use it in a way that I know is best. My “fidelity” is not to a curriculum, it is to YOU.

I promise to be open and transparent about anything you ask, you are human and are capable of hearing the truth (kid-sized of course).

I promise to be the best teacher I can be, because while I will get many years as a teacher, I only get one shot at being YOUR teacher, and I want to be the best that I can be for YOU.

I promise all these things to you and more, because I want you to know how much I care for you and the world, and in turn I want you to care for yourself, others, and the world. Because we will need you to make this world a better place. 

With all my sincerity, may this next year be our best!

– Mr. Henderson

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