Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Letter Series: A Few Randoms

Dear Admiral Criticism,

I'm learning to avoid things that just aren't my business, but allow me to share an observation that has been a long time coming:  she's your kid, not your project.

Develop your relationships any way you want, but know that you have a limited amount of time to truly get to know someone.  I promise there is more to her than her dress size or her outer appearance.  In fact, you are largely missing out on influencing some of the most important decisions she'll ever make because of your constant focus on her weight or current insufficiencies (according to you).

While you're really looking at her, don't miss all of the amazing things that are happening in her life.  She's becoming an adult--one who is really learning to make her own decisions and becoming responsible for her own stuff.  Really, this is something you'd notice if you spent more time looking at how far she's come instead of how far she has to go.  (And by the way, she gets it.  I promise she already sees the obstacles ahead.  You don't need to point them out.  Constantly.)
She's still looking for your approval.  Don't take that lightly, because there is going to come a day--probably in the very near future--that your negativity will lead her to avoid your opinion at all costs.  Instead, she'll shrug her shoulders and comment that you aren't on board, because you never have been.  Oh, and open your eyes so you know how much she is doing to please you.  Some of those decisions were for your benefit--not hers.

She's never going to be perfect.  OK?  But she's still pretty great.  I hope you figure that out before it's too little too late.  Recognizing those things doesn't mean you completely ignore her flaws, but it can't hurt to balance all of your snarky comments with a bit of verbal affirmation, can it?

--A Concerned Observer

Dear Students,

English is hard--especially when we need to address what literature is meant to do for us as readers.  Unfortunately, group work in class doesn't mean the requirements are going to be easier.  In fact, because you have the benefit of other opinions/help, it's probably going to be more difficult.  But I feel obligated to push you to discovery in the classroom, and, often, that means pushing your thinking processes beyond normal parameters.

I feel like it's my job to ensure you are capable of thinking for yourselves.  How could that be possible without a ton of practice opportunities?

You're Welcome.

Your Teacher

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